Posts Tagged ‘file’

Alternative Defragmentation Software May Not Be the Best Solution

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

from, October 2011

Defragmentation is a process that mitigates and reverses fragmentation. File system fragmentation occurs when the system is unable to maintain the data in a sequential order. During fragmentation data that is in memory is broken into pieces and dispersed throughout the system. One of the major problems that occur with fragmented data is an increase in the time it takes for the system to access files and programs.

Files on a drive are commonly known as blocks or clusters. These files are stored on a file system and are positioned one next to another. When files are added, removed, or changes the amount of space between these files is altered and the system no longer has enough room to hold the entire file. The system will then fill in these small spaces with portions of new files or files that have been adjusted, causing data to become separated from the rest of the file. This separation creates a delay in Seek Time and Rotational Latency. Seek Time is the time that it takes the head assembly to travel to the portion of the disk where the data will be read or written. The Rotational latency is the delay waiting for the rotation of the disk to bring the required disk sector under the head assembly.

The primary purpose of a defragmentation tool is to sort, organize, and compact similar blocks of data in order to reduce wasted space as well as to speed up access time. Windows operating systems come pre-installed with their own “Disk Defragmenter” utility. This utility is designed to increase access speeds by rearranging files contiguously. Many users feel that the pre-installed defragger isn’t the best on the market and have considered using alternative defragging tools. For the most part defragmentation software all does the same thing but it is very important to only use software from trusted developers. Using a poorly constructed defragmentation tool might cause problems like corrupted data, hard disk damage, and complete data loss. Free software can also lack the necessary support and may not be performing the function that it is meant for correctly.

If you still decide to use an alternative to the one provided with the Window’s OS, the paid options are probably the safest. This is because commercial software like Disk Keeper are put through testing to mitigate the negative impacts. There are also a few free alternatives that are pretty popular like Piriform Defraggler, Ultra Defrag, and Auslogics Disk Defrag.

Before making any decisions you should examine the strengths and weaknesses of free and commercial defragmenting software alternatives. After all, it might not be worth the hassle especially if the Window’s Disk Defragment utility is running adequately.

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“> Providing Tech Support for Businesses in Maryland

Quick Tips On How To Remain Secure When Using Wireless Hotspots!

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Wireless hotspots exist almost everywhere today. Whether you are at your favorite fast food restaurant, hotel, bar, hospital, airport, or anywhere in between you most likely have access to a wireless hotspot. These Wi-Fi resources are extremely convenient and allow users to access a network in order to complete work, check email, or just surf the net. The one thing of concern however is their susceptibility to security intrusions. Wi-Fi hotspots do not encrypt their data, consequently leaving your information vulnerable to hackers.

hot spot

When utilizing a wireless hotspot it is important that you take the following necessary precautions to keep you and your information protected:

Safety over Convenience:

Although it might be tempting to sign onto any network in order to get your work done it is not the smartest or safest choice. It is advised that you try to locate secure VPN locations that require a login access key. The locations may not be as convenient as the place that enable keyless network entry but they certainly offer more safety.

Prepare your computer for unwanted exposure:

When you need to the access the Internet it might not always possible to access a hotspot that is secure, so it is important that you prepare your computer to the best of your ability. In order to prime your computer for any unwanted security intrusions you may want to try the following:

Disable your Wi-Fi settings when not using it!

When not using Wi-Fi, access your settings and turn it off. If left on your device can access hotspots that could contain threats to your personal information.

Ensure that you are utilizing an active and up-to-date firewall!

Firewalls can be enabled in the security section of your computers control panel.

Disable File and Printer Sharing!

To access your file and printer sharing settings go into your control panel, click to open the computer network and internet folder, and adjust the network and sharing menu.

Encrypt your files!

Encrypting your files can be achieved by right-clicking the folder or file that you want to encrypt, clicking Properties, clicking the General tab, and then clicking Advanced. From here select the Encrypt contents to secure data check box, and then click OK.

Leave private information at home!

Unless it is absolutely necessary, try to avoid keeping important and private information on your portable computer. If you have a desktop computer at home use it house any critical data as opposed to carrying it around where it is exposed to more risk.

Don’t forget about physical protection:

It is equally if not more important to remember that your actual computer is exposed to just as much risk as the information contained on it. Don’t leave your computer unattended where someone can access it or even worse, can take it!

These are just a few of the basic quick tips to consider when working from wireless hotspots.

Have a Great Day!


Providing Tech Support for Businesses in Maryland

How to Give your Microsoft Outlook a quick Speed Boost!

Friday, February 18th, 2011

When it comes to using a personal information manager like Microsoft Outlook it becomes very easy to accumulate too much data.  In turn, this build up of information which includes emails, contacts, reminders, or personal notes can often become too much for the system to handle.

Microsoft Outlook 2007

Trademark of Microsoft Corporation

As we use Outlook more and more files and folders are created leading to a decrease in the speed of our Microsoft Outlook Center.  Stand alone Outlook uses a PST file name extension, also known as a Personal Storage Table file, which is locally stored on your computer.  When these files begin to grow they cause Outlook to exert extra effort in order to refresh and open older archived files.

There are several things a user can do in an effort to re-capture the speed of Outlook.  Among the options to ensure that Outlook continues to work properly and efficiently is clearing away unused files, disabling add-ins, and removing the RSS feed.

Taking out the garbage:

First it is best to start by going through all of your emails or messages to see which ones you no longer need.  Once you are finished deleting the unnecessary files you might already recognize an increase in performance.

Spread out the data:

Once you are finished clearing out the old files it is important to further thin out your folders.  In Outlook 2003/2007 you can create a new folder or subfolder by clicking File, New, and New Folder. (In Outlook 2010 Support new folders can be created by going to Home, New Items, More Items, and Outlook Data File.)  After establishing new folders reorganize your emails, messages, or reminders so that the information is not all located within the same folder.

Manage your inbox:

Similar to the previous tip, managing your Inbox means that once you are finished reading new messages you should move them to a different folder or delete them.  The Inbox folder is the most commonly used folder in Outlook and continuously receives more data.  Due to the constant feed of incoming messages the Inbox folder populates the fastest and can bog down the program if left unmanaged.

Consider reducing the security:

Who would have thought too much security would be a bad thing.  Your anti-spam preferences take time to sort through emails and slow down your Outlook operations.  Although it is not advised to remove your security entirely, it may be possible to lessen your security precautions to provide a faster response time.

Remove the RSS Feed:

If you do not use the RSS Feed, disable it.  In order to remove it, access the Tools menu, select Account Settings, RSS Feed, and click Remove.

Disable the Add-ins:

Similar to the RSS Feed you can disable any unused Add-ins by accessing the Trust center found under the Tools drop down menu. Add-ins are good only if you are getting use out of them, to increase Outlook’s performance, disable any of your Add-ins that are dormant.

Backup or Archive your information:

If these options don’t offer much help and you still have way too much data slowing down your Outlook, you may want to consider transferring your files to an external hard drive or setting up an Archive folder for email older than 6 months (click Tools, Options, Other, Auto Archive).  Backing up your files is a good idea and could prevent data loss or corruption.  In this situation using a backup will not only protect important files it will increase the speed and performance of Microsoft Outlook.

Check out more information on Microsoft Outlook at the Microsoft Outlook Resource Center!

Have a Great Day!


Providing Tech Support for Businesses in Maryland