5.9. Understanding Management Tools
After partitioning the disk and formatting the drive, some maintenance still needs to be done on a regular basis. Drive maintenance helps you address two areas of concern that have an impact on a user's data:
File system optimization: Getting the best performance from your file system. If opening files takes much longer than it did two months ago, your system needs optimizing.
Data integrity: Having files that are uncorrupted so the data is intact and accessible. Sometimes a file cannot be opened because the file system has lost parts of the file or portions of the disk are bad — in which case you are not concerned with performance but with being able to open the file.
The following sections describe some OS tools that can help you accomplish these two goals as you maintain your system.
5.9.1. Defragmentation utility
After a drive is formatted and you start storing information on it, the information is written to one cluster at a time. This means that on a freshly formatted drive, the contents of a file are written to clusters on the disk that are side by side. This ensures optimal performance when opening a file because the read/write heads don't have to jump from one end of the disk to another to open a single file. Unfortunately, the disk won't stay in this state because as you add to and delete files, the contents of these files are scattered throughout the disk. The minitable in Figure 5-45 shows a fragmented disk.