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Hard Drives

Hard Drives Prone to Becoming Chaotic

In life, there are plenty of things that can prove frustrating and throw us off our routine. Just about everybody has experienced those moments when they can’t find the other shoe, their remote control has seemingly disappeared or their cell phone has evidently walked off the face of the planet.

These situations take place everyday and most of us just chalk them up to random occurrences that happen for no apparent reason. There is no real solution to the problem other than “I gotta find that shoe.” The truth is there are obvious things that can be done to prevent such unnecessary and time consuming setbacks from ever taking place.

The most obvious solution is better organization. Most of us don’t recognize that the repeated episodes of misplaced or lost items has anything to do with organization because we are consumed with the very situation at hand; that is finding the shoe, remote or cell phone. Chances are if we kept things in better order we wouldn’t have to look under a pile of clothes in the bathroom for that shoe, a stack of newspapers for the remote or a cluttered table for the phone.

It’s no real secret that when we have to search for something that should be right in front of us it costs us time, time that could be better spent on something else.

In the world of computers the same can be said for organization. The better equipped your computer is for handling files the easier it is for you to retrieve them when needed. You might think that has nothing to do with you, that the speed of your computer relies entirely on memory or type of processor. You would be wrong.

A computer’s hard drive is designed the same way, regardless of how much memory you have or type of processor so the speed in which your computer completes requests is tied to something else entirely. Just as you may not be able to find something because of disorder the same is true for the hard drive and this can be potentially catastrophic.

Our hard drives are just as prone to becoming chaotic when they are not taken care of so there are certain precautions that we must take to prevent slowdowns or ultimately, a complete crash. This is all tied to the design of the hard drive and a computer disease known as fragmentation.

Hard drives save and store files in a contiguous manner, meaning whenever a file is saved it is placed directly behind the last file saved and so on. Because there is no empty space between these files there is no room for modifications and this is where the problem begins.

When a saved file is recalled, modified and then resaved the hard drive can no longer fit all the information in the original space that the file occupied. The hard drive’s answer is to cut the excess information and store it in the next available space, thus a fragmented file is born.

Over time these fragmented files begin to bog down the hard drive and because there is no limit to how many pieces a file can be fragmented into the hard drive can become overrun by these deadly files. The damage caused by excessive fragmentation is directly noticed in the speed of the computer because each time a file is recalled the hard drive is forced to search for all the pieces that comprise your request.

Keeping in mind that the hard drive is constantly saving temporary files that are easily fragmented it becomes apparent how quickly the computer can be affected. That drop in speed will be noticed in every function you try to carry out on the computer, whether its booting up the system, browsing the Internet, loading pages and files, or accessing and sending emails you’ll be forced to endure long delays. This is because the hard drive is forced to sift through countless fragmented files to piece together a complete file.

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After awhile the stress become too much on the hard drive and it crashes, costing you not only a decent amount of money but everything that you have ever saved on your computer.

Fortunately there is a simple solution, just like there was for the shoes, remote and phone. It comes down to ensuring your hard drive is capable of organizing files in the most effective manner and this involves the installation of defragmentation software.

Once defrag software is installed on your computer it will scan your hard drive for fragmented files and quickly repair them by gathering the pieces of a fragmented file and saving them as a single unit. By doing this the hard drive is no longer forced to search for pieces and can quickly retrieve the entire file without delay.

The great thing about defragmentation software is that it continues to monitor the hard drive, preventing a return of fragmentation. This means even after you recall a file, make changes and then resave the information it won’t become fragmented because the software will know to keep it all together.

Defrag will also increase the life span of your computer because it alleviates the stress caused by fragmented files. When you repair damaged files and the computer is restored to its optimal speed and operability its life is naturally extended.

In many ways defragmentation software is like the house cleaner that a disorganized person needs.

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