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Do It Yourself: Hard Drive Maintenance

February 26, 2010 by Josh
hard drive Do It Yourself: Hard Drive Maintenance

hard drive without cover

Hey,  Josh from the Internet Beacon.

We are a Search Engine Optimization company located in Finksburg,Maryland. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means that we work hard so that prospective clients and sales leads find your website before others. For a more detailed look at what we do, check out our page of SEO Answers and a blog post here. This week, I’d like to talk to you about Hard Drive maintenance.

I know this sounds like something that could be really complicated, but it’s quite simple. This will be another one of those things that you’ll be able to do on your own and save a bundle at the same time. Some of the big box stores that offer tech support would charge around $50 for this. All it will cost you is time.

You’re probably thinking, “Why even do this?” Well, I’ll tell you. Your hard drive is where all your data is stored; your music, documents, all of it. What happens is that over time, bits and pieces of the files get spread around the hard drive as you open and close programs. This process is called fragmenting. What it means for you is that the time it takes to access your files increases. Defragmenting, or  “defragging”, your hard drive makes your computer run faster.

First, open up My Computer. Here you will see your hard drive. It is almost universally labeled as “C:”. You may see statistics on the drive underneath it’s label, usually the amount of free space. Now, place your mouse over the icon and right click the drive. Select “Properties”.

Once the new window has opened up, you should see a tab across the top called Tools. There are three options on this screen. The one you want is “Defragment”. The tool will start up and you will have two options. The first is “Analyze” and the second is “Defragment”. The latter will also analyze the disk, as it is a requirement for Defragmenting. Now comes the hard part. Wait.

This tool will take an inordinate amount of time to complete. I don’t mean a “go make a sandwich” and come back timeframe. I would leave this over night. Depending on the size of the hard drive, it could take an hour or several hours. One thing to note is that you should not use your computer while this is running. So also plan for that.

That’s all for this week. Now you should have some idea of how to take care of your PC a little better. Make sure to check back next week for another post!

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