Title: Condoms for Your PC – Defragmentation

Word Count:

Run defrag not for safety, but for speed.


Article Body:
Will defragmentation protect my PC from malware? Probably not. So why do it? Do it to keep your PC running as efficiently as possible.

WHY DEFRAG – The objective of a process of “PC Maintenance Management” is to keep the PC operating efficiently with minimal disruption. A part of that process is to keep the data well organized on your PC’s disk drive(s). One way to do that is to run the defragmentation utility that is a part of the Windows operating system. It reorganizes files and gives you the fastest access possible while ensuring that you do a minimal number of reads and writes as a result of the defragmentation process.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU DEFRAG – In a 2005 article, “Is Daily Defragmentation Needed in Today’s Environment,” Enterprise Software International (makers of Diskeeper(r)) concluded from a four week test that the answer is that disks should be defragmented daily.

SPECIAL PRIVILEGES REQUIRED – The defragmentation program DOES require administrative privileges under Widows XP (not Windows 2000) and, therefore, can be run only from an account, which has administrative privileges. It is found under Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools. You can run it by double-clicking its icon. In the article, “Condoms for Your PC – Accounts and Passwords,” I suggested that, while you must have such an account, you should do your normal work in an account with lower privileges. That means you either need to log into the account with administrative privileges or you need to do a “run as” (with administrative privileges) from your current account.

WHAT ELSE – It is a good idea to run a disk cleanup before you run a disk defrag. You will reduce the files that are on the disk to be defragmented and regain some additional disk space. While you can run the disk defragmentation and do other processes at the same time, you should avoid
doing so – particularly if you are writing to or deleting from the disk. If you start the defragmentation process and realize that you need to pause or stop the process, you can do so without damage to the process or your data. Restart it at a later time.

SUMMARY– The better job you do of PC maintenance, the better performance you can expect and the safer your PC will be from malware. Run a disk cleanup and a disk defragmentation frequently.

This article contains suggestions for the use of utility programs under the Windows operating system. They are based on years of use, but they may not be the right suggestions for you and your PC environment. Before you follow any technical suggestion, be sure that you have a current (and tested) backup of all system and data files and that you can restore the system if necessary.
You are welcome to contact me if you encounter a problem, but I assume no responsibility for your actions and/or use of the information provided and disclaim any legal responsibility for any negative results of such actions.

Copyright 2006 by Tim Flynt. All rights reserved.

Tim Flynt has spent over 25 years dedicated to efficient application and utility systems. Experienced in higher education, entertainment, and software development organizations. Current interest in “PC Maintenance Management.” http://AcceleratedOffice.com

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