When was the last time you performed a defragmentation on your hard drive? Chances are that, if you are a teenager now, you don’t even know what defragmentation is exactly.
To shed a bit of light for those of us who didn’t have to go through the dark period of operating systems like Windows XP and Vista, the defragmentation is an operation the user performs to re-arrange the data on the hard disk. Usually, after several installs/uninstalls, the data on a hard disk gets mixed up and free sectors mingle with written sectors which affects the functioning and speed of the HDD. This is the situation when your computer starts to feel sluggish and you start getting writing errors. With defragmentation, all data sectors are put in order and your computer feels almost new again (for a while).
Do we still need defrag?
Today many modern laptops and computers are equipped with SSDs (Solid State Drives) and these are not as sensitive to writing data as their cousins the HDDs. Still, even SSDs need some basic maintenance.
In Windows 10
Just like Windows XP and Vista based their maintenance on the defragmentation tool, Windows 10 is also equipped with a utility that performs an operation called TRIM – this makes sure deleted sectors of data are marked for reuse. So, if you want a healthy SSD, you should run this tool at least once a month. The best part is that Windows does all the work for you – you don’t have to select the storage area you need checked – it will automatically identify all types of storage connected and it will scan them all. Even more, it will know which drives are virtual!
For instance, if you want to run TRIM on all your drives, a simple search for the Defragment and Optimize Drives option with the help of the search bar should do it. If you’re desktop computer/laptop still uses HDDs the tool will perform a classic defragmentation which is why the name includes the word defragmentation. With SSDs, you only have to perform an optimization which only takes a few seconds.
In Windows 7 and Windows 8.1
These versions of Windows OS is also equipped with the TRIM utility. However, this is not always active. To check if it’s active you will need to open a command prompt window and run the command below from command prompt:
fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify
If the result specifies “DisableDeleteNotify = 0” it means that TRIM support is enabled. If the result is 1, you will have to enable it by running the command below:
fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0
You need to know that you don’t actually need to run the tool manually. Windows 10 is scheduled to run it weekly unless you tell it something else. However, in Windows 7 and 8.1 you must check to see if the TRIM utility is enabled. Otherwise your SSDs won’t be taken care of properly and you could end up with a slow computer.
Please keep in mind that both the TRIM utility and the defrag tool are just a small part of the computer maintenance process. As a company, you shouldn’t leave your computers’ health and safety to just these 2 tools as there are plenty of other issues that could sneak up on you and disrupt your flow.
The Onsite Helper team has a complete 10 step process that will completely take care of your computers and servers. If you want to know more, click here.