Defragmentation means simply, cleaning up your PC. It is a process that picks up all pieces of data of a file that are spread across your hard disk and puts them back together again. It’s also called Consolidation.
Fragmentation occurs in our hard disks because of normal computer use. I mean, it is a part of daily pc use.
For example, when you delete a file that occupies 2mb of your HDD and you want to store another which is 4mb in size, your PC will fill the 2mb space left by the file you deleted first and then looks for another space where the remaining 2mb will be stored thereby, breaking the file in other for it to fit on the disk. This shows that fragmentation is a natural occurrence on PCs.
Effects of fragmentation:
Below are some of the effects of fragmentation on your PC:
1. It will make your PC dull thereby, taking longer time for files to open and to be edited.
2. Random crashes and freeze ups of your PC.
3. It slows down PC speed and performance.
4. Long booting time.
Many of us blame our PC’s operating system, model and brand when we experience the problems mentioned above without knowing that they could be caused by disk fragmentation.
Benefits of Defragmentation:
Traditionally, Defragmentation is something you need to do periodically as files on the Hard disk drive (HDD) become more and more fragmented over time. Having looked at the effects of fragmentation, hope you can now guess what the benefits of Defragmentation are? ….. That’s right! You guessed right. Ok, the benefits of Defragmentation are;
1. Improved data access time: This is sure since fragments increase the time for files to be opened and edited.
2. Gives better performance: Disk Defragmentation assists by increasing system speed because it rearranges your disk files in a logical order.
3. Get some extra space: When files are scattered, your PC doesn’t find enough space for new application installation or download because the available spaces are scattered. Therefore, by Defragmenting your HDD, you get some extra free space.
How to defragment your HDD:
There are some methods of Defragmentation which depends on your PC’s operating system. Newer operating systems starting from Windows 7 and above have automatic Defragmentation schedules which when set, defragments the HDD on it’s own.
To set up automatic Defragmentation schedule on windows 7 and above:
>> Go to control panel, double click on scheduled Tasks, then double click on add a scheduled task.
>> Click Next, you will be provided with programs that have automatic schedule features. But, ooops! the program we are talking about is not in the list.
>> Click on browse, and then open C:Windowssystems32defrag.exe. Where “defrag.exe” is the Defragmentation software. Open it (defrag.exe) and then complete the process and that’s all.
Also, there are third -party disk Defragmentation applications like;
1. Disk Defragmenter.
2. Smart Defrag 4.
4. Diskeeper, etc.
Note: It is not advisable to defragment SDD (solid – state drives), although windows versions from windows 7 and above, prevents this automatically. Windows xp doesn’t have defrag schedule.