Has anyone used PerfectDisk defragmenter

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Tig77

SpinRite Customer
Dec 29, 2020
11
1
44
Ontario, Canada
I was wondering if anyone has tried PerfectDisk defragmenter for Windows? - https://www.raxco.com/home/products/perfectdisk-pro

I have been looking for "the best" disk defragmenter/optimizer for Windows for spinning disk hard drives (and optimization for SSDs) and I did a lot of research. PerfectDisk doesn't seem to come up a lot in review lists these days, but I did some research and found out that this company has been creating it's disk defragmenter program (usually for businesses) for over 30 years. They were one of the chief competitors to Diskeeper (https://condusiv.com/products/#nowdymaxio). A very basic version of Diskeeper was the basis for the Disk Defragmenter in Windows 2000 and XP.

I'm currently using the 30 day free trial of PerfectDisk and I'm very impressed by it's many features. It allows the entire disk to be optimized/defragmented in one pass, both files and free space and can optimize the placement of system files, frequently used files and free space for maximum speed and less wear and tear on the drive. It also prevents some fragmentation by running always in the background using OptiWrite which intercepts fragmented write requests to the drive and prevents them right in the I/O system. It is also one of the few defragmenters that can optimize a drive with as little as 1% free space and can do Boot-Time defragmentation of the Master File Tables, metadata, page file, Windows Hibernation file, etc. What's cool is that if you select that option, you reboot and it has access to the drive in DOS to do it's work on the system files which otherwise can't be accessed in Windows. (As an aside, I thought this method might be awesome for SpinRite if one day it had a Windows version, so that instead of a USB bootup, you could run SpinRite for Windows and have it set to reboot into SpinRite's DOS interface and when complete, it just restarts the computer and goes back into Windows. It would make SpinRite more accessible to more people I think, but admittedly it might be more tricky to successfully implement, especially with so many versions and builds of Windows and more to come.)

Anyway, I'm not trying to sound like an advertisement, but I was just wondering if anyone else has used this program and what their thoughts are on it or what their preferred defragmenter is. Defraggler (https://www.ccleaner.com/defraggler) is also very good and probably one of the most well-known and used these days and it's free. I tried that one, but it couldn't defragment many large files on a drive with less than 10% free space left.

Regards,
Shawn
 

alt3rn1ty

Member
Dec 27, 2020
24
8
Not used it personally but for spinning disks the best one I ever found and relied upon for around 15 years was ..

Mark Russinovich's Contig - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/contig
(I think it may have been a Security Now! podcast that recommended it originally for me)

It's a command line tool, but there is a GUI for it which also turned out to be reliable (so long as you get it from the authors website, and not use a third party site with installers which include additional content you may not wish to have installed) ..

Rejzor's Power Defragmenter - https://rejzor.wordpress.com/powerdefrag/

Power Defrag I think includes a version of Contig in the zip, but just update that from the original Contig site with either x32 or x64 for your OS, Power Defragmenter is only a GUI and passes the relevant command line switches to Contig depending on selections you make in the GUI.


For optimising SSD's, I dont think there's much to be done really (though I am no expert).

Cut down on the amount of writing your OS does to the drive is probably the best thing you can do for SSD longevity :

Disable Windows Hibernation (OS starts from SSDs as quick as any Hibernation anyway, so having a huge hibernation file being written to disk is a bit redundant causing unecessary writing to the SSD) - Elevated Command Prompt (Admin) Type in "powercfg.exe /h off"
Edit : Unless you have a need for it, Hybernation can be useful if you want to shutdown but resume where you left off the next time you boot the machine. Personally Hybernation writes a 50gb hyber.sys file which boots up no quicker than a complete shutdown of the machine on a Samsung 970 Evo plus, and I never shut down with any projects needing to be continued after a reboot so for me its a redundant feature causing writes to the SSD I dont need.

Also disable Indexing (if you dont use windows search on your SSD, disabling indexing cuts down on many writes to the SSD) - Click Start, type in services.msc and press return, find Windows Search service, right click it and choose Properties, and then in the general tab where it says Start type use the drop down menu to select Disabled and click Apply.

For disabling Indexing I think just disabling the service is enough, but I also unchecked "Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties", which is accessed by opening My Computer (This PC), right click a drive and choose properties, then uncheck the option and click apply ..

EQXVq6C.png


And make sure Trim is working .. To do this open an elevated Command prompt (run as admin) and type ..

fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify

If you see DisableDeleteNotify = 0 , TRIM is enabled.

If you see DisableDeleteNotify = 1 , TRIM is disabled. Set it with ..

fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 0

Windows will automatically tell the SSD to retrim periodically.


Lastly make sure the drive has some free unallocated Hard drive space, which the SSD firmware will make use of automatically, for Over Provisioning (Wear levelling and Bad block swapping) - I am pretty sure you dont need anything special apart from Windows Disk Management to shrink your main partition by the amount you wish to have as unallocated space for this purpose ..



I probably over did it a bit, but can expand the main partitions of my SSDs if I need to reclaim some of the unallocated space, right now I am only using about one third of my space on both drives.
 
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PHolder

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2020
630
2
308
Ontario, Canada
I have been looking for "the best" disk defragmenter/optimizer for Windows
I applaud your doggedness, but please do realize you're doing the equivalent of fine tuning a blender. Your results are never going to be worth the efforts you're putting in. Windows automatically looks after defragmenting a system on schedule, and manages SSDs by TRIMing them as it goes. While it is possible to get minor optimizations for HDDs (if there is the free space to do so safely) you're looking at getting so little effect as to have it spoiled by other activities in your system competing for the HDDs (and IOs and CPUs) attention. I would just let go and let Windows.
 

Barry Wallis

Magician in Training
Disable Windows Hibernation (OS starts from SSDs as quick as any Hibernation anyway, so having a huge hibernation file being written to disk is a bit redundant causing unecessary writing to the SSD) - Elevated Command Prompt (Admin) Type in "powercfg.exe /h off"
I hibernate when I am done at the end of the night. This preserves the state of my computer where shutting it down wouldn't. With the resiliency of SSDs the extra writes shouldn't be that big a deal (my hiber.sys file is 12.6GB of my 1TB SSD).
 
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TAC109

Member
Sep 24, 2020
5
2
My favourite is the free MyDefrag. Although it has not been supported by its author for some years, it is still available via the WayBack machine (and some download sites) and works fine on my Windows 10 computers.

MyDefrag differs from other defragging products in that it uses a scripting language to control the defragging process. The download includes several standard scripts that can be used for defragging and optimising hard disks, or you can write your own scripts if desired.

MyDefrag can also optimise the disk's MFT on a running system. (Click the above link for more information).
 

alt3rn1ty

Member
Dec 27, 2020
24
8
I hibernate when I am done at the end of the night. This preserves the state of my computer where shutting it down wouldn't. With the resiliency of SSDs the extra writes shouldn't be that big a deal (my hiber.sys file is 12.6GB of my 1TB SSD).

Yep everyone has different needs, I ought to have put "unless you use it" like I did for Windows Indexing. Will edit the post shortly *.

I used it once since upgrading my machine (accidently pressed the button on my laptop which put it into Hybernation mode) and surprisingly it saved a 50gb hiber.sys file .. I then found coming out of Hybernation was no quicker than just loading up the OS from a Samsung 970 Evo Plus so regarded it as kind of redundant. Combined with other gamers reports I have seen around the gaming bazaars giving similar reports I consider it a feature that can be safely turned off for anyone that does not use it.

I have seen many reports of what can be turned off to preserve SSD longevity but I dont think they are all absolutely necessary. Windows I think is already doing a good job in the background, but maybe in the case of Windows Search which is more geared towards Internet searches these days instead of local drive searches on Windows 10 (and probably tied in with Bing and Onedrive for Microsoft to gather more marketing data which is what Win 10 is all about really), and Windows Hybernate saving such a large file (your mileage may vary) .. Those are the only two I think can be considered detrimental to the longevity of an SSD while being redundant in the need for them.

See also this link (but beware what you download if you research what the article author discusses, Windows Defender (and Malwarebytes) found SSDFresh at least to be PUP, possibly malware (depending on what the installer does regionally for your computer)).

* Edited the previous post.
 
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JimWilliamson

Member
Nov 15, 2020
24
7
Hello Tig77, I have not used PerfectDisk so I can't comment.

As you opened the door to what others like, I'll second TAC109's MyDefrag. I have been using it for YEARS (System Disk Weekly, typically, for mechanical drives). I like that it is small and clean of bloatware. Free is a bonus (back in the day I did send some coin to the author as I find it worthwhile). I like utility programs that do not require to be "always running" and prefer either a shortcut or scheduled task for operation. One large bonus for MyDefrag is that MyDefrag gives the user a pictoral of the state of the volume. "How much yellow" is a theme when looking at a drive (yellow represents file fragments) as well as, how far into the platter is the data. The program runs off of "text file scripts" where, I believe, is documentation for a person to edit or create a new script. The program also saves a log file in text format for stats (handy for an "analyze" run).

Should anyone wish the ?last? version the author published (4.3.1?) I have it available - downloaded direct from MyDefrag.com. It started under the name JkDefrag before moving to MyDefrag. Jeroen Kessels is the author's name. I think the program was bought out and is the reason MyDefrag abruptly left the web. His personal web site: https://www.kessels.com/JkDefrag/

Before & After screen grabs (granted - this was from an XP system)
22 - P3 WinXP - Defrag - Before.jpg
22 - P3 WinXP - Defrag - After.jpg
 
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PHolder

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2020
630
2
308
Ontario, Canada
Few people probably remember that PCMag used to produce (and sell) utilities. I don't think you can even find them any more (here's info about some https://in.pcmag.com/system-utilities/83616/pcmags-top-20-utilities ) but the Defrag-a-file was pretty good. The thing that I remember about it, was that it was just using the built in file system API of Windows to do the actual defragging. I suspect that many existing utilities do the same, as it may be one of the only ways to get the necessary access to the files without risking system corruption. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/fileio/defragmenting-files
 

alt3rn1ty

Member
Dec 27, 2020
24
8
Few people probably remember that PCMag used to produce (and sell) utilities. I don't think you can even find them any more (here's info about some https://in.pcmag.com/system-utilities/83616/pcmags-top-20-utilities ) ~snip~

I remember :), but then I also remember that some of those were later found to be malware if you had the installers archived on your computer and intelligence / more up to date malware signature files were employed to have a good look at them. Maybe some were false positive, but after that I tended to err on the side of the journo disc compiler maybe didn't have much time to research what was being included on the free disc (Floppy/CD/DVD) - Or maybe the compiler of the cover disc was being given back hand payments for inclusion <shrug>.
 
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PHolder

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2020
630
2
308
Ontario, Canada
Well I actually worked on the team that brought those utilities to you, led by Tim Smith. The utilities were all coded by independent developers on a shoe string budget. I remember there was a guy Bruno in South America (Brazil?) who wrote a number of them in Delphi. I don't think there was any mal intention there, it's more probable you didn't get them direct from PC Mag because they weren't free and were frequently "rehosted" by lord knows who elsewhere on the Internet.
 

alt3rn1ty

Member
Dec 27, 2020
24
8
:) could have been rehosting, maybe I ought to have another caveat to my last post ..

Or - Maybe the anti-virus I was using at the time was trying to out-do competition anti-malware at the time by 'claiming' it found more malware than anything else could on my HD.
 

rfrazier

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
231
77
Fyi, I put a bunch of links in the following post which talk (mostly) about defragging on Windows 7.


You should not "defrag" an SSD. On Windows 8 and up, what used to be the defragger is now the optimizer. To find either, type defrag in the Start button search on Windows 7 or type (I think) optimize into the Start button search on Windows 8 or 10. As I understand it, optimizer will defrag spinners and it will trim SSD's. Some of the links contain information on tweaks for SSD's. I'm not so big on the performance tweaks because of the benefit vs effort as @PHolder mentioned. BUT, if I have spinners available as well as SSD's, I am inclined to move some of the heavy temp file writing off the SSD to the spinner. This increases life of the SSD and decreases life of the spinner. I have no way to prove for sure whether this is a good idea, but it seems to make sense. Once the spinners fail, I may end up regretting it.

May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron
 

JimWilliamson

Member
Nov 15, 2020
24
7
The thing that I remember about it, was that it was just using the built in file system API of Windows to do the actual defragging. I suspect that many existing utilities do the same, as it may be one of the only ways to get the necessary access to the files without risking system corruption.
Thanks for this.

Regarding MyDefrag... If I recall correctly, the author stated that the Windows defragment engine does the work for MyDefrag and that his program simply adds some intelligence (move this to there...) that the Windows defrag does not do. Thus, the program is as safe as using the Windows defragment program.