Should You Defrag Your Hard Drive?

Is it worthwhile to defragment your hard drive? The answer is yes, but newer drive technology is likely to reduce the speed gains. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions regarding defragmentation:

  • Defrag early and fairly often. If you believe the best defense is a good offense, it’s probably wise to set up a defragmentation schedule beginning when you’ve installed software on a new system. If you’re running Windows Vista, this is simple. If not, you can use the Windows Scheduler to do the job. The defrag utility will do its best work when there’s plenty of free space on the drive. This also allows key system files to be written to the disk in order. Most experts seem to feel defragmentation should be run no more than once a week, but no less than once per month.
  • Add more memory. It’s not nearly as costly as it used to be and it will improve your computer’s performance in virtually every way. In terms of disk storage, more memory enables the system to cache more data, reducing the effects of fragmentation.
  • Clean up and add disk capacity. A disk drive that’s less than 50 percent full is less likely to be slowed by fragmentation. It’s also easier to defragment. Given the vastly reduced cost of disk drives, adding more capacity is a quick and easy speed booster. Don’t forget to delete unused files from your hard drive from time to time. The more free space there is, the faster your programs will run.
  • Replace old drives. If your disk drive is more than two or three years old, you could speed processing up considerably by replacing it with a new drive that is faster and offers enhanced file caching capabilities. As a bonus, when you copy your existing files to the new drive, they’ll be defragmented automatically as an integral part of the process.

Until next time…

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You Can NEVER Have Enough Backups!

Just a brief post today to say what we’ve all heard so many times. “You can NEVER have enough back ups!”

Recent storms in our area caused us to suffer data loss when lightening ran in on some equipment, burning out both internal and external (backup) hard drives.  I have been working all week just to get back to some form of resemblance of normality, but want to tell you, BACKUP your BACKUPS!

If anyone has sent us any email recently, please resend your mail. I lost ALL email (sent and received) back to August 7th of last year. Long story as to why we didn’t lose it all… but backups on one external drive that I stopped using last August still had all old mail on it… so ALL was not lost. And yes, surge protectors were in place… but most surge protectors will not stop the power of lightening. My office consists of a total of 7 surge protector units, and only the larger, more expensive ones, performed well enough to stop the surge we experienced, and this was not even a direct hit.

Make sure you back up your back ups, and make sure your surge protectors will REALLY protect you, or be prepared to face (someday) what I’ve been dealing with this week.


Unpatched Software Could Be Hazordous to Your Wealth

Keeping your computer safe from security flaws is important, but many people haven’t patched their media players and other run-time software: Java, Flash, QuickTime, Adobe Reader, and RealPlayer.  This exposes you to infected media files.


Here is a service that scans PCs for applications that lack available security patches.  I highly recommend you run this test on all of your computers. provides you with aggregate counts of the number of products installed and the percentage that are unpatched.


I ran the full system scan on my computer and found 2 of 11 of my applications were not up to date.  You should run this on your machine to make sure you don’t have applications running that may be vulnerable to security or attack.


When you get to the main page, just click on Start Now.  You’ll be asked if you want to enable the Inspector to search for software installed in non-default locations.  Since it’s the first time running this… I’d recommend you check the little box and just let it scan your entire computer and external devices attached.  On my system with two external hard drives and a ton of files and software, it took about 15 minutes to complete the entire computer scan.  Just grab your favorite beverage and let Secunia do it’s thing.


Once finished, it will show you how many of your applications are NOT up to date…and a link to get them updated.  After doing any recommended updates, there will be an option to allow Secunia to notify you upon any releases or updates being available to you.  Go ahead and sign up for the automatic email notifications.  That way… you don’t forget to perform this system-wide scan (at least monthly) for any recommended updates.


If you have to update any applications, be sure to do a system re-start to enable those applications to fully install the updates and remove any vulnerable versions that may still be sitting on your hard drives.