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Thread: Free Defrag Program, Good or bad?

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    Free Defrag Program, Good or bad?

    i have had a really rough time with my computer being super slow lately and friends have suggested that i try a disk defrag, so i was googling to find a program that could do it for me and i came across a website called htp://www.coolz.co.za that makes refernce to a program called diskeeper.
    i just want to know if anyone as heard of or used this program before? and if it will be reliable to use on my computer?

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    Gold Member Chrisjan B's Avatar
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    I think it will work fine. You can also use the free http://www.auslogics.com/disk-defrag
    I find there is usually other issues when your computer slows down: viruses, spyware, when last did you do a diskcheck, does the PC have enough memory?

    Maybe you should some knowledgeable person have a look?

    BOVER Technologies
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Assuming a Windows OS, do these defragmenters really do a better job than the Windows defrag program anyway? I got PCtools at one time and wasn't that impressed. Ultimately, it just repacked and indexed things differently, but came with other problems, like the daily slowdown as it shuffled its way through making my PC "healthier."

    From a user point of view, it was slowing me down more than the fragged files were.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Gold Member Chrisjan B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    Assuming a Windows OS, do these defragmenters really do a better job than the Windows defrag program anyway? I got PCtools at one time and wasn't that impressed. Ultimately, it just repacked and indexed things differently, but came with other problems, like the daily slowdown as it shuffled its way through making my PC "healthier."

    From a user point of view, it was slowing me down more than the fragged files were.
    A Windows PC needs to be defragged regularly (at least monthly)and the reason I recommended the Auslogics program is that is quite fast and seems to do a good job. I yesterday defragged my two 320 GB harddrives in about 30 minutes time and you can still work on the PC while it is working.

    See the Defragmention Explained at http://www.auslogics.com/disk-defrag

    Hard disk errors can also be a source of a slow PC. Windows XP does not always alert you to disk errors. It is also a good idea to run the Windows checkdisk utility from time to time with the /f and /r switches from a command line. Keep in mind that if you do this it takes up to an hour to run after the PC has been restarted, schedule it for a convenient time then.

    BOVER Technologies
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    Elmine Botha Freelance Photographer - Photographer/ Videographer

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    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    I hauled out the April 2007 copy of PCFormat magazine which ran a helpline by Luis, a guy who seemed to know what he was talking about. He advocated many times that defragging was a waste of time.

    This is part of his last reply on the subject of defragging...
    Defragmenting a computer hard disk is a pointless waste of everybody's time, as I've said in these very pages since time immemorial. It's the 21st century equivalent of prayer beads, or something. The only thing you'll ever get in return for the time you waste defragging your computer's hard disk is the faint placebo comfort of the ignorant and deluded user.
    If a fragmented hard disk really did generate dangerous amounts of extra heat and affect overall system performance, don't you think that the hour or so of solid thrashing that defragmenting often entails would be enough to guarantee your disk's ultimate demise, if not that of your entire rig? It's like saying 'regularly plough up your lawn to prevent unsightly worm casts!'
    So I'll say this for (hopefully) the last time: Don't bother defragging - you're wasting your time.
    I haven't defragged my drive since reading that and do not seem to have had any problems as a result.
    To check this, I ran this auslogics programme on my one drive - 600 defragged files out of 200,000 - no problems reported....mmm... I think Luis knew that answer was coming.

    Your slow computer is probably software related. Probably Vista? Could be virus, spyware or registry problems. Check out startup options - often I find programs load update checkers and stuff that keeps your computer busy in the background that you do not need. My internet usage shot up one day last week - I eventually discovered that adobe was updating my software in the background and was downloading a 400meg file. Stopped that process and hey presto - instant speed up.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marq View Post
    ...don't you think that the hour or so of solid thrashing that defragmenting often entails would be enough to guarantee your disk's ultimate demise,...
    Does he have any advice on Anti-virus scans? They pound the poor hard drive too.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Gold Member Chrisjan B's Avatar
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    IMHO a hard drive is made to work - just like a car's engine - you regularly service your car, you should also maintain your Windows PC - clean out junk and temporary files, check for unnecessary startup programs, check for viruses and spyware,do a disk check (I have solved many a problem by running chkdsk in Windows) They guy may be right about defragging but if one read up a bit about how Windows stores files all over the place and the hard drive head seeking madly for all the different fragments I am wondering if it is worth it not to run a defrag. It is not all about heat, wear and tear also comes into play. Solid State Drives (SSD) does not have any moving parts but is still fairly small and very expensive - that is one of the reasons why the new ASUS eeePC is so quick. At least there is light at the end of the tunnel!

    Nowadays when I built a PC I install a hard rive cooler, especially 120GB and up, they run at between 43 and 50 degrees Celsius with the cooler it goes as low as 28 degrees Celsius. A case with good airflow also helps. Seagate hard drives nowadays carry a 5 year warranty - one will get the odd failure also. What is the use if you cannot put a load on it? i thing the Search Indexer in VISTA thrashes the drive more than defrag and virus scan combined.

    Related to anti virus programs - it is all a trade off - be virus free and get some work done most of the time or don't bother and struggle with a problematic PC.

    As I am an Afrikaans guy I struggle a bit to express myself - I hope everybody understand my ramblings!

    BOVER Technologies
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    You're communicating just fine, Chrismine.

    Personally, I favour defragging every now and then. About once a month I do a disk cleanup and defrag. I ran a hard drive (hard ) without defragging for about 6 months once, and I reckon the defrag (when I got round to doing it) did help with access times - probably more noticeable on older drives given the access times of the really up-to-date stuff nowadays.

    Also, an XP or later defrag isn't going to move every file on the drive like Windows 98 and earlier versions used to. So it isn't nearly as intense on the hard drive.

    The way some AVs thrash the drive on a daily basis is a different story, I reckon. Now that is working a hard drive hard! Surely once or twice a week is enough given all the scanning these programs run on any file load and execute anyway?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Gold Member Chrisjan B's Avatar
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    As long as your AV program has "realtime" scanning enabled you should be fine for twice a week...

    Not bragging - but so far I had only two PC's I was unable to remove viruses from - had to reinstall... Which unlike the "norm" is usually the last resort.

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    Gold Member irneb's Avatar
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    One thing none of the Defrags (especially Windows Defrag) does is defragment system files / files opened during the defrag. You can find quite a lot of these things doing a Google - some better than others, some more expensive.

    E.g. the one I use is http://ultradefrag.sourceforge.net/ - totally open source. Looks rather early 90's but does the job. It's also got an option to do defrags on shared / system files during start-up (while they're not opened yet). It allows for scheduling, and with some tweaking you can defrag absolutely everything on the disk even that Page file, user hives (where registry is store), etc.

    As to AV / AS, most of these do make your PC slower. I've got AVG which I set to do a scan at 18:00 each day ... leave the PC on (just turn off the monitor) & let AVG scan & shut-down after. This way the scan is done daily while you're not using the PC. Nothing worse than having a scheduled scan start while you're working on a particularly important document, finding that the PC is nearly not responding at all.

    If you want to know why to defrag, here's an article explaining the nuts-n-bolts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defragmentation
    Last edited by irneb; 06-Aug-08 at 08:02 AM.

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