Defragmenting a Drive in Windows 7.

Defragmenting your hard drive instructing Windows to rearrange files on a hard drive so that the various parts of a file all sit next to one another rated as a Big Deal. Windows didn’t help automate running defrags, so few people bothered. As a result, drives started to look like patchwork quilts with pieces of files stored randomly. On the rare occasion that a Windows user ran the defragmenter, bringing all the pieces together could take hours and the resulting system speed-up rarely raised any eyebrows.

Windows 7 changes that by simply and quietly scheduling a disk defragmentation to run every week. You don’t need to touch a thing.

Windows 7 doesn’t run automatic defrags on solid state drives which is to say, flash memory drives that don’t have any moving parts. (You probably don’t have one yet, but they’re becoming more common every year.) Solid state drives don’t need defragmentation. They also have a finite lifespan, so there’s no need to overwork the drives with a senseless exercise in futility.

If you’re curious about how your computer’s doing in the defrag department, choose Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter. Disk Defragmenter gives you a full report allowing you to make scheduling changes if you so desire. You can also choose which drives you want to defrag.

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