Your computer’s hard disk of is one of the most vital parts of your machine. It needs to operate reliably and quickly for your computer to function well. For this to happen, we need to routinely perform some fundamental maintenance.
Hard disk defragmentation is frequently performed by computer users to make the hard drive works more efficiently, since it helps optimize available disk space and increases access speed to the hard disk.
This article will review some of the most effective methods of defragmenting your PC’s hard drive, which should be carried out every so often to improve the performance of the storage unit.
What is disk defragmentation?
Before defragmenting a hard disk, we must review what is disk fragmentation, which in general terms is produced in our PC’s storage unit every time the disk automatically sorts the files stored in it.
Each one of these files are composed of small fragments, which are modified each time we write on a file or when these are eliminated (i.e. with each access to a file). The file is modified and it is causing what is called fragmentation of the hard disk.
As time passes, each of these modifications in each of the fragments of the files stored on the hard disk produces spaces or small areas in the storage unit that generate the fragmentation of the unit.
As a consequence of this fragmentation, some inconveniences may arise in the normal operation of the hard disk, including behaviors such as slowdowns during the reading and writing of files, reduction in the actual storage space, slowdowns in processes with applications and in the operating system, as well as reduction in the useful life of the hard disk.
For all these reasons, experts recommend that users periodically perform a hard disk defragmentation, which is one of the most effective methods to make sure the PC’s storage unit works properly.
Hard disk defragmentation consists of a process of eliminating the spaces or areas created during fragmentation. At the same time, the files stored on the drive are accommodated.
With this process, when the spaces or areas created by the fragmentation of the hard disk are eliminated, the stored files become contiguous, which means that there are no unusable spaces inside them. Therefore, they will no longer be divided in different fragments inside the disk.
By following this approach, you can improve the performance of the unit and the behavior of the entire computer, since on the one hand with the elimination of the spaces between the fragments of files, it is possible to speed up the reading and writing of them.
Also, with the defragmentation of the hard disk we manage to recover the wasted memory, and in this way we can recover free space of the available disk that the fragmentation did not allow us to use. With all this, we will also manage to significantly increase the useful life of the hard disk.
How to defragment a hard disk?
There are different alternatives that we can use if we are about to defragment the hard disk of our computer, but beyond the method that we use, it is important to clarify that to carry out this process it is not necessary to have advanced knowledge in the subject, since it is a simple task.
The first thing we must know is that Windows has its own utility to defragment the hard disk, which we can find among the options of System Tools, where basically it will be enough to press a button to start the process.
However, there are also a series of interesting applications designed by third parties to defragment the hard disk, among which, in general, the main advantage they offer is the fact of including more functionalities than those provided by the tool included in Windows.
On the other hand, it should be noted that defragmenting a hard disk is a process that takes quite a long time, so it is recommended to perform this process when we are not going to use our computer for a few hours.
We will cover these topics in more detail in our next article.