How to Defragment Your Hard Drive(s)

Defragmenting your hard drive, also known as defragging is often overlooked by most PC users. Defragging can boost disk access times and make your PC more responsive and reliable.

As data builds up on a drive it starts being stored in fragments. This means that pieces of data are scattered across the disk and the more fragmented your disk becomes, the slower the disk access. In some cases, hard drives can become very fragmented and end users may be wondering why things are running so slow. When you request a file, if fragments of this file are scattered across the disk, it will take much longer to retrieve the complete file. Whereas if all the file fragments are sequential, it can be done a lot quicker.

The process of disk defragmentation (defragging) groups the file fragments together again and it can rapidly increase disk performance and overall system performance. It is highly recommended that you defrag your hard drives on a very regular basis.

Defragging is an extremely simple proces and Windows has a built in tool to handle this. To run your defrag now, just perform the following steps:

  • Click Start -> All Programs
  • Open the Accessories Menu
  • Open the System Tools Menu
  • Open the Disk Defragmenter
  • From here you can run the defrag

The disk defrag dialog is shown below. You can select which disk to defrag or analyze. Depending on the disk size and fragmentation, it can take some time to complete.

disk defragmentation