What is a Disk Defragmenter? Can it speed up your PC?

Is your system slow? Does your system’s hard drive spin too much when you open a file? If the answer to the above questions is yes, you need to defrag the hard drive of your system.

But what is hard drive defragmentation? How does it work, and can it make your system faster? The answer to this question depends on the disk you are using in your machine.

In this article, we will talk about hard drive defragmentation and help you make an informed decision if you are going to do the same.

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When you buy a new device, the hard drive contains the operating system and other files needed for the system to function properly. All these files are written sequentially to the hard disk. To understand what this means, let’s look at how data is stored in memory.

The visible files on your system are stored on your hard drive, so you can access them even after you shut down your system. This memory is divided into small blocks that store data as ones and zeros. When you buy a new system, all the data in it is stored in blocks side by side, i.e. sequentially.

Over time, new files are added to the system, which are also stored sequentially. But when we delete files, we create empty spaces on a constantly full hard drive. This phenomenon of empty blocks of memory in a sequentially filled memory is called fragmentation.

This fragmentation causes the system to place files inconsistently when a large file cannot be stored sequentially. This reduces the efficiency of a mechanical hard drive, and hard drive defragmentation solves this problem.

When the hard drive is defragmented, the system reorganizes all the files so that they are stored in order. This increases the efficiency of the mechanical hard drive and improves the user experience.

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As mentioned earlier, the effectiveness of disk defragmentation depends on the memory used in the system. If you are using an old school mechanical hard drive, you can make your system faster by defragmenting the hard drive. This is because the mechanical read/write head does not have to move several times to access the same file, since the data is stored sequentially. This reduces latency and increases system speed when using a mechanical hard drive.

Source: Unsplash-Vincent Botta

However, if you are using a hard drive, defragmenting the drive will not significantly improve performance. On the contrary, it can shorten the life of your hard drive. This is because SSDs are built differently and do not rely on physical parts to read data. Instead, they use logical controllers to access flash memory, which can be accessed at the same speed even if the data is randomly placed on the disk.

These flash memory cells that make up an SSD have a limited number of rewrite cycles, and disk defragmentation uses them to move files from one place to another. Reduced SSD lifespan.

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If you are using a system with a mechanical hard drive, it is recommended that you defragment the hard drive. Therefore, you can automate this superficial task with the Windows defragmentation tool. To do the same, you can follow the steps below.

Step one: Click the Start button, find Disk Defragmenter, and then click Disk Defragmenter and Optimizer.

Step two: In the Scheduled Optimization section, click the Enable button.

Step three: Click the check box next to the Run on schedule option to enable scheduled optimization.

Step four: Select the drive optimization frequency from the drop-down menu and click OK.

If your system has a solid state drive, the Windows Disk Defragmenter utility does not defragment the disk, as this can affect the life of the hard drives. Instead, Windows runs a trim command on the SSD that only removes flash slots that do not contain data or move data. This protects the life of the SSD and optimizes it at the same time.

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A technophile driven by curiosity. A bibliophile who loves to travel. An engineering graduate who loves programming and writing about new technologies. You can’t survive without coffee.

You can contact Nischay via email: [email protected].

frequently asked questions

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