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Sprinkling Data Dust

Your PC's slow? You could use a visit from the defrag fairy.

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This story appears in the November 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

PC hard drives have data 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. IDC 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.

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