If you want your computer to keep functioning at its best, you should defrag its hard drive once in a while. Hard drives usually have spinning platters that contain data. Each time your computer inputs data to your hard drive, it creates blocks which are sequentially ordered from one side of the platter to the other.
When your files are split into different blocks, fragmentation occurs. Your hard drive has a hard time reading these files because it has to go to different areas on your platter. To fix this issue, you need to defrag your hard drive. One of the main advantages of defragging your hard drive is that these separate blocks are put together in a sequential order.
When you defrag your hard drive, your drive head no longer has to go to different areas on your platter just to read one file. This improves the performance of your computer. Yet another advantage of defragmentation is that it can make your computer run faster. If your computer is faster, you will be able to run programs and applications more easily and quickly.
Then again, it may take some time before you can complete your disk defragmenting process. If you have a screen saver or any other similar features, you may have a hard time defragmenting your computer. Applications like this can cause your defragmenter to stop and restart. So if you do not want to experience any hassle, you should just defrag your hard drive overnight.
To know more about disk defragmentation, here are some pointers:
* If your drive has at least ten percent fragmentation, you need to defragment it. This is especially true if your computer is old.
* If you already have an “SSD” or solid-state drive on your computer, there is no more need to defragment it. Unlike ordinary hard drives, solid-state drives do not store data with the use of a spinning platter. They also do not go to different areas of the hard drive to read files. Hence, defragmenting your computer will have no effect if you use an SSD. Then again, you should take note that solid-state drives also need to be maintained.
* If you have a non-SSD on your computer, disk defragmentation is still necessary.
* If you are using Windows 7 or Windows 8, you can also rest assured that your hard drives are automatically defragmented on a specific schedule. If you want to ensure that everything is going well, you can go to your Start menu and type in “defrag.” Then, open your Disk Defragmenter to see if it is running smoothly. You should be able to see when you last performed defragmentation. Also, you should be able to find out if your drives have fragmentation.
* If you are using Windows 8 and you see your solid-state drives in the defragmenter interface, this does not automatically mean that your SSDs are being defragmented. It only means that other drives related to your SSDs are being defragmented.
* If you are using Windows XP, you need to manually defragment your drives. To do so, you have to go to your Start menu and click Run. Type in “dfrg.msc” and hit Enter. Your Disk Defragmenter will open up and you will be able to defragment your drives one by one. Ideally, you should run a “defrag” once or twice a week; but you can also use your Task Scheduler to run a defrag on a certain schedule.
* If you use a solid-state drive on your Windows XP, see to it that you upgrade as soon as possible. Windows XP does not have built-in tools that can maintain your SSD, so you should upgrade to a higher operating system, such as Windows 7.
* If you are using Mac, you also do not have to worry about defragmenting files manually. Your operating system can automatically defragment small files. Then again, if you have lots of large files, you should probably run a defrag once in a while in order to prevent your Mac from slowing down.
* The built-in Disk Defragmenter of Windows is already enough to take care of your files. However, if you wish to find out which of your files are fragmented, you may get third-party defragmenting tools. These tools are also useful if you want to shrink a drive or defragment your system files.
Likewise, you can set this up to automatically run at a preset timeframe. For instance, you can choose to run a defrag once every couple of weeks. Just go to your Disk Defragmenter window and tweak the Configure Schedule.