Posted 06 April 2006 - 11:46 AM
Defragmentation is a vital part of Windows upkeep. As you add and remove files, the new ones tend to try to take up space where old files were removed. Eventually, bits and pieces of files get scattered all over the drive, and the drive has to work itself to death to find them. Eventually, the drive will stop working.
Regular defragmentation of files is a necessary thing to do.
That said, if you have any files that you do not want to lose, it is imperative that you find a way to back them up somewhere off the drive. There are two kinds of hard drives: those that have failed, and those that will fail.
And the filesystem in 95/98*Grinler is not as stable as that of 2000/XP. It is easy for a memory error or something to cause files to be lost. You should back your important files up to a CD or another drive or somewhere else if you don't want to lose them.
Defragmentation of the drive is something I do regularly, and have for at least fifteen years. To date, I have never lost files because of it (that I know of). Depending on your usage, you might defrag your system once a month or once every two months. If you regularly remove large blocks of files and replace them with something else, you might defrag even more frequently.