10

What do you recommend? And why?

13

I like MyDefrag (formerly known as JkDefrag). Its UI is a bit stark, but it's lightweight and tiny, designed to run automatically. GPLed too, if that matters to you.

6

A nice, free tool is Defraggler (http://www.defraggler.com), which is capable of defragmenting specific files or folders. This speeds up defragmenting times when using it on only frequently used files.

4

Excuse the ignorance, but what's wrong with the Windows default one?

Win XP:

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories\System Tools\Disk Defragmenter  
or  
C:\Windows\System32\dfrg.msc
3

Try Auslogics Disk Defrag.

3

I use contig lot.

It allows defragment of single files! Very handy for defragging VPC-images.

Default Windows defragmenter dosen't allow single file defrags.

Contig 1.54 on technet

3

Actually I don't use defragmentation anymore. NTFS does a pretty good job of keeping fragmentation low. You can get a small gain for a short time when defragmenting. But other than looking at pretty pictures of moving blocks for some time I don't think it's worth the time.

2

As long as you leave a reasonable amount of free space on each file system (at least 10-15%), fragmentation is hardly an issue with NTFS. (And if you're still using FAT32, that's your problem right there?)

That said, if you want to defrag individual files or folders, Defraggler or Contig (see pirho's post) are good solutions.

2

http://www.disktrix.com/UDFree.htm

Read the PDF after it's installed, it's full of useful information about how it defrag's and details on how a hard drive works.

I switched to this about 5 months ago and so did my co-workers. It has a "circular" disk defrag report which is neat. But I think the best part is the options it gives you in defragging. If you select "auto" it will check all the date/time stamps on files and move most recently used ones to the outer edge of the disk, making access times to those files much faster.

1

On a single drive "home" system then just use built in defrag. Another way to get a nice clean and tidy drive is to ghost the drive. You may get a temporary improvement in disk IO.

If you're referring to a Windows Server, then any decent server would use a 3 or more drive RAID 5 array for storage*. There is no point defragmenting this drive as every other 64KB (typical) block is stored on a different drive. Your "large contiguous file" is actually dispersed almost randomly across the drives.

Also, with any multi-user system, there is no guarantee that the "drive head" will seek nicely across the platter without being interrupted by another user or process.

Finally, HDD's have large read ahead buffers, multiple platters and can store the data in a vastly different filesystem structure than you may expect.

*Yes, I know, RAID 5 is not appropriate for all server types, i.e. Databases.

1

I second UltimateDefrag. The standard Windows defrag only puts fragments of files together on the hard disk but UltimateDefrag reorganises the location of files for quicker access.

There is a freeware edition of this app here

0

I find UltimateDefrag pretty good - it uses strategic file placement to optimize performance by moving unused files (zip files etc.) to 'slow' parts of the drive, moving and grouping directories as well as requiring very low amounts of free space for defragmenting.

0

I use a utility which combines windows Defrag with Contig called PowerDefragmenter.

Searching for PowerDefragmenter displays numerous links. The first I grabbed was from major geeks

PowerDefragmenter