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Unraveling the File on Defragmentation

Jul 29, 2008
The IT guy may define defragmentation as a method that diminishes the quantity of fragmentation through a series of close-knit reorganization of the data present in the system. What?! Not to be rude, but unless you are one of the few computer emissaries then the definition above offers little help.

Defragmentation In Layman's POV

To fully understand what a defragmenter does, it is proper that it be placed in a layman's perspective. On a typical day, a person may check his email, read his local paper over the internet, visit a few entertainment pages, download a couple of essential documents, save and retrieve other files, the list goes on.

All these activities, these chaotic activities leave fragments or pieces of information on one's storage drive. These bits of data are still stored into the system by discretely tucking these chunks in between the gaps left by some of the files.

The File Cabinet

Defragmentation is akin to the functions of an old- fashioned file cabinet. When you run out of space for your credit card documents, you have no choice but to stuff the remaining in your tax drawer because it has some room to spare. Again, if the tax/credit card drawer appears to be packed, you will (for a second time) attempt to jam the credit card files together with the insurance records, which is already showing signs of bursting as well.

With this hodgepodge we call a file cabinet and as we cram and jam different documents to various drawers, it will render us unable to obtain the required file immediately, or worst, no longer be able to find it at all.


You may be tempted to use all your strength to physically throw the metal cabinet over a cliff. How about a backyard bonfire? You just purchased a pack of marshmallows, right? But unfortunately, our duties demand that we tediously go over every cabinet, every folder, and every page and arrange it accordingly, throwing out those that you do not need along the way.

Stack after stack, you separate the utilities from the tax and the credit card from the insurance. After a grueling day of sorting, it is now time to alphabetize it and put it back in the file cabinet. This process may be long, but the next time you will open the cabinet, it is nothing but a glorious sight.

The Function

Just like in the example given, defragmentation also compresses those bits and pieces of data and stores them in a smaller and compact area. Furthermore, defragging takes various components of the same document and clusters them together, and as a result freeing up disk space for more entries.

So if your computer frequently hangs on you or is running a little slow, sluggish even, then you may opt to defrag your computer. If you perform this on a regular basis, your computer will run smoothly and your system neat.

Though a word of caution, the process of defragmentation will not keep your system from crashing if it is already on its way down. You may want to call in the experts and let them do what they do best.
About the Author
The Auther of this article is Benedict Yossarian. Benedict recommends New Horizons IT courses such as MCSE, CCNA and Photoshop Training . Benedict recommends Comm Store for hardware such as swtiches and Cat5e UTP cable.
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