I have found, from personal experience, that most people do not take the time to perform routine computer maintenance and will resort to paying someone to do it when there PC is crawling at a snail’s pace.
One of the most important components to maintaining your PC is to perform a disk defragmentation, at least once a month. When files are written to your hard disk they are typically not written as one unit, as you would think. Instead a file can be broken up to fill the empty spaces that are available on the disk; and, as a result the file(s) are not of one unit, but scattered about. In the end a noticeable degradation in the load time of files and programs occur and additional disk space is allocated to store the file pieces that ultimately affects the performance of the computer. When you run your defragmentation utility, the defragger will ultimately move the file pieces closer together and contiguously (the pieces are adjacent to one another and will appear to be connected).
There are numerous defraggers out there that are more powerful than others (from a technical standpoint) that offer a variety of defragmentation methods; however, you have to be savvy enough to understand those methods and what you ultimately want to achieve. Again, the everyday computer user does not understand the various methods and really do not care. They just want their PC to run efficiently with minimal fuss and intervention.
A solution that I recently have been testing (and have been impressed with) is a FREE program called Smart Defrag by IObit.com. I call it the lazy man’s defragger. Why? Well, you simply install it, select the drive(s) you desire to defrag, select Auto Defrag, and the program does the rest.
When you are not using your computer (and it goes idle) Smart Defrag automatically, in the background (unseen to you), commences defragging the drive you selected. If you feel that Smart Defrag is causing an interference, which I did not personally experience, there are slider settings that you can adjust under Auto Defrag. For example I used the default settings where Smart Defrag will pause when my resource usage exceeds 20 percent. I also have Auto Defrag set to engage defragmentation after 5 minutes of the computer being idle. The first time you use Smart Defrag, I suggest you do a manual defrag first to get everything in good shape. After that, Smart Defrag will do the rest for you.
Smart Defrag is Windows® Vista™, XP, 2000. and Windows® 7 READY!
Key Benefits (from the developer, IOBit)
Extremely Easy to Use
Install it and forget it. This powerful, free defragmenter works continuously, automatically and quietly in the background on your PC. Its intuitive interface makes Smart Defrag the ideal utility for complete computer dummies.
Exceptionally Efficient Defragmentation
Smart Defrag has the world’s fastest defragmenting engine. It’s been specially designed for modern, large hard drives, so it eliminates long waiting times.
Optimize Disk Performance
Smart Defrag doesn’t just use simple defragmentation. It also streamlines your file system, places the frequently used files and directories into the fastest area of the disk, enabling your computer to run at top speed with the most stability.
Always-on to Work Automatically
Smart Defrag works automatically and quietly in the background, so it continually and constantly keeps your computer fragment-free.
Data Safe and Reliability Guaranteed
Smart Defrag uses the commercial-level standard to move data and does not damage any file in your disk. Besides, unlike other “Automated” Defragmenters, Smart Defrag does NOT constantly perform analysis and defragment, which does damage your hard drive and shorten its life. Smart Defrag has a “Safe Intelligence” technology that can assure the health of your disk by deciding When and How to start defragmentation.
Free Defragmenter Forever
Smart Defrag is 100% freeware. Download, use, and update it absolutely free for your personal computers, business or enterprise servers –– it won’t cost you a penny.