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This is mainly a Windows thing. While it won't have that much impact on a modern system, and should absolutely not be performed on an SSD, defragging a hard drive could potentially give you that little extra speed boost you're after.
Under Windows XP you can find the defrag tool by right-clicking on your hard drive in Windows Explorer, selecting Properties and then the Tools tab. Click the Defragment Now... button to open the Disk Defragmenter, then click the Defragment button. This can take a long time depending on the size of your storage, so it's best to let it go overnight.
Windows 7 is easier — just click the Windows orb in the bottom left and type defrag, and the Disk Defragmenter application will appear. Click on it, select the hard drive you wish to defrag and then click Defragment Disk.
Screenshot by Craig Simms/CBSi