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Defragmenting the Fragmented

By Daniel Goh - on 11 Nov 2011, 1:18pm

I’m pretty sure many of you were turned off at the mention of defragmentation due to the undesirable experiences garnered when trying to defragment your PC system. However, for those who actually clicked this post, I applaud you.

Like you, I defragment my computer every couple of months in hopes that it will help to speed up my system. And like you, I never did have any idea what defragmentation actually does besides arranging colorful cubes into an orderly fashion.

So, I decided to actually read up on the subject to learn a little bit more about this seemingly innocuous act. After reading through a few articles, I realized that to explain it in their words will put most of you readers to sleep, so I am going to try my own ‘layman’ style of explanation in order to better get my message across.

The first thing you want to do is visualize your hard disk as a library with empty shelves. As the books come in, you start filling up those shelves. As time goes by, most of your shelves get filled with books, some thick, some thin and some even comes in chapters of 7 (HP fan!). Now that you have a ton of books in your library, people start coming in to read them.

As more and more people come in to read your books you start to realize that when they find a book they want to read, they’ll just take it willy-nilly. And when it’s time to return them, they’ll just chuck it into the first empty slot they can find.

Soon, your once neat library…

…is now a mess…

…and soon…

When it starts to look like that, looking for a book that you need pretty much takes ages because you can’t even walk in that library, let alone sift through the mountain of books. This is exactly what a fragmented hard disk is. Books being your data and the people reading them are the various applications on your system.

So what do you do? You hire a librarian (defragmenting tool) to do some cleaning up and this is essentially what he or she does:

Pretty soon, the library is rearranged back to its original spick and span, eat-off-the-floor, neat self and the cycle begin anew.

I hope this little metaphor get the general idea across and maybe even inspires you guys out there to do some cleanup on your own desktop system. Here are some disk defragmenters (recommended by LifeHacker) to help you along:

  • Auslogics Disk Defrag (Windows, Free)
  • MyDefrag (Formerly JKDefrag) (Windows, Free)
  • PerfectDisk (Windows, $29.99)
  • Defraggler (Windows, Free)
  • Diskeeper (Windows, $29.99)
Daniel Goh

Daniel Goh / Junior Writer

A video game junkie always looking for more convenient ways to do things tech wise. Some say its lazy, I say its innovative. Currently being sucked into the world of social media addiction and will never leave the house without his trusty iPod and headphones.