“Talk Nerdy to Me” is a technology column written by Derek Deulus to provide technological advice for the Boise State community.
Do you ever wonder why your PC starts to run slowly as it gets older?
Programs seem to take longer to load and no matter how many programs and files you delete thinking that it will help speed up your PC, you just don’t see results.
While not a cure-all method, one thing that can definitely help is defragmenting your PC. To explain what disk fragmentation is, I’m going to use the analogy of a filing cabinet.
Think of your hard drive as a giant filing cabinet. All of your programs and files fill up the cabinet. Larger programs such as Microsoft Office might be 1000 files, a program like Paint might be 200 files, and your individual MP3’s and documents might be only a few files.
What happens is every time you launch a program, say for example Microsoft Office, your PC has to go and read all 1,000 files before the program is ready to use.
When you have a new PC, these files are generally all in numerical order and so it’s easy and fast for your PC to read them and launch aspecific program.
Over time as you continue to use your PC you create new files, delete files and move files around on your hard drive.
Your filing cabinet is no longer in numerical order and your files are stashed and stored at random.
This is what causes your PC to slow down. Now when you go to launch Microsoft Office, your PC has to look through the entire filing cabinet to find all 1000 files before your program can be used.
Defragmenting your PC takes all of your files and puts them back into numerical order so that your PC can read files faster and your PC performs better.
To defragment your PC’s hard drive, click the Windows start button and in the start menu search box, type “defrag.” Your results should show a “Disk Defragmenter” program.
This program is very easy to use and straight forward. Just select your Hard Drive, usually your C: drive, and click the “Defragment Disk”
This process can take some time so be patient. For best results, it’s recommended that you defragment your PC at least once a month.