As a disk is used over time, the data on the disk is scattered into noncontiguous clusters, becoming fragmented. Disk performance is greatest when data is not fragmented, as it takes less time to read the data (because the drive heads don't have to move as much to reassemble the data). The Disk Defragmenter node in Computer Management enables you to analyze a disk for fragmentation and then defragment the disk.
See Chapter 26 for a discussion of Disk Defragmenter and other options for improving disk performance.
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