If your computer is slowing down and suffering from crashes and system hangs, hard drive failures and program errors, it is not necessary to buy a new computer, its just time to defragment your hard drive. The most common reliability and downtime problems experienced on your computer are directly associated with hard disk fragmentation.
What is fragmentation? When files are saved, the new data is stored in the available free space on the hard disk. However, as files are added, removed, and changed in size, the disk becomes fragmented, leaving only small holes in which to place new data. When a new file is written, or when an existing file is extended, the new data will be scattered out across the disk, slowing down file access due to seek time and rotational delay of the read/write head. As the level of file fragmentation grows the status of the hard drive deteriorates and fatal problems are created for your computer.
Defrag or defragmentation handles this problem by putting files where they should be – in one continual unit where the data is again rapidly accessible. It does this by physically reorganizing the contents of the disk in order to store the pieces of each file in contiguous order. It also creates large regions of free space, to impede the return of fragmentation. Free space can also be wildly fragmented, so it too is organized into contiguous units, which, again, significantly increases system speed.
All hard drives suffer from fragmentation- it is an unavoidable problem. Over time, it becomes a hidden menace that is the true cause of a host of computer problems. If fragmentation is not recognized as the cause of many computer troubles and addressed routinely, your hard drive will slowly but surely fail.