Hello many of you may know me already and many of you may have already met me when I visited your home to fix your computer, but now for the first time both for the flyer and for me I am going under the new guise of “the anorak”.
I regularly get asked by people if there is anything they can do with their computer on a regular basis to keep it running at full speed. So each month I will be detailing a piece of free software with some basic instructions on installation and a brief explanation of how it will help you.
This month I have been asked by Mr Peter Clifford about a defragmenter program called Defraggler.
The name brought a smile to my face when I read it, I'm not sure if anyone still remembers the 80s TV show Fraggle Rock, and the large monster that was always trying to rid his garden of Fraggles. I'm sure the Defraggler is probably something he came up with to rid his garden of pests. In reality however Defraggler is a very good, fast program for defragmenting your hard drive. Windows does have its own built-in fragmentation program but it takes a very very long time to run.
Defraggler is free and can be downloaded from www.piriform.com/defraggler
I hear many of you ask what is a defragmenter and do I need it? Does my computer have fragments and if so what should I do to get rid of them?
To answer this question I need to take you back to the basics of a computer's hard disk, the disc is circular and spins at high speed. Being circular means the disk is segmented into something that looks very similar to a spiders web, each of these segments can store a small amount of data, if it does not fit in one its spread over many and unfortunately they are not always next to each other – meaning fragmentation.
If the data is separated in this way it can slow the computer down as it has to go looking for each part, a defragmentation program regroups all the segments so the data is consecutively stored. Thereby making the data easier to locate and faster to read.
Well enough of the technical details, the main thing to know is that most computers suffer from fragmentation. This is especially the case with older computers running older versions of Windows (95, 98, XP), not so much with newer version of Windows (Vista and Windows 7).
- Defraggler is very easy to install and run. Download it from the web site, Double click the file you downloaded and follow the install wizard.
- Then double click the icon on the desktop to run the program, simply select the drive you wished defragmented, in most cases this will be local drive (C:) and press the analyse button.
- You should pause a moment here and check that you have a current backup of your data. Any maintenance work on the disk is a risk, so backups are very important just in case anything goes wrong.
- After a few minutes the analysis will be completed and the fragmentation level will be shown. If the fragmentation is more than 10% then the drive needs to be defragmented and you can push the defrag Button.
- You will be asked if you wish to clear the recycle bin before continuing, this is a very good idea it frees up space and means less work to do.
- The defragmentation process can take anywhere from 5 min to many hours depending on the speed of your computer and how much data you have on the disc.
- Complete the same steps for each hard drive you have in your computer.
If you need help or have any questions about your computer please give me a call or send me an email for FREE advice. Bruce@mirax.org or Telephone 05 61 60 84 23.