What is Disk fragmentation?
Disk Defragmentation is the product of hard disk usage. Disk fragmentation occurs the minute you start copying, deleting and editing files. The operating system is designed to find a area on the hard disk where it can save the information in one long string without any spaces. This is easy to do when the hard disk is empty or new. Once files have been edited, deleted, moved or copied gaps start to appear between files. Eventually new files will not fit in areas contiguous to each other. The operating system will then choose to place parts of the files elsewhere and so it breaks the file up into smaller pieces to fit in different areas of the disk. You do not see any effect of this “breaking” up of files when you load the information.
Disk defragmentation slows the accessing of the hard disk. If you have a 1gig file that has been fragmented into 100 pieces to fit on the disk, it will take more time for the hard disk to jump between a hundred areas than 1 or 2 areas. As fragmentation spreads, the risk of data corruption grows. Badly fragmented disks are responsible for system freezes, application hang-ups and system crashes. A fragmented disk also slows down the startup and shutdown process significantly
What is Disk Defragmentation software?
Defragmentation software tries to revert the fragmented files back in to contagious files. It does this by moving files around trying to find better areas for them. The process can take quite some time to perform so is advised to be performed when you don’t want to use the computer for a couple of hours as using the computer while it is defragmenting is not advised. Microsoft windows operating systems come with their own defragmentation software although you can purchase more effect and thorough 3 rd party software to do the job. Below is a screen shot of a typical example of a hard disk requiring defragmentation.