What is Defragmentation?
Defragmentation, also known as "defrag" or "defragging" is the process of reorganizing
the data stored on the hard drive so that related pieces of data are put back together,
all lined up in a continuous fashion. By efficiently organizing files and folders,
the defrag process leaves the computer’s free space in one big chunk. This allows
new files to be saved in an organized, orderly fashion. Just like shopping if you
have to go to multiple stores to get what you need it just takes longer. The same
thing happens with your hard drive. The more places the hard drive heads have to
go to retrieve a file that is broken up into a lot of little fragmented pieces across
the hard drive, the longer it will take to access that file. Accessing fragmented
files is slower, compared to accessing non-fragmented files.
Diskeeper 12 proactively cures and prevents fragmentation, rather than only relying on after the fact defrag to handle the problem.
More about Defragmentation »
Fragmentation and Computer Performance
Fragmentation, by definition, means that “something is broken into parts that are detached, isolated or incomplete.” Fragmentation is essentially little bits of data or information that are spread over a large disk area causing your hard drive to work harder and slower than it has to just to read a single file.
Disk fragmentation is a natural occurrence and is constantly accumulating each and every time you use your computer. In fact, the more you use your PC, the more it builds-up fragmentation … and over time your PC will start to experience random crashes and freeze-ups and eventually the inability to boot up at all. Sound familiar? And you thought you needed a new PC.
Imagine if you had a piece of paper and you tore it up into 100 small pieces and threw it up in the air like confetti. That is fragmentation. Now imagine having to collect each of those pieces and put them back together again just to read the document. That is defragmentation.
Now imagine what would happen if you could prevent this fragmentation before it happens. Until now, there was no other way to handle this fragmentation other than to defrag it after it already happened. With the release of Diskeeper 12 with IntelliWrite® technology there is a better way to defrag your PC and keep it running at peak performance: Prevention.
More about Fragmentation and Computer Performance »
Why Should I Defrag My Hard Drive?
Do you remember how fast your PC was when it was brand-new? Do you remember the feeling of exhilaration at its speed and responsiveness compared to your old PC? Does your PC seem slower today? Chances are your PC is much slower today than when it was brand new. Why?
The simple answer is, “Fragmentation.” All computers suffer from the constant
accumulation of fragmentation. Every time you use your computer, it accumulates
fragmentation. Waiting a week or even a day to defragment means your computer is
operating at a reduced speed and performance. Those delays are quantifiable and
add up very quickly. Even the built-in can’t keep pace with the constant growth
of fragmentation. Every time a manual defrag runs it ties up system resources, so
you just have to wait ... and wait ... and wait. Who has time to wait, especially
when Diskeeper can double system performance over the built-in defragmenter and it is
completely automatic — so you don’t have to do a thing.
More about disk defrag »
Why Disk Defrag SANs, NASs and RAID?
Disk defragmentation offers significant benefits when implemented on intricate
modern hardware technologies such as RAID, NAS and SANs. SANs, NAS devices, corporate
servers, and even high end workstations and multimedia-centric desktops characteristically
implement multiple physical disk drives in some form of fault tolerant disk striping
(RAID). Because the purpose of fault tolerant disk striping is to offer redundancy,
as well as improved disk performance by splitting the I/O load, it is a common misconception
that fragmentation does not have a negative impact. It's also important to note
that the interface; EIDE, SCSI, SATA, i-SCSI, Fibre Channel, etc... does not alter
the relevance of defragmentation.
Regardless of the sophistication of the hardware installed, the SAN appears to Windows
as one logical drive. So when Windows reads a fragmented file, it has to logically
find all those thousands of pieces, and that takes thousands of separate I/O operations
to piece it all together before it is fed to the user. That exerts a heavy toll
More about SANs, NASs, RAID and Disk Defrag »
How Do I Speed Up My Slow Computer?
The whole purpose of computers is to complete tasks fast. “Speed up my computer”
is the single most frequent demand of computer users, yet unless disk fragmentation
is efficiently eliminated, a computer will continue to slow down no matter how much
RAM (memory) or storage space is added to it.
The only effective solution to not only cure, but also prevent future fragmentation
is Diskeepe. Diskeeper 12 with IntelliWrite® technology can prevent
up to 85% or more fragmentation before it happens. Immediately your computer will
save all of the precious resources that would have been wasted by writing fragmented
files to the disk. For prior fragmentation and for the slight amount that isn’t
prevented, Diskeeper uses powerful Instant Defrag™ technology that runs "just in
time" with zero system resource conflicts. The impact of Diskeeper on computer performance
is significant. If you want to speed up your slow computer, curing and preventing
future fragmentation is by-far the best solution possible.
Read more about how to speed up my computer »
Disk Defrag is Vital to Email Servers
The benefit of preventing fragmentation and defragmenting an email server environment
is no different than preventing fragmentation or defragmenting any other system.
It simply takes less time and system resources to access a contiguous file than
one broken into many individual pieces. This improves not only response time but
also reliability of the system. Thorough database maintenance requires a combination
of disk defrag and the email server utilities (internal record/index defragmentation),
to achieve optimum performance and response time.
The tools for Microsoft Exchange (ESE and EDB Utilities) deal with internal record
fragmentation by rearranging the internal records/indexes on the fly when possible,
and at times requiring a whole new copy of the database to be created and each record
copied to the new file. Even if this copy is done to a freshly formatted volume
or a defragmented volume with a free space chunk large enough to contain the entire
database, it's quite likely that this new copy will become fragmented.
More about fragmentation and email servers »
Anti-virus Software & Disk Defragmentation
Antivirus Scans are significantly faster on desktop systems with regularly defragmented
files and free space. As capacity to quickly respond to new anti-virus attacks is
a critical component of any organization's security plan, software that automatically
keeps systems fragmentation-free should not be overlooked as the tool that makes
fast antivirus scans possible.
More about defrag & Anti-Virus »
Defragmenting and SQL Server Performance
One of the biggest hardware bottlenecks of any SQL Server is disk I/O. And anything that we, as DBAs, can do to reduce SQL Server's use of disk I/O will help boost its performance.
A less frequently used method to reduce overall disk I/O, but nonetheless important,
is to perform physical defragmentation of SQL Server program files, database files,
transaction logs, and backup files. Physical file fragmentation occurs in two different
ways. First, individual files are broken into multiple pieces and scattered about
a disk or an array (they are not contiguous on the disk). Second, free space on
the disk or array consists of little pieces that are scattered about, instead of
existing as fewer, larger free spaces.
More about defrag and SQL Server Performance »
Common Problems Caused by File Fragmentation
Reliability and Stability Issues Traceable to File Fragmentation:
- Crashes and system hangs
- Slow back up times and aborted backup
- File corruption and data loss
- Boot up issues
- Errors in programs
- RAM use and CACHE problems
- Hard drive failures
Having all program and data files stored in contiguous form on the hard drive is a key factor in keeping a system stable and performing at peak efficiency.
More about file fragmentation and reliability and stability issues »
The Impact of Disk Fragmentation
While there is little dispute among IT professionals regarding the impact of disk
fragmentation on system performance, no independent guidelines exist to recommend
the frequency of defragmentation across an infrastructure. Some IT professionals
use defragmentation as a measure of last resort, defragmenting only after system
performance has sufficiently degraded to make its impact directly noticeable to
users. Others proactively schedule disk defragmentation regularly, with the intent
of eliminating the gradual accumulation of fragmented files.
While just about every IT professional has his or her fragmentation horror story
- about a system on which fragmentation had so severely degraded performance that
it was unusable - very few can offer more than anecdotal evidence regarding the
use and importance of defragmentation software.
More about the impact of disk fragmentation »
Speed Up Your Slow PC
The speed of your computer is determined by three things: the CPU, the memory and
the disk drive(s). I am oversimplifying a bit, but I really want you to understand.
The CPU operates at speeds of a fraction of a billionth of a second. (That's fast.)
The memory operates at speeds of one hundred-millionth of a second. (That's fast,
too.) The disk requires hundredths of a second for each operation. (That's slow.)
The disk is a million times slower than the next fastest component. So, if you were
looking for a bottleneck in your computer's speed, where would you look first? Right!
More about slow pc’s »
Why Diskeeper Defrag?
After the fact defrag solutions, including the built-in, allow precious resources
to be wasted by writing fragmented files to the disk. Once a file is written, the
defrag engine has to go to work to locate and reposition that file. When that file
later expands, this doubling effort has to repeat itself all over again — this approach
remains a reactive Band-Aid to a never-ending problem. Not even the built-in defrag
can keep pace with the constant growth of fragmentation between scheduled defrags.
Manual defrags tie up system resources, so users just have to wait … and wait …
When you are only doing scheduled defrags (or nothing at all), your PC accumulates
more and more fragmentation, which leads to PC slows, lags and crashes. This problem
cannot be handled with a freebie utility even if it can be "scheduled".
More about why defrag? »
Which Defragmenter Should I Use?
It is well known throughout the IT field that fragmentation is a problem. It doesn't
go away on its own, hardware upgrades won't handle it, accumulated fragmentation
on a computer hard drive will slow a system to the point of crashing and all systems
suffer from it. The only effective solution is fragmentation prevention and instant
defrag, which does more than just a defragmenter alone. So, what is the best defragmenter
or is there a better solution?
More about what defragmenter to use »
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