Analyzing a drive with Defraggler

You can use Defraggler to defragment your hard drive, but it's not always necessary. Hard drives tend to get fragmented over time, as old files are deleted and Windows uses these scattered free areas to write portions of new files.

If you're working with a relatively new PC, if you've defragmented your drive recently, or if you don't use your PC much, you may not need to defragment. Use the Analyze feature to determine how fragmented your drive is first.

NOTE: Alternatively, you can also search for specific types of files to defragment.

To analyze a drive:

  1. In Defraggler, select the drive you want to analyze at the top of the window.
  2. Click the Analyze button.
  3. Defraggler displays the results in graphical format (the Drive Map) and as text.

Interpreting the results:

To interpret the results, you can do one or more of the following:

  • Use the visual method: Take a look at the Drive Map. How much of it is represented by red squares (fragmented sections)? If it's primarily red, you may want to defragment it.
  • Review the status: In the Status section, Defraggler lists the number of fragmented files, their total space on the hard drive, and the total number of fragments involved.
  • Check the file list: To see a list of fragmented files, click the View Files button or the File list tab. If the files are not sorted by the number of fragments, click the Fragments column header until the files with the largest number of fragments are listed first.

Defraggler window, File list
It's up to you whether the hard drive needs defragmenting. There's usually no harm in defragging a drive using Defraggler, but it will take time and some processing power.

However, hard drives have a finite lifespan. Eventually, they wear out from use. Thus, It makes sense to defrag when you need to and otherwise to keep an eye on what Defraggler reports back.

As a good rule of thumb, the industry has settled on 10% fragmentation as a good threshold to consider defragmenting - and that is assuming a fairly full drive. If the drive is close to empty, it’s typically worth allow the level of fragmentation to go higher before defragmenting.

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