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As computers have become faster and faster, a significant constraint on speed of computer operations has become the speed of access to data on the hard drive. More accurately, a fragmented hard drive can become a weak link in the operation of the machine.

To understand how this happens, think of your hard drive as being like a file cabinet, with limitations. So now we stick in a file folder, then a second. Then we make a change in the first folder, and the limitation kicks in: The folder is full, so we put the new information in the third folder, and leave a note in folder one telling where to look for the rest. And this is what happens as you make changes to files on your hard drive: Each addition tucks another note on, telling where to look for the next piece. This means that rather than grabbing one hunk of memory in one read, or several contiguous read, we may end up with many reads in many different locations. What should be a quick operation becomes slow as the heads are searching all over your hard drive for bits and pieces of your files to put together.

The way you deal with this is with defragmentation software, and the best program on the market to handle defragmentation is Diskeeper from Executive Software (http://www.diskeeper.com/). Besides merely defragmenting your hard drives, this excellent software gives you a lot of options for keeping the drive de-fragmented. You can set it to run at specific times, or only at night, or when needed. You can set it to run when the screensaver comes on. You can even do a boot-time defragmentation, which will put directories where they should be. No matter what your scheduling needs, nor the stress on the drive

Diskeeper also defragments the Master File Table and paging files, and is smart enough to stop working when programs need data.

Why is all this important, besides the time saved for users on their individual workstations? Think SERVERS. Your company’s servers can be the heart of your company, and anything that can be done to speed them up is of significant importance. So, on the off chance that your IT staff is not familiar with Diskeeper, tell them about this must-have software, and be a hero.

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