Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Read the article that everyone's commenting on.
I've got Windows 7 (64-bit) and a solid state drive. Is W7 smart enough to know NOT to do the weekly defrag you describe in the article? If not, is there some way to turn it off?
Great explanation Leo. I love the scattered newspaper analogy! You do a great job of explaining things in layman's terms so the non-techie can understand the concepts.
On my computer, the hard drive tends to be on the loud side (just the normal grinding/chattering noises, nothing faulty) and I noticed it gets noisier as the drive gets more fragmented. So I defrag not because it speeds things up but because of the noise.
On another of your comments - there are enough free defrag utitities (I use My Defrag, but there are many more) that you shouldn't really need to buy one.
I'm not an enthusiastic defragger, but I do find loading some programs a bit slow, which is why I would endorse the Piriform Defraggler (apart from the fact that it's free) - it will happily defrag specific files, which is a lot quicker than defragging a multi-GB drive. After all, who cares if files that are only loaded occasionally are fragmented.
Though the reason that some programs are slow (e.g. Firefox, LibreOffice, Gimp) are that there are so many files to be loaded before the program's ready to do anything at all.
In my perhaps naive opinion, the key here is "frequently used files". I had no defragged this laptop since purchasing two years ago. I booted clean and tested the performance with a reputable diagnostic program, then defragged, rebooted, and tested again.
Zero difference in performance. I think this is because the defragging would have only helped on files that were often used over and over, but I have very few of those.
I use Auslogics defragger every now and again. Seems to be one of the better ones. Did have a bad experience when trying out Smart Defrag from Iobit, the Advanced System Care people. Not sure what went wrong but I tried it on two of my many back-up drives and it appeared to hose the file systems and/or caused disk errors. "Lost" several thousand music tracks, although the used space on the disks was still the same, so I reasoned they must still be there. After running CHKDSK, they all re-appeared, so I'm now more than a little wary of de-frag programs after that! A good job, methinks, that I'm a bit paranoid about back-ups, having multiple drives to do the job.
Love the newspaper explanation. I use messed up file cabinet..putting all the associated files together. Also I use idea of two index sheets of files to explain check disk. I worked in radio where we would add and delete files a lot daily. If you do this type of activity, defragging weekly does speed things up greatly.
I have been using nothing but Advanced System Care suite for years now, which comes with "Smart Defrag " I have never had a problem with it. But I would never use a defragmenter for a backup drive. It just seems like it would be a really bad idea to move files around on a system backup. Smart Defrag has a feature called optimize which moves things that you access most often to the outside of the hard drive platters. The outside of the disk is traveling across the laser much faster than the inside portion of the disks. which means faster data access. I do this after installing Windows and all my programs. After the first time I just do an occasional regular defrag. It just seems like it would be better to start out with everything in good order, for long term speed and zippyness. I don't see how the guy who wrote you gets his hard disk 10 to 15 percent fragmented. I didn't think that was possible, I have never even seen 5%. I have maybe seen 3 or4% at the most on really old neglected installs. I usually see way less than 1%. I leave ASC running full time for automated cleanup and optimization. It does its thing while system is idle. My task manager shows it using 176 KB, on a Thinkpad with Hyperthreading and 4 gigs of ram. It is also good for people who won't maintain their systems. I think a clean and defraged system stays running good consistently and longer. But I definitely don't see the point in buying programs to defrag and clean your disk. If someones system is that bad it's not going to fix it.
Good defrag article, thanks.
I have a Mac now though, does one still need to drag?
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