I know it’s not directly related to social media, but I’m amazed by the number of people out there that complain about the slow speed of their computers who have never defragmented their hard drive. As the resident tech guy with my family and friends, they often ask me why their computers run slow and when I ask them the last time they defragmented, the response is generally “What?”. There’s even a running a joke with @socially_sarah who responded with “defraggled?”
Think of your hard drive as a hotel where your data lives. Instead of rooms, however, your hard drive has “sectors” where the data is stored. If your computer is relatively new and you have a 500GB hard drive, your drive will have 976,562, 500 sectors. If each sector were to represent one room in a hotel…that’s one big data hotel.
Now, imagine that your data is like a big family reunion, where you’re placing each family member in a room at the hotel. Would you spread them out all over the hotel? Or would you like to put them on the same floor in rooms right next to each other? If they are closer to each other, they’ll be able to communicate more easily, find each other faster, and work together better. Right? Right!
Same principle holds true for your data. The closer related data clusters are to each other, the faster your computer works. Unfortunately, as you create new documents, add new photos, surf the web, install new programs, and post social media updates to your social accounts, your data gets spread out across your hard drive. It gets fragmented. Hence, the need to “defragment” your hard drive.The more spread out your data is across the hard drive, the more time your processor will spend looking for it and…wait for it….the slower your computer will get.
So, rather than rushing out to the big box store and buying a new computer, first try a few steps that will hopefully make a big difference in speeding things up and getting you back to your social media:
1. Install and run a program called CCleaner – It’s a great free tool that will analyze your hard drive and find all kinds of left over fragments of software you have uninstalled, files you have deleted, and temporary internet files that are old and out of date. Do this step first, because there’s no purpose in defragmenting junk that you’d rather delete in the first place, right? CCleaner can be downloaded here.
2. Install and run a program called Defraggler – Yes…it’s really called Defraggler. No, that is not a typo. Another great, free tool that will then analyze your hard drive, determine whether your data is fragmented, and then reorganize your data so that related data blocks are located closer to each other on your drive. Defraggler can be downloaded here.
Both of these tools are offered from a company called Piriform and they offer free versions of their software to the public because they know that if you try them, you’ll see a big difference in how your computer performs and be willing to pay a modest fee for some enhanced features. If, however, the free version does everything you need and speeds up your computer, consider helping these folks out with a donation to say thanks for the great software. Even if it’s a $5 donation for a cup of coffee, ever dime helps support a company that continues to offer great tools to the online world.
Hope this quick tech-tip helps and feel free to let me know if it did or didn’t help speed up your computer.