By Anne Butman

Using ScanDisk and Disk Defragmenter

One of the best ways to ensure optimum performance of your computer is to perform regular maintenance on the hard drive. ScanDisk and Disk Defragmenter (Defrag) are two programs that when run in conjunction with each other have the ability to detect and resolve many of the problems which can cause poor performance and in more serious cases the loss of files.

Both ScanDisk and Defrag can be found under System Tools located within the Accessories group, which can be found by clicking "Start" on your task bar and highlighting "Programs". Before running either of these utilities, be sure to disable any screensavers and or virus protection programs that you may have set on your PC. To run a thorough ScanDisk followed by Defrag, it can take up to 30 minutes. Should a screen saver be enabled, it will continuously interrupt these programs causing them to have to restart after each interruption.

Scandisk icon Running ScanDisk

Defrag icon Running Defrag

When a file is saved onto your hard drive, it is not always saved to the disk sequentially according to file name. The result of this is the fragmentation of files throughout your hard drive. While this fragmentation poses little threat to the data contained within the files, it is simply the way computers work; it does lead to poor overall pc performance. Running Defrag on a regular basis helps to ensure optimum performance from your pc. It is wise to run scandisk before running defrag simply because if a problem with your hard drive were detected by defrag, it would stop running and recommend running scandisk. You will want to run a full defrag to bring about the best possible results from running the program. The length of time it takes to run defrag depends on a few things, the most prevalent of which are, how long it has been since you last ran defrag and how full your hard drive is. The first time you run the program will undoubtedly take the longest amount of time. Because you cannot use your computer while this program is running, it is suggested you run it when you are leaving for the night or during lunch. To run defrag:

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