Today, I am celebrating a small victory! I got thru 95% of my Favorites folder!
It is important to celebrate each step you take (no matter what you are trying to accomplish).

Today we are going to talk about defrag.
You may not know exactly what it is or what it does – but after today, you will be able to explain this program without using any technical terms.

Defrag is a system tool that comes with MOST versions of Windows. Download.com does have a free download of this program, so if you find that your system doesnt have it, you can download it there.

There are two ways to get to this tool:
1-Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools
2-By navigating within Windows Explorer. If you right click on C: you will find a menu > Select Properties > Tools

DEFRAG EXPLANATION – A SIMPLE VISUALIZATION
A simple way to explain what Defrag is, is to compare your computer to a filing cabinet. Imagine for a moment, that each time you open a program, you physically open a folder located in your filing cabinet.

So, you open a document that you already had saved OR you are creating a new document…Think about that as well in terms of a filing cabinet. Now, imagine yourself typing and saving your work. Let me remind you at this time to save early AND often!

Each time you open OR save your document it is saving it to any free spaces on your hard drive. Over the course of time, these saved “pieces” or “chunks of work” are scattered all across your hard drive.

So, in terms of our filing cabinet visualization, each time we are saving that document-we are spreading our files across many drawers. If you have a filing cabinet nearby, go over and look in a couple of the drawers…Ill wait

So, are your files nice and neat? Or does it literally look like everyone with access forgot to straighten up? With almost all of us, those files have been used, looked at and then pushed back down real quick. Some of our folders may have some papers still sticking out…not allowing us to view the folder name.

When your filing cabinet has papers all sticking up and not in order, it may take a little longer to find what we are looking for. And if you just “plop” files any place in the drawer, it may take you several minutes to locate what you are looking for.

This is true for your computer as well. When your computer files are degragmented, it means alot of your files are scattered across your hard drive and need to be straightened up.

Defragging basically takes all your programs and folders and straightens each paper in each file. If there are “pieces” of your files scattered throughout the system, it will gather them all and put them together all “nice and neat”.

To even better describe how this works, it is most appropriate that we went thru our filing cabinets last week. If you were like me, you were able to clear out some space in your filing cabinets. All this new empty space created a spot. Theres a few things we can do with this newly empty area. Will we fill it with new files? Will we scoot up the back to hold up our files and keep the empty space?

With a computer, each time you open or save a file, it uses that new empty space, scattering or piecing it all over the place. Sometimes we complain when opening a program file if it takes so long. If you havent ran a defrag in a few months or EVER, it is no surprise that your file takes a minute or so to get it together!

NOW THAT YOU KNOW, CLOSE OPEN PROGRAMS, AND GO!
A few tips to help defrag run a little faster:
– Close all open programs
– Turn off your screensaver
– Restart your computer
– Dont watch your computer!!

Defragging your system (that means ALL drives if you have more than 1) can take hours. Be prepared!

I suggest not watching your computer run while this is going on! Not only is this boring, you may wonder why you get to 80% and then BAM, back to 5%. This is typical.

Remember, your computer stores your file wherever the next “blank” spot is on your hard drive. If part of your file is near the “beginning” of the drive, your system collects all that it sees at the time, and moves on. Then it will go along and hit another piece of your file, it has to go back to your file – “straighten” it, and move on again.

This could occur several times, and is really frustrating to watch! So, use this time away from your computer to go outside-smell some “fresh” air, talk to people in person!

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