Following on from our email last week about hard drives we had a lot of questions regarding whether you should Defragment Your Hard Drives and how often you should do it.
1. Why Should You Defrag You Hard Drive?
When your Computer writes data to your hard drive it does so in BLOCKS that are ordered sequentially from one side of the drive’s platter to the other. Fragmentation happens when those files get split between blocks that are far away from each other.
The Hard Drive then takes longer to read that file because the read head has to visit multiple spots on the platter.
Defragmentation puts those blocks back in sequential order, so your drive head doesn’t have to run around the entire platter to read a single file.
SSD or Solid State hard drives don’t use a spinning platter so it isn’t necessary and running the defrag will actually REDUCE THE LIFE SPAN of your SSD drive
3. When to Defrag a Hard Drive
Windows 7 and Windows 8/10 automatically defragment your hard drives for you on a schedule, so you shouldn’t have to worry about it yourself. To make sure everything’s running smoothly, open up the Start menu or Start screen and type “defrag.” Open up Windows’ Disk Defragmenter and make sure it’s running on a schedule as intended. It should tell you when it was last run and whether your drives have any fragmentation.
Note: A lot of you are finding that Windows 7’s “automatic” defrag leaves a lot to be desired. All the more reason you should check in with Disk Defragmenter every once in a while and make sure it’s doing its job! Windows 8 seems to be much better about running it regularly.
For more information on your hard drive, check out this video
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