When Microsoft Windows saves a file to the hard drive, it is often saved in fragments that are scattered all over the drive’s platters instead of as a single continuous, unbroken stream of ones and zeroes.
This process is called fragmentation, and over time a heavily fragmented drive can slow down your PC to a snail’s pace as the drive’s read/write heads must travel hither and yon to find all of a file’s pieces and patch them back together before the file can be used by the CPU.
Every version of Windows includes a “defragging” tool that can rearrange all the files on your hard drive into nice, fast loading contiguous chunks of code, often speeding up your system considerably in the process. But the defragger built into Windows has a huge drawback: it’s slow! [Read more…]