Make sure you have backed up all the files you need to keep.
Store them on the computer if you have the space... until you put them back on the clean Hard Drive.
Your drive would be seven years old now. So... it would be a wise move to do a security type format to test the drives integrity before you loose your backups. Many Drives don't last seven years...
320GB is also pretty small these days. Suggest you use the old drive for eg. "Movies" and buy a new Hard Drive for your Backups as this drive may fail at any time.
Murphy's Law says that will be when you need it the most!
A 3.5 inch Drive (uses 5v&12v) and is more robust & faster than your 2.5" pocket type drives that run on 5 volts only. Also, look for a USB 3 or FireWire Port connector as these will ensure compatibility & speed on future computers. USB 1&2 are slow on large files.
DeFragging only shuffles the empty space around. Lining it up sequentially so that it's faster at accessing the data.
Re Formatting wipes the directory off the drive making it appear that you have a new clean drive. Previous files then get overwritten.
Do a security erase if you want to clean all data from the drive & test the drive for faults. This will return all available space available to you as an empty drive.
On a Mac, use Disk Utility. Choose Fat32 to allow interchangeability with Mac <> PC or "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" for Mac Bootable Disks.
On a PC use Disk Management for a quick format to Fat32 or NTFS for Windows Boot. Or See Here for full details:
Drives are so inexpensive these days. You can pick up a 1Terrabyte drive for $99 here. Format & test the drive before putting it to use on your computer. This will be one of the few times you will get to test & experiment with the drive before you put your data on it.
You can always use a USB Memory Stick as a pretend Hard Drive to experiment with & test the formatting procedure. They use the same Partition & Format utilities as a regular Hard Drive.
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