Defrag Your Disk Drive
Defragmenting your disk drive is an important element of computer maintenance, and should be performed on a regular basis to ensure not only the smooth error free operation of your computer system, but also as a means to protect the actual life span of your hard drive.
The way a hard drive works is that all the data on it is stored in blocks lined up in consecutive rows. Think of it as a high rise apartment building with thousands of suites per floor.
When your computer attempts to access your hard drive, it goes to where the data is stored for the program it is trying to access. On a clean hard drive - or a drive that is not fragmented - all of those data chunks are stored in neat, organized consecutive order.
But when you delete a program or file, the area where it was stored is now left vacant - waiting for the new tenant to move in. Over time, as more and more files are changed, moved or deleted, there is a bunch of random vacancies located all over the hard drive.
When you install a new program - which to work at optimum efficiency will store all its data components in a consecutive organized manner - by the way your DOS ( disk operating system ) works, is it looks to fill what ever vacant blocks with information it can find. So instead of being in nice, neat, easy to read order, the newly installed program can have its vital data files stored all over your hard drive - which of course greatly increases the chance that an operating error may happen along the way.
This then can create a second - and in many cases more severe problem in that a fragmented hard drive makes your computer work much harder then it would normally because it is jumping all over the disk looking for the right files. This is the number one problem for hard disk failure and can result in a catastrophic loss of data if your drive completely fails.
The simplest way to fix this problem is to use a disk defragmentation utility. Those of you that are familiar with Windows already now that it comes with a disk defrag component and can be scheduled to automatically maintain your disk for you on the Vista operating system.