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Maintaining a Healthy Hard Drive

By Ruben Flores
Posted Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Maintaining a healthy hard drive is essential for optimal computer performance. Using your computers system tools is a good start in accomplishing this goal. Although there are several tools for maintaining your hard drive, the two primary tools are ScanDisk and Disk Defragmenter. They can be accessed by clicking the following: "Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools" - then choose accordingly. Here is a description of what each tool does.

This utility scans or checks your drive's surface, files, and folders for errors. There are several options for repair if errors are found or you can just check the box next to "Automatically fix." Or for information on each option available, simply right-click over the option you want information about, then left-click on the "what's this" pop-up box that appears. An additional information box will appear with details on that particular function. Depending on the size of your hard drive, ScanDisk may take anywhere from several minutes up to a half hour or more to completely scan your drive.


This utility speeds up disk access by rearranging files and free space on your hard drive. Through time and use, files on your hard drive can become fragmented, that is, broken into separate parts. This in turn makes your computer slower because it takes more time to find files. Defragmenting puts them in one place again. The speed of your computer and the size of your drive, disk defragmentation may take anywhere from several minutes a half hour or more to complete.

It's good to use them on a regular basis, like every month. This should keep your computer running smoothly. NOTE: NEVER RUN DISK DEFRAGMENTER WITHOUT RUNNING SCANDISK FIRST.

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