Sprinkling Data Dust

Your PC's slow? You could use a visit from the defrag fairy.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the November 2000 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine. Subscribe »

PC hard drives have written to them on spaces called clusters that get reused after data is deleted. As files continue to be deleted and spaces are reused, the data in files tends to get scattered haphazardly in noncontiguous clusters. It's like splitting up the chapters of a book and placing them in different files throughout a file cabinet. Pretty soon, it takes longer to access the information and put it all back together.

What to do? Defrag-that is, put all the data for each file back into neat rows of contiguous clusters, which greatly improves system performance. recently released a white paper on the subject titled "Disk Defragmentation for Windows NT/2000." The subtitle, "Hidden Gold for the Enterprise," points to the most relevant findings.

IDC's test results showed a 20 to 80 percent increase in performance when hard drives of Windows NT systems were defragmented and even higher gains for Windows 2000. The report estimates that improved system performance from regular defragmentation can extend the normal three-year life cycle of workstations to five years.

While defrag tasks can be done at each computer, IDC warns, "It is both impractical and cost-ineffective for IT support groups to manually run defragmentation box by box across an enterprise." The recommended alternative for networks large and small is a network defragmentation program like Executive Software International's Diskeeper or Raxco Software's PerfectDisk 2000.

"The advantage of a network defragmentation solution is that the scheduling, monitoring and controlling of defragmentation tasks can be handled for an enterprise from one console," IDC reports. Diskeeper costs $45 (street) per workstation and $250 per NT server, while PerfectDisk 2000 runs $44 (street) per workstation or $219 per server. Either program saves you money by helping you avoid unnecessary hardware upgrades.


More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Create your business plan in half the time with twice the impact using Entrepreneur's BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan. Try risk free for 60 days.

Latest on Entrepreneur