Defragmenting your hard disk drive is among the best things you can do to speed your Windows computer. Consider your hard drive like a file cabinet. If you are like most people, you have your papers kept in alphabetized folders so you can find things easily.
Imagine, though, if a person took labels from the folders, switched the locations of all the folders, moved documents into and from folders at random. It would take you a lot longer to find anything since you wouldn’t know where your documents were.
That’s sort of what goes on when your hard disk gets fragmented: it requires the pc for a longer period to find files that are scattered here, there and everywhere. Defragmenting your drive restores order to that chaos, and speeds up your computer — sometimes with a lot.
Discover the Windows 7 Defragmenter
Defragmentation is available in Windows XP and Windows Vista, however, there are a few differences forwards and backwards. The most important difference is that Vista allowed scheduling of defragmentation: you can set it to defrag your hard disk every Tuesday at 3 a.m. if you wanted–though that may be overkilling and could do more damage than good. In XP, you’d to defrag manually.
It’s just as vital to defrag a Windows 7 computer on a regular basis, but there are some new options along with a new look. To get to the defragger, click on the Start button, and type in “disk defragmenter” in the search window at the bottom. “Disk Defragmenter” should appear at the top of looking results, as shown above.
The Main Defragmentation Screen
If you’ve used the defragger in Vista and XP, the very first thing you will find may be the that Graphical User Interface, or GUI, continues to be completely redesigned. This is actually the main screen where you manage all your defragmentation tasks. In the center of the GUI is really a screen that lists all of the hard disk drives mounted on the body that can be defragmented.
This is where one can schedule a computerized defragmentation, or start the procedure manually.
To automate defragmentation, left-click around the “Configure schedule” button. Which will mention your window shown above. Came from here, you can schedule how often to defragment, what time to defragment (night is best, as defragmenting a drive can suck up lots of resources which can slow down your pc), and just what disks to defragment on that schedule.
We recommend setting up these options, and having defragmentation done automatically; it’s not hard to forget to get it done manually, after which you’ll wind up spending hours defragging when you really need to get another thing done.
Analyze Hard Drives
The middle window, shown above, lists all your hard disk drives eligible for defragmentation. Left-click any drive in the list to highlight it, then click “Analyze disk” at the bottom to find out whether it must be defragmented (fragmentation is shown in the “Last Run” column). Microsoft recommends defragmenting any disk which has more than 10% fragmentation.
An advantage of Windows 7’s defragmenter is that it can defragment multiple hard drives simultaneously. In the past versions, one drive had to be defragged before a different one might be. Now, drives can be defragged in parallel (i.e. simultaneously). That is one big time-saver if you have, for instance, an interior hard drive, external drive, a USB drive plus they all have to be defragged.
Be careful about your Progress
If you like being bored, or are just a geek naturally, you are able to monitor the status of the defrag session. After clicking “Defragment disk” (assuming you’re doing a manual defrag, which you may wish to accomplish the very first time you defrag under Windows 7), you will be given detailed information on how the defrag is going, as shown within the image above.
Another difference between the defrag in Windows 7 and Vista may be the amount of information provided during a defrag session. Windows 7 is a lot more detailed with what it lets you know about its progress. This may be useful to view if you are having insomnia.
In Windows 7, you can steer clear of the defrag anytime, without damaging your disks by any means, by clicking “Stop operation.”