Computer Interactive


Trader 44
Computer Interactive
By Darren Coles
Firstly thank you for the response I received from my first article, I am glad that many of you enjoyed it, and found it informative.

Although I promised to cover various ways of reducing telephone costs by using internet communication programs; I have had several people ask me the same question and thought its only polite to help them out first.


This is a question that I come across on Microsoft Windows machines all the time with clients, and in 99% of cases the answer is NO.

The first question to ask yourself is there anything different about your personal computer (PC) since you bought it, have you loaded any new programs onto your PC, and if so is it only the new program which responds slowly.

The reason I ask these questions, is when you first bought your PC, everything is new even the programs, which means all the programs and information on your storage device (Hard Disk) is filed correctly in the right place for ease of access.

Now bearing in mind that your hard disk is a mechanical device, that seeks out the information you request from your PC, over time when you install a programme or create a piece of information to save on your hard disk, the information gets chopped up into smaller chunks and stored in multiple locations on the disk. This is fragmentation.

Fragmentation happens over time as you store new documents, delete old information and uninstall old programs, it leaves chunks of areas on the hard disk empty for which to store new information.  Now when Windows is storing a new piece of information or program it looks on the hard disk for a suitable area that is empty to store it.  So if you save a picture to your hard disk that occupies a large area say 12 mega bytes and the biggest empty space is only 7 mega bytes windows chops the file up to fit it on to the disk. This is also the case when you modify information on your PC if it is larger that the original it will put different parts of the file into different areas on the disk.

Or a simple way of looking at this is take 5 glasses of water, empty a bit of water out of each glass, then take a fresh full glass of water and try to fill just one of the glasses, its impossible, but you could empty that glass by pouring a bit of water into each of the other glasses, this is exactly the same way a hard disk works.
As the hard disk is a mechanical device, you can imagine how hard it has to work and the time taken when it wants to retrieve a piece of information that is spread across the entire hard disk.  Now if you are using a program that is also stored in many places the work and time taken is multiplied considerably, because programs normally contain many files (bits of information) for them to work.

To alleviate this problem Microsoft Windows has a collection of tools (programs) to help you keep your disk in great working order.

In windows there is a tool called Windows Disk Defragmenter, this tool is commonly called DEFRAG, and it finds all the files scattered across the disk, and re-files them all back in order and as complete files of information. By using this tool, the computer does not have to work so hard, therefore making it quicker.

Step-by-step: Defragging

Defrag works better when your drive has space available for its operations. If you run Defrag with a drive that’s jam packed, it must work overtime simply to clear enough space to start writing files. So we first want to delete all unnecessary files before starting defragging.

Uninstall unwanted programs, archive old data, delete unwanted information, and then run Disk Cleanup, so from the start menu do the following:

CLICK: (Start –> Programs –> Accessories –> System Tools –> Disk Cleanup).

Once you have completed the above and Dick Cleanup has finished cleaning out unnecessary files you’re ready to defrag, and from the start menu do the following:

CLICK: (Start –> Programs –> Accessories –> System Tools  –> Disk Defragmenter).

Select the drive you wish to defrag.

Click Settings and make sure there’s a tick beside the two options in the section When Defragmenting My Hard Drive, then click OK twice to begin.
After this has all finished reboot your system and it should run a whole lot quicker

Note: As defragging can take a few hours I suggest you do it when you least require the use of your PC.

If you need any additional help with any computer problem please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 660565738 / 965482238 and ask for Darren.

Also if you need any Web Site designing or network problems sorted out feel free to call


P.S Keep them queries coming and I will try to help you over the coming months

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