Importance Of Defragmenting Files

PC hard drives, that use Windows as their operating system, are an amalgamation of various segments that are referred to as “sectors”. A file that has been written and saved on the disk or on the desktop tends to fill up one or more sectors based on its size. Every sector has information on the sector that precedes it as well as on the sector that succeeds it on the given file. It is not mandatory for the sectors to be placed next to one another. When these sectors are not located next to one another, then the file is termed as fragmented.

What Is Defragmentation?

Consequently, defragmentation means placing the sectors of a file next to each other. There are only specific software that can be used for defragmenting a file. Defragmentation of files is important because the system takes a long time to access and read a fragmented file. Hard drive uses a variety of speed ratings as well as seek time and rotational delay to read a file.

The seek time is unnecessarily extended since the disk takes time to find each fragment in the given file. Hence defragmentation becomes important.

Defragmenting the hard drive helps in smooth performance of the computer system. The files remain in a sequence which makes it easier for the hard drive to access them. If you fail to run the defragmenter regularly, you will notice a sharp decline in the speed of your computer. Also, it will take you longer to access and open the various files stored on the hard drive.

In Windows operating system the defragmentation software is in-built in the system. The software is used to inspect the computer hard drive and collect the data for the number of fragmentations in every file and sector. Based on the collected data, the software suggests appropriate actions.

In order to defragment the files, the software requires large spaces of adjacent memory in which the defragmented files can be stored. The problem is that there are files on the hard drive memory that cannot be moved without damaging them.

How Much Time Does It Take To Defragment A File?

Defragmenting a hard drive is easy but it can take up quite a chunk of time (from couple of hours to an entire day) considering the number of files that are there on the hard drive. The instructions on the defragmentation software suggest that the drive be not defragmented if the data of fragmented files on the drive is less that 25%.

The only file on the hard drive that cannot be defragmented is the File Allocation Table, also called as the FAT Table.
Your computer’s customer service executive will tell you that files need to be defragmented at least once in a month. If you use the computer for both professional as well as recreational purposes, then you must run the defragmenter software at least thrice a month. Running the defragmenter on schedule is easy; simply set the hard drive to perform regular defragmentation so that you don’t have to be bothered about remembering to do it.

Anubha Pandey