Hard drives come in many different shapes and sizes. Even though they might be different, they are all managed the same within Windows XP. Optimizing a hard drive is actually a very simple concept.

When applications are installed on your system they are written to ‘sectors’ on the hard drive. This data may be written to random sectors and many different locations. When a program is opened or a file is loaded, Windows uses an index to go out and grab all of the required data from each sector and reassembles them.

Optimizing a hard drive, therefore, is the idea of rearranging the data on each sector of the drive to put commonly used files at the quickest access point on the physical drive to improve disk access speeds.

The first process is known as defragmentation. Defragmentation is the act of rearranging fragmented (or separated) sectors on the hard drive so that files are stored together. The second process is known as optimization, optimization is taking the newly defragmented files and placing the most commonly used ones at the quickest access point of the physical drive.

Thankfully, none of this needs to be done manually. There are many great freeware defragmentation software packages available today including, but not limited too: Auslogics Disk Defrag, Defraggler Defrag and Smart Defrag. There is also a defragmentation suite built into Windows, but unfortunately it does not optimize the files.

Abstract:

Disk defragmentation is an essential part of computer optimization. Excellent defragmentation software suites have two steps. The first process is known as defragmentation. Defragmentation is the act of rearranging fragmented (or separated) sectors on the hard drive so that files are stored together. The second process is known as optimization, optimization is taking the newly defragmented files and placing the most commonly used ones at the quickest access point of the physical drive.

About This Episode:

In this video, I cover how to install and run one of the most reputable free disk defragmentation utilities: Auslogics Disk Defrag.

How To Optimize The Windows XP Hard Drive:

1. Download and install the latest version of ‘Auslogics Disk Defrag’ (you may want to avoid installing the Ask toolbar).

2. Open ‘Auslogics Disk Defrag’.

3. Make sure the ‘Local Disk’ check box is checked.

4. Select the ‘Drop Down Arrow’ next to the ‘Defrag’.

5. Select ‘Defrag & Optimize’.

6. When complete, feel free to exit ‘Auslogics Disk Defrag’.

Conclusion:

Defragmentation and optimization may take quite some time on the first run. Remember, this is because months, if not years, worth of data needs to be defragmented and moved. The process should be much shorter the next time you run defragmentation. For this reason, it is recommended you run defragmentation as often as once a week to once a month, so that the process takes the least amount of time and you get the most benefit from it.

Next Faster XP 2012 Episode:

Faster XP 2012 Episode 9: How To Disable Windows XP Desktop Wallpaper >

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Craig Chamberlin
Craig received his degree in Informatics with a cognate in Business from Indiana University: South Bend in 2008. Craig lives with his wife and daughter in South Bend, Indiana near Notre Dame. Craig is currently employed by Precision Electric, Inc. and acts as the chief Information Technology Manager. With a passion for teaching and technology, he founded The PCMichiana Tech Help Show in Fall 2009. His focus is teaching users of all backgrounds how to learn technology while having fun.
Craig Chamberlin

@craigchamberlin

Geek. Energy Drinker. Tweeter. YouTuber. IT Guy. Hardcore Gamer. Galaxy Saver. Kid Raiser. Movie Quoter & Video Maker @ http://t.co/pBgQWUqInW, That's Me.
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Craig Chamberlin
Craig Chamberlin
Craig Chamberlin

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