Have you noticed that your computer is running a slower than it normally does?  Have you recently added a new program or saved a bunch of new pictures to your hard drive?  You might want to consider running a defrag program to straighten out your hard drive.

When you save files to your computer, it simply stores the data where ever it can at the moment as long as you have free space.  When the files are spread out out of order, it’s known as fragmentation.  It’s like throwing things in your room at random and leaving them lying around, sooner or later you’re not going to know where things are until you search for them.  That’s what your hard drive goes through when it isn’t defragmented often.  This clogs up your hard drive’s ability to find what you want and slows down the performance of your computer.

You can defrag your computer simply by using a defrag program.  Windows comes with a built in defrag utility program but I find that it doesn’t do a good enough job.  There are many programs out there that defrag your hard drive but the one I recommend is Auslogics’ Disk Defrag, it’s free and very efficient.

Now simply running a defrag program might work out for you but there are some things that you want to take into consideration before running a disk defrag program

First off, make sure you have at least 15% of your hard drive’s total space free.  This is very important to remember.  This ensures that the defrag program will have enough room to move all the data around.  Think about cleaning a room in your house, if you pile everything in the room and then try to clean it you won’t do a very good job.  But if you leave enough space to put things temporarily before moving them into their proper place, then you’ll do a much better job, and that’s why you want to have space available for the defrag program to do its work.

Secondly, you’ll want to avoid using any programs during the time that the defrag is taking place.  This will make sure that no program tries to place data on the hard drive while the defrag program is trying to move data around.  It will only cause more data to be fragmented and you’ll have to run the defrag program again.

The third thing to consider is how often to run a defrag program.  This depends on how often you save files and add new files or programs to your computer.  If you work on your computer everyday, then it might be a good idea to schedule a defrag every few days.  If you only use your computer to browse the internet and save pictures from trips you take, then you can safely defrag your computer a little less often, about once every few weeks.

So the next time you feel that your computer is running slow, take the time to run a defrag program and get your files back in order.

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