How do you optimize a hard drive on a PC or Mac?

Jeff Card February 8, 2010
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How do you optimize the hard drive so your computer runs faster. Is the process the same for a PC and a Mac?

  1. Oron Joffe
    February 11, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    All answers about are good. On a PC, you can optimise the hard disc further by using MyDefrag (free download), which both defrags and optimises the layout of the files on the hard disc. In my experience, it can make a noticable difference.
    Macs tend to fragment less, but you could use iDefrag (commercial, around $30) to improve its performance further.

  2. ænon1mus
    February 8, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Besides defragging, another factor which slows down the hard disk is the use of virtual memory. If your VM limit is set too high, then the hard disk will store a lot of temporary data which it needs to read/write frequently. Optimally, the VM size should be 1.5x the physical memory of your PC.

    On a Mac, not much is needed to optimise the disk. You could run Disk Utility once in a while to make sure everything is going smoothly but otherwise, a HFS+ disk will defrag itself.

  3. Jack Cola
    February 8, 2010 at 11:51 am

    To make your computer run really fast, a full format and re-install will do the trick. However, you will loose all your data.

    Alternatively, in windows you can Defrag your disk. This can be found in system tools in your start menu. There is also an option in Windows called cleanup which can possibly delete old files to improve your computer performance.

    So Disk Defragmentor and Disk Cleanup should help.

    I am not sure if it is the same for Mac

    • Aibek
      February 8, 2010 at 12:20 pm

      In addition to Jack's comment:

      for PC

      - Five Free Programs to Defragment your PC.

      - for disk cleanup, I would recommend using CCleaner

      Also, make sure to remove the extra programs from StartUp. It should only list programs that you use everytime you're in front of your PC. Programs that are used once in a while shouldn't be on the list. CCleaner has an option for that.