Note: This post is the 3rd part of the series “Why Your Computer Slows Down and How To Fight It. Be sure to check out part 1 and 2 if you haven’t already.

After cleaning your computer and tuning your startup, in today’s issue we’ll order the files of your computer and bringing them back to order. And after this How-To you’ll will see how your computer speed increased dramtically (at least I hope so).

But now let’s get to the work!

File Those Messy Files (Defragmentation)

Now after doing some cleanup we want to order and file the useful and needed files that are left. This process is called defragmentation.

Imagine you have written a article of multiple pages, and one page is located at your desk drawer, the other at your DVD collection, the thirs page is in on the floor and the last one on the kitchen sink. Now if you want to read it, you have first to go through all the house to gather the pages and order them before actually reading them. What a loss of  time. This also happens when you edit files on your computer, one part of the file is located in sector A, the other in sector B and the last on sector XZ12.

By doing defragmentation we gather those parts together and file them properly in the hard disk.

But now let’s get started.

Which Of The 1,548,028 Programs Should I Use?

There are many disk defragmentation tools out there, in fact too many. So maybe staying at the Windows made tool would be a good option. But it isn’t the best. The readers of Lifehacker have voted for Defraggler as the best disk defragmenter. (By the way: It’s from the same software developers as CCleaner, so this is a bonus point.)

If you didn’t already head over the homepage of Defraggler and download it!

Getting Started

For the installation process the fourth screen is important, because there you must opt out to install the Yahoo! Toolbar (unless you REALLY want it).

Opt out of the Yahoo! Toolbar!

After the installation is complete we have to start the program.

Run defraggler

You are greeted by a  nice, clean interface.

Defraggler Interface

Now be sure to hit Analyze for your hard drives to see how bad the defragmentation monster hit your hard drives.

Screenshot_006

After you’ve analyzed all hard drives you want to defrag those with the highest percentage of defragmentation.Now it would be better if you have some free time for defragging the hard drives. So the best option would be to start the defragmentation  before going to eat dinner or whatever and leave it running till the end.

Now repeat the process until you’ve got your fragmentation to zero on all hard drives.

There we are, all cleant up and filed. Feels good, doesn’t it?

Keeping It Clean For More Than Just One Week: Scheduling

So after you’ve defragged all to zero fragmentation you want to keep it that way. The best way to do this is to schedule the defrags.

To do this, head over to the Options and then click on the Schedule tab on the new window.

Schedule/Options/Defraggler

If you’ve got more than one hard drive, you’ll have to select all the drives you want to be defragged scheduled from the drop down menu. My approach on this is to cycle it weekly with each day for a particular drive. So C: is defragged every Wednesday, D: every Thursday, E: every Friday and so on. You get the idea.

Schedule/Options/Defraggler

You can schedule it daily or even monthly if the drive’s contents are changed very fast or very slowly. This depends on your usage.

That was all, it wasn’t that hard, was it?

And if it was, let me know it in the comments if you got problems or any other ideas. Also if you found grammatical errors or typo’s feel free to report to me, I appreciate it!

Stay tuned for the next part, which will be about final tweaks and further reading.