Defragging the Hard Drive !
Defragmenting the hard drive on your computer helps to get the information back into some sort of order after a long period of continual reading and writing of information.
I won’t go into the details of how data is stored on a hard drive but you could liken it to a young family’s home after a long wet weekend – books and toys scattered all through the house and need to be returned to some sort of order in one room. “Defragging” can help speed up access to information on the drive, just like being able to find something again after the room is tidied up.
There are a couple of things you should do before actually starting on the “Defrag” process.
It is best to start your computer in “Safe Mode” to avoid any interaction which may occur with some software and the defrag process. If the defragmenting process is interrupted by the computer processing some other activity, the defragging process will usually start all over again making the whole process take a lot longer.
To start in safe mode you need to press the (F8) function key as the computer just starts to show information on the screen while it is starting up. I find that pressing the F8 key gently a few times till the options screen appears works fine – don’t hold the key down.
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You should then get a screen which gives you several options of which “Start in Safe Mode” is one – generally number 3 on the list.
When the computer runs in “Safe Mode” it only loads a minimum amount of software and will also start in 640 x 480 screen mode with minimal colours. Your display will probably look a bit odd to you .
The next thing to do is turn OFF your ‘screen saver’, assuming you are using one. Do this by going to [START], Settings, Control Panel, Display, Screen Saver, and select “None”.
To start the defragmenting process go to [START], Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter.
Depending on how ‘fragmented’ the information on your hard drive is, it may take from 30 minutes to well over an hour. The size of the hard drive will also have a bearing on how long it will take to complete the task.
Once completed, shut down your computer in the normal way and then restart it.
All should be back to your normal screen display again.
You can now enable your screen saver again if you wish.