“Does my computer run more slowly if my hard disk drive has lots of files stored on it?”

Dispelling the Myth.

Do you read more slowly if you have a book that has 400 pages than if you had a book with only 200 pages? No you don’t.

Where your computer DOES get slower – the same as you would if reading a book – is if the information you’re looking for is badly organised – surely that makes sense doesn’t it?

If you’re running Windows like most of us, one of the most important factors in maintaining your computers speed is called the ‘system registry’. It’s a lot like having lots of notes in your back pocket with phone numbers, notes, business cards etc…

If you don’t keep things organised it can sometimes take an awfully long time to find the information you need.

So I’m now hoping that we can finally lay this silly urban myth to rest. A full hard disk does NOT make your computer slower!

There’s a banner on the left of this page for Tune Up Utilities – I never advertise on this site unless I truly believe in the product – and I’ll tell you this for nothing – as a systems professional, it’s one of the best utilities I have ever come across and I use it daily in my computer repairs.

You get an entire month of full functionality, and it won’t cost you a bean. It will give your entire system a thoroughly good clean up and will get your computer running a LOT faster – so give it a go now, really you’ve got nothing to loose. You don’t have to keep it on your system and it’s dead easy to uninstall it whenever you’re done.

Simon.

While you’re here…

I would also mention that having some free space on a hard disk drive is a good idea, because it does make if quicker for the files stored on the hard disk to be re-organised more quickly into a logical chronological or sequential order. It’s like having one of those sliding block puzzles that has an empty square and a picture drawn on the front, by utilising the empty space correctly the other blocks can be arranged in to the correct order. Without the empty space, there is no means for data stored on the hard disk to be rearranged, so yes it is a good idea to have some free space on your hard disk for this specific purpose.

Generally it is estimated that about 10% free on your hard disk should be amply sufficient for this purpose, but for very large hard disk drives less than 10% is also acceptable.

Also there needs to be some free space for what in Windows is called a page file. A page file is used to virtually extend the amount of RAM that your computer can use. If an operation is executed that requires more memory than the computer has installed, it will create a swap file or page file to temporarily store information and virtually extend your computers processing capabilities. Beware however using a page file on your computers hard disk drive is in no way as fast as if your computer executed it’s instructions directly from RAM, so having a decent amount of RAM is a first good step in making your computer faster.

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