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Disk Defrag Software

Mace1370Mace1370 Registered User regular
So I'm on a quest to find the best disk defragging software out there. Here are some of the more popular options:

diskeeperun6.jpg
From diskeeper.com:
Diskeeper 2008 Home edition puts your PC in the driver’s seat, allowing you to enjoy unprecedented performance and reliability while you work, browse and play. Fragmented hard drives drain critical system resources and compromise almost every aspect of daily computer use, leading to longer load times, persistent lags and costly crashes. Diskeeper 2008 Home shifts your system into high gear, ensuring that all your programs are running at peak performance.

I used Diskeeper for about a year and then gave it up. My initial impression of the software was very good. Things seemed to run faster and I liked that you didn't have to manually defrag your drive. However, I eventually noticed that it created folders all over your hard drive to store log files. This annoyed me. Diskeeper also seemed to use a significant amount of system resources.

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From perfectdisk.com:
Delivering a unique set of easy-to-use features and benefits not found in any other solution, PerfectDisk® 2008 will make your computer run like new. Work and play faster - and smarter. PerfectDisk makes everything you do on your computer faster - so you can be more efficient at your work or play. PerfectDisk 2008’s patented SMARTPlacement™ optimization is paired with its exclusive single-pass defragmentation and Space Restoration Technology™ to maximize PC and laptop performance. All controlled and automated according to your unique requirements through AutoPilot Scheduling™ or StealthPatrol™ unattended background processing.

I haven't used this program, but would be willing to give it a try. I'm very curious to hear from any PAer that has used it. Is it similar to diskeeper in that it tries to take over your hard drive?

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From oo-software.com:
O&O Defrag 10 is the newest generation of the very successful O&O Defrag. Simply, quickly, and securely, you can get the maximum performance out of your expensive hardware investments - and all this with only a tiny investment of time and energy! The new O&O Defrag 10 Professional Edition for Windows-based workstations unlocks the hidden Performance of your computer. This software will optimize your hard disk in Windows Vista, XP Home, Windows XP Professional and Windows 2000 Professional, securely repacking fragmented files together for more efficiency. In addition, O&O Defrag 10 Professional Edition boasts outstanding usability and a myriad of important functions not found in any other defragmentation software platforms on the market today.

Same deal as perfectdisk, I haven't used it but would be curious to try it if several people recommend it.

Some freeware defragmenters that are worth checking out:
Defraggler - a small app by Piriform, the people that made the oh-so-awesome CCleaner.
JkDefrag - bare-bones, open source defragmenter. Doesn't even require an install.
AusLogic's Disk Defrag - simple defragmenter with an easy UI. Unfortunately, not customizable.

So, what defrag programs do you guys use? What do you look for in a defrag program: features/efficient use of resources/etc?

Mace1370 on
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Posts

  • SilvoculousSilvoculous Registered User
    edited February 2008
    I use Piriform Defraggler, just because it's really tiny - more suited to a flash drive than to an installation on a desktop.

    http://www.defraggler.com/

    Better than the basic defrag by far, but it can't surpass those expensive commercial applications.

    Silvoculous on
  • MordrackMordrack Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I'm partial to jkDefrag.

    Mordrack on
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  • Mace1370Mace1370 Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I think I'm going to give jkDefrag a try. I like that it is streamlined and no-nonsense. The commercial apps I listed above just seem so bloated. I just setup a task in window's task scheduler to run jkdefrag every day.

    Mace1370 on
  • ViolyntViolynt regular
    edited February 2008
    I've always used PerfectDisk. It in my opinion is hands down the best you can use, it takes longer to defrag but does a more through job than any of the other one.

    It does make a difference.

    Violynt on
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  • bigwahbigwah Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I'm using Speeddisk, came with Norton Systemworks. I've been very satisfied with it. Even allows you to place whatever files you want at the beginning of the drive.

    bigwah on
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  • yotesyotes Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Mace1370 wrote: »
    I think I'm going to give jkDefrag a try. I like that it is streamlined and no-nonsense. The commercial apps I listed above just seem so bloated. I just setup a task in window's task scheduler to run jkdefrag every day.

    There is no way that you should ever need to defrag every day. I think the author's page even says that he only recommends it once a week at the most.

    edit: apparently he does recommend it for daily use. Where did I get that from?

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  • Mace1370Mace1370 Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Violynt wrote: »
    I've always used PerfectDisk. It in my opinion is hands down the best you can use, it takes longer to defrag but does a more through job than any of the other one.

    It does make a difference.

    Does it seem bloated to you at all? I've never used it, and am curious to see how it stacks up to Diskeeper. If you've tried Diskeeper, what made you choose PerfectDisk?
    There is no way that you should ever need to defrag every day. I think the author's page even says that he only recommends it once a week at the most.

    edit: apparently he does recommend it for daily use. Where did I get that from?

    No idea. I always heard that once a day was a good frequency to defragment.
    I'm using Speeddisk, came with Norton Systemworks. I've been very satisfied with it. Even allows you to place whatever files you want at the beginning of the drive.

    Norton Antivirus Norton? I've been trying to stay away from their products ever since... well for as long as I can remember. Their antivirus program got horrible detection rates in a test published a while ago. Anyways, I'm glad to hear their other software is good.

    Mace1370 on
  • ViolyntViolynt regular
    edited February 2008
    Perfect Disc installs I think 2 processes but other than that it doesn't seem bloated to me at all. I chose it over Disk Keeper because it does a better job. I saw a review that compared both of them and Disk Keeper finished first but left fragments on the HD, where as Perfect Disk took almost twice (10 mins) as long but there was 0 fragments on the HD. Depends on what you want.

    I remember a few years back on a forum some one asked the same question, a Disk Keeper rep came by and explained how Disk Keeper was much faster with defragging in the back ground. Expect a rep to come by sometime as they always seem to show up on forums.



    EDIT: Also, Windows defrag is a stripped down version of Disk keeper.

    EDIT2: No it doesn't try to take over your HD.

    Violynt on
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  • AyulinAyulin Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Violynt wrote: »
    I've always used PerfectDisk. It in my opinion is hands down the best you can use, it takes longer to defrag but does a more through job than any of the other one.

    It does make a difference.

    PerfectDisk user here too, albeit PerfectDisk 8, not 2008.

    I used to use an old version of Diskeeper, but then I got the trial for PerfectDisk 8, and it made a world of difference (although, it's worth baring in mind that it was a pretty old version of Diskeeper; about 2 years old, so they could've made tons of improvements in later versions.)

    The main selling point of PerfectDisk for me was the one version one pricing thing; Diskeeper has a few versions, ranging from decent to omgexpensive, IIRC. That and the performance boost I got (strangely enough, one of the default settings seems to hinder the potential improvement you could get, although I'm sure there are reasons I'm underlooking.)

    I got the trial of PerfectDisk 2008 a while back, but didn't see any improvements worth upgrading to; I'd say go for it for new users, though, although a point worth noting is that it uses a Office 2007 style Ribbon interface, which seemed kind of shoehorned in.

    One thing I noticed was that the Analysis seems to run slower on my Vista system than it does on XP, but it doesn't make too much of a difference.

    Ayulin on
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  • Mace1370Mace1370 Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I defragged with JkDefrag today. It took a really long time (I think 6+ hours). AusLogic took about 30 minutes to 1 hour and Diskeeper took about 30 minutes. Is there anything that Jk is doing differently? It looked like it was doing optimization stuff after the defragmentation phase.

    Mace1370 on
  • MordrackMordrack Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Mace1370 wrote: »
    Is there anything that Jk is doing differently? It looked like it was doing optimization stuff after the defragmentation phase.
    Indeed.
    Phase 3: Optimize
    * On most harddisks the beginning of the harddisk is considerably faster than the end, sometimes by as much as 200 percent! See the link to "HD Tune" in the "See Also" chapter for a nice little free program to measure your disk. The default JkDefrag optimization strategy therefore moves all files to the beginning of the volume. It is intended for daily use and will simply fill gaps with files from above, very quick and with very little data movement.
    * JkDefrag classifies files into 3 zones: directories (zone 1), regular files (zone 2), and SpaceHogs (zone 3). Directories are perhaps the most accessed data on disk, so zone 1 is placed at the beginning of the harddisk. After the directories comes a free area (see below), then zone 2 with regular files, another free area, and then zone 3 with SpaceHogs (less important files that take up a lot of space). The beginning and end of the zones is determined automatically, see the "-f" option.
    * A running computer will create and delete temporary files like there is no tomorrow. If the harddisk were completely optimized then the only place for new temporary files would be behind all the other data. Which is rather slow. So JkDefrag maintains a free space of 1% of the total disk space between zone 1 (directories) and zone 2 (regular files), and between zone 2 and zone 3 (SpaceHogs).
    * Sorting the files on your disk can give you even more speed. There are several sorting strategies to choose from (see the "-a" options). These are all very slow and intended for occasional use only.
    * Windows reserves a percentage of the disk for the MFT (Master File Table), but can place normal files there if the rest of the disk is full. The files will remain there, even when there is enough space again. JkDefrag looks for files in the MFT reserved space and moves them to normal diskspace, making the reserved space available again for the MFT.
    I've found that after the first run of jkdefrag, subsequent runnings are much faster.

    Mordrack on
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  • ShujaaShujaa Registered User
    edited February 2008
    I used to run defrag programs a lot. Then I realised how I was spending more time running the program than it was saving me from reduced load times.

    Shujaa on
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  • squirlysquirly Registered User
    edited February 2008
    What are your favourites for defragging in Vista, not XP?

    squirly on
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  • Mace1370Mace1370 Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    squirly wrote: »
    What are your favourites for defragging in Vista, not XP?

    I am running Vista. The default Vista defrag program doesn't seem like an improvement over XP (they seem to be the same for me, really). I'm going to continue to use JKDefrag for a couple of weeks to see if I notice a difference over the AusLogics one. If I don't, then I'll give perfectdisk a try.
    I've found that after the first run of jkdefrag, subsequent runnings are much faster.

    Looks like this was the case for me, too. When I woke up this morning it had already finished (compared to yesterday when I woke up and it was still running).
    I used to run defrag programs a lot. Then I realised how I was spending more time running the program than it was saving me from reduced load times.

    Why not just have it run at night when you aren't using the computer?

    Mace1370 on
  • squirlysquirly Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Yeah, and it's annoying how they made the defrag in Vista even more 'user friendly.' I'll try out one of those ones than.

    squirly on
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  • Mustachio JonesMustachio Jones Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    a note about defragging:

    Simply running defrag in windows doesn't really do a whole bunch, since it can't defrag files that are currently being accessed: read: system files. I can't remember which one but it had an option to defrag on reboot, which is absolutely awesome and takes less time than it would if you were already booted into windows.

    Another note:
    It sometimes will take multiple defrags to get certain files done, simply because of logisitics of free space vs. fragmented. The less free space on a disk the harder it is to defrag, simply because the program has no where to put files temporarily.

    quote:
    I've found that after the first run of jkdefrag, subsequent runnings are much faster.
    Looks like this was the case for me, too. When I woke up this morning it had already finished (compared to yesterday when I woke up and it was still running).

    That simply makes sense. The more you defrag, the less there is to defrag. At times it'll simply be a waste of time because it simply cannot defrag more than it already is.

    Mustachio Jones on
  • ViolyntViolynt regular
    edited February 2008
    Perfect Disk had that option (I think Disk keeper does to) and a review showed that if you had a enough free space that Perfect Disk took care of all the fragged files, where as Disk keeper left quite a few but finished quicker.

    I am not sure about jkdefrag but from the sounds of it I think it does a great job, especially with it being free and all.

    Violynt on
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  • FaceballMcDougalFaceballMcDougal Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    We defrag our servers with 'defrag c: -f' command line

    once a week

    this includes file, email and SQL servers and the SAN

    I don't understand why people go so overkill on their home PCs

    FaceballMcDougal on
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  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    edited February 2008
    I don't understand why people go so overkill on their home PCs

    It does make a difference even for home systems. When I was flying between places in WoW it was choppy as hell due to the streamed loading of areas as I entered them. A defrag later and it was smooth again.

    Echo on
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  • FaceballMcDougalFaceballMcDougal Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I'm not saying don't defrag... I'm saying you might not need the overkill defrag programs

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  • Lucky CynicLucky Cynic Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Yeah, I never understood why people need uber Defragging tools, like what's wrong with the Stock Windows XP defragger?

    Lucky Cynic on
  • FatsFats Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    They do some things the default defrag doesn't, like defrag the MFT and sticking frequently accessed files in the quickest areas. Up to you whether that's worth it or not, I guess.

    I've tried O&O, it does a nice job but it's slow as frozen balls. 7 hours to defrag 250 GB, using their COMPLETE/ACCESS algorithm thingy. PerfectDisk is almost as good without being so slow.

    For those of you using the built in defrag or JKDefrag, try PageDefrag after you've defragged. It'll do the page file, registry and other stuff.

    Fats on
  • MordrackMordrack Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Yeah, I never understood why people need uber Defragging tools, like what's wrong with the Stock Windows XP defragger?
    It's a fifteen year old app, slow as molasses, and chokes on huge (as in, a few gigabytes in size) files.

    Mordrack on
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  • FaceballMcDougalFaceballMcDougal Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    hmm... it does fine with our SQL server and the databases/backups which are many many gigabytes

    though the hard drives themselves are speedier than the average desktop

    FaceballMcDougal on
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  • FatsFats Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I'm not sure why it was so slow, my drives are fairly quick. Through the process it went from 4% fragmented to like 30% and back down, I think it might have disagreed with Perfectdisk's optimization. I'd give it another try but my trial's run out.

    Fats on
  • MalvientMalvient Registered User
    edited February 2008
    I've run diskeeper for a long, long time. Pretty much just use the passive defrag thing. I just forget about it and then notice the service running every so often.

    Malvient on
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  • Mace1370Mace1370 Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    So I've run JKDefrag for the past three or four days. It is taking 7.5 hours to complete now (first time it took 8.5). That still feels like a really long time to me. I have a 500GB drive, so perhaps that is why.

    Mace1370 on
  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero The new film by Quentin Koopantino Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Is there any disadvantage to running JKDefrag in safe mode? It says it will defrag more files that way, but will it run slower or anything like that?

    AbsoluteZero on
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  • shutzshutz Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I use this:
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897428.aspx

    Actually, I downloaded it from some other place, which included a simple GUI to go with it.

    But what's cool with this is that you can defrag individual files or folders, so that if, say, only one game is being slow, or one large video file is choppy because it's all fragmented, you can defrag just that, which will be quicker.

    One thing: it won't necessarily completely defrag all your files during the first pass. It may leave some large files in a few chunks, like a 500 MB file something like 5 chunks, at which point you're unlikely to have any significant performance problems.

    The other thing is that this can run while you're accessing the disk, as it's only working on one file at a time, with no big overall strategy. The disk will be slower, obviously, but it'll still work.

    Lastly, there's a "power" mode where it will run two successive passes on a whole drive, where the second pass reduces the number of fragments a lot more.

    I use it because it's way faster than the other defraggers I've used, which is normal since it doesn't try to completely defrag everything.

    The only important feature that I think it's missing is the one where frequently-accessed files are moved to the faster area on a drive.

    Oh, did I mention it's free?

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  • DírhaelDírhael .noRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    For those of you that are using JkDefrag (like everyone should), you really need to download JkDefragGUI right now.

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  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero The new film by Quentin Koopantino Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Here's a neat tip for you peoples using JKDefrag:

    To set up a virtual memory page file that never gets fragmented, first get rid of your page files (right click My Computer, click Properties, click Advanced tab, under Performance click Settings, click Advanced tab, under Virtual Memory click Change, set No Paging File for all drives). Restart your computer, then run JKDefrag. After that, set new virtual memory page file(s) and set the Min and Max size to the same value. Now you will have a virtual memory page file that never needs to be defragmented.

    AbsoluteZero on
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  • Pastoriusk2Pastoriusk2 Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Quick question about JKDefrag: Is it ok to use it with a RAID0 array? Is there any difference between defragging RAID and non-RAID hard drives?

    Pastoriusk2 on
  • steeefsteeef Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Quick question about JKDefrag: Is it ok to use it with a RAID0 array? Is there any difference between defragging RAID and non-RAID hard drives?

    Here's the answer straight from the author:
    jeroen wrote:
    If the standard Windows defragger is safe to use on your Raid array, then so is JkDefrag. It does not access disks by itself, it only sends "move this file to that location" commands to the Windows defragmentation API. It therefore does not have any knowledge about hardware, filesystems, and stuff like that.

    steeef on
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  • FremFrem Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    So, Guild Wars takes eons to load, and I've read that the situation improves if you can get it's 3.5 gig data file in one continuous piece.

    So I uninstalled GW and ran PerfectDisk 2008 a few times. My Windows partition (used primarily for gaming) is 30 gigs, and has 40% free. Everything is all neatly defragmented and stuck in the first 60% of the drive, except for some random system files that PerfectDisk won't touch. These system files are in tiny bits all over that big wide open space. Apparently, the largest free block is like 300mb.

    I tried to get PerfectDisk to defragement all those lovely system files by setting up a timed job to do an "offline defrag of system files". I ran it manually. PD had me reboot and all that good stuff, then briefly flashed an error message about not being able to defragment drive c:\ and dumped me to the XP login screen.

    Has anyone encountered that error before, and/or know how to deal with untouchable system files in millions of chunks?

    Frem on
  • SceptreSceptre Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    So, forgive me if I'm not really grasping the concept here, but let's say I want to set up another partition on my hard drive. A quick look at my windows defrag bar tells me that data is scattered pretty much everywhere. However, after looking at what it would look like after defragging it, it looks marginally better. Would multiple defrags move everything to one portion of my hard drive? Or does it even matter if I tried to set up a different partition, and the free space was mixed everywhere.

    Would it be better just to nuke it from orbit, format, and start over?

    Sceptre on
  • FremFrem Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    No, multiple defrags won't consolidate free space. You'll have to use something other than the Windows Defragmenter or Diskeeper for that. PerfectDisk proports to do this, but as I said, it seems unable to touch system files on my machine.

    Frem on
  • FatsFats Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Jkdefrag will do it ("jkdefrag -a 5 -f 0" -- the -a 5 tells it to cram shit together, -f 0 removes the free space zones it usually makes). It makes fragments in the process, so you'll want to defrag normally afterwards.

    Fats on
  • SceptreSceptre Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    So is that something I want to do? After running a normal Jkdefrag I ended up with my hard drive looking like this:
    defragec2.jpg

    Would it be recommended I squish everything together?

    Sceptre on
  • FaceballMcDougalFaceballMcDougal Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    You're not going to get much better than that really.

    I know you guys just want to have the peace of mind that your data is nice and tidy but you've got to settle at some point.

    FaceballMcDougal on
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  • FatsFats Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Yeah, that looks pretty good. When I'm in a deleting mood I usually end up with shit all across the drive, which is when it's nice to cram stuff together.

    The three large empty spots (two before the green line, one after) are JKDefrag's free space zones -- supposedly they increase performance by providing space for temp files, but who knows.

    Fats on
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