I've decided on my defragmenter: Diskeeper 10
full version, which is payware unfortunately.Reasons
: I like to have manual control, and additionally I wanted something that will defragment the pagefile and masterfile and this one can because I can schedule a "boot-up" defragment. My masterfile did indeed get smaller, and I saw perhaps a 10% decrease in the masterfile usage (which is not the file size, but the amount of the file in use). I can set Diskeeper 10 to automatically scan if I want. It also provides lots of information about which files are most heavily fragmented, history, graphs, job history and so forth. There are some other reasons which will be come clear below.
I'm going to write some of my findings and experiences with the defragmenters I tried so that others may make their choices based on what they want.
and Diskeeper 10
are both more robust versions of the defragmenter that comes with Windows. Both will replace the Windows version with their own in the Control Panel. Both also place a convenient icon on the desktop.Diskeeper lite
: manual control only. Seems to be lighter on computer resources than the one that came with Windows - my drive makes less noise than the Windows version when I use it - and it is free. Boot-up defrag is not available on the lite version, and the user does have to put up with ads suggesting an upgrade to the full version.Ashampoo Magical Defragmenter
: Of the payware versions I tried, this one was the least expensive. This one is automatic only. It runs in the background, but will 'snooze' if the user is using resource heavy programs or if nothing needs to be defragmented. When defragmenting, the little window that you can call up shows a pencil on a grid moving around. When it's 'snoozing' the pencil is motionless in the middle with zzz's coming out of the eraser. I thought, cute and if someone wants a completely automatic defragmenter, this may be just what they are looking for. The windows defragmenter, incidentally, is still available if this one is installed.However, I discovered a disconcerting problem
. I have dial-up connection and only one phone-line. It quite likely that if this were not the case, I would not have discovered this. I needed to make an important phone call, so I went to where the internet connection icon lives in my system tray when I'm connected. The icon was gone. I thought, okay, it disconnected - but it seemed strange as I get the connection window when this happens so I can log back in and reconnect, and this did not happen. I tried to open the connection again. No luck. I picked up the phone and I heard the distinctive sound that told me my computer was connected to the internet. I unhid all system tray icons - no dial-up connection icon. I went to internet connections in control panel and both my ISP dial-up connections said they were disconnected. In order to disconnect, I had to physically unplug my modem from the phone line. Then the disconnect window came up. When I connected again later, the same thing happened. No active connection icon, and I had to disconnect by removing the modem from the phone line. I uninstalled and deleted this program. The problem persisted. I actually had to do a system restore to a time prior to installing this program. I am absolutely certain that Ashampoo Magical Defragmenter was the culprit. Perhaps some folks might want to investigate to find out just why it seems to intervene with the internet connection or if this just happens with dial-up.Speedefrag
Manual only. From my experience, this one defragments while the computer shuts down. When you run it, you have the option shut down or a restart before it starts to defragment. It is freeware, and it is light on resources. The windows defragmenter is still available if the user wants to use it. I was not able to determine if it defragmented the pagefile or masterfile as I had already defragmented it with Diskeeper 10, but I think not. I believe that is only possible when booting up. It is quite good at defragmenting everything else. It does not provide much in the way of information or statistics and you can't see what it is doing.VoptXP
was the most expensive of the payware I tried. This might be an option for those who have a network or multiple drives to defragment as you can set it up to do just that. It also has a lot of other features that I didn't explore. Some of them replicated functions of other programs I use. It can be run manually or automatically, and you can tell it to skip files or folders. You can set it to run at boot up, so it can defragment the masterfile and pagefile. I found this one hard on my little near-sighted eyes. It has little itty bitty squares representing the space on the drive, and little colored squares move about on this grid while it is defragmenting. There is a key that tells the user what the colors stand for. It's kind of neat to watch if you've the eyes for it.Alert
This program has a mind of its own about where your files belong. It moved my entire directory of saved files
: word documents, pictures, screen shots, you name it, from the folder I had specifically created for them into a completely different folder. I just about had a panic attack as some very important documents were not yet backed up, and I didn't see them at all when I went to the folder I keep them in. Fortunately I thought of using search for one of my documents and I found the entire works filed exactly the way I had, but in a completely different location - a system created folder that I never use. It was as if someone decided to empty everything from my file cabinet in my office and put it in the file cabinet in my house without telling me but otherwise keeping the organization of the files the same.