Defragmenting Your Windows Computer

Windows computerYou’ve probably heard the term defragmenting, or defrag, and wondered what it means. Well, if you thought it had something to do with computers, then you’re right. There are many maintenance tasks that need to be performed regularly on a computer to keep it moving quickly and efficiently, and defragmenting is one of them. Some computers take care of it on their own, and some need a little help, but if you regularly defragment your Windows computer, it will move much faster, without the need to take it in for costly maintenance.

What is a Hard Disk?

The hard disk is the part of your computer where all of the information is stored. It is a metal disk that stores data in rings on sections that are similar to the slices of a pie. Each section can store a specific amount of data, but the way the data is stored isn’t always very organized. When you save, alter, or delete files, parts can be moved around on the disk until one file is located in several different sections. The hard disk has an arm that moves around on the disk to read the information as the disk spins. When you access a specific file, the disk will spin, and the arm will read the necessary information to carry out your task, waiting for the proper section of the disk to spin into place. As you can imagine, it can take a long time to carry out a task if the necessary information is split up into multiple sections.

How to Defrag a Disk

The best way for data to be stored is sequentially in the sections of disk. This way, when it spins, the arm doesn’t have to move much to access the information. You can move the files into a better, more efficient order by defragmenting your disk. Taking your computer into a computer repair specialist is one option to have this done, but it’s not difficult to do yourself if you want to save some money. Some operating systems take care of defragmentation for you. If your computer doesn’t do scheduled defragmentation, or not as often as you would like, you can do it yourself. Be sure that your computer is backed up, working properly, and plugged in or fully charged before you begin the defragmentation process.

  1. In the programs of your start menu, find the system tools. The disk defragmentation option will be in here, and you can click it to begin.
  2. There will be a button that says analyze. Click this, and it will check your hard drive to see what it needs.
  3. If the program says your computer doesn’t need to be defragmented, then you are finished, and you can close it. If not, you can begin defragmenting your computer.
  4. Click defragment, and the program will do the work. This can be a lengthy process, sometimes up to a few hours. If you do it regularly, it may not always take so long.
  5. When it’s finished, your computer is defragmented.

Simpler than you thought? Sometimes, computer terminology can make it sound scary, but computer programs can do most of the work for you. Now you can optimize your computer like a pro.

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