Fragmentation reduces the performance of your system. While de-fragmentation will help you to speed up your computer to a certain extent. In this post, we will see how and why should we use defragmentation.
What is Fragmentation?
Fragmentation is a phenomenon wherein the pieces of your data are scattered over the hard disk and are difficult to put together while running the program.
I didn’t understand, I need an example !
It can be thought of as a room with different objects. If the room is neatly organized, we can find objects more quickly. But if the room is a complete mess then it will take more time to find what we need. Even if you organize your room in a proper way, it will be messed up over time because of various operations on the objects. And you will need to organize it again.
In the similar way, Your data needs to be organized on the hard disk so that you can access it faster. Even if its organized, it will get messed up over time because of several operations like creating files, deleting files, moving files, etc.
So in simple terms, A messed up room can be thought of as Fragmented data. While the process to organize and make the room neat is called Defragmentation.
Note that this all happens over the Hard Disk and is invisible to a Computer User. I am not talking of organizing data in folders, but i am talking about the physical location of data over the hard disk. This physical data cannot be manually organized by the user.
Ok got it, Now how do i perform defragmentation?
There is a disk utility called as Disk Defragmenter. It is inbuilt into your operating system. Although you can find other third party utilities over the internet, i would prefer and recommend you guys to use Disk Defragmenter by Windows.
For Windows XP and Windows 7
You can find Disk Defragmenter in
- Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter.
For Windows 8
You can find Disk Defragmenter by searching on the Start Page. If it doesn’t work follow these steps:
- Right click on the drive which you want to defrag.
- Go in Properties
- Go in Tools
- Click Optimize. And defragmenter will open up.
Disk Defragmenter is open, What next?
Now you can see the percentage of fragmented data. You can hit analyze button to see how much percentage of data is fragmented. If you are unsure and running Disk Defragmenter for the first time. You can just hit Optimize Button or Defragment Disk Button. And the defragmentation process will begin.
It will take several minutes or hours depending upon the total hard disk space and fragmented data. So just let it run and relax.
When should i run Disk Defragmenter?
You can run it on a weekly basis which is considered as optimal interval. But you have to run it on regular basis and not just once in a year. I prefer to run it twice a month.
Its like organizing your room as i said previously.And notice that i am talking about organizing and not cleaning. Because cleaning is a different concept. We have disk cleaner for that. But that’s a topic for different article.
Microsoft says you can run it on weekly basis. Or on the following events:
- When you add large number of files
- Your free disk space equals 15 percent or less
- When you install new programs or newer version of Operating System
If you have any doubts or questions, feel free to comment below. Thanks.