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What to Do:

Optimizing/Defragmenting Basics

Defragmenting and optimizing refer to different but similar operations. Defragmenting means to restore fragmented files to single undivided files. Optimizing means to rearrange the location of files on your disk so as to minimize future fragmenting. Optimizing works on the principle that files can only get fragmented as they get used and especially as they get modified. Thus, you can minimize fragmenting by locating all rarely modified files (such as most applications) in one location and frequently accessed files (such as most documents) in another. A related optimizing technique is to combine all unused space into one block. In general, when you say you optimized a disk, it implies that you also defragmented it. That's how I will use the term here.

You use special utilities to optimize a disk. The most well-known is Speed Disk from Norton Utilities. We will use it for the examples in this Fix-It. The same principles should apply to other optimizing utilities.


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