The Importance of Defragging Your Hard Drive

The Importance of Defragging Your Hard Drive

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  1. One of the most common, routine maintenance tasks, Hard Disk Defragmentation, is one of the leading tasks that rarely get’s performed. This could be due to its intimidating name, so we are going to walk through this surprisingly easy task as well as the reasons that it is important.

    First, we will cover why this is something that should be part of a regular maintenance routine. As you use your PC, you create files and then erase them. Also, when using the internet it leaves behind junk files on your hard drive. Assuming you are using a program to clean these internet files, they become just like your own files.  Now, when either of these file types are erased, an empty space is left behind. This empty space is called a “fragmentation”.

    As your hard drive starts to fill up with information, you start running out of blocks of free space that are needed to install new programs, updates, etc.  So let’s say that you found a new program you want to install, some of which can be fairly large. Your PC looks for a block of free space in which to install it, but can find only fragments. You potentially your new software could end up being installed in multiple areas.  The result is, when you try to run this program, you could experience delays due to the PC having to look in multiple places to retrieve it.   This could cause the program to not function properly, and you will end up receiving errors.

    The solution to this is to regularly “defrag” your hard drive. What this process does is it goes through your hard drive looking for fragments and then moves them around so that all of the free space is located in on area.

    Now, there are two ways to perform this task. Windows has a built-in feature for performing a hard disk defrag, but it can take a very long time, depending on both the size of the hard drive and how long it has been since this task has been performed.  This can be found by opening My Computer or Computer, depending on which operating system you use. Then you will right-click on your primary drive (usually C: drive) then choosing properties. On the second tab you can click on, you can then choose the option to defrag you hard disk.

    The second way is to use a third party software program. The one I use and recommend is Auslogics Disk Defrag. This is a freeware program and is very user friendly. It is also very fast, start it running, go have a cup of coffee and by the time you come back your hard drive will be defragged. I highly recommend running this once a week.

    By taking just a few minutes once a week to perform this task, you’ll find that your computer as well as its programs will run much more efficiently and it will also keep your hard drive free of annoying errors.

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