defragment

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defragment

(tool, file system)
/dee-frag(-ment)'/ (Or "defrag") To coalesce files and free space on a file system; to reduce fragmentation.

defragment

To reorganize the disk by putting files into contiguous order. Because the operating system stores new data in whatever free space is available, data files become spread out across the disk as they are updated. Large files may be broken into thousands of fragments, causing the read/write head to move back and forth numerous extra times to read the data. A "defragger" or "optimizer program" rewrites all the files and stores them in adjacent sectors.

Windows comes with the DEFRAG.EXE utility, which can be activated by the Run dialog from the Start menu. Other popular defraggers, such as Diskeeper, offer enhanced capabilities.

Users Run the Gamut
Some users are fanatical about defragging their disks on a regular basis. Others rarely do it, if ever. After defragmenting, performance increases are most noticeable on very large databases that had been heavily fragmented. Because today's computers are so fast, users may not notice any increase in speed with routine applications such as word processing and spreadsheets, especially if the files are small.

A Good Habit
Nevertheless, defragmenting disks regularly is good practice because it reduces wear and tear on the drive mechanism. In addition, should the hard disk ever crash and you did not back up important files, data recovery experts will tell you that a defragged disk is much easier to restore.


Before and After
Diskeeper is one of the most popular defraggers on the market. The red in the drive map at the top shows all the fragmented files. After defragmenting, the new drive map was pasted on the bottom for comparison. Diskeeper can be set up to defrag the disk whenever the machine is idle. As soon as the user clicks the mouse or presses a key, the defragging is suspended.
References in periodicals archive ?
Defragmented disks are a significant time saver for common user tasks.
The program checks each file on a disk to determine which files need to be defragmented and which files should be moved to another location to provide more contiguous free space.
If not, it can run endlessly and still not achieve the result of a defragmented disk or disks.
Since defragmenting consolidates files, defragmented systems find the necessary files sooner thus booting up faster.
Now these critical servers always remain defragmented.
Approximately 60% improvement in backup for servers which were defragmented 9 hours down to 3.
Diskeeper has been excellent in keeping our system nicely defragmented," said Bill W.
Backing up correctly defragmented data speeds the restore process too.
And the InvisiTasking feature takes a lot of the worry out of keeping the drive defragmented.
Backups would fail due to fragmentation of the new disk, and I was unable to keep the disk defragmented with either the built-in utility or even some of the free disk defragmenters I found.
Defrag software decreases the time required to back up data from a typical hard drive volume to a backup system while increasing the backup data transfer rate if the volume is defragmented prior to running the backup job.
Disk monopoly access mode -- Total Defrag 2007 uses monopoly access in order to prevent the system from attempting to move already defragmented blocks.