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Disk defragmentation

(also defrag)

Disk defragmentation definition

Disk defragmentation refers to the process of consolidating fragmented files on a computer’s hard drive. When there isn’t enough contiguous space on a disk to save an entire file, files become fragmented. Disk defragmentation reverses this process by moving the data blocks around until they form a complete file.

Disk defragmentation explained

  • File fragmentation is when files are scattered throughout the hard drive instead of in one location.
  • Fragmentation occurs naturally over time. When files are deleted from a hard drive, small gaps remain. When you save a new file, it fills some of these gaps. If the gaps are too small to save the entire file, the remainder of the file is stored in other available gaps.
  • Defragmentation reverses the breaking up of each file when saving it to your hard drive.
  • Defragmentation rearranges the data blocks on the hard drive to reunite the fragmented files and bring a complete file together.
  • Most devices defragment disk space automatically on a regular basis or prevent file fragmentation. However, you can also defragment your hard disk using third-party defragmentation software.

Benefits of disk defragmenting

  • Faster file access. Defragmentation helps users access files faster.
  • Improved performance. Because defragmentation helps retrieve data more efficiently, it improves the overall performance of the device.

See also: analog computer