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Fragmentation Can Send Your Computer Crashing

For computer owners, there are few things more annoying than sitting in front of the monitor waiting for a response to a request. Whether that delay is related to booting our system up, retrieving a file, loading an application or browsing the internet, staring at that little hourglass can lead to impatience, frustration and near madness.

We often see it as the fate of a computer; at least we got a few good years out of the hard drive, what more could we expect. Perhaps its time to do the sensible thing and shell out our hard earned money on a new computer. That idea sounds reasonable enough.

The problem is that idea is often rooted in the impatience, frustration and near madness that was caused by that hourglass seemingly promising just a few more seconds before your request is completed. If we think logically and understand why our computer is experiencing a slowdown and no longer appears to be reliable we can save ourselves a lot of money.

Uncovering the culprit to slow computer performance is typically an easy investigation. More often than not the problem lies in fragmentation. The real reason fragmentation claims so many computers isn’t because a solution doesn’t exist, it’s because computer owners either don’t know what fragmentation is or don’t take it seriously.

Truth is, fragmentation can send your computer crashing just as easily as a “Trojan Horse,” it’s just a bit more methodical in its act.

Fragmentation is crafty; it strips your computer reliability over time. When we have a new computer we are amazed at how fast we can carry out every function. We boot up in seconds, retrieve documents in a blink, browse the internet at lightning speed and check emails in a flash. After a while those tasks begin to take just a little longer, and then longer, and then longer until we can no longer remember how fast it used to operate.

This is all the result of how our hard drive saves files. In just about every act we carry out on a computer a file is being created and stored on the hard drive. Those files are stored in such a way that if it were paper work on your desk you would never find a document. A hard drive cares little about keeping things together; rather its main concern is storing information in a contiguous manner. This means any time you create a file it gets stored behind the last file that was saved.

That doesn’t sound that bad until you make a change to, or delete, a saved file. When you recall a file and make changes or additions and then resave the information it can no longer fit inside the same space that it once occupied on the hard drive. Rather than keep it all as one unit of information your hard drive fills the original space with as much of the file as before and then saves the added information in another space. This is fragmentation at its core.

It is important to understand that files are not just documents written, but countless bits of information saved by your computer related to internet searches, emails and so on. As changes are made fragmentation increases and you begin to see the results of a fragmented hard drive. When you’re staring at that hourglass on your screen, chances are it’s because your hard drive is trying to locate all the pieces of information that are necessary to present your request. With all the pieces strewn across the hard drive this can be a lengthy process.

So is it time to start shopping for a new computer? That depends. If you’re a person that buys a new television because you can no longer see through the dust build-up on the screen then maybe it is time. If you’re the practical type who would just assume clean the screen so that you had a clear picture then you might not want to go shopping for a new computer just yet.

The answer to your fragmentation problems exists in defragmentation software. Just like cleaning your television screen for a clear picture, defrag software will clean your hard drive for added speed. Defragmentation software works by reconnecting all the pieces of a file and saving them as a single unit in the same space. By creating larger “blocks” on your hard drive to store your files, defrag ensures that files won’t be sliced and diced and saved all over. This dramatically improves the speed of your computer, restoring it to the reliability level you enjoyed when you first purchased your computer.

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A great benefit of installing defragmentation software on your computer is that it works continuously to eliminate fragmented files. It isn’t a process you have to repeat once a month or pay subscription fees for, simply go to your local computer retailer and ask for defrag software and put an end to that hourglass.

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