Sometimes, when you notice your files take longer than expected to open and your computer slows down, you tend to do weird things like deleting files and programs or calling a computer technician. But you can actually fix the problem yourself. All you need to do is to defrag your computer.
What is defragging?
Defrag, a short for defragment, is required maintenance by your hard drives. When the data is written on your computer drive, it is done in blocks having sequential order on drive’s platter. Fragmentation causes the files to be broken down into pieces between the blocks with each piece not in contiguous order. Hard drive takes longer to read the file because it has to run around multiple places on the platter. You can put those blocks back into their respective places after defragmentation which results in improved performance of your computer.
Do you really need to defrag your computer?
You need to understand few things before jumping into defragmentation:
1. Keep in mind that Windows 7, 8, and Vista defrags your hard drives automatically on a pre-set schedule. You should check the disk defragmenter once in a while to see if it is performing its job well. You can also change the schedule; however, you may need to defrag your computer manually in older versions of windows like Windows XP.
2. If you are using solid state drive (SSD), you don’t need to defrag your computer. In fact, Windows 7 disables defrag for SSDs. SSDs perform better even with random read operations.
3. In case of Windows XP, you may either upgrade or setup defrag on a schedule.
4. It is not necessary to defrag your computer through third party defrag applications. They do have better features and perform defrag a little better than your windows default defrag; however, you probably don’t need one with faster and spacious hard drives and improved systems. But if you want your computer not to lose even a pint of performance, you must go for it.
If you have windows with SSD > don’t defragment
If you have windows 7, 8, or Vista > Automatic defrag
If you have windows XP > Setup an automatic defrag schedule