How to Start Defragment of Your Hard Drive

Once you use Windows Operating System you should perform a defragmentation of the hard drive. Information that is stored on the hard drive is not necessarily located in one set position. During the course of using your computer data can be fragmented especially as you continue to save more data on the hard drive. 
 Once this occurs the computer spends more time trying to retrieve data, which in turn slows down the overall processing speed of the computer. By running defragmentation, each file will then be stored in the same location. You should notice that your computer runs comparatively faster after you have performed this process.
Instructions
There are a few things you should do before running the defragmentation program. Do not begin defragmenting your computer without first performing these simple steps.  
1. Create a back up of all the information that is presently on your hard drive. You may do this by copying the information to an external hard drive, CDs, DVDs, an external hard drive or jump drive(s). Ensure that all the files are on the media chosen for storage. There is always the possibility that you could lose information after running Disk Defragmentation. 
2. Run CHKDSK to ensure the hard drive is healthy. This will scan the drive for any errors or problems that may preclude running the Disk Defragmentation.  
3. Ensure all programs are closed. Disable virus scan and other programs that are set to automatically activate once the computer is in use.  
4. Ensure the power supply is stable. If you live in an area that experiences frequent power outages have a back up power source on hand just in case. If you start the Defragmentation program and there is a sudden loss of power this could negatively affect the hard drive and operating system.

Running Disk Defragmentation 

1. Click on the Start Button at the bottom left hand corner of the screen.   

2. Go to Accessories, then System Tools and double click the Disk Defragmentation icon to open the program.  

3. Once it is open click on the Analyze button. This will perform a quick analysis of your hard drive.  

4. It will tell you whether or not your hard drive needs to be defragmented. If it tells you, you do not need to perform this task then exit the program. If not continue to step 5.

5. Click on the Defragment button. The time taken will vary. If your hard drive is not too fragmented it will be completed within an hour if not expect to wait quite a while. Other factors will contribute to the overall time it takes including the processing power of your computer, operating memory available, the time between now and your previous defragmentation among other things.  

6. Once this is done you may close the program and restart your computer to ensure the system self updates.

Tips and Warning

 If you receive any error messages after running the Defragmentation program make a note of it and refer to it when you are ready to perform any maintenance or repair work on your hard drive.