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Windows 7 - How to Optimize Hard Disk Performance


Optimizing your hard disk will help to improve the overall performance of your computer. On a well-optimized hard drive, Windows will load up faster as will your programs and games. It's also a good idea to keep track of your files and programs and remove data which you no longer use. Apart from freeing up space on your hard drive, it will also make running various maintenance utilities such as Disk Defragmenter easier and quicker. To get your hard drives running up to scratch again, follow these tips.

1 - Check Your Hard Disk for Errors
If there is a major problem with your hard disk, you'll usually be warned of this when you attempt to start the computer up. If you do not shut down the computer correctly, especially when data is being written to the hard drive, errors can occur. If you do not shut down Windows properly, your disk will be automatically checked for errors when you start up the computer again. However, it's also a good idea to manually check the hard disk every few months, especially if you are finding that there are problems with the computer such as lack of responsiveness or corrupted files.
To check your hard disk for errors, open the start menu and click "Computer." Right-click on your hard disk (for example, "C:") and click "Properties." Click the "Tools" tab. Click "Check now." Ensure that the first box is checked. You can also check the second box to give the disk a more thorough scan including checking for physical defects. This can take several hours, especially on larger hard drives, so it's a good idea to leave it running overnight if you choose this option. Click "Start" when ready. If you are attempting to scan the disk which Windows is installed on, you'll be asked if you want to schedule a disk check to occur next time you restart your computer.

2 - Defragment Your Hard Disk
It's far better for the performance of your system to have all of the data contained on it organized in the most effective manner possible. This means having the physical data on the hard disk arranged contiguously so that the moving parts of your hard drive do not have to move around so much to read a single file. Due to limitations of the file system, data becomes fragmented and, especially with larger files, this can increase the time it takes to load data. Disk Defragmenter is a Windows utility which rearranges the entire contents of your disk in a more efficient manner.
To run Disk Defragmenter, return to the hard drive properties window and go back to the "Tools" tab as described previously. Click "Defragment now" and click "Defragment disk." The process may take a few hours if you have a large disk with lots of data and severe fragmentation.

 

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