Just several years ago the slowest device in computer was floppy disk drive. This device is a real grandfather. It appeared at the time of first personal computers and lived through our days. However, lately floppy disks drop out from circulation and one can barely see them.
So, at present the slowest device in computer is a hard drive. Although this narrow bottleneck also has been replaced with modern super fast SSDs. SSDs have appeared relatively recently. They are expensive and not every user can afford buying and installing them into computer.
So what to do with a hard drive – the narrowest place in computer performance? There is a solution. This solution, of course, won’t convert your hard drive into SSD, although you can speed up its performance approximately by 30%. And it is quite easy to accomplish. If you want to know how to speed up your hard drive, keep on reading.
To understand the process of speeding up a hard drive, you need to know how operating system reads/writes data (files) to the drive.
Check this schematic representation of data written to the drive. There are two states. One on the left is before optimization and one on the right is after optimization.
Do you see the difference?
Operating system writes data in blocks. These blocks’ size is strictly defined. Blocks’ size is set during drive formatting and file system creation. Imagine that every file has its own color. As you see on the left picture files are distributed on the drive in disorderly manner.
Constant reads/writes of data are performed when you are working at the computer. Operating system files and files you work with on a regular basis are read from the drive and written to it. When data are scattered by pieces all over the surface and in order to read it or piece together a huge work has to be done. Hard drive head moves with a high speed and puts the puzzle together.
On the right you see the drive after it has been optimized. All pieces are written in a consecutive order, one after another. Hard drive’s head makes only one pass to read all the data. The more speed of reads is the better is general performance. Although new data writes will be performed in the same chaotic manner. It is rooted in the drive operation algorithm.
That is why you need to optimize your drive regularly. This process is called defragmentation. All data is overturned and then written consecutively on the disk surface.
Drive optimization or defragmentation is carried out with the help of special programs. There is an embedded tool in Windows that is called dfrgui. You can access it by doing the following:
1. Start -> Command line, enter dfrgui and press ОК
2. Start -> All programs -> Standard -> Service -> Disk defragmentation
After that disk defragmentation window will pop up:
Then you need to perform analysis and then defragmentation itself. Follow the instructions in the defragmentation menu. Bear in mind that if you defragment the disk on your computer for the first time, before starting the process you need to check disk for errors and correct them if any.