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Windows 2000 Pro: The Missing Manual by Sharon Crawford

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Housecleaning Tips

If you want to keep your Windows 2000 system clean and with a lemon-fresh scent, you need to do a little housekeeping every now and then. While Windows 2000 Pro can run a long time without much maintenance, your computer will benefit from the use of the tools described in the next sections.

Defragment Your Hard Drive

When you use your computer, Windows constantly fetches and returns files from the hard drive. To a large extent, the overall perceived speed of your system depends on how quickly the PC can find, return, and find these files again.

Ideally, Windows would store every file in one piece, in one location on the hard drive surface, and always return it to that spot so that the file could be retrieved in one smooth operation. However, in this less-than-ideal world, Windows has to break up files into numerous fragments and on different parts of the hard drive. This file fragmentation doesn't have any effect on the data—Windows still knows where to find the various pieces, which it reassembles when you open a fragmented file—but it can increase the time it takes to load and access files and programs.

Files are most likely to get heavily fragmented when your hard drive gets so full that there aren't big chunks of open space for holding files in one piece—and especially when you delete or copy a lot of files. Running Disk Defragmenter reunites all those file fragments and makes hard drive access faster.

Microsoft once claimed that disks formatted with the NTFS ...

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