Defragging Your Hard Drive Can Make Your PC Run Fast

Defragging your hard drive is one of the most overlooked PC maintenance tasks, yet one of the simplest ways to keep your PC running fast.

When your files are organized, your hard drive has to work less to retrieve data, which speeds up the computer.

In Windows XP, open My Computer and right-click the hard drive, then click Properties and look under the Tools tab.

You will select the hard drive you want to defragment and click Analyze to see the state of the drive. The computer will take a moment to test the hard disk, then show you a graphical representation of the drive. Mostly blue bands indicate a healthy state on contiguous files.

Scattered red bands indicate fragmented files. If you have a lot of these, Windows will prompt you to defrag and you should accept when ready.

You’ll want to schedule your defrag, since you won’t be able to use the PC while this utility is running. Consider doing this when you leave the office for the day – it could take a few hours to complete depending on drive size.

If defragmenter produces errors, consider running defrag from within Safe Mode, where most services are stopped and nothing is using the drive.

How often you defrag the hard drive depends on your usage. If you constantly add and remove large files, you will need to do this often. If you do general PC work like checking Emails, working on spreadsheets, etc you will only need to perform this task about every two months.