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Schedule disk defragmentation

Over a long period of time some files on the hard disk drive become fragmented and literally broken into small parts. These are scattered across the disk and when you need to access a fragmented file it takes longer because the fragments have to be found and accessed in the right order.

It's therefore wise to defragment files, which puts all the fragments back together so the whole file is stored in one place on the disk. Disk defragmentation is automatic these days and you won't notice it. However, it might be worth tweaking the automatic settings and this may help to improve performance.

If you have a fairly new PC with a big 1Tb disk drive there is lots of free space in which to store files and fragmentation isn't so much of a problem. You might only need to run Disk Defragmenter once a month to maintain peak performance.

If the disk drive is small or nearly full, or both, then Windows finds it difficult to locate sufficient free space to store large files in one block and they are split into fragments. It might be useful in this situation to run Disk Defragmenter more often, such as every couple of days.

Changing the schedule for Disk Defragmenter is easy. Click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter. The current status is displayed and you can see how often it is run, when it will next run and the status of the disk drives.

Disk Defragmenter

Click the Configure Schedule button and you can choose from daily, weekly or monthly in the frequency list. Choose the day, but don't worry about the time. Disk Defragmenter will wait until the computer is idle before starting and it will pause if you use the computer. It therefore doesn't get in the way.

Disk Defragmenter