Why fragmentation is harmful
Hard drives are physical devices, with mechanical parts that operate at a very high speed and require nanometric precision. So, will it be good to have a high level of fragmentation on our hard drive? Fragmentation will make your work much more than necessary every time you need a file.
This could be compared to driving our car always at maximum revs; If we did, I would have a very short life.
The same happens with hard drives. If they are subjected to a very large continuous effort, the life of their components can be shortened significantly, causing some mechanical parts to deteriorate damaging our data and even making it completely impossible to access them.
When that happens, the only viable option is to take our disk to a company specialized in raid recovery solution, so that, through the most advanced recovery techniques and using the appropriate technology, they can recover their content.
How to improve the performance of the disk?
So, when our computer is full of fragmented files and performance is bad, what can we do to improve it? There is a process that allows the system to reorganize all the files that are on the disk so that all the fragments that have been scattered are placed together, and all the gaps that have been left are occupied by files distributed by the disk.
In this way, every time our computer requires opening a program or a file you can find all its fragments without having to search for them in different parts, greatly increasing the system’s performance. This process is called “defragmentation.”
For the reasons we have seen, defragmenting our hard drive can help us keep our computer optimized.
How can I defragment the disk?
There are many utilities that can perform this task, among them, the Windows Disk Defragmenter, included in the Administrative Tools accessed through the applications menu. It is an easy-to-use utility that will allow us to keep our machine ready avoiding loading the system with unnecessary tasks. Although this utility is usually configured by default to defragment the disk automatically, we recommend checking it and making sure it is correctly programmed for our needs.
For example, it may happen that the Defragmenter is programmed to work at dawn, but if we leave the computer off every night, it will not be able to perform its function. Let’s see an example.
In the example of the image, the programming is made to defragment the disk automatically on Wednesdays at 1:00. The user should remember to leave the computer on Wednesday night or, as alternatives, change the scheduled execution time or start the process manually by pressing “Defragment disk”.
As a preventive measure, we can not fail to remember the importance of making sure you have a backup before performing any maintenance activity.
Although technically the defragmentation does not generate any problem, data could be lost if, for example, during defragmentation, there is a blackout or some type of electrical failure and the process is interrupted abruptly and without being controlled by the system. With a good backup, recent and proven, you will be prepared for any unforeseen and you will not be in need of having to recover your data.