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When a computer write or re-writes a file to a hard disk, it doesn’t necessarily write the file as one contiguous block of information. For a variety of reasons, it may put different pieces of the file in different places on the drive. More and more files become fragmented as time passes. This results in more wear and tear on the drive mechanism as it jumps around to read the files, and also in a significant slowdown in access times. The solution to this problem is to defragment your drive. Defragmenting (also known as “defragging” or “optimizing”) means to re-order the files so that they are each stored as one contiguous chunk of data. A variety of disk utilities will perform this function for you, one of the more popular packages being Norton Utilities. One of the things that fragments a drive fastest is hard disk recording. It is wise to be aware of how fragmented your drive is when recording, as this can seriously affect system performance. Some manufacturers recommend optimizing if your drive has as little as 5% fragmentation…

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