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Old 2011-10-13, 18:24   Link #1
tugatosmk
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Portugal
Best defrag managers and "disk health" programs

Since I rate highly the tech knowledge of animesuki's members, I'd like to ask your opinion regarding:

What are the current best defrag managers and "disk health" programs out there? (preferably free software, but no objection to the rest).
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Old 2011-10-13, 18:40   Link #2
Flower
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Location: The Dilapidated Astronomy Observatory...
My fave is Raxco's Perfect Disk....
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Old 2011-10-14, 02:40   Link #3
Jinto
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Fürth (GER)
Age: 33
For journaling file systems like NTFS... defragmentation is certainly not the best idea. Its better to never use the disk beyond 90% storage capacity instead.

remark: the jounraling feature of NTFS was not enabled by default on XP mashines. The first default usage of the journaling feature imo must have been Vista/Win7 and Server OSes. This would also help to explain why Vista is sometimes pretty slow with file transfers (there are other reasons too, like the more complicated access rights management).

That said, journaling enabled NTFS uses a natural fragmentation of files. This has some pitfalls, but in general offers a medium long term reliabilty/performance when the NTFS volume is not used beyond 90% of its data capacity (90% is a rule of thumb - the value can increase for larger hdds).

Messing around with a journaling enabled NTFS might make things actually worse. Because with journals its even harder to know which data junks should be closer together and which not.

The most effective way to reset a journal is to move/copy files on another disk, and then copy them back. Of course this will destroy the historically grown alignment of files on a temporal axis. Sometimes temporal fragmentation can be worse than the fragentation within single files.

Example for temporal fragmentation:

Since Windows is typically the first thing installed on a hdd, its files are clustered such a way, that they lie physically close to each other. All programs and data that was added later on, will be clustered more or less in their own "regions" of the disk. This results in a data structure where data that was created at the same time is close to each other, which helps in faster file IO, if such files where used in sequence (i.e. booting Windows, starting an application.. etc.)

Now, when all the files of the disk are made whole but are randomly assigned all over the disk to achieve this, then temporal fragmentation will occur because of lazy defragmentation. Now, if the unclustered files are used in sequence the file IO can actually become worse than before.

So, if you want to use a defragmentation tool, at least use one that does not result in temporal fragmentation of your filesystem.

For diskhealth you can use tools that read S.M.A.R.T. metrics.
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Old 2011-10-14, 02:43   Link #4
creb
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Join Date: May 2008
I guess it depends on your operating system. Frankly, the default defrag in Windows 7 is perfectly fine unless you are a geek-head. Yes, it doesn't have a pretty display showing you detailed info on what's going on, but meh.

That said, if you want some free third-party defrag that is a little easier on the eyes as well as more informative, I'd suggest Auslogics.
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Old 2011-10-14, 07:34   Link #5
sa547
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JKDefrag/MyDefrag also worked well for me, with simple and yet very fast, real defragging.
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Old 2011-10-14, 08:33   Link #6
Jaden
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Age: 27
I use Ultradefrag. But as I understand it, all defrag programs are based on the default windows defrag procedure anyways, as the drivers are unable to be overridden without extensive hacks.

The advantage of Ultradefrag is speed, and the ability to defrag specific folders.
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Old 2011-10-14, 10:37   Link #7
tugatosmk
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Portugal
First of all, thank you for all your input, it's much appreciated.

I failed to mention that I still have Windows XP on my current PC. My current goal is basically the most efficient defrag system (for the Windows main drive mostly, my PC takes almost 5 minutes to initialize Windows...) and the best disk analyser (I believe my largest PC HDD of 140 GB is beginning to crash).
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Old 2011-10-14, 13:21   Link #8
Tiberium Wolf
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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Age: 34
CrystalDiskInfo -> to see smart values and such

Auslogics Disk Defrag -> this one move system files to the beginning of the disk if checked the option. You can also choose just to defrag fragmented files only.
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Last edited by Tiberium Wolf; 2011-10-16 at 04:15.
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Old 2011-10-14, 23:59   Link #9
spikexp
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Quebec
Age: 22
I use defraggler for defrag.
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