hmmm well I just tried the XP defragmenter and after 25 minutes I was only 28% through it, it seemed to take ages to move each file..... I've never had this problem with 98 or ME anybody got any ideas why it should be taking so long
What defrag program is "best"- it depends on what you are looking for
Most of the commercial defrag products out there will do a decent job of defragmenting most files - especially if there is a large amount of free space. However, there is a lot more to defragmenting than just defragmenting files. Several other things to consider:
- How effective is the product at consolidating free space and why is this important? If free space isn't consolidated, then new files will be created fragmented - a condition that you are trying to improve by defragmenting. Some defrag products are very good at consolidating free space - others are not.
- How much free space is "required or suggested" by a defrag product. While any defrag product can do a reasonable job on a partition with a large amount of free space, what will happen in the future as partitions start to fill up? Some defrag products work very well with limited free space - others do not.
- Ability to defragment "non-data" files. There are certain files that can NOT be defragmented online. This includes directories, the pagefile, and non $MFT metadata on NTFS partitions. Some defrag products are not capable of defragmenting these files at all. Other products may be able to do "most" of these files but not all.
- Single pass vs multi-pass technology. Some defragmenters can defragment in a single pass. Others may require or recommend multiple passes in order to completely defragment. As there is no technical reason why defraggers can't defragment a partition in a single pass, you need to decide what will work best in your environment.
That's just from a defragmenting view. There are also other things to consider, such as scheduling (local and network), etc... All of the commercial defrag products offer easier local scheduling of defrag passes. Some products allow the network wide scheduling of boot time defrags as well as network wide scheduling of online defrags. Others only provide limited network wide scheduling (allow network scheduling of online passes but boot time defrag has to be scheduled on a machine by machine basis). Other products don't support scheduling boot time defrags at all (because they don't support boot time defrags). Some products provide detailed statistics prior to running a defrag pass. Other products provide limited stats or only privide stats after a defrag pass is run (no way to know ahead of time how badly fragmented a partition prior to running a defrag pass). Some products have comprehensive command line support. Others offer limited or no support at all. Some products can keep themselves "up-to-date", others provide no capability at all.
As I am fond of saying, the "best" defragmenter is the one that provides the functionality that YOU are looking for at a price that YOU are willing to pay - most of the defrag products are close in price. It may be that the built-in defragmenter will fully meet your needs. Below you will find more detailed information about the commercial defragmenters available for Windows XP:
PerfectDisk 2000 - www.raxco.com - Schedulable, defragments pagefile, directories and MFT and is the only commercial defragger capable of defragmenting ALL of the NTFS metadata ($LogFile, $Bitmap, etc...). PD2k runs on Win9x, WinMe, WinNT 4.0 and is certified for Win2k and carries the Designed for Windows XP logo. PerfectDisk has the unique ability to place the $MFT where Microsoft recommends for a 5-10% performance improvement on NTFS partitions. From a central point you can schedule defrag activity throughout. No difference in functionality between the workstation and server version (both the workstation version AND server version can schedule through the network). PD2k is a "one pass" defragger - designed to do the job in one pass. PD2k also works exceptionally well with minimal usable freespace - as low as 5% where others may require a lot more. PerfectDisk also does a excellent job of consolidating freespace - which means that the partition re-fragments slower. PerfectDisk uses the MS provided API's for defragging files.
Diskeeper - www.execsoft.com - Worked with MS in the development of WinXP defragmenter (and all of its limitations). Schedulable, defragments pagefile, directories and MFT but is unable to defragment the rest of the NTFS metadata. DK runs on Win9x, WinNT 4.0, is certified for Win2k and carries the Designed for Windows XP - Optimized logo. Requires their Server version if you want to schedule defrag activity through the network. May require multiple passes to completely defrag a partition. Requires Admin privs to run. Diskeeper strongly suggests that you have at least 20% freespace in order to effectively defrag. Diskeeper uses the MS provided API's for defragging files.
O&O Defrag - www.oo-defrag.com. Schedulable, defragments pagefile and MFT but doesn't defragment the rest of the NTFS metadata. O&O Defrag runs on WinNT 4.0, Win2k and is compatible with Windows XP (according to their web site) Doesn't defragment directories on FATx partitions. You have to purchase their "Network Addition" which allows you to schedule through the network. O&O Defrag is a "one pass" defragger - designed to do the job in one pass. Works well in lower freespace conditions. O&O Defrag uses the MS provided API's for defragging files.
Speedisk 5.x - www.symantec.com. Part of the SystemWorks suite of products. Schedulable, defragments pagefile, directories and MFT but is unable to defragment the rest of the NTFS metadata. SD runs on WinNT 4.0 and Win2k and carries the Designed for WindowsXP logo. SpeedDisk requires purchase of their Norton System Center if you want to schedule defrag activity through the network. SD is a "one pass" defragger - designed to do the job in one pass. Works very well in low freespace conditions. SpeedDisk also does a excellent job of consolidating freespace - which means that the partition re-fragments slower. SpeedDisk is the only defragger that does NOT use the MS provided API's for defragging files which means that it can be service pack/hot fix dependent. SpeedDisk also will not install/run under Terminal Server or Cluster Server.
OnTrack's Suite - www.ontrack.com. A suite of products. You can't just buy the defragger. Schedulable. Works on NT 4, Win2k and is compatible with Windows XP. Don't know too much more about this one. Ontrack's defragger uses the MS provided API's for defragging files.
Defrag Commander and Defrag Commander NE - www.winternals.com. Remotely defrags NT and Win2K systems, also schedules the built-in defraggers on WinMe/9x and optionally Win2K. Certified for Win2k Server. Compatible with Windows XP. Works as an MMC snap-in. In addition, they provide their own NT/Win2K defrag engine that is designed to do the job in "one pass" using the Microsoft defrag APIs but with no software installed on the systems being defragged (better than using the built-in defrag engine). Defrag Commander provides no offline/ boot time defragging of system files, directories (FAT and NTFS on NT4 - FAT on Win2k) or NTFS metadata. Also doesn't defragment files with multiple data streams.
Hope this helps!
- Greg/Raxco Software
Disclaimer: I work for Raxco Software, the maker of PerfectDisk 2000, as a systems engineer in the support department. I have tried to not be too biased in presenting information
Stay away from Norton Speed Disk. XP has built in self-optimization and speed disk counters it's effects.
25 minutes isn't too long for a first defrag and it will just hang out at certain percentages for no good reason, lol. I think my first defrag took like 45 minutes. I now use Diskeeper (workstation) 7.0 and have it set to run every 8 hours - my drive now defrags in about 30 seconds. Point being - the first few are going to take some time and if you put your drive on a consistent defrag schedule it will get faster and faster.