PC TIP OF THE DAY: Improve performance by defragmenting your hard disk

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Unlike the old magnetic tape that was once used to store data, the hard drive of your computer does not necessarily store each file in a single place. Your computer will look for free spots on the disk, and deposit pieces of information here and there until the entire file has been stored. This is called Fragmentation. The more times that files are saved and deleted on your disk, the more fragmented your data can become. As fragmentation increases, the computer slows down incrementally when opening files, because it has to look for the data in different locations for each file before opening it. To speed up your computer you need to DEfragment the harddrive. Below I have explained the steps to follow when defragmenting your hard disk.

To defragment your hard disk

  1. Open Disk Defragmenter by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Disk Defragmenter, and then, in the list of results, click Disk Defragmenter.
  2. Under Current status, select the disk you want to defragment.
  3. To determine if the disk needs to be defragmented or not, click Analyze disk. Administrator permission required If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

    Once Windows is finished analyzing the disk, you can check the percentage of fragmentation on the disk in the Last Run column. If the number is above 10%, you should defragment the disk.

  4. Click Defragment disk. Administrator permission required If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Disk Defragmenter might take from several minutes to a few hours to finish, depending on the size and degree of fragmentation of your hard disk. You can still use your computer during the defragmentation process.

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