What is defragmentation?

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What is defragmentation?

Many users regularly defragment the hard drive in the computer to speed up the system, but not everyone understands what this means. In this article we will explain what disk defragmentation is and why it is needed.

In the NTFS file system, which is used in Windows, files are written to the disk as successive fragments - clusters. The larger the file, the longer the sequence of clusters in which it is stored. But as files accumulate on the hard disk, there is less and less space for sequential recording, and fragments of large files are scattered across different parts of the disk. This slows down the reading process and shortens the life of the hard disk, because its head is forced to repeatedly move to read the file.

Defragmentation is aimed at gathering fragments of a file into a single sequence. During defragmentation, the data on the disk is distributed so that all the clusters in which one file is written are located directly behind each other.Learn more about why disk defragmentation is needed, you can read in our article - Why disk defragmentation is needed.

If you want to figure out how to defragment, then the article How to defragment a disk will help you. For a successful defragmentation drive should not be completely clogged, otherwise the system will not have enough free space for the redistribution of file fragments.

It is worth noting that defragmentation is not required for all media. Since solid-state drives and flash drives are designed differently than hard drives, file fragmentation on them does not slow down the work and shorten the service life.


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