Have you ever heard someone say that you should defrag your computer to make it faster? Most people know that defragging is something that might help their computer perform better, but they don’t really know what it means or how to do it.
While most modern operating systems are now designed to defragment automatically, you should still check your hard drive periodically to make sure the defragmentation process is working correctly.
So what causes a defragmented hard drive? Well, to put it simply, a hard drive can become fragmented when the data that is saved is not organized in the most efficient manner. Think of it like a filing system; if you have all of your related files in one folder, it will be easier and faster to find and read them. The same goes for your computer. The more fragmented your hard drive is, the more your computer has to work to read certain files because they are essentially spread across several locations, which can slow down your overall experience.
How to know when it’s time to defragment your hard drive.
First, keep in mind that your hard drive does not need to be defragmented if you use a solid state drive. If you do not have a solid state hard drive, however, there are a few simple steps you can follow to check if your hard drive needs to be defragmented.
If you are using windows 7 or 8, chances are your hard drive is set to defragment automatically. However, these automatic scans are usually scheduled at night and might not run if the computer is turned off. To check this, click on the start menu icon, and type “defrag” into the search box. Then, click the disk defragment program that appears in the search results. You should see that your disk has been defragmented recently. If not, highlight the C: drive and click “analyze”. Your system will run a check to see if your drive is fragmented. If it finds room for optimization, click on the prompts to defragment your hard drive.
For a windows XP machine, you will need to go to the start menu, then click “run”. Once the “run” dialog box has opened, type in “Dfrg.msc” and hit enter. Then highlight your C: drive and run the analysis for fragmentation.
Before you begin the process, keep in mind that older machines can take several hours to run a full defragmentation.
That’s all there is to it! Once your hard drive has been defragmented there may be noticeable improvement in its overall performance.