The latest in defragmenting?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Pigitus, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. Pigitus

    Pigitus Registered Member

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    Large SSDs are not an option for me yet. Too expensive. So I am still in the defragmenter market.

    I tried Diskeeper, Perfectdisk, Ultimatedefrag, and O&O Defrag. All good, though one of them put a piano sonata in the boot section!

    O&O's seemed the more intelligent (as of 2012). You can group files logically on the disk. Not just the "what-was-used-last-will-be-put-on-the-outer-rings" type of organization (which has its merits). For instance, one grouping could be:

    Operating system files,
    Application software,
    Personal data and files,
    Very rarely used data (like backups).

    Each area is followed by a block of free space for future writing in that group.

    The idea is to reduce heads movement. If you open software X, all its files are next to each other for a quick scoop. If you're backing up gigabytes of personal data, they would all be lumped for quick writing or quick retrieval. And so on. Disk operations are actually messier than that, but I saw siginificant speed improvements. (Control Panel builds faster in XP; ditto for Add and Remove software window).

    O&O Defrag's drawback. After completing a full multi-hour in-depth defragmentation, I expected little additional work if I defragmented again. No. It would just go back into full battle mode again, for hours--even though I did not change the file organization plan. Ridiculous, in the wear-and-tear department.

    I am still looking. What's new?

    Wilders being primarily about security, maybe there's a more appropriate forum for such administrative issues?
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Same here. But you can use small SSDs, depending on how you manage your data. I have a 240 GB SSD which contains ten bootable partitions and I still have 100 GB of unpartitioned space remaining on the SSD. Personal Data is kept on a HD.
     
  3. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    In my experience XP needs defragmenting after a while, and its own utility works well albeit too slow. With Vista Win7/8 there is no need to defragment in terms of speeding up the system, I have never experienced any improvement whether using third party utilities or Windows own.
     
  4. DBone

    DBone Registered Member

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    Totally agree 100%
     
  5. TomAZ

    TomAZ Registered Member

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    I'm using Auslogics Disk Defrag Pro with XP and it seems to work well. Compared with many of the others -- it's very fast and has lots of defrag options.
     
  6. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Windows fragments, but the amount of performance lost when actually using your system is greatly mitigated by the fact that Windows does a lot of write caching and does try organise reads and writes to/from the drive, as well as using prefetch to optimise loading performance.

    Years ago I did benchmarks for general day to day use including web surfing, office use, a bit of compiling and coding and zipping up files, there was a very small performance loss to I/O, but the loss was less than the deviation between runs (I created before/after images one month apart).
    The performance difference after running various defraggers was again greater between multiple runs after the same defragger than between the average figure between different defraggers - statistically insignificant.

    I would pick a defragger based on the features offered, time taken to defrag and cost.
    For Win XP the built in defrag tool has poor scheduling and slow performance, so most free and defrag tools are an improvement.
    For Vista and newer the built in defrag tool is very efficient (moves only file fragments that cause performance loss (based on good logic about fragment size and available spaces to place)) and hard to beat.

    If you do a lot of disk intensive work such as alot of p2p downloading of video editing you may find a 3rd party defrag tool does greatly improve performance.

    One technology I have not looked at (as I don't use Windows much anymore) is Diskeeper intelliwrite which tries to organise the writes, in theory this is a good idea as parallels some of the optimisations used in Linux (trying to order files in best places possible as files are written).

    Cheers, Nick
     
  7. biased

    biased Registered Member

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    I use SSD but smaller. Others are being stored on disk drive.

    I notice slowing of things when use explorer to look at files on disk drive. It takes great time, a year and then more. Then you see the slow. At this time the defremagation can become noticed.

    I use mydefrag. it is newest of older version but I like the speed and some option of not doing certain files or types and the sizes that might be large.

    But only when I begin to notice do I do the mydefrag. It is free of cost too. Old shootout of defremags was good article, learned alot. Too many years now ago and new things might not make the same difference.
     
  8. Pigitus

    Pigitus Registered Member

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    I agree with the sceptics. Defragmenting used to have more meaning years ago. The older OSes were dumber and file fragments were all over. Thanks for confirming that Windows keeps getting better on that score. I hope 8 got even better than 7.

    But if I sitll use the word "defragment", it's for lack of a better term. What really interests me here is file grouping algorithms (for mechanical disks). They are commonly discussed with defragging because defraggers do both. But grouping algorithms is actually a separate source of efficiency. Even if the OS never writes a single fragmented file, grouping remains a relevant topic.

    I did not formally benchmark anything (cf. NGRhodes above), but I still think I witnessed an improvement with associative grouping in my particular situation. The difference was larger compared to XP alone, but it was still there with the three other defraggers. Instead of giving me more options, the other defraggers took more control and got mainly interested in three things: defragmenting files, moving often-used files outward, and consolidating free space as a block. (In fairness, I only tested the light (free) version of Diskeeper and tested it before 2012, whereas I looked at the others together in 2012).

    Flinging daily used files on the outer rings makes sense the more you adhere to a daily routine. 99% (so to speak) of the stuff used every day will be in "one" place.

    An alternative tack for associative grouping is:

    1. Put the personal data on a separate drive. [An HD, given the price of a 1 TB SSD, let alone a 2 TB. BTW, the green minds should remember that spinning an HD still takes about 8 Volts-Amperes of DC power every second on the latest HDs, meaning about 10 to 12 VA AC.]

    2. Put the operating system and apps on separate drives. [Except that too many writers expect their software to run on the Windows drive too. SSDs are solving that problem at a moderate price, however. A 256GB can easily take the OS and all my software, with plenty of room to grow.]


    This separate disk solution narrows defragging down to the personal data. Even so, I still believe in grouping them thematically, the same way I group them with Explorer. Since data bounce around less, maybe O&O would be less hysterical. (Can't try it again, since my trial period expired). So, I am still looking, and thanks for the suggestions (Auslogics, Mydefrag, etc.).

    One thing that bugs me about SSDs is that lots of writes shorten their lives more dramatically than for HDs. So, on grounds of data safety, personal data should go to an SSD, since the user does not intensely rewrite them. Windows, however, is a serial writer. At least XP is (look at the I/O Writes and I/O Write Bytes columns in Task Manager, EVEN when the machine is idling). This crazy writing reduces an SSD's life, which makes me wonder why vendors put Windows on SSDs. Maybe because Win 7 and 8 write less? I have seen a recent Windows 7 notebook in my family crash after 9 months. Repair techs confirmed it was a bad SSD.

    If this hysterical writing is about the personal data (e.g., moving them around for fast access), then the idea of data on SSDs falls through, because the OS rewrites them all the time.

    Anyone knows what those I/O writes are about? Does Windows 8 still write a lot while idling? Are the writes mostly in pagefile.sys? If so, 64-bit systems with lots of RAM could just set pagefile.sys to 0 MB and force those operations to RAM.

    Anyway, as conversations often do (especially when they are in writing, as in a thread), this one got me moving. Thanks for participating.
     
  9. taotoo

    taotoo Registered Member

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    I've noticed speed improvements from grouping files, but only in certain situations, and not recently. There may still be a time and a place for it, but I suspect that preconceived ideas of file placement will often result in worse performance than just letting the files fall where they may (i.e. normally near the front of the disk).

    Windows does a good job of getting the boot and frequently-used applications defragmented and positioned on the disk (better than any of the third-party defragmenters that I've tried).

    On the rare occasion I actively want to defragment, it would be either due to a very full and therefore fragmented disk, or to enable me to shrink a partition. In both cases most software I've tried fails miserably, the exception possibly being Perfectdisk (or Puran perhaps).
     
  10. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    Hi,
    I tried on an old XP machine a real time background defragmenter, called warp disk (http://www.warpdrivesoftware.com/Products), it works very well and really improved boot time. There are a few issues here and there, but I find it easy to use.

    On other machines I use the latest O&O Defrag (16 ?), in stealth mode.
     
  11. taotoo

    taotoo Registered Member

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    Just tried it and you're not wrong!
     
  12. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    It looks interesting, I will try it. Thanks for the link.
     
  13. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    perfectdisk 13 will be coming beg of october..
     
  14. hawki

    hawki Registered Member

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    I had been using Diskeeper Pro. I recently have had to install Windows 8 and I have had nothing but problems with Diskeeper Pro and Windows 8. So I have been trying others.

    Auslogic Defrag Pro is impressive in the intelligent disk layouts it offers. I was not impressed with its speed if you are doing anything other than than a simple defrag. It's boot time defrag is questionable. It's on sale for $7.95 at The Download crew store.If you don't use windows 8 there is supposedly, or used to be, a free Version 4 around. But that version is not updateable cuz you need a license to upgrade it which takes it up to Windows 8.

    Perfect Disk's placement scheme only makes sense if you write to the disk a lot. But it puts the boot files and MFT files in the right spot. It has the best boot-time defragger -- it actually works. Its not a speedball but its OK and it has a stealth patrol which defrags when you are not using your PC for a period of time (i think it's 5 minutes). It also has prioritry and i/o throttling so you can do a full defrag while you are using your PC for other things without it being noticeably less responsive.

    O & O offers lots of customiztions -- so many that I found it too confusing.

    If you are using Windows 8 the buzz on the net is that the built in defragger is much improved.

    System Mechanic has an interesting feature where it claims to lay down defragmented files that are used together close together on the disc. It's a patented process and no one else has it.

    Hope this helps :)
     
  15. MarcP

    MarcP Registered Member

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    But only if October is receptive to the begging....
     
  16. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    Hi,
    I forgot to mention one issue : after WarpDisk is installed, I have problems when ejecting external usb HDDs, it simply won't work, I have to shutdown the PC.
     
  17. taotoo

    taotoo Registered Member

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    Two other issues worth mentioning: it actively defragments all volumes by default (doesn't seem to let you disable this permanently), and it looks like it destroys shadow copies.
     
  18. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    :thumb: :D :cool:

    Acadia
     
  19. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    Actually yes, you can disable permanently the defragmentation of some volumes. In the options, you uncheck default settings for the considered volume, and then uncheck all other options that become ungreyed.

    Regarding shadow copies, I have not checked, I have disabled System Restore. When I want to perform an image backup of a volume that is continuously defragmented, I stop the background defrag for this volume first, then I perform the image, and restart defragmentation. VSS works fine so.
     
  20. TomAZ

    TomAZ Registered Member

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    Appreciate hearing about your experience with each of these. Any comments on the performance of Defraggler (Piriform)?
     
  21. taotoo

    taotoo Registered Member

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    I did try that, but it kept on defragmenting the volume. Perhaps it was just finishing what it had already started.

    I was using Previous Versions on a drive, and it wiped them out - not that it's unique in doing this of course.
     
  22. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    i dropped auslogics pro a while back i found it only okay at what it does and it did not do a very good boot time defrag and its placement was only average. perfectdisk is far more accurate with placement and will actually arrange the drive nice and neatly and its boot time does a very good job. O&O is a decent program but i dont all the procc's and add on's it installs or tries to if you dont know better. it does do a overall good job but its boot time is lacking imo.
     
  23. Sadeghi85

    Sadeghi85 Registered Member

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    I use an external disk to store VMs. I usually use "dynamic" virtual disks. Is there a defragger that can put some gap between virtual disks so when they grow they don't get fragmented?
     
  24. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I've just started using the 31 day trial version of WarpDrive and it decreased Windows boot time by well under half which is impressive. It went from 194.2 seconds to 70.5.

    I am going to buy it as it's currently only $9.95.
     
  25. Niagara73

    Niagara73 Registered Member

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    Sound very interesting. I am going to try it before buying, but on the web site I could not find any information about supporting OS's and no information about their licensing policy.
    The support is only an e-mail address. No FAQ, No KB, no forum.
    Is the license valid for any future versions ?
     
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