Flat Tire is the Same as a Slow Computer
When most people are faced with the unenviable reality of owning a computer that has lost its speed they often think the problem just snuck up on them, it was as if the hard drive just chose some arbitrary day to throw their life into a complete slowdown. While that thought may be borne out of an effort to remove themselves from blame, the truth is that slowdown began a long time ago and chances are the computer owner never took the steps to protect their hard drive from such an occurrence.
Imagine walking out to your car and seeing one of the tires has lost some air but you ignore it and on it anyway. The next day you notice the tire has deflated a bit more and while you now notice the car pulls a bit you go about your day without fixing the problem. This may go on for a few more days until one morning you walk outside and see the tire completely flat. Do you really think the tire had been fine and just decided to deflate itself overnight or do you begin to kick yourself because you knew you should have taken care of the problem the first time you noticed it.
In some ways that flat tire is the same as a slow computer in that it takes time for your hard drive to completely deflate, or crash as it will. As that hard drive slows there are obvious warning signs that are present yet many people overlook them and when they do the problem only gets worse.
At the heart of your hard drive problem is the computer disease known as fragmentation. This potentially deadly disease will cause your hard drive to slow over time until it eventually reaches the point where it is no longer capable of carrying out the simplest task. But this is most certainly a process and can easily be averted if you take a proactive approach to protecting your computer.
So why is your hard drive in danger of fragmentation? The answer is really quite simple, it was made that way. Hard drives are designed to save and store files in a contiguous manner, meaning that as you save a file it becomes stored directly behind the last file saved. This method leaves no room for a saved file to be modified because when a saved file is changed it will no longer fit in its original space.
A hard drive’s solution to this problem is fragmenting the file, that is filling the original space and taking the additional information and storing it in the next available spot. While that may seem harmless enough you have to keep in mind that a single file can become fragmented into thousands of pieces. That fact coupled with the reality that your computer saves a countless amount of files every time it’s turned makes fragmentation a very real danger to your hard drive.
Excessive fragmentation will slow your hard drive’s response time to your requests and this becomes evident in several of the routine tasks that you try to complete. Fragmentation will cause delays in your effort to boot up your computer and loading applications and files. The computer disease will also lead to sluggish Internet browsing and difficulty in retrieving and sending email. All of these symptoms become progressively worse over time and this is why it becomes all the more important to protect the hard drive.
For those who choose to ignore the problem their fate is typically a hard drive crash that costs them all of their saved files.
Avoiding this fate is simple and comes in the form of defragmentation software. By installing defragmentation software you can not only clean your hard drive of fragmented files but also prevent the problem from reoccurring. Defrag works by collecting the pieces of a fragmented file and then rejoining and saving them as a single unit. This process instantly improves the speed of your hard drive because it is no longer forced to search for all the pieces that comprise the file you are trying to retrieve.
Just as you would address your tire’s need for air, you should do the same for your hard drive when you notice a slow down in your computer’s speed. The solution takes about the same amount of time as filling the tire and will save you from the trouble of dealing with a hard drive ready to crash.