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Defragment Your Hard Drive For Faster Performance

Over time, pieces of files on your computer get stored on different parts of your hard drive. One single file may have fragments scattered at different locations on your hard drive. This is called fragmentation. When you or a program needs to access a file, your hard drive must search the entire drive for the pieces of each file, drastically slowing down performance.

Luckily, Windows has a built in utility that rearranges the fragments of each file so that they are no longer scattered, which can noticeably speed up your computer's performance. Your hard drive can again become fragmented within a month of defragmenting it, so it is imporant to perform a defragmentation every month to keep it up to speed.

The first thing you should do to prepare your hard drive for defragmentation is perform a disk cleanup. This can be done by clicking "Start", then clicking on "Computer", (if you are running Windows XP it will be listed as "My Computer") then right clicking on your C: drive (or whichever drive letter represents your system drive) and clicking on "Properties". This will open a new window where you will see a button that says "Disk Cleanup". After clicking this button, Windows will begin to calculate the unnecessary data that should be removed. This calculation process may take up to 10 minutes. Once this calculation process is complete, the disk cleanup window will open. Here you will find different categories of files with a checkbox next to each. Make sure the following categories are checked: Downloaded Program Files, Temporary Internet Files, Temporary Files, & Thumbnails. If any other boxes are checked, this is fine. Now, click "OK" to perform the cleanup.

Once this is done, go back to your hard drive's properties window from before. Click the "Tools" tab on top, and then click the "Defragment now..." button. This will open a new window for the disk defragmentation utility. Click the "Defragment disk" button, leave your computer alone and do not turn it off. This process can take several hours, and should be started right before you intend to stop using your computer for at least an hour or two. Once this process finishes, you're done defragmenting your hard drive.

Be sure to repeat this process once a month to keep your hard drive clean and running at optimum performance.

We offer on-site computer repair and networking services to homes and businesses in Rhode Island. Please call us at 401-424-1233 to have one of our technicians help you.