As computers age, they tend to develop certain problems that can cause headaches for their owners. One of these is the fragmentation of files. It occurs when the folders and files on a hard drive begin to break down or “fragment.” This will result in those files suddenly appearing in the wrong place and in a totally disorganized manner in the file directory.
This isn’t only annoying. It can also cause serious problems for the regular operation of that PC. Due to the fact those files aren’t where they should be, that computer will likely run at a snail’s pace and constantly encounter problems while trying to process commands. Failure of the entire hard drive is also very likely.
Defragmenting Your Hard Drive
One way to deal with this is by defragmenting the hard drive or “defragging” it for short. This is a method of reorganizing a computer’s files. It places files back on the hard drive in a much more organized fashion. Files that are related to each other regarding their purpose and use by the computer’s systems will once again be in the same place.
This results in the computer being able quickly and efficiently access files again. It will also result in faster load times and less processing errors. The space that is left on the computer will also be much more neatly organized into one single chunk of free space. This allows for even more efficiency since files can be saved to this free space in a much more orderly way.
Defragmenting a computer can actually greatly increase its life span. This is especially the case for computers that have very large hard drives. Having all the data neatly organized in the same place means that computer will have to do less work to access those files. Alternatively, a fragmented computer will have to work much harder to retrieve data scattered all over in a nonsensical way. This puts extra stress on the hardware and will likely result in a shorter life span for the computer.
The need for defragmentation may also depend on a computer’s processing speed. High end personal computers may have enough sheer processing power to make defragmentation unnecessary. Still, many computer users may benefit from routinely defragging their hard drives. Defragmenting your computer twice a month may produce the best results for many computer owners. Those that use their computers very often and see a faster decrease in efficiency may want to defragment their hard drives more often.
Not That Difficult
Thankfully, defragmenting your computer isn’t that difficult. Almost every personal computer comes with a tool you can use to defragment your hard drive. In Windows, this is usually found inside the “System Tools” menu. Such a tool is also likely to have the ability to analyze your hard drive. It will check the location of files and processing speeds. It will then make a suggestion about whether or not your computer would benefit from being defragmented. If you wish to defragment, you will only have to click through a few more prompts to do so.
You will also likely have the option to defragment your computer by entering command lines through the command prompt. To run the command prompt, simply access the “Accessories” folder from “All Programs” on your taskbar. Once you have loaded the command prompt, you can use the “defrag” command to defragment your hard drive.
Lexy Mulheim wrote this article for www.cpuinc.com. CPU Inc provide individuals and businesses with data storage and backup solutions including tape drives, raid storage, or any other system needs.