What is disk fragmentation?
The purpose for running defragmentation software is to put your files into contiguous form (or more organised form for your hard drive to read). When a file is created, it looks for open locations on the hard drive and places a piece of the file here, and there, and so on and so forth – they become ‘fragmented’.
As files become more and more fragmented your hard drive takes longer to load files and save them. Disk Defragmenter puts them into a more logical order, which greatly improves system performance.
This may take 20 minutes, or longer, depending on how badly the drive is fragmented. In Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista/7 it is possible to carry on doing other things whilst the defragmentation is taking place, but the system may respond sluggishly. On Windows 98 and ME, you should not do any other work while defragmentation is running, not even let the screensaver run.
How to defragment your hard drive
- Start >
- All Programs >
- Accessories >
- System Tools >
- Disk Defragmenter
Once in the disk defragment program, make sure you have selected the ‘(c:)’ drive and then press the ‘defragment’ button.
You don’t need to monitor the process. Once the process is complete, a summary will present itself. Click ‘OK’ and then close program and restart the computer. You should see benefits in speed almost immediately, if not run it again.
If you work with large files such as audio, video, or big images, you may wish to defragment on a weekly basis. Most users should not need to defragment more frequently than once a month.