Most Windows users will notice that as time goes on their system seems to get slower and slower. This in not an illusion! This system slowdown is real and can be quite annoying. But there is something you can do which should be a part of your routine maintenance. I will first try to describe the problem.\nOne thing that causes your system to slow down is that as files get stored on your hard drive, your files may have to get broken up and saved in fragments and are scattered all over your hard drive. This can happen for various reasons which we won’t get into here, but needless to say it takes longer to read these fragmented files when your system needs them.\nMost users of Windows XP and other systems can easily ‘repair’ these problems. Normal and routine maintenance can resolve most of these types of PC speed issues. There is a utility called the ‘Disk Defragment utility which is built right into the operating system which can correct this kind of problem. This utility will ‘defragment’ the files on your drive. This term is given to the process of scanning the file system and rejoining the split files back into consecutive pieces. In this lesson we will use the Disk Defragment utility and defragment your hard drive. Let’s get started.\nDefragmenting is one of the easiest ways to increase the performance of your PC. The frequency of which you should do this will directly depend on the amount of usage. The Disk Defragmenter Utility will reorganize these fragmented files into contiguous files thus increasing your hard drive’s reliability and performance.\nThis utility can be opened a number of different ways. The most common way is this: Click on the ‘Start’ at the bottom left of your screen. Then click on each successive menu option:\nStart | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Disk Defragmenter\nAfter the ‘Analyze’ button has been clicked, the Disk Defragmenter program will tell you whether it thinks your files need ‘Defragmenting’. If you want to go ahead and do it, simply click the Defragment button.\nIf you’re an average PC user, the standard Disk Defragmenter utility will do a good job of keeping your drives defragmented and help to maintain peak system performance.\nThe important point is that whatever product you decide meets your level of need, it doesn’t do a bit of good unless this is done on a regular basis. Make it a part of your regular system maintenance.