MyDefrag (formerly JkDefrag) is my personal favorite for a defrag utility. I actually notice the difference after I run it - with other applications it just seems to possibly do the job... with MyDefrag it seems to do it fine.
I especially like the new version.. Amazing to say it's free..
I used to use Perfect Disk 8 as someone gave me a copy and whilst it worked fine under vista it just wouldn't install on the windows 7 os.. So if I could still use it I would but the above which is a little like perfect disk, does for now..
Maybe I need to correct my thinking on defragmenting. I used to get a kick out of watching the W98 defragmenter work. Then I started using XP and I noticed that it would leave quite a bit of free space rather than packing everything tightly the way 98 did. I thought that the free space might help the system to run because it would allow Windows to move stuff back and forth a little while it was running.
Is that a mistake in my thinking? Is it better to pack everything tightly. I did try one third party defrag years ago and I noticed that it packed everything tightly. I thought that might be the wrong thing to do. Now I really don't know how to think about this.
Way back in the day Win 3.1 3.11 95 and 98 I used the old Symantec defrag I ilked it because you could have it put your swap file at the front to the disc it would arrange everything very tightly. It would even defrag your swap file this I think then required a re-boot.
I prefer the built in one. It has some features, designed for Windows, not incorporated in mot third party programs. I must disagree with the time, however. The first one can take 20 minutes or half an hour. After that it is pretty speedy - never more than about ten, or even five minutes for me, subject to the disk useage. If you have it on schedule, (which I do not) it , by default, runs on low priority and the time taken is not important, as it is unobtrusive.
Quite honestly though (IMO) The saving was very much on the hard disk useage, although speed of operation was improved at the same time. With the speed, and sturdier construction of modern Hard disks, I am not sure if Defragging has quite as much value today.
Another thought on this. Defragging involves copying and pasting, almost at a frenzy. Undoubtably this must put your data at a small risk.
I use perfect Disk 10 but only because I used PD 8 before with vista. And I chose that originally after asking around.
Mine is working in the backround but it is reccommended by some to leave it off and defrag every week or two as when running in the background it can slow the computer down.
I don't think the 'tightness' of the files is an issue here but putting them back into some order is.. That's the whole point of Defragging a disk. After windows has finished with a particular file it just gets shoved back onto the HDD and over time this can lead to the drive slowing due to the extra time needed to find the files.. (I should mention that we are talking 'mili-seconds' here).
Defragging a drive puts these files back into some order and can actually improve life as the drive can find it's files quickly and easily (Please note this is in relation to disk and platter drives and not the new flash drive type)..
[quote/]Defragging a drive puts these files back into some order and can actually improve life as the drive can find it's files quickly and easily (Please note this is in relation to disk and platter drives and not the new flash drive type)..[/quote]
kemical.... Do you have a reference for improving the drive life? Seems logical but some people need convincing.
[quote/]Defragging a drive puts these files back into some order and can actually improve life as the drive can find it's files quickly and easily (Please note this is in relation to disk and platter drives and not the new flash drive type)..
Let me emphasise, again, that I am totally in favour of defragging. There is no doubt, in my mind, that, with consideration of circumstances, Defragmenation will certainly improve the performance of you hard disk and, subsequently, the computer operation. However, many of the "thesis" which support this idea, are based on original, and now outdated, information.
For example, the second link in Kemicals post refers to the XP defrag process. The methods employed today have changed beyond recognition.
Fwiw. busydosg,s link is based on an original white paper written in 2005.
Unfortunately, with the vastness of the Internet today, as many items can be found supporting a view, as those opposing it.
A lot can depend on the program you are using.
Quoting from Kemical " don't think the 'tightness' of the files is an issue here but putting them back into some order is.. That's the whole point of Defragging a disk."
Very true, but they also create contiguous empty space, which also has its impotance.
Some of the cheaper defrag programs merely compact the data. This does not create more space, but I guess it does make the spare space available in one empty sector. It may, because of the compacting, speed up the processes a little, but as it does not reorder the files in continuity, does not do a lot for hard disk wear. The better programs, of course, do try and put everything back as it should be so that, for example, all data etc associated with Acrobat, would be again within the same disk area and make things easier for the hard disk head. But, the downside is that, whilst doing this, it is also thrashing the hard disk considerably. Right or wrong, Microsoft have now avoided this to a large extent, by only allowing their own defrag progam to deal with fragmented files, which are only over a certain size.
Oddly, one of the biggest offenders is Microsoft's install procedure itself. It caches the install files in folders such as "MsConfig" etc. The natural instinct is to delete these folders during routine cleaning of your computer. This leaves a useful gap for any subsequent files to plant themselves, and so rapidly leads into even more fragmetation!
I would suggest though, that with todays average installed RAM (usually a lot more than we had in the old XP days) and the use of virtual memory, when working, not so much fragmetation occurs. I honestly feel that, in this instance, Microsoft have got it right.
This was their original blog, published shortly before the release of 7.It makes informative reading. Engineering Windows 7 : Disk Defragmentation ? Background and Engineering the Windows 7 Improvements
My favorite defragmenter is Diskeeper. I am currently using the newly released DK2010 pro edition, and it's superb. It's loaded with options and is fully automatic, so install once and never think about defragging again System files defrag, multiple drive defrag, low space defrag, file placement optimization...it has all the goodies.
But best of all, the new version has this really cool feature that prevents much of the fragmentation from happening at all via some filesystem driver magic, so the amount of defragging required is greatly reduced.