What is your favorite defrag program?

whoosh

Cooler King
Staff member
Premium Supporter
#21
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 However, many of the \"thesis\" which support this idea, are based on original, and now outdated, information.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
A good post RAK and very interesting indeed .
 


kemical

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
#22
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
I totally agree with Whoosh, excellent post!
 


stueycaster

Millennium Celebration Award Winner
Premium Supporter
#23
Thanks guys. I think W7 has been doing fine with keeping itself defragged. I'll just leave it the way it is.
 


#24
useing smartdefrag from IObit just set it and forget it. Runs in the background
 


#25
I have always used the built in defrag (previous OS Vista as well as others) but, after reading this thread, maybe I should reconsider. After all, I am a newbie to all this technical info albeit an above average user.
 


#26
Doesnt' matter. I recommend turning it off and just running a defrag manually about onece a month.
 


#27
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.

Or am I totally off somewhere in left field.

It's not so much a matter of a defragger "packing everything tightly". It's a matter of a defragger placing all file segments togather, reducing the amount of read head travel the hd has to do. Fragmentation occurs when there are not enough continious blocks for a program to wite to. Once a particular block is filled, the next block is located and written to. Then you write again to the hd. The last block may not be filled, but can not be used. Find the next available space, write to it, move on, etc. It's a fun topic. You can get as many opimions as to whether or not defragging is good or bad. Some people say they have never defragged their drive. I say they either aren't doing very much with their pc or are just plane full of it.

Ok, I'm done for now..LOL
 


#28
I vote for Diskeeper Pro Premium. It's really good
 


john3347

Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
#29
While I do not actually dispute any of the opinions expressed here, I do have some additional comment to add to some of them. First off, in my experience, the benefits of defragmentation is over emphasized by many. The theory is good, but in practice does not really hold true. I do not believe harddrive life expectancy is increased when a defrag requires a harddrive to run (in high gear) for 30 min to two hours and sometimes even longer in order to save a few milliseconds searching for file fragments. (Yes, the milliseconds add up, but never come close to equalling the time consumed by the defrag process) The total wear on harddrive components is much greater during the defrag process than in searching for fragments while opening files or applications. Kinda like spending a dollar to save a dime.

It is my understanding that the hard drive searches (scans) the entire drive searching for fragments when it opens a file or application whether it finds any or not, (there is no "marker" to tell the harddrive that this file is complete or that this file has fragments in other sectors), thus there is no additional search time when drive is fragmented over when not fragmented. The additional time involved is read time and whatever time is required to assemble all the fragments. Is this operation not performed by the computer processor after all the fragments are read into RAM, therefore having no effect on harddrive run time? [Good case for matching harddrive size to harddrive needs. A 1TB harddrive to store 10 GB is wasting more than the difference in original purchase price]

An occasional defrag will often speed up opening of some applications and some files, but the effect is less dramatic than some users perceive. A defrag every month or two - or 6 months - by whatever defrag mechanism is included with whatever OS one is running is sufficient for efficient computer operation.
 


#30
While I do not actually dispute any of the opinions expressed here, I do have some additional comment to add to some of them. First off, in my experience, the benefits of defragmentation is over emphasized by many. The theory is good, but in practice does not really hold true. I do not believe harddrive life expectancy is increased when a defrag requires a harddrive to run (in high gear) for 30 min to two hours and sometimes even longer in order to save a few milliseconds searching for file fragments. (Yes, the milliseconds add up, but never come close to equalling the time consumed by the defrag process) The total wear on harddrive components is much greater during the defrag process than in searching for fragments while opening files or applications. Kinda like spending a dollar to save a dime.

It is my understanding that the hard drive searches (scans) the entire drive searching for fragments when it opens a file or application whether it finds any or not, (there is no "marker" to tell the harddrive that this file is complete or that this file has fragments in other sectors), thus there is no additional search time when drive is fragmented over when not fragmented. The additional time involved is read time and whatever time is required to assemble all the fragments. Is this operation not performed by the computer processor after all the fragments are read into RAM, therefore having no effect on harddrive run time? [Good case for matching harddrive size to harddrive needs. A 1TB harddrive to store 10 GB is wasting more than the difference in original purchase price]

An occasional defrag will often speed up opening of some applications and some files, but the effect is less dramatic than some users perceive. A defrag every month or two - or 6 months - by whatever defrag mechanism is included with whatever OS one is running is sufficient for efficient computer operation.
I would like to know what your basing your opinions on? I've been in IT for a long time (10+ years). I've seen what fragmentation can do. I've seen printers not print, due to the fact that the print driver/spooler where fragmented. I've seen programs not load because of time outs. I've also seen data not load because the drive couldn't find the data fast enough, etc.

When does the entire hd get scanned???? The NTFS metadata for each file is stored in the MFT (Master File Table). It catalogs information for each file. 2 import parts are the EOF (End of File) marker and the valid data length (VDL). The EOF returns the actual file size, while the VDL identies the length of valid data on the drive. (From: 1.1 Glossary). Furthermore, the EOF is a non-human, non-printable character (ASCII 26).

There is a lot of information from google explaining how and why fragmentation occurs. Also lots of info on how to reduce it. One thing of note I found concerns file downloading. If you download 2 (and I presume it also affects more than 2 files) NTFS will write each file to alternating clusters!!! Talk about automatic fragmentation!

I also HIGHLY disagree with your last statement concerning defragging once ever 6 months is sufficient. It mainly depends on what your doing. Tell me that a 80 GB HD is fragmented when the user loads thousands (1k-100k pages) on a daily basis. Or millions of rows of a database get moved every day. Your hd WILL be fragmented and performance WILL decrease. Have seen it happen way to may times. (I'm a former IT person in a Corporate Records department where we scaneed millions of pages a year).
 


john3347

Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
#31
I would like to know what your basing your opinions on? I've been in IT for a long time (10+ years).



I will not enter into a tit for tat discussion on this issue, but I will answer your question that you asked here. I am basing my opinion on experience and observations from computer experience going back to the punch card days (Do you remember punch cards?) Also, I would suggest that your example of moving millions of rows of a database every day is most definitely not a condition that a typical user who would be here on this forum seeking defragmentation advice would be experiencing. I stand by my statement that (for a typical home computer user) an occasional defragmenting is sufficient. Every month or two - and in many cases 6 months - is often enough for efficient computer operation (for a typical user who would be here on this forum seeking defragmentation advice). I have observed that my computers may go 6 months, or more, without defragmentation and still are not fragmented to the extent that windows defragmenter determines them needing to be defragmented.
 


#32
I am also basing my post on experience. ANd yes, I remeber punch cards, having to register for classes using them way back when.

Well, IF you had really read my post, I not only sited rows in a database, but also other uses. And this is from supporting hundreds of users over a number of years. I HAVE seen the results of fragmentation, both in the business world and my own computers, along with friends and family. It DOES occur, and DOES affect performance. Otherwise, why would Microsoft included a defragger in almost every OS since Win 95???? Because it's NEEDED, it IS the result of the behavior of the OS.
 


#33
I have been using the pinform defraggler for several years on my vista OS and loved it.....however after upgrading to 7 home premium i have noticed that it will stop short of 100 percent defragg. It leaves about 3 percent still fragmented. It says it is compatible, and i guess really it is not a major issue...just curios if anybody else has noticed something similar. Maybe its time I upgraded to a big boy defrag tool..lol
 


kemical

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
#34
Auslogics defragger is similar and to avoid this I:
First remove any system restore points.
Run something like Ccleaner and lastly run the advanced disk clean found via the cmd prompt. To set up the advanced disk clean open command prompt and type:

cleanmgr/sageset:1

Then press enter. You'll now see a box similar to the disk clean one but with more boxes to tick. Tick all the boxes and click 'ok'.
To set it running go back to the command prompt window and type:

cleanmgr/sagerun:1

Then press enter and your system will get a thorough clean. This will now run whenever you type this line in with no need to go through the set-up process again.
Now run the defragger and you should see 100%

Don't forget to create a new system restore point.
 


Highwayman

Extraordinary Member
#35
I've tried most of the main names for degraggers and I always come back to Auslogic's one eventually....so guess that's my pick, BTW great tip above there from Kemical
 


kemical

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
#36
Agreed.. Auslogics for me is the best of the free defraggers out there..
 


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