Fragmentation occurs on a hard drive when data is not written closely enough physically on the drive. Imagine a solved jigsaw puzzle and a solved puzzle. When the puzzle is solved you can tell what the image is at a glance. If the puzzle isn’t solved its going to take longer to figure out what it is.
Defragmentation is the process of putting all those pieces together. This allows your hard drive to work faster as it isn’t searching for each piece of a file.
Why Does Fragmentation Happen?
Fragments happen because the file system reserved too much space for the file when it was first created, and therefore left open areas around it.
Fragmentation also happens when you delete a file. When a file is deleted the physical space on the drive is freed up and used for other files/data.
This method of storing data is completely normal and likely won’t ever change. The alternative would be for the file system to constantly reshuffle all existing data on the drive each and every time a file is changed, which would bring the data writing process to a crawl, slowing down everything else with it.
So, while it’s frustrating that fragmentation exists, which slows the computer down a little bit, you might think about it as a “necessary evil” in a sense – this small problem instead of a much larger one.
Don’t Defrag Solid State Drives
Defragging your hard drives can improve its overall speed.
No, you really should not defrag a solid-state hard drive (SSD). For the most part, defragging an SSD is a wholesale waste of time. Not only that, defragging an SDD will shorten the overall lifespan of the drive.
A solid-state drive is a hard drive that has no moving parts.
As you may have already guessed, if a drive doesn’t have moving parts, and so nothing to take up time as it moves around gathering all of a file’s fragments together, then all the fragments of a file can essentially be accessed at the same time.
How to Defrag Your Hard Drives
Windows 10 – Guide by Melanie Pinola
Mac – Guide by Igor Degtiarenko
See the full article here!