Defragmentation

Disk fragmentation is a process of rearranging the data and re-uniting the file fragments, so that all the information belonging to a file is stored in a single, contiguous area of the disk. It is done in order to increase the PC’s performance and to speed up your PC.

Why do you need Defragmentation?

Over time as and when you delete a file, there will be empty slots created on the hard drives. These slots will be marked as available by the hard drive to save new files. As you save new data and files, the computer searches for any available slots and if it finds one, it will save the new file there. In case, your file is large enough to fit into the slot, then the file will be fragmented and saved. It means it will be split into pieces and saved in different locations on the hard drive where ever it finds the empty slots.

As time passes, hundreds of files are scattered all over the disk in non-contiguous spaces. Thus, increases the data access time, and reduces the system’s performance. this is because, it takes huge amount of time to fetch each fragment of the file and again reconnect each one of them in a correct order. This happens every time you access a file. Thus, your computer must have to do extra work and spend extra time to fetch it.

Benefits of Defragmentation:

When you defrag your hard drive, all the fragments of the files will be put together. It rearranges and consolidates the entire pieces of files and thus clears the scattered file clusters. Since it efficiently organizes the files and folders; it creates a big chunk of free space on your computer. This will allow new files to be saved in an orderly fashion, thereby reducing the data access time. It even clears up all unused space and gives you more available space for storing new files. Defragmenting hard disk not only increases the speed of the computer but also keeps your hard drive healthy and extends its lifespan.

How to defrag your hard drive?

First and foremost take the backup of your entire hard drive data and store it on any other storage device like external hard drives, CDs / DVDs etc. In order to defrag your computer, just follow these steps:

On Windows:

  • Click on Start button and select "ALL Programs"
  • Then click on accessories , System Tools and now choose "Disk  Defragmenter"
  • A prompt for entering the password or asking for confirmation appears, just type the password or provide confirmation
  • And now, click on “Defragment Now”

On Mac, the earlier versions i.e. before 10.2 had a tool called “Disk Utility” . but in the later versions (i.e. above 10.2) has its own built-in safeguards that prevent files from becoming fragmented.