Defragmentation

Posted: August 31, 2008 in Computer and Internet

 

This weekend I thought I would have a look at the built in Vista defragment tool and see how well it is working as I have felt a slight performance loss while browsing my files at certain times. Vista has been coping much better than XP though.

Built in to Vista there is a lite version of Diskeeper, at least that is what most sources say as I cannot fully verify this take it with a grain of salt. To evaluate how well the built in Vista defragging tool worked I used a nifty little free tool called HDView, you can use it to view the fragmentation on your drive quickly, it works like the sysinternals version DiskView. I would also recommend another tool called NTFSniffer that you can use to very quickly find a file on your harddrive, especially since it caches everything so the search is fully indexed, no fuss and fast, good complement to Vistas search as you can control it better.

Either way, my harddrive was not as defragmented as I had hoped and even the page file was bogged down with fragmentation, so I decided to set out to find a better solution than the built in version. I found the following 4 tools that stuck with me

People also mentioned O&O Defrag as well as asuslogic but I didn’t try those out.

Defraggler is a neat tool, a one exe kind of program and you can keep dragging with you on your USB or mesh shared folder. JkDefrag is similar and slightly more powerful. However both this programs (as well as the built in Vista) does not defragment the system files including the page file. They are good considering they are free tools. Defraggler seems to have potential because their ccleaner tool is excellent.

I have now tried both Diskeeper and PerfectDisk for a couple of days and my winner is PerfectDisk. It is less bloated and has in my opinion a sleeker interface. Diskeeper had a cool interface showing a log of graphs, however they showed graphs of things I don’t like to see anyway. Diskeeper uses a process of constant monitoring to defragment the drive, I dislike this approach as it is like a antivirus program that runs all the time as well, the only good thing is that it uses up computer resources when you aren’t doing anything, the downside is that they use them up also when you are actually doing things. Diskeeper also refused to defragment in offline mode duing reboot (to defragment certain systemfiles). Diskeeper is also way more expensive and you get 3 licenses of PerfectDisk for a price lower than DiskKeeper.

PerfectDisk is a schedule only tool but it can monitor IO and CPU activity to minimize the impact when you do a defragmentation. It worked perfectly with VSS (so did diskeeper, but not Jk nor Defraggler) not botching up my restore points and previous versions. It handled offline defragmentation nicely and reorders my files in a recently used to rarely used sorting. It defragmented the MFT and the directory nicely, it also tried to but the MFT where statistics show a performance gain according to Microsoft studies.

All in all, cheap, easy and efficient.

Defraggler and Jk are a good replacements if you don’t want to spend money and want a better tool. Jk is OSS and uses the Windows defragmentation API so it is very likely compatible and safe.

Diskeeper, well I don’t see any benefits.

All in all, my computer feels swift as when it was newly installed again, go upgrade the Vista defragmentation tool and get your performance back.

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