How To Defragment A Hard Drive

By SpiderGuest

30 December 2010

Why should I defrag my hard drive?

Overtime, Microsoft Windows will slowly fragment your files – this stores parts of each file in random physical locations on your hard drive. As this happens, your files will take longer and longer to access making it a bit of a headache when you come editing a document.

The solution to this would be to defragment your hard drive.

Defragmenting a hard drive rearranged the files on your hard drive so that each file is stored in a contiguous collection.

This makes reading and writing files much faster. Once the defragmentation is done, it will keep your hard drive running efficiently and will just help speed up the computer as a whole.

What do I have to use to defragment my hard drive?

You can use third party applications if you wanted but there is really no need for them as Windows XP, Vista and 7 has ‘Disk Defragmenter’ pre-configured within your operating system.

How long will it take?

It all depends on the size of your hard drive and how much is stored on there but it can typically take anywhere between an hour to a couple of hours.

Once the defragmentation process has started, it’s recommended that you just leave the PC and let the magic happen. The process or defragmenting the hard drive uses up a lot of system resources and will slow the computer considerably so if you decide to carry on using your PC whilst the process has been undertaken, do not be alarmed about slow performance.

How often should I do a defrag?

To keep your PC at peak performance, the hard drive should be defragmented on a regular basis –once a month is usually good practice but this doesn’t mean you need to add a schedule into your calendar, Microsoft can remind you in the schedule option within ‘Disc Defragmentation’.

Can you stop is half way through a defragment?

You can stop or even pause it half way through but as mentioned before, we would recommend that you just leave it be.

Sounds good so far – show me how to do it

1. Close any background applications e.g. Internet Explorer, Word or Outlook

2. To open Disc Defragmenter – Start  > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disc Defragmenter

3. The Disk Defragmenter will now be open. To manage the defragmentation manually, you will need to select which disc or discs you want to have analysed under ‘Current Status’ and then select ‘Analyze Disk’

4. After the Disk Analysis is complete, Windows will indicate if a defrag is recommended. All you need to do is check the fragmentation percentage under ‘Last Run’ and if it’s higher than ‘10”, it would be recommended to run a disk defrag.

All you need to do now is select ‘Defragment Disk’.

5. The defragmentation is now underway so sit back and lets the magic happen! If you carry on using the PC whilst the defrag is taking place, don’t be alarmed if the performance of the PC has decreased, it’s just doing its job.

6. Once complete, restart the PC and that’s it all done – for a month.

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-Via  eHow

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