Defragmentation is a process that rearranges and reassembles your files on your hard disk. Think of your hard disk as a shoebox where you store lots of notes (the files). Windows XP/2000/NT simply takes your note (file), tears it into pieces and throws it into the box. When you load that file again, XP/2000/NT must first search for each piece and paste them together before the file is finally loaded. That process is time-consuming and reduces your performance.
You can only solve this problem by using a disk defragmenter.
The purpose of defragmentation is higher performance when accessing files. Due to the files' continuous storage, the operating system can find and read each file fragment faster than before. Especially on file servers or heavily accessed workstations, a performance gain of up to 100% can be reached. The regular usage of a defragger suppresses new fragmentation and helps you to work faster and more efficiently with Windows XP/2000/NT.
This was first published in December 2002