Product Reviews

Windows 2000 Defragmentation Tools: O&O Defrag 2000 Professional

Five ways to fight the inevitable disk slowdown.

Hands down, O&O Defrag 2000 Professional is the best defragmentation tool I've seen to date. As I said in the print version of this article: O&O thought of everything. This software is based on the Microsoft Management Console (like most defragmenters these days) so it's easy to learn and use. It also comes with a number of features that keep your disks running as fast as possible, all of the time.

Pros: Easy to use and thorough
Cons:
Translated from German to English
Verdict: An excellent defragmentation tool

When you first open the software you will see your disks listed in the top pane and a disk analysis in the bottom pane. The first analysis is done thoroughly so it takes a while, but you won't mind that later. Once your disks have been analyzed you can defragment them. Defrag Professional has several options for defragmenting your hard disks: space, complete/name, and complete/date. Space simply defragments your files and consolidates your free space at the end of the disk so that you have a larger amount of space to insert new files later. Complete/name will defragment the disk, consolidate free space and rearrange files in alphabetical order on the disk. This option can take a while to run, but it makes your files easier for Windows to find. Complete/date is much like complete/name except that files are organized by placing the least used files at the beginning of the volume and the most used files at the end. This is an excellent choice for file or database servers where some files are seldom modified. While it is a bit hard to find, there is also a very thorough boot time defragmentation option. Defrag Professional will defragment your page file, system files and registry, which is more than the other software that I looked at will do.

All of the defrag options can be tightly controlled and scheduled. For instance, you can check the disk for errors before defragmenting (a nice touch). You can control how the processor is used during defragmentation by turning on ActivityGuard, which tells the software how to use threads in the processor or across multiple processors. Figure 2 shows these and other options.

O&O Defrag
Figure 1. O&O Defrag in Action. (Click image to view larger version.)

 

O&O Defrag Options
Figure 2. Some of the O&O Defrag options.

The only issues that I had with this software are minor. The first thing you'll notice when you open the box is that the instructions are written in German, with English instructions at the back of the book. This is fine, but there are some minor inconsistencies in the instructions that make it kind of amusing to read (maybe that's a plus). Also, O&O costs a little more than its competitors, but it's definitely worth the cost. For my money, I'd go with O&O.

About the Author

Joseph L. Jorden, MCSE, MCT, CCNA, CCDA is Chief Technical Officer for Dugger & Associates (www.Dugger-IT.com). He was one of the first 100 people to achieve the MCSE+I and one of the first 2,000 to become an MCSE under Windows 2000. Joseph frequently contributes to books from Sybex and various periodicals.

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