Auslogics Disk Defrag – A fast and free Disk Defragmentation utility

Disk DefragDo you know how Data is stored in your computer ?

The operating system stores data in little chunks called blocks on the hard disk. If a file that you save is large and can’t fit in a single block, the operating system divides it into multiple blocks.

These blocks are chosen wherever there is free space on the disk and are not guaranteed to be contiguous, but the OS knows about the various chunks. So whenever you request for the data, the operating system asks the hard drive to visit all the different parts of the disk that the data is stored in and gets them to you. This process is usually extremely fast and for the user it almost feels as if that the data is stored in one long contiguous block.

But, as you use your computer for everyday tasks, bits of data get more fragmented, which means that the small chunks get distributed throughout the disk and so the process of getting them all together, in case of a file request, slows down the whole system.

Disk defragmentation is the process of reorganizing bits of data on the hard disk so as to align them in contiguous blocks and make file access faster.

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How to find out which process has a particular file open

Process ExplorerEver tried deleting, moving or renaming a file and got a terse message from Windows saying, you can’t ! With the reason being that the said file is in use by another process !

If you’ve ever been faced with one of those “Cannot delete a file because it is in use by another program” dialogue boxes, you’ll know how frustrating that can be.

The fact that you’ve closed every other program running on the system and still you get that message is even more annoying. So much for multitasking !

Windows, like all operating system, has no control over who requests to open a file. And when an application closes, it assumes that it’ll close and release control over all the files it opened. That sometimes doesn’t work. If an application crashes midway, or because of a bug forgets to close a file that it opened for use, Windows continues to assume that the file is still open by that application. And so if you go on to delete, move or do anything destructive with that file, you get this dreaded message.

Process Explorer

The problem is that Windows, by default, does not come bundled with any utility to help you overcome this problem. Although someone at Microsoft did recognize the need for such a tool and released the excellent Sysinternals Process Explorer.

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