Windows does not automatically make sure that a new file is placed at the end of the previous file when writing to hard drives, and as files are added, deleted, expanded or contracted, the space between files grows. Windows also does not make sure that files stay in a consecutive series of locations, and sometimes will scatter a file all over a hard drive. This slows down the computer, as the hard drive must jump all over the drive locations to retrieve file data, a problem which grows with time.
Therefore, disk defragmentation tool has been included to help regain lost read/write performance.
Defragment can be run in the following ways:
• From the Accessories menu’s System Tools submenu (Disk Defragmenter)
• From a drive’s properties sheet’s Tools tab (Defragment Now)
• From the command line (a feature introduced in Windows XP): defrag (type defrag /? for options)
The XP/2000 defragmenters and many third party defragmentation programs have an Analyze feature to test if defragmentation is necessary. Vista omitted this in the interface, but its version of DEFRAG does analyze the disk automatically before defragmenting.