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Defrag vs. Frag

Posted By On November 17, 2006 @ 2:48 PM In System Tune-Up Help | Comments Disabled

Q:
Sometimes when my computer finishes a defrag, there are still some files left that didn’t go through the process. It says they’re still fragmented. How can I get them to defrag properly or is this something that can be left alone?

A:
Great question! It’s the defragment versus the fragment and I know just what to tell you! Now, I know all of you are good listeners and you’ve taken our advice to perform a defrag on your computer regularly, right? (Well, if you haven’t, you should do so soon!)

So, after your defrag finishes, do you sometimes have a few files that refuse to defrag? If you do, don’t worry too much about it. This is normal for most computers. Basically, the defrag process focuses on putting all the parts of a file next to each other on your hard drive, but in reality, not all files need to be placed that way. Of course, when the files are compacted together, it creates less work for your hard drive, but that’s not at all completely necessary.

Along with that, there are some other reasons why all your files may not defrag. First of all, your computer needs at least 20 percent of available space to be able to even start a defrag. If you don’t have enough open space for a particular file, it probably won’t change.

The next scenario may be that the file is being used by some other program that you still have open. It’s suggested that you close down all running programs when you do a defrag, so make sure you do that next time. There is a way to check this when your defrag is complete though. Check them by looking through the list of all the non-defragged files and see if you do happen to have a program running that may be using them. If so, you can shut that program down and start the defrag process again. The file should then go through successfully for you.

Now, still going along with that, the problem may lie in your operating system. An operating system usually has several files open in order to do its normal work. This too can cause a failed defragged file. To try and avoid this, boot up your computer using your boot disk instead of doing it the regular way. Running it from the CD and not your hard drive may help for the defrag to run properly.

Well, there are some suggestions for you in case you’re really worried about certain files not defragmenting. If you think those files are severely fragmented, you should go ahead and try those options, but if they’re not, you don’t really need to worry about it. As I said before, some files will still run perfectly fine in their fragmented mode. Yes, your hard drive will work a little harder to find all the parts of it each time you want to use that particular file, but that’s part of its job. It’s not going to hurt it, especially if you have the majority of your files defragged and ready to go.

If you get a testing of at least a 95 percent defrag performance, your computer will be good to go. If you want, feel free to jump through the loops of fixing those few files, but sometimes, it’s just not worth the trouble. If you run a defrag regularly, your computer will be at its best optimum performance and all will be well. It’s your choice!

~ Erin


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