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Dated: Feb. 22, 2005

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I'm sure everyone has heard that it is important to defragment their hard drive. People used to say they were going to optimize their hard drive, but now the common term is to defragment.

What does it mean to defragment? Well, if you imagine your hard drive as a bunch of little boxes (with spaces being empty boxes), an unfragmented hard drive would have all of the boxes for 1 program or file together like this:

1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4

Well, what happens when you delete program or file number 3? The resulting set up is like this:

Defragment Hard Drive 1 1 1 2 2 2 2         4 4 4 4

Now lets say that you make a new document and save it to your hard drive. It is a very large document. The resulting set up would be

1 1 1 2 2 2 2 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 5 5 5

Now you can see that if you wanted to open up file 5, the computer would have to look in two different places before it can open it. This is a simple example of what a fragmented hard drive is. It is very possible that after going an extended period of time without defragmenting your hard drive, you could get a hard drive that looks like this

1  21  34  2  2  34  4  5  6  34  21  1  34  9  12

If the computer wanted to open file 34, it would have to look in 4 places. It gets much worse than this.

To defragment is to take all of the fragmented pieces and put them back in order. Windows comes with a defragmenting program. You can also get third party software such as Norton Utilities which comes with a defragmenting program.

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aitijhya mallick's Comment
16 Mon Jan 2012
Admin's Reply:

 Thank you Aitijhya :) 

Malerie's Comment
Ah yes, necliy put, everyone.
05 Thu Jan 2012
Admin's Reply:

 Thank you Malerie :)

colin's Comment
Hi Found this site , hopefully not to late ? I set about de framenting my laptop , using the AVG program ! thinking in order to gain some Hard disk space ? I had 14gb left before , but after program completed i HAVE NONE left ? what have i done wrong and how should i go about corecting it ? any ideas suggestions most welcome , thanking you in advance !
13 Sun Mar 2011
Admin's Reply:

Not sure what you've done but it could be that defraging the laptop is now showing the correct amount of space in HD. See if you can get rid of some junk/non-essential files and run the defrager again. It just might work to consolidate space and make a bit more space available.

James Bills's Comment
Why is it when I try to defrag my PC; in the box which shows what percent has been defragged, the bar goes to 10% and then it will start over. Therefore I have not been able to defrag the PC. I would appreciate it if someone can instuct me on how to get this done. Thanx J.B.
26 Sat Dec 2009
Admin's Reply:

Good question...

Let me start with something obvious, so bare with me:

  • When you use Windows Defrag, stop: emailing, downloading files, browising, downloading music, etc. Reason for this is that when defrag starts, it analyzes your hard drive. And when you're doing any of the activities listed, it's changing the amount of space in your hard drive. So defrag notices the change, and tries to analyze again before defraging any further.
  • Couple of articles that may help are:
    Defraging Windows XP
    Defragment Your Hard Drive

Let us know if that worked.


Lewis's Comment
This is a nice article. it tells all u need to know about why u should defragment ur hard disk.
16 Mon Nov 2009
Admin's Reply: Yeah pretty much covers it all without being too long. My favorite defrager is O&O Defrag, I recommend it to everyone.