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Disk Defragmenter - The Importance of Disk Defragmentation

Updated on July 4, 2011
disk defragmenter program
disk defragmenter program

When you have just bought your new set of computer, you may find it a real fun making use of the new computer set throughout your whole day. Your new computer set may work incredibly fast – or so you thought – and everything seems to work fine. However, unfortunately, you may feel that your computer slows down over time. Well, this is something that you cannot avoid as it takes place naturally when it comes to computing. This is often when you will find the disk defragmentation pretty handy.

What Is Fragmentation?

Prior to discussing about how you can defragment your hard disk drive (HDD), it may be wise to know in advance what a fragmentation is. Well, when the computer stores a data or a file you instruct it to store, it will try its best so that all pieces of the data or file is stored in one contiguous place. Unfortunately, there are often times when you cannot avoid having to delete, copy, or move your data somewhere else. You will often need to install or remove applications as well. As a result, the contiguous block of data is no longer contiguous after those operations. The block of data becomes fragmented.

What Does Fragmentation Cause?

Well, when your Windows operating system (OS) starts, it will usually try to check and load all the blocks of files on the HDD. If all the blocks of data or file are contiguous, the Windows OS will boot up very fast. Unfortunately, if your data is fragmented, there will be a lot of empty spaces on your HDD causing Windows to have to jump over the spaces just to put together the blocks of data of a certain application. So, in short, disk fragmentation causes Windows to slow down.

Disk Defragmenter

Fortunately, Microsoft have always realized this drawback for quite a long time which is why they always provide a program known as the Disk Defragmenter on each version of Windows they release. The Disk Defragmenter will try to analyze the HDD for fragmentation and will then try to put together related blocks of data so that they become contiguous once again.

However, there is also a drawback with the disk defragmentation process. Defragmenting the HDD will usually consume a reasonably large amount of time. With that being said, it is not really suitable to carry it out unless you are not having anything to do with your computer.

Yet, when the Disk Defragmenter has finished defragmenting your HDD, you can expect to have a lot faster Windows OS to work with. It will boot up faster, applications will run faster, you won’t have to wait too long for a file copy process to complete, for examples, and a lot more.

start menu -- system tools under accessories
start menu -- system tools under accessories
disk defragmenter software
disk defragmenter software
search box in windows 7 os
search box in windows 7 os

How to Defragment Your Hard Disk Drive

For most versions of the Windows operating system, you will find the Disk Defragmenter application under System Tools located under Accessories when you click on the Windows Start button. Simply open up the application and you will see a list of your drives that are available for defragmentation. If you are a Windows 7 user, you only need to type “Disk Defragmenter” in the Search box that shows up by clicking the Start button.

Then, what you will have to do is simply click on the “Analyze disk” button before finally clicking on the button that says “Defragment disk”. However, in Windows 7, when you click on the “Defragment disk” button, the OS will analyze the disk in advance. Therefore, chances are you can skip clicking on the “Analyze disk” button.

During the disk defragmentation process, you will be presented with information regarding how far the process has gone. The Disk Defragmenter application will tell you how far the HDD has been analyzed and how far it has been defragmented after the analysis process is completed.

After the disk defragmentation process is completed, you can schedule the process to run automatically in the future. This way, you can make sure that your Windows OS will always give you a speedy access thanks to the files being contiguous all the time. To do this, simply click on the button that says “Turn on schedule…”.

A dialog box will then appear. Then, you should check the box that indicates activation of the disk defragmenting schedule. You can then choose how often you want the defragmentation process to take place, on what day you prefer it to take place, the time you want it to run and which disk you want defragmented. Additionally, you can even have new disks, if any, defragmented automatically. However, considering that the disks are still new, chances are the blocks of files are still contiguous and you may not really need to defragment them.

defragmenting hdd - analyze disk
defragmenting hdd - analyze disk
defragmenting hdd - defragment disk
defragmenting hdd - defragment disk
schedule disk defragmentation
schedule disk defragmentation
selecting disk to defragment
selecting disk to defragment

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    • profile imageAUTHOR

      RichBest 

      7 years ago

      Hello there Bob and Bill, thanks a lot for the info. I'll have a look at diskeeper pro as well. It's really nicer if your hard disk gets defragmented in the background the whole time you are using your computer. That way, we may not even have the problem of OS slowing down at all. :D

    • Bill R TechSpec profile image

      Bill R TechSpec 

      7 years ago

      Excellent article -- very detailed!

      I too prefer paid for defrag programs as they are much more effective and no matter what, disks become fragmented with use.

      There's a lot of really good info on defragmentation at:

      http://www.diskeeper.com/defrag/defragmentation-ce...

      I recommend using a good automatic third party program that can defrag transparently while using the PC so you don't have wait for ever for it to defrag.

      Here's a Top 10 Reviews side-by-side comparison of the best defrag programs available:

      http://disk-defragmenter-software-review.toptenrev...

      The top placers are automatic and they all offer a free trial.

      The gold medalist prevents fragmentation.

      You can get a free trial via the review or at http://www.diskeeper.com

    • profile image

      Bob 

      7 years ago

      I've always found the in-built defragger very slow and it does not do a thorough job. I've found since using the highest rated defragger, diskeeper pro, it keeps the performance of my hard-drive a lot smoother and it also prevents most fragmentation from happening in the first place which in the long run is much better for my hard-drive. I highly recommend it. I think you can download a free trial from their website diskeeper.com

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