Defrag / Defragment / Defragging / Defragged
When you save a document on your computer, the information gets physically written to the hard drive. Sometimes the space is too small for your entire file, so your computer finds another empty spot on your hard drive to continue saving your file. What's happening to your files is that they are being "fragmented" across your hard drive. Over time your documents get fragmented more frequently. The solution is to have the hard drive defragmented.
Hard drive defragmentation takes your hard drive as it is, with all its fragmented files, and rewrites everything to the hard drive again, but this time in sequential order. Two things happen when you defrag a hard drive:
- Files can be opened and read quicker, because the files are now in one section of the hard drive instead of multiple places.
- By placing all the files sequentially in order, you free up a lot of space. This free space has multiple benefits. Besides the obvious of being able to store more files, you are also helping your computer run faster.
You might be curious how your hard drive gets fragmented. This happens over time and occurs more frequently with heavier use (more specifically, the more you save and delete files). A lot of operating systems allow you to schedule your defrags. Whether you do them manually or dynamically, as long as it gets done every couple of months, you should be in good shape.