How to Defragment your Disks Safely and Easily


How to Defragment your Disks Safely and Easily

Defragmentation is a process by which you reduce the quantity of fragmentation in the file of your computer. It physically organizes the contents of the disk to store the pieces of each file close together. It attempts to make larger regions of free space using compaction to hold back the return of fragmentation. Some defragmenters try to keep smaller files within a particular directory together, as they are often accessed in succession. The progress of the hard drive’s read/write heads over various areas of the disk when accessing fragmented files is sluggish compared to accessing a non fragmented file in sequence.

Fragmentation happens when the OS cannot allocate enough adjacent space to store a complete file as a whole, instead it puts parts of the file in gaps between other files usually those gaps exist because they previously held a file that the OS has consequently removed or because the OS allocated additional space for the file. Bigger files and greater number of programs also contribute to fragmentation resulting to loss of performance. Defragmentation is the only way to alleviate these problems.

To use your disk defragmenter, first close all applications and then disable screen savers, anti-virus softwares and other continuously running programs. Open the Start menu and select Programs, then Accessories, click on System Tools and then Disk Defragmenter. When the Select Drive window comes into view, click on Settings. Check both “Rearrange program files so my programs start faster” and “Check the drive for errors.” Afterwhich you need to click OK to defragment drive C: (the physical drive). You can run the program once a month or so.

The importance of disk defragmenter software nowadays is, it optimizes file system by speeding up your computer through moving computer files to the fastest segment of the disk. It will also transfer data files from the MFT Reserved Zone to prevent MFT fragmentation. It consolidates free space since it merges large contiguous blocks which are an effective way of file fragmentation. It can defrag automatically as soon as the files are fragmented. You can set Disk Defrag to run consequentially when your system goes futile. The program analyzes the disks and defragments them in the background if necessary.

It also provides flexible scheduler. Defragmentation gives in better results when it is done on a regular basis. Disk Defragmentation softwares are supplied with a variable scheduler that helps you schedule defragmentation according to your necessities.

It can also defrag a single file or folder and support multi-terabyte volumes. It is supplied with an excellent engine that can automatically defragment large multi-terabyte volumes. It can also defragment various drives at once, which makes the defragmentation procedure a lot faster.

Also, it is compact and fast. Smart defragmentation algorithms allow Disk Defragmentation softwares to function much faster than similar defragmenters and consume less system usage.


This article has been contributed by David Ritchie. David is a software developer and technical writer with over 10 years of professional experience. He is currently interested in disk defragmenter solutions.

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  1. Nicely explained pictorial of defrag. It speeds up data access and can keep the computer running fast and smooth. And I agree, the more regular the defrag, the shorter it takes each time. The worst scenario is a very badly fragmented drive that has also run out of free space. Anyways there are several defrag programs available these days which can be set to run in the background and some even prevent fragmentation from occuring. Whatever the program, running this task regularly will benefit the system.

  2. It’s a bit hard to follow what the article is discussing as paragraph 3 mentions the procedure for running the built-in defragmenter, but in the next paragraph actions are mentioned that apply to 3rd party commercial programs like Diskeeper: (“It will also transfer data files from the MFT Reserved Zone to prevent MFT fragmentation”; “It can defrag automatically as soon as the files are fragmented” and “The program analyzes the disks and defragments them in the background if necessary”).

    The built-in Disk Defragmenter is meant for casual use.

    It is adequate for users who do not do much browsing, downloading, file writing, editing, saving, deleting or little music and video playing, saving, etc. It is not designed to address system files such as the MFT, it does not automatically defrag files as soon as they are fragmented and it does not operate in the background and it can take hours to complete the defrag task(which is why the 3rd paragraph recommends closing all other applications, anti-virus, screen saver, etc.)

    These features (handling system files, running in the background, immediate, aotomatic defrag) are very attractive, especially to users who frequently use their suystems and these all are available in Diskeeper Performance Software (the latest edition is the only defrag program that prevents fragmentation).

    Here is some info on a recent Top 10 Review on the various commercial defrag programs available:

    Get a free trial of Diskeeper at

  3. I’ve always been a fan of diskeeper. They are the only third party defragger that i would use. The software manages fragmentation very well and very fast.

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