Tune up your Computer Performance ... contd
Speed Up Access to Data
Fragmentation occurs naturally when you use a disk frequently, creating, deleting, and modifying files. At some point, the operating system needs to store parts of a file in noncontiguous clusters.
This is entirely invisible to users, but it can slow down the speed at which data is accessed because the disk drive must search through different parts of the disk to put together a single file.
Defragmentation is the process of locating the noncontiguous fragments of data into which a computer file may be divided as it is stored on a hard disk, and rearranging the fragments and restoring them into fewer fragments or into the whole file.
Defragmentation reduces data access time and allows storage to be used more efficiently.Disk fragmentation slows the overall performance of your system.
When files are fragmented, the computer must search the hard disk when the file is opened to piece it back together. The response time can be significantly longer.
Disk Defragmenter is a Windows utility that consolidates fragmented files and folders on your computer's hard disk so that each occupies a single space on the disk. With your files stored neatly end-to-end, without fragmentation, reading and writing to the disk speeds up.
When to Run Disk Defragmenter
In addition to running Disk Defragmenter at regular intervals, optimally monthly, certain events warrant running the utility outside of the monthly rule of thumb.
You should run Disk Defragmenter under the following circumstances:
• You add a large number of files.
• Your free disk space nears 15 percent.
• You install new programs or a new version of Windows.
To use Disk Defragmenter:
1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Disk Defragmenter.
Click Analyze to start the Disk Defragmenter.
2. In the Disk Defragmenter dialog box, click the drives that you want to defragment, and then click the Analyze button.
After the disk is analyzed, a dialog box appears, letting you know whether you should defragment the analyzed drives.
Tip: You should analyze a volume before defragmenting it to get an estimate of how long the defragmentation process will take.
3. To defragment the selected drive or drives, click the Defragment button.After the defragmentation is complete, Disk Defragmenter displays the results.
4. To display detailed information about the defragmented disk or partition, click View Report.
5. To close the View Report dialog box, click Close.
6. To close the Disk Defragmenter utility, click the Close button on the title bar of the window.