We all remember the days when hard drive defragmentation was a big deal: blocks of data would become scattered across the drive, affecting the overall performance of the computer. However, thanks to advancements in drive technology, modern computers hardly require any form of defragmentation. Today’s hard drives and operating systems are fine tuned to keep data in order; it’s possible for a normal drive to abide at 1% defragmentation without having been organized for years. Regardless, running defrag on occasion is not a bad idea and will still help to keep your hard drive in good form.
The easiest way to run defragmentation across all versions of Windows is to write in “defrag” in the Windows search. It is possible that the computer could have a defragmentation set to a schedule, so make sure to check for it. If set for a convenient time, perhaps in the morning when the computer is not in use, leave it the way it is (just make sure the computer will be on at those times). If not, simply click on the “Defragment Drive” option and remember that defragmentation goes at a slow pace, so make sure you won’t need your machine for about an hour.
It is important to note that if you have a Solid State Drive (SSD), defragmentation is not necessary. Defragging an SSD drive will actually shorten its life span due to its design: an SSD spreads data in multiple NAND chips and locations, using algorithms only the drive controller understands. Normal disc defragmentation does not understand how to interpret this setup, and actually damages the SSD drive during the process.
After reviewing these facts, you can see that although disc defragmentation is still an important process that can help you keep your drive in good working order, but it’s no longer the vital part of computer preservation that it was in the past.