So by now you've probably noticed that we (the hard working folk at NGL Connection) are pretty darn knowledgeable when it comes to matters of technology. Let's face it - because our techs have spent each and every day of their lives (since infancy) navigating the ins and outs of wayward computers, they've sorta become experts in their field and our crackerjack team of techs wouldn't be doing you any favors if we didn't (at least once) talk about the elephant in the room.
Defragmentation or as the cool kids say, "defragging", is a complex-sounding term with a very simple explanation. So, let's look at the word itself:
fragmentation occurs when a file on your computer isn't stored as a single piece of information and is instead broken up into smaller parts and stored in multiple locations on your hard drive. But, let's look at it in a different light - and to help explain just what fragmentation is, we're going to turn a classic Nintendo game that helped this writer get through many hours of boring history lessons during high school - Tetris!
So, think of your PC's hard drive
as a large rectangular void and all the data such as pictures, videos, and other miscellaneous documents are the funny shaped blocks that fall into the void. Now, when playing Tetris, it's your job to make sure all the blocks fall into place accordingly, so chaos doesn't ensure. Your hard drive does this by formatting or designating spaces and telling the files where to go.
Now, let's say you delete some files here or there and are left with empty spaces. The hard drive is going to break apart (or fragment) new files in order to fit them into the gaps that remain. This process repeats and repeats further fragmenting the contents of your hard drive.
Here comes the tricky part
because all that information wasn't laid down on the hard drive sequentially, it takes more time for the operating system to reassemble a file that was broken apart and spread in multiple places on the hard drive. Over time this will cause your hard drive to become sluggish. Fortunately, when you run a defragmentation on your hard drive, it forces the drive to only focus on reassembling the data and rearranging files to optimize the space on the disk and the time it takes to read the information stored there.
At NGL, we recommend
that you defrag your hard drive once a month or possibly once a week for smaller hard drives. Defragging your hard drive could take up a little bit of your time, so make sure you don't have anything important going on when you begin the process. GOOD NEWS - If you have a solid-state hard drive however, you won't have to defrag at all, so use that time wisely
and go play some Tetris! <- Click the link