There probably aren’t very many people out there who would say that computers have made our lives more difficult. Since becoming a ubiquitous tool in our daily environment it’s hard to deny the incredible benefits that computers have provided. Whether it’s the convenience of making purchases online, the opportunity to communicate with people throughout the world, or the ability to search and uncover information concerning just about anything, computers have aided us in completing tasks in a matter of minutes compared to hours or even days.
With that convenience we have also built a level of dependency on our computers. We have grown so accustom to the ability to complete those tasks in such a short time that our patience is often tested when the slightest impediment presents itself. Unfortunately those holdups are bound to surface if we don’t protect our computers from certain dangers.
Chief among those dangers is the computer disease known as fragmentation. For anybody who has ever had to deal with a slow computer chances are the problem had something to do with this disease. While most people usually chalk the slowdown up to the computer’s age or the processor’s ability to handle particular operations the truth is the real issue is neglect.
The issue is neglect because fragmentation is a completely preventable and repairable disease that requires just a fraction of effort on the computer owner’s part. As it turns out that effort typically goes unfulfilled and the results are often disastrous.
This is because a computer that is continuously exposed to fragmentation will inevitably crash and will likely lead to the loss of all the files and applications that had been saved on the hard drive. It is usually at this point that the computer owner begins to kick themselves for not taking the proper protective measures.
Fragmentation is born from the manner in which a hard drive saves and stores files. A hard drive is designed to save files in a contiguous order, placing one file directly after the next with absolutely no space between any two. It is due to this very design that a hard drive exposes itself to the damaging effects of fragmented files.
Fragmented files are a byproduct of saved files undergoing modifications by the user. Essentially what happens is a file is retrieved and changed and when it is resaved it will no longer fit in its original space. Rather than make room for that added information the hard drive cuts the excess and saves it in the next available space, now you have a fragmented file.