So the question my mother asked me was, “do I really need to defrag my computer, does it help my computer and make it faster?”. My answer was at the time, “I don’t know I’ve never done it or done the research”. Well, anyways, the research has been done and now I have the results to provide to you all.
Just like a record player with a needle, a hard drive has a circular shape and all of the information is stored on the tracks like groves on a record. When a hard drive fails, it means that needle can no longer sit on the tracks, usually you will hear a skipping noise, or clicking. But failing hard drives is another topic, let’s get down to business here.
First off, any PC nerd will tell you to defrag your computer to make it faster. But the real answer is you don’t need to manually defragment a regular operating system.
If you are running Windows Vista or Windows 7, you do not need to defrag on a regular basis, it is done automatically. Disk Defragmenter does this on a routine at 1 AM every Wednesday, or if not then you can check by launching Disk Defragmenter and checking the schedule in the program, and also details on the last run that was made and also the levels of fragmentation.
If you check out the screenshot below you’ll see what I mean:
Though if you turn off your PC after you use it, or if you never let your PC stay at idle at all, the defragging task won’t ever get a chance to run at all. Though if this isn’t the case, you can check if your drive has not been defragmented in awhile, and if not then you can do it manually.
Unfortunately in Windows XP there is no automatic defrag software built in
It’s too bad, but that’s what you get with an old operating system. And it’s ten years old, so this means that you will need to either manually defragment the drive on regular basis or not give a damn and let your computer slow down (I don’t know how much). It will all depend on how much data that you create, download, write, and also delete. If you are a heavy user yourself, you will need to run it probably once a week at most, or at the bare minimum once per month.
And since you can still do alot with Windows XP, you can actually easily and very quickly set up an automatic defrag in Windows XP in using the task scheduler built into the software itself. It’s very easy, and you can tell it to run whenever you want it to.
One last question you may ask is if third party Defrag software is worth using
Testing has been done and has proven that third party defrag software can run a little better but, it’s like if a 69′ Mustang is sitting in your parking lot that was free, and still runs a drives, and a 2012 Mustang is sitting next to it with a salesmen asking if you are interested in buying it when the 69′ Mustang has the same amount of power, and still gets you from point A to point B, which one would you choose?. That’s my opinion, anyways. I suggest, simply using the free, the old, the *still working*.
Though there is free disk defragmentation software out there, and the best is “Auslogics Disk Defrag”. You see the links there, check it out. Only install it if you dislike Windows’s own software. I would probably give it a shot too. Though since I have a fear of failing hard drives, I am running an SSD (Solid State Drive). I’ll explain more on solid state drives below:
If your using an SSD you do not need to defrag.
First of all, if you are using Windows (any version) on a SSD then you do not need to defrag. An SSD is a Solid State Drive which is a storage device with no moving parts, and typically runs alot faster because of that, so programs run almost instantaneously all the time, as well when the operating system boots, or when you install programs, it improves almost everything in faster speeds. To finalize this, Microsoft themselves have given the specific reason for this:
Windows 7 will disable disk defragmentation on SSD system drives. Because SSDs perform extremely well on random read operations, defragmenting files isn’t helpful enough to warrant the added disk writing defragmentation produces…
….the automatic scheduling of defragmentation will exclude partitions on devices that declare themselves as SSDs.
So I would say, it is possible that defragging your computer can make it faster.