When a hard disk (i.e. hard drive) recorder stores new files, it squeezes them into any bits of space it can find. As a result, the data winds up scattered all over the hard drive. When the data from one song file, for example, is stored in many locations within the hard drive memory, the hard drive is said to be fragmented. When the recorder plays back a file from a fragmented hard drive, it has to grab a little piece from here, another piece from there and so on. This is much harder than playing one continuous chunk of data from a single hard drive location. This can slow things down unacceptably and lead to errors during playback or recording and/or cause other functional problems such as CD burnings issues, incorrect remaining memory values and many others.
Fragmentation is a naturally occurring process for a hard drive used with any computer or recording device. Hard drives that record audio are especially prone to fragmentation due to the start-and-stop nature of recording.
We recommend backing up all of your data and then initializing the hard drive to clear out this normal fragmentation. To avoid receiving errors and/or problems, initialize the hard drive every 3 months if the unit is being used constantly or every 6 months if the unit is being used only occasionally.
The following links will open articles that will guide you through the Song Backup, Plug-In Backup, Format, Plug-in Install and Recover procedures: