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Common PC Defragmentation Myths Busted

written by: Ashwin Satyanarayana•edited by: Christian Cawley•updated: 9/17/2008

Here’s a little quiz for you - name the Satan equivalent in modern computing that literally haunts almost every PC user in the world? Problems with data fragmentation. It can literally eat your PC away. Still, we are shrouded in myths that can only be detrimental - shall we have them debunked?

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    Data fragmentation has something in common with the Inflation in the financial markets - Inflation eats up on your accumulated savings over time and fragmentation eats up your computer’s hard-drive.

    Billions of dollars are lost in trying to fight with this seemingly insurmountable problem that infests itself into almost every computer across the world. As the leading trouble maker, Fragmentation is again the epicenter of all kinds of sickening problems computers end-up facing like system failures, hardware replacements. In case you were wondering that it wouldn’t happen to you since you were blessed or knighted, you are mistaken because this evil spares no one.

    Listed below are the common myths people have about fragmentation and de-fragmentation -- the exorcism technique to bust the problem-- and see how I debunk them:

    Myth:  I don’t need de-frag….whatever!

    Yeah, right. Whatever yourself! There are billions and billions of computers in the world today and each of these PCs, has some kind of fragmentation evil infested in it, lurking in the shadows. All windows based PCs have to have a little of this evil rubbed off and unfortunately for us, most of the PCs in the world still use Microsoft. Of course there is a visible skew now leaning towards Linux and other operating Systems, but it is still minuscule. Think of this as a hereditary disease and you, along with your Windows PC, have to learn to live with it and do what must be done.

    Myth:  My pre-installed, superman software can defragment and solve the problem, why all the fuss?

    The fuss, my friend, is because you are shooting at the computer with a shot-gun. One of the predominant misconceptions about de fragmentation software is this one. Sure, your window PC does come with pre-installed software, but then it is an ancient one the Egyptians would have been using, if they had a computer. If you reply on this software alone, you would be better off buying a new PC every now-and-then. You would know what you have been dealing with and the kind of wide gaping hole that will be resultant after you actually purchase one of those latest defrag software available in the market and check out for yourself.

    Myth:  Sorry, Too busy during the day and can cause decrease in productivity. We’ll see what we can do tonight.

    Understandable, But then, you can’t put it off either. However, if you use one of these modern, high-performance (albeit expensive) software (try diskeeper) to defragment, it would be no strain on the machine’s resources. Moreover, it runs discreetly behind the active software and is incredibly light on operations.

    This can obviate the need to sit through the hair-tearing and bleary-eyed nights to get this de fragmentation done.

    Myth: So, if the performance races the snail, we replace?

    You don’t really have to. The windows PC has been built keeping this in mind and the latest defrag software has the ability to bring your system back to life when you run through it. Fragmentation occurs due to the nature of data storage and retrieval.

    When you try to store something on to the hard disk, all of that data is not thrown as one lump in a corner. Each byte of information is stored in a random location which needs to be retrieved when called for. This system creates pockets of empty “written and deleted” space on the hard-disk, making it more and more tricky and slow to retrieve of to store data. System failures are a direct ramification of this aspect preceded by sluggish performance and system hang-ups.

    Myth:  It takes forever to defragment my system; it is such a nuisance

    Of course it will take forever, if you are using that pre-historic, pre-installed version of de fragmentation software. You get what you pay for and you must understand that these built-in versions of software will indeed be slow and on top of that, they will do a shoddy job of it.

    On the other hand, if you could invest in some modern defragmentation software, they render the defrag act just as quickly as installing a program on to your computer and get done with after a performance that can shame even a rock star. Contemporary software is efficient, agile, light and extremely efficient when you compare it to the pre-installed, free ones. Also, the software we are talking about is rather automatic and that means you point and click to get the act done with.

    Myth: Whoa, isn’t the new razzle-dazzle software expensive?

    In fact, it is cheaper than you thought!  In fact, they are really modest and affordable. Some of the best retailers out there have a wide array of software up for sale and those suited for all types of patrons. You could buy the software online and don’t really have to schedule a trip to the mall. They have software depending on what your use might be for -- individual with a single PC, small businesses with a few PCs, a corporate with thousands of workstations -- the prices will differ and the features will differ too. You might want to use their trial run for a month of 15 days which lead to enormous cost savings.

    If you are still on the fence wondering why you should spend on it, studies have shown that the resultant productivity enhancement, costs sheared and tremendous amount of time saved brings in a lot more in equivalent money than what you spend for this software.

    Other related content:

    >>> How To: Defragmenting Your Hard Drive in Windows

    >>> How and Why should I Defragment my Hard Drive?

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