Defragmentation is the process of putting the pieces of data that have spread across an HDD back into a meaningful order. When performed regularly, the speed of data access from that HDD can be maximized.
With evolving technologies, the need to defragment a hard drive is not as critical as it once was. Some computers even do it automatically. If you own a computer with a solid-state drive, you don’t even need to worry about this issue.
If you have a standard platter-style HDD, however, you’ll want to look at these defragmentation pros and cons.
What Are the Pros of Defragmentation?
1. It keeps your files organized.
As files are added or deleted from a hard drive, there are data components of those files that begin to be scattered. Over time, this can turn into a big data mess that slows down the computer. You gain better speeds after defragmentation because the files are actually organized.
2. It clears up unused space.
Defragmentation can maximize the unused space that you have on your hard drive as well. It can even create more usable space if there are several bits of data that are from files that have been deleted.
3. It may extend the life of the hard drive.
Regular defragmentation allows the mechanical components of the drive to be used less because the data is organized.
What Are the Cons of Defragmentation?
1. There is the possibility of file corruption.
If the power should cut out while the computer is performing the defragmentation, there would be a possibility of file corruption. Only the file being addressed at power loss should be affected. Having an available data backup to restore the HDD can eliminate problems from this issue.
2. It can be a lengthy process.
Defragmentation can take several hours to complete on large hard drives that are heavily fragmented. It can be difficult to remain active on that computer while this maintenance task is being completed, which can limit personal productivity.
3. Modern hard drives see minimal gain.
The modern hard drive works very efficiently, even if the HDD is a platter-style drive. Fragmentation is not the same issue as it was in the past. Minimal speed gains are usually seen when this task is performed.
The defragmentation pros and cons show that it is a maintenance task that is not always necessary today, but could still be helpful. Just make sure you have an HDD that requires defragmenting before beginning.