How to defrag your hard drive?

You have probably noticed that after just a few months your computer takes forever to start up.

Some programs also become sluggish, and this can be very frustrating when you have important work to do.

A good way to speed up your computer is to ‘defrag’ your computer’s hard disk. Fragmentation of your hard disk memory can cause your system to slow to a crawl while your computer attempts to write commands.

1 What is hard drive fragmentation?

Your hard disk stores data in a ‘random-access manner.’ This means individual blocks of data can be stored or retrieved in any order.

When you purchase and first start using your computer and your hard drive still has lots of space, this ‘random’ method of storage and retrieval works fine.

However, over time, as your hard disk fills up, program data becomes ‘fragmented’ as it is stored in different nooks and crannies of your hard drive.

This fragmentation makes it harder to retrieve the information quickly needed to run programs.

This slows down your computer, especially when it is starting up after being turned off.

2 How does disk defragmentation work?

Defragmentation physically organizes the contents of your computer’s hard disk. The purpose of defragmentation is to store the pieces of each file close together in as close to a continuous block of memory as possible.

So, defragmenters organize smaller files so they are stored within a single directory together. The files can then accessed in sequence, speeding up your computer.

Disk defragmentation also compacts data in order to create larger regions of free space in your hard drive. Compacting data helps prevent the return of fragmentation.

3 Defrag your hard drive to speed things up

As a best practice be sure to ‘defrag’ your hard drive on a regular basis to completely remove fragmentation gaps and produce a cleaner, more compact file organization.

Important files needed to run your computer then will take up less disk space and will consume fewer memory resources. The result is that your computer will have better access to files and programs and will be more responsive.

4 Before you defrag your hard drive…

Keep in mind that defragmenting your hard disk may take at least an hour. You won’t be able to use your computer at all while it’s being defragged.

Try running your defrag overnight or setting it up to run automatically at a preset period of time.

Also, if you have energy-saving features such as a screen-saver turned on, your defragmenter may stop during the process and you’ll have to start all over again.