Wednesday, June 26, 2013

You've Been Fragged! (Part 1 of 2)

Whether you are a computer tech veteran or a computer tech novice, one thing you heard was that you needed to occasionally defragment your hard drive.  You probably heard that there is a defrag program included in Windows but no one should use it.  You probably heard of Smart Defrag, MyDefrag or one that is made by the same people who do Ccleaner, or any of plethora of software offerings.

All these software offerings make a point of stating that using their program to defrag your hard drive is good for your computer that their program does something “unique” that other programs do not have or simply ignore.  When it comes to our computers, we want to use the best programs possible; especially if it is free.  Yet with all the information available, it is easy to simply get over-whelmed with information and it is difficult to ascertain what is truth, what is fiction, what is marketing and what is propaganda.

So let’s begin by describing what causes fragmentation.

Let’s begin with a brand new hard drive.  It’s been formatted and it is a data drive.  You copy three pictures onto it, 1 Meg, 2 Megs and 3 Megs in size.  You then decide that you wish to edit the 2 Meg file, increasing its size to 2.1.  Since the program will write the first then delete, it will place the 2.1 file after the 3 Meg file and then delete the 2 Meg file.  So out drive looks like

1 Meg - 2 Meg blank - 3 Meg - 2.1 Meg.

Now, you choose to edit your 3 Meg picture, increasing the size to 3.1.  Again, the picture will be written before deleting the original.  So your drive now looks like this:

1 Meg, 2 megs of the 3.1, 3 Megs of blank space, 2.1 Megs, 1.1 Megs of the 3.1 Meg file.

As this simple example shows, it does not take much to fragment a drive.  As files get fragmented, it takes more time for the computer to read the hard drive.  So defragging a hard drive is recommended.  The only question is how often and what program do you use; and how does this affect us bot owners?  I’ll answer those questions next time.

Bonus tip: NEVER EVER defrag an SSD drive.


  1. why do u say "No one should use" the built in windows defragger?

    its the one I normally use

    pls elaborate


  2. I guess this means "it's one of the worst defragger" out there