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Defragmenting Your Windows Computer

March 25th, 2010

defragment-computer.jpgDefragmenting your Windows computer is a cinch. You don’t need to be a techie or spend frustrating hours learning this useful tool. And after you’ve done it once, you can schedule automatic defragmentation and never give it a second thought.

What is defragmentation, and why is it so important?

Imagine that every time you put a new item on your office desk, you toss it down any old way. When you need to find something, you just shuffle things around until you find what you’re looking for. No problem! Sure, not at first. But after a few months of this, as more and more clutter is piled onto your desk, it becomes very difficult to find anything. Your tape dispenser gets separated from your tape, important tax documents are mingled in with holiday cards, and old bank statements are taking up space. The solution? A place for everything, and everything in its place!

Your computer is similar to a real world office desk. It too gets cluttered, and it too can be organized. Every time you use your computer, it writes data to the hard drive, but like a messy desk user in the real world, it doesn’t bother to organize the data. It simply stores data in any available block of free space. The more you use your computer and the more data is stored, the harder your computer has to work to find the data—similar to you rummaging through piles on your desk to find a stapler. When you defragment, data is organized and unnecessary files are deleted. The end result? Improved performance and speed.

How to defragment:

1. Click the Start Menu
2. Click All Programs
3. Select Accessories
4. Select System Tools
5. Select Disk Defragmenter

If this is the first time you’ve ever defragmented, and you’re using Windows XP, try clicking on Analyze to get a visual of your computer data. (Vista doesn’t offer this option.) Select the hard drive you wish to defragment, and choose Defragment. It’s as simple as that.

The amount of time it takes for the defragmentation software to do its job depends on how much data you have and how long you’ve been using your computer. You can use your computer while the software runs in the background, but it’s best not to. Try to let it run overnight, just to ensure you won’t need to interrupt the defragmentation.

After the first time you defragment, plan on repeating the process at least once a month, or use the Maintenance Wizard to defragment automatically. Defragmenting on a regular basis will not only improve your speed and performance, but it will also lengthen the life of your hard drive. And there you have it — now you know what defragmentation is, why it’s so important, and how to do it.

Related article: Auslogics Speeds Up Disk Defragmentation

This article was supplied by Antonia Anderson from Constant Content.

One Response to “Defragmenting Your Windows Computer”

  1. comment number 1 by: Jason

    I am currently defragging using an automatic defragger that doesnt even require scheduling. Its set to defrag utilizing idle resources and also has an advanced feature that prevents a lot of fragmentation from occuring. So the defrag task is reduced to a large extent. It seems to be doing a great job without any conflicts.

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