Is “Defragging” my computer important? Why? — Psinergy LLC
X
Menu

Is “Defragging” my computer important? Why?

What is fragmentation and should I be concerned?

Your computer hard drive is like a library, with parts of books all over the place

Your computer hard drive is like a library, with parts of books all over the place.

Think of your hard drive as a library and every file on your computer is a book, except your Windows computer doesn’t really care if your “book” fits in any particular location on a shelf. It doesn’t even care if an entire page can fit in one place. So, it “splits” that book, or even pages or words in a sentence of that book, into pieces and places them on the shelves where-ever they fit, then writes down the locations in the “index” or library catalog, then the computer simply remembers where it puts every piece of data from a particular file. In computer terms, this index is called the “File Index” or “Master File Table (MFT)”.

Now imagine you want to read one of your books, but instead of just picking it up off the shelf, you have to run all over your library to gather every little piece before you start to read it. This could get a little exhausting if it’s in a few hundred, or a thousand different locations (which is not uncommon for a computer) and can get pretty time consuming, especially if parts of that book, or parts of pages – even just a single letter, is in the front and back of the library… though for a human this could be a good workout if you want to break a sweat 😅. That is a simple explanation of fragmentation and what your hard drive does every time you open a file.

 

How does Defragging help and when shouldn’t you?

Defragmenting, or more commonly called Defragging, gathers all of those pieces back into a single location.

While there have been some major advancements in hard drive file structures where fragmentation isn’t as noticeable, it does still cause performance issues to have a heavily fragmented drive. Because of these advancements, defragging seems to have been forgotten in recent years even though it was considered standard maintenance to defragment your computer’s hard drive on a pretty regular basis. Also in recent years, when a person’s computer starts to slow down, instead of trying to figure out how to get back the performance they once had, some just simply go out and buy a new device.

Before we get into how to address fragmentation issues, we need to warn you about some of the differences in storage devices. Here are two major differences to be aware of:

  • Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) are mechanical and magnetically store data on spinning platters inside the drive. The drive has to spin to the right spots the read a fragmented file.
  • Solid State Drives (SSDs) are more similar to the common flash drives as data is stored electronically on memory chips and has no moving parts.

The warning comes from the fact that SSDs have a limited number of read/writes per block and defragmenting performs a lot of read/write operations which can decrease the life of your SSD very quickly, and hence defragging an SSD can be dangerous. With some older SSDs, there is an “Optimization” technique that helps in speeding things up similar to defragging. Also with SSDs, since the data is electronically stored and all pieces are basically instantaneously available, it is not really needed. In the library analogy, it would be like if you had 100 people able to run and go grab pieces of the book all at once, and all of them were seasoned marathon runners. HDDs, in general, don’t have those concerns, though you still don’t really want to defrag too often (for most people once a month is fine – normally after “Update Tuesday” patches have been installed).

With both SSDs and HDDs, you don’t want to abruptly turn-off your computer during these sort of processes as it can really mess up your File Index, meaning your computer doesn’t know where the pieces are at.

 

How to Defrag?Sorting

There are a lot of options in defragmenting utilities and Windows even has a basic utility built-in. Our longtime personal favorite is Defraggler made by Piriform as it not only shows you how fragmented your drive is but also shows you which files are fragmented and works toward optimization of the file layout of a drive to increase performance. With both Windows Disk Defragmenter and Defraggler, the programs are pretty simple to use and pretty self-explanatory (after opening, click Analyze, and if heavily fragmented, normally 8% or higher, then click Defrag).

 


 

The post Is “Defragging” my computer important? Why? appeared first on Psinergy Tech.

You Might Also Liked

Change your Facebook password now! Windows 7 and Planning for the Future Tips for Success with Build 1803 Security Vulnerabilities: Is it time for a new computer? Free Diagnostics and our Core Values: our 2¢ worth. Don’t forget to show your computer some love! How-to Install new Anti-Virus Security Software How-to Install new Anti-Virus Security Software

Upcoming Events

Jun
10
Mon
all-day Jupiter at Opposition
Jupiter at Opposition
Jun 10 all-day
The giant planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. This is the best time to view and photograph Jupiter and[...]
Jun
12
Wed
6:00 pm Signals of the Body & Activating... @ Psinergy Natural Health & Holistic Wellness
Signals of the Body & Activating... @ Psinergy Natural Health & Holistic Wellness
Jun 12 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Signals of the Body & Activating Dreams for Healing @ Psinergy Natural Health & Holistic Wellness
Learn 21+ Holistic self-care therapies that use a combination of touch and a special blend of essential oils and light to clear blockages and help promote health and wellbeing in this 1/2 day workshop. Therapies include body zones to promote dreaming, release emotional polarities and promoting emotional balance and areas to[...]
Jun
21
Fri
10:54 am Summer Solstice
Summer Solstice
Jun 21 @ 10:54 am – 11:54 am
In the northern hemisphere, the longest day of the year when the Sun is farthest north. The summer solstice marks the first day of the season of summer. In the southern hemisphere, this is your winter solstice, marking the shortest day of the year. The declination of the Sun on[...]
Jul
2
Tue
10:00 am Total Solar Eclipse
Total Solar Eclipse
Jul 2 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon completely blocks the Sun, revealing the Sun’s beautiful outer atmosphere known as the corona. The path of totality will only be visible in parts of the southern pacific Ocean, central Chile, and central Argentina. When it makes landfall, it’s going to zip[...]
Jul
9
Tue
all-day Mercury Retrograde Begins
Mercury Retrograde Begins
Jul 9 all-day
see http://cantonbecker.com/retrograde for details…Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)MoreClick to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click[...]
all-day Saturn at Opposition
Saturn at Opposition
Jul 9 all-day
Saturn rules the summer sky, but on this night, the ringed planet truly takes center stage. When it reaches opposition (its closest approach to the Earth), Saturn will be bright and fully illuminated by the Sun. You may even notice that its rings look brighter than usual thanks to a[...]
Jul
13
Sat
10:00 am Colorpuncture for Me and My Family @ Psinergy Natural Health & Holistic Wellness
Colorpuncture for Me and My Family @ Psinergy Natural Health & Holistic Wellness
Jul 13 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Colorpuncture for Me and My Family @ Psinergy Natural Health & Holistic Wellness
An Apothecary of Light class These simple treatments from Esogetics Colorpuncture are designed for health maintenance and self-help with common complaints from a natural health viewpoint. The therapies learned in this module are for everybody, be it at home or on the road. We are offering this workshop for health-conscious[...]
Jul
28
Sun
all-day Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower
Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower
Jul 28 all-day
The Delta Aquarids is an average shower that can produce up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by comets Marsden and Kracht. The shower runs annually from July 12 to August 23. It peaks this year on the night of July[...]
Jul
31
Wed
all-day Mercury Retrograde Ends
Mercury Retrograde Ends
Jul 31 all-day
see http://cantonbecker.com/retrograde for details…Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)MoreClick to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click[...]
Aug
10
Sat
10:00 am Intro to Esogetics Crystal Thera... @ Psinergy Natural Health & Holistic Wellness
Intro to Esogetics Crystal Thera... @ Psinergy Natural Health & Holistic Wellness
Aug 10 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Intro to Esogetics Crystal Therapies @ Psinergy Natural Health & Holistic Wellness
An Apothecary of Light class These simple treatments from Esogetics Crystal Therapies are designed for health maintenance and self-help with common complaints from a natural health viewpoint. The therapies learned in this module are for everybody, be it at home or on the road. We are offering this workshop for health-conscious[...]