TUCOWS ARTICLE

How to Defragment Your Hard Disks

A few weeks ago, in the Tell Me About... column, there was an excellent article on disk fragmentation. If you haven't read it already I suggest you take a look. It explains what disk fragmentation is in a way that makes a great deal of sense.
Published: May 22, 2005
Author: Michael E, Callahan
Categories:
System maintenance
Software that can help Good for Cow Rating
Diskeeper Home Edition 10.0
Demo
Download This utility defragments your system while running in the background.

A few weeks ago, in the Tell Me About... column, there was an excellent article on disk fragmentation. If you haven't read it already I suggest you take a look. It explains what disk fragmentation is in a way that makes a great deal of sense. In the normal use of your computer your hard disk is going to become fragmented. And, the more fragmented it becomes the more it hinders the performance of your computer. Programs will take longer to load and your computer will generally slow down. The best way to keep ahead of this fragmentation is to defragment on a regular basis. Windows comes with a built-in defragmenter that's easy-to-use.

To find it, click Start... Programs... Accessories... System Tools, and Disk Defragmenter. This should apply in nearly all versions of Windows. Once you have the program open, it's time to get started.

First, highlight your "C" drive. Depending on how your computer is configured, you may have multiple hard drives and/or multiple partitions. You'll note that the program tells you what file system the drive uses -- NTFS, FAT32, etc. It also tells you the total capacity of the drive, the amount free, and what the percentage of total free space is. With Drive C highlighted, click on the Analyze button. The program will start to analyze the level of fragmentation on your drive. When it's completed, it will tell you that the analysis is done and in some cases it will even tell you that you do not need to defragment the drive. If you do need to defragment the drive, just click on the Defragment button and the program will start to defragment your drive. Depending on your computer, and how badly the disk is fragmented, this may take some time. If you have other hard drives and/or partitions repeat the process with them.

The amount of fragmentation, and how often you'll have to defragment depends on a number of factors. The more you use your computer the faster the hard disk gets fragmented. If you install, uninstall, create, and delete a lot of files your disk will fragment faster as well. And, if you leave your disks fragmented, your hard disks will wear out sooner and be more prone to failure.

If you'd like to have the defragmentation process automated, try taking a look at Executive Softwares Diskeeper which you can set and forget. This link is to the "Home" edition, but there are several other version depending on your needs. Diskeeper provides a wide variety of choices so you can keep your disks in top shape all the time. Remember, if you take care of your computer your computer will take care of you.


If you have a question on how to do something on the computer you can submit it via email by clicking HERE. You will not receive a reply, but all topics will be considered.


About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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