Unlike some personal music players, the iPod stores its music on a hard disk, just like your computer. This allows the iPod to store lots of music, but it also means it's vulnerable to many of the same problems as other hard disks, including skipping and data fragmentation. Skipping's hard to prevent, but you can combat data fragmentation with the Windows Disk Defragmenter, the same utility you'd use to clean your hard drive.
Connect your iPod to your PC using its USB or Firewire cord, or by placing it in its docking station.
Wait for Windows to recognize the iPod. This should only take a few seconds, but you must wait before being able to access the iPod's disk utilities.
Open "My Computer" by clicking its shortcut on the desktop or in the Start Menu.
Locate the iPod among the list of active drives in My Computer. When you've found it, right-click its icon and select "Properties" from the menu of options.
Switch from the "General" tab to the "Tools" tab in the Properties panel.
Click the "Defragment Now" button and follow the given instructions to defragment your iPod's hard disk.
Tips & Warnings
- You can use the Disk Defragmenter utility to schedule regular defragmentations of your iPod. Leave your computer running on the selected day and keep your iPod connected to it.
- You can also access the Disk Defragmenter by typing "defrag" into the "Run..." prompt of the Start Menu.
- Don't defragment your iPod before backing it up to another hard drive.
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