Has your computer slowed down and it’s starting to drive you crazy?
It may be time to defrag your hard drive.
Fragmentation occurs when the file system cannot or will not allocate enough contiguous space to store a complete file as a unit, but instead puts parts of it in gaps between other files – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defragmentation
To an Operating System like Windows, a file is not a single unit, but a lot of small fragments of data that is kept in clusters on a hard drive. This means is that your computer writes data into a file on your hard drive as separate bits or fragments. The file system determines the precise location of each fragment, and the OS knows exactly where it is, and the right order for reading the data to assemble the complete file.
The problem is that it’s not always able to place the bits of that file close together on the disk. One bit may be written near the beginning of the disc, the rest could be written near the end. The fragmentation of data can be especially bad on computers where the user loads and then uninstalls programs a lot. Fragmentation also happens to a hard disk over time as you save, change, or delete files. Collecting all the fragments to make up the fileon a fragmented drive results in extra spins of the hard disk, which slows down the transfer of the data to the computer, causing programs to run slower.
While slowing down of programs can be caused by many other issues, fragmentation of the data on the hard drive is major culprit and fortunately an easy one to remedy. Defragmenting your disk volume arranges data in an orderly manner, reducing the time taken to read and assemble a file.
All Windows versions come with a built “defragging” program called Disk Defragmenter. It can be found on the properties menu of the hard drive, under the Accessories >> System Tools Folder on the Start Menu or by typing “defrag” in the “search programs” box.
Frankly, the Windows Disk Defragmenter is very basic and very slow. I prefer to use Smart Defrag by IObit which is much faster and more effective. Smart defrag operates in the background whenever your computer is idle so that you hardly notice it. As a result drives are permanently defragmented allowing fast access and less wear and tear.
Best of all Smart Defrag is free and developed by IObit, the same guys that developed the excellent protection, cleanup and maintenance tool Advanced System Care which I reviewed in “6 Free utility programs every Windows computer should have”.