Tech Tips – Spring Cleaning Disk Defrag

Tech Tips / Friday, March 30th, 2012

In continuing with our computer Spring cleaning started last week, I want to offer another suggestion to speed things up now that you have more hard drive space. This week, we’re going to defrag our hard drives. Doesn’t that sound like fun? We’ve talked about this before, but it’s always a good time for a refresher.

Defragging rearranges files on your computer to optimize the time it takes to find a file by compacting them into a small space on the disk (the farther the hard drive needs to move to find your file, the longer it takes). As we use our computers, we create and delete files daily. This causes our files to become fragmented, or spread out over the entire disk. This is makes the computer slow and inefficient after a while. Therefore, it’s best to defrag from time to time (or even better to set your computer to schedule this weekly).

How to defrag:

Mac OS: File defragment is done automatically while your work. There is little to no need to run a disk defragment. If you would like to run one, just to be safe, I recommend “Disk Warrior” or “iDefrag.”

Windows Vista/7: Press the “Windows Key” and type “Disk Defragmenter”. Press “Enter”. Choose the hard drive you want to defragment (most likely the C: drive) and then press “Defragment Disk.” Let this run (depending on the size of your hard drive, this could take hours) and when it’s done your hard drive will be defragged. It’s also a good idea to turn on the “Scheduled Defragmentation” and set it to a time you know your computer will be turned on each week.

Windows XP: There is no scheduled defragment in Windows XP. To defrag, open “My Computer” and right-click on the hard drive you would like to defrag. Choose “Properties” and navigate to “Tools.” Click “Defragment Now” to open the defragment utility. Finally click “Defragment.” Let it run (depending on the size of your hard drive, this could take hours).

There you have it, if you’ve done this week’s and last week’s tech tips, your computer should be running quite well.

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