Prolong Hard Drive Life

This Monday, I'd like to remind you of something that will help prolong the life of your hard drive--that piece of hard equipment that operates your PC.

Hard Drive Health

A hard drive, aka hard disk drive, is the device that writes data, that is, stores data on rotating plates with magnetic surfaces. When you issue a command to open a file on your computer, the data is retrieved and made viewable.

One of the routine tasks you should do to keep your hard drive healthy is to defrag it, aka defragment it, on a regular schedule. This is another of those tasks you should make a habit. It's easy to do since you can schedule the task to run at the same time on a day and time you select.

Why Defrag?

Fragmentation occurs when your operating system breaks a file into pieces because there is not enough space on the storage device where the file was originally saved.

Your computer system keeps a record of where the different pieces of the file are stored. This is done by using a FAT (File Allocation Table). A similar file system is NTFS (New Technology File System).

When you retrieve the file again, the operating system queries the file system (FAT or NTFS) to locate all the different pieces of the file.

Defragmentation, or defrag for short, is the process of scanning the file system and rejoining the split files. It's rather like gathering all the pieces together and lining them up next to each other so they're easier to find which means they load faster.

A lot of people ignore this maintenance task because they think defragging was something required when computers ran DOS or an early version of Windows. Wrong! Defragging regularly will keep your PC from picking up bad habits like running and performing at a snail's pace.

Takeaway Truth

A stitch in time saves nine, and a little time spent taking care of your computer saves a lot of bucks down the road.

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