What is difference between disk wiping and defragmentation?

Dhaval Gohel December 29, 2012

In CCleaner there is a facility called Disk wiper. And I also own TuneUp utility. It has hard disk defragmentation. Can Anyone tell me what is difference between them? And what is benefit of them?

  1. Luca Vignando
    February 4, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Wiping means safely delete files. When you "delete" a file you actually mark the space it takes on disk as "recyclable" but the data is still there. That's why with some programs you can recover "deleted" files provided that they are not overwritten with new data. Wiping finds those "deleted" files and overwrites the data they had with random data. For increased security they do it multiple times with different data. Some says that you need tons of overwriting to have a really safe deletion, I am convinced instead that 3 or 4 passes are more than enough.

    So you should wipe your disk when you are disposing, selling it or you really need to get rid of some data. Please note that formatting is not wiping, is more like "mass deleting".

    Defrag is a much different story. Data on disk is organized in circular concentric tracks (thousand of them) each track is divided into sectors. Each sector contains a small portion of a file. (actually things are a bit more complex but this is enough).

    When you save a file Windows seeks for the first free sector and writes data, then seeks for the next one and so on. On a fresly formatted disk you usually find contiguous free sectors but after a while you will delete some files, replace them with others, windows itself will save and delete temporary files so when you write a file it will be split in several parts residing in different and distant parts of the disk.
    Disks are much faster in reading contiguous data so a fragmented disk is slower than the same disk without fragmentation.

    That's why defragmenting improves performances: data is reorganized so that parts of a file are recorded as near as possible each other.

    So wiping means get rid forever of data, defragging means reorganizing data in order to improve performance.

  2. Robbie Blowe
    January 5, 2013 at 6:33 am

    disk wiping - method used to totally clear all data in hard-disk , so when you wipe a disk it means all your data and apps and even operating will be deleted and your HDD will be zero- so don't use it without need, its more like washing your room and making it empty ,with all your
    things either thrown out or disposed

    defragmentation- process of grouping back all scattered files in your hdd which will happen from time to time in windows,where all files will be moved and arranged so that you get more space and make your system faster, but no data or files will be deleted or misplaced , its more like cleaning your room and putting all your scattered clothes and things back in closet ,making sure your room is neat
    but no things are thrown out or disposed

    hope it helped

  3. Alex Perkins
    January 1, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Disk fragmentation is when pieces of files get scattered around the disk, wiping is getting rid of the files.

  4. Terri Cape
    January 1, 2013 at 1:11 am

    disk defrag will sometimes help your computer work faster and more smoothly

  5. Alex Schnapps
    December 30, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Wiping is the best, the ABSOLUTE defragmentation.

  6. ha14
    December 30, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Defrag doens't erase deleted files. erase free disk space then defrag

  7. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    December 30, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Defragmentation is to 'sort' your data so the ones used often will be placed at outer part of the disk, so they're easier to reach. Think of it like rearranging your library. Your favorite books will be placed nearer to you.
    Disk wiper in CCleaner is overwriting the empty space with garbage data then delete them again, so any data you've deleted couldn't be recovered.

  8. Nikhil Chandak
    December 30, 2012 at 5:38 am
  9. Junil Maharjan
    December 30, 2012 at 5:32 am

    Disk wiper wipes the free space in your computer so that the deleted files in your computer can not be recovered. Disk defragmentation shuffles the files and puts related files together in the same sector so that when you open a file or program it would be easier for the computer find the related files. this makes a computer a little faster when performing operations.

  10. Rohit Pandey
    December 30, 2012 at 2:29 am

    diskwiping removes files from ur disk..
    while defragmentation removes the free space betwen indexing of files....

  11. Jan Fritsch
    December 30, 2012 at 1:14 am

    When speaking about hard disks and files "wiping" usually means to securely erase contents to prevent them from being restored or recovered.

    That is also what the "Drive Wiper" of CCleaner does and states in it's description. It erases the free space or entire drive (depending on what you select) by writing garbage data over it.

    Defragmentation is a process where data is reorganized so all bits and bytes of a single file are in a contiguous order. When a file is fragmented the reading heads of the hard disk have to jump to each position of the data blocks. Once the file is defragmented the reading head no longer has to jump and accessing this file will be faster and create a continued data stream.

    For flash based storage defragmentation is irrelevant as blocks are directly accessed via their address.

  12. Yiz Borol
    December 29, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Disk wiper sounds like it deletes files that are corrupt and/or are of no more use while defragmentation moves around and groups files that are similar and should be near each other so the disk can work faster.

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