To paraphrase Shakespeare “To defrag or not to defrag; that is the question”. You wouldn’t think that defragging a Hard Drive would be an issue which is open to much debate; but it is.
Fragmentation is caused by creating and deleting files and folders, installing new software, and downloading files from the Internet. When you delete files or folders, the first available empty spaces on the Hard Drive are filled in randomly when you create new files and folders; as you do when you save pics from your camera, install software, save emails, or create documents.
A fairly common point of view holds that defragging a Hard Drive is pointless, and provides no measurable increase in system performance.
One example of this type of thinking taken from a forum I visit frequently is as follows: “Disk cleanup is pretty useless, and defragging should only really be done if you recently moved around very large files on your hard disk”. This point of view has some support in the tech community.
On the other hand there is also considerable support for the following point of view: “Disk fragmentation leads to system slowdowns, PC crashes, slow startups and shutdowns”.
So which point of view then is more likely to be accurate given that hard disk fragmentation makes the disk drive heads move more than necessary when reading files which can lead to reduced performance in file input and output?
Despite the fact that it is difficult, if not impossible, to measure an increase in system performance following Hard Drive defragmentation, there is a slight leaning in the tech community toward defragmentation being a positive maintenance process. I support this point of view.
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I think that we can all agree that CCleaner, a free system optimization application is a pretty cool tool right? The developers of this neat little program, Piriform, are also the developers of Defraggler, a terrific free disk defragger.
Defraggler Fast facts:
Defrag Individual Files – select individual files and folders to defrag
Compact and Portable – can be copied to a USB drive
Small – the EXE is less than 1MB
After analysis Defraggler lists all the fragmented files on the drive
Freeware – home or business
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System requirements: Windows 2000, 2003, XP and Vista includes 64-bit support
Download at: Defraggler
Before you begin a defrag process it’s important to run a program such as CCleaner which will empty your Recycle Bin, Temporary Internet Files folder, and other locations where clutter tends to accumulate on your PC.
As well, you should consider uninstalling any applications you no longer use. Revo Uninstaller is a free utility that will uninstall unneeded applications more thoroughly than the Windows native uninstaller.