Product Reviews

Reunited, With Style

PerfectDisk 2000 puts your hard drive back in harmony.

Fragmented program and data files are the result of computer use, and a seriously fragmented hard drive can make your computer feel as though it’s trudging through quicksand. A defragmentation utility like PerfectDisk puts files back together, allowing the operating system to read and use them faster, store them faster and maintain them using fewer resources (CPU time, RAM, disk space and so on).

Raxco Software’s PerfectDisk 2000 Version 5 (PDV5) is a disk defragmentation program that can be used on Windows 2000 and XP PCs, workstations and servers. The company claims that the product is an industrial-strength defragmentation solution for distributed Windows networks. The software is designed to defragment data files in a single pass; defragment all 16 Metadata files, including the Master File Table (MFT); consolidate free space and organize hard disks according to usage patterns; run a defragging schedule according to a preset, adjustable fragmentation level (threshold); provide a Network Scheduling Wizard to set, view and cancel schedules; and run offline automated defragmentation of the MFT and system files. This version of PerfectDisk also includes boot time defragmentation, network management, command-line support and a few other bits.

So, with all of this going for it, a test drive sounded as inevitable as fragmentation.

PDV5 requires a computer capable of running either Win2K, Windows XP or .NET and 64MB RAM (128 recommended), and installing and using PerfectDisk is simple.

The product can be run remotely on any Win2K or XP computer on your network as long as PerfectDisk is already installed on the computer. It can easily handle typical size hard drives (1GB to 100GB), all the giant partitions out there (100GB up to 1TB), and any size files (including 1GB+ videos). Both the single-pass defragmentation methodology and the ability for parallel-drive defrag (two or three drives at the same time) are superb additions by Raxco—none of which are available in the defrag utility that comes built-in with either Win2K or Windows XP.

PerfectDisk provides an analysis of your hard disk, allowing you to see how much fragmentation has occurred.

Launch it, select a drive (or several drives) to analyze, and away you go. I tried the software on a couple of different servers running Win2K Server and on both a Pentium III 800mhz and new Pentium IV 1.4mhz. In all cases, the results were superb. PDV5 is blindingly fast, taking an average of only two hours to defragment a badly fragmented 40GB drive.

About the Author

David W. Tschanz, Ph.D., MCSE, is author of the recent "Exchange Server 2007 Infrastructure Design: A Service-Oriented Approach" (Wiley, 2008), as well as co-author of "Mastering Microsoft SQL Server 2005" (Sybex, 2006). Tschanz is a regular contributor to Redmond magazine and operates a small IT consulting firm specializing in business-oriented infrastructure development.

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Reader Comments:

Mon, Feb 14, 2005 LoveIt Anonymous

I like it, I already compared with many others, the best result comes from PerfectDisk, 1 thing that made me only gave 4 stars is the offline feature, it is very very very very very very slow.

Wed, Jun 23, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

I tried Perfectdisk once. (Not version 3.) This week. I can now no longer access any file past 8.22 Gigs on my computer, it is all now gibberish in the MFT. Raxco tech support is very polite, very attentive. Too bad we haven't found an answer yet as to a) what caused this, and b) how we can fix it. I'd wait before using this software.

Tue, Oct 28, 2003 john Anonymous

I build computers for private clients and i have run perfect disk through many tests i have found that everyone is saying this program is amazing , in a nutshell it is very moderate. i run a series of small hard drives and even on a 20gb it was slow. I watched in my already uncomfortable seat as this so called miracle program fragmented all my huge files. I can not say that i recommend diskeeper either because neither does a thorough job of defragmenting. the main complaint i have is it took the MFT on all my hard drives and put it in the middle of the drive after doing that my system disk cleanup runs unmbelieveably slow and i found after repositioning the mft that it was fine again. this program i cannot say i recommend but if anybody and i do mean anybody knows of an actual Industrial Strength defragger id appreciate hearing about ti because none i have tried have done the job right.

Mon, Feb 10, 2003 Kiefer Tobin Anonymous

Excellent product that not only defragments normal files, but also defragments the page file that can become badly fragmented.

Tue, Jan 28, 2003 Angelo Giambra Largo FL

I agree with Ebert on this one. The actingwas stiff and unconvincing, and the director seemed more interested in over-the-top effects than in touching the hearts of his characters. I give it one star.

Fri, Jan 3, 2003 Charles Ray West Virginia

I have a Dell Dimension 8200, Windows XP-SP1, 1.5 GB RAM, and an 80 GB hard drive of which only 9 GB is used. I bought Perfectdisc because it says it will defrag totally the first time and appeared to have other very interest features. However, I frequently have to defrag 2 or 3 times to get a complete defrag. I always defrag offline with all programs turned off so there should be little activity during the defrag. This mostly occurs when I add software, update Windows XP or Office XP update other software or delete software. I can also get a complete defrag, and rerun Perfect Disc and it will re-arrange things again. Looks to me like it did not totally optimize the first time. I also see absolutely no reason or purpose for the 10 second timer when Perfectdisc is set to run on reboot. It should just say it is going to reboot and do it. Why add the extra time or keystroke? I do think it is better than Windows XP Defrag...but it does not totally live up to its advertisement in my opinion.

Wed, Jan 1, 2003 Zootmagirk AZ

Hammer says it "pooched" his MFT...was he still testing a beta product at that time? I beta test for Diskeeper, and the betas of it have been rescattering the directory files when a defrag is done after a boot-time directory consolidation is done...??? I think PD's ability to do this without all the time-consuming boot-time shenanagans is great!

Sat, Dec 28, 2002 coolrwm1 midwest city, ok.

One of the best defragmentation utility like PerfectDisk puts files back together, allowing the operating system to read and use them faster, store them faster and maintain them using fewer resources (CPU time, RAM, disk space and so on). I recommened you give it a try, you'll love it.

Tue, Nov 5, 2002 Venk Chicago

I tested 3 defragers Diskeeper 7.0 O&O's Defrag and Perfect Disk 2000. Of these Perfect Disk did the best job of optimizing my hard disk. O&O Has by far the most features and the MMC snap for XP and Stealth technology to defrag on the fly were nice, but it failed to do a satisfactory defrag on the first pass. With Perfect Disk I was able to get all my disks to less than 1% fragmentation on all my drives. Now if only it could defrag on the fly it could keep it there.

Thu, Oct 31, 2002 Hammer CA

I was a beta-tester for this product. I now will no longer beta-test for anyone. One of the comments about pooching the MFT was correct--it happened to me. I strongly prefer the ease of use interface from Executive Software's Diskeeper 7.0.

Sun, Oct 20, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I'm Win98se's user,I think it didn't adequate Win98,because it is not only run
slow but also surface is very ugly.It don't applicable win98's user.
I wish your correct it's defect.

Shiquan- liu

Wed, Oct 16, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Defragmenting your disks for the first time is very slow. I found it significantly slower than the other competing products including MS defragmenter. However, subsequent defragments are very fast.

Wed, Oct 16, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I am in love. Give it a try!

Wed, Oct 16, 2002 Mike Ruiz Hobart and William Smith

This program is quite a bit better than many out there, but was extremely slow defragging 300GB array. Their offline defrag may not adhere to Microsoft API's. There isn't room for error running a defrag on MFT's.
As far as this "review", actually commenting on a test run of the software in the last few sentences may actually constitute it as a review rather than a paraphrased feature review.
Bottom line get it and try it in a test environment similar to your production setup. Mike

Wed, Oct 16, 2002 Diesel Anonymous

Appreciate this algorithm; increased our server I/O performance approximately sixty per cent. Also appreciate the very clean code, efficient execution, and memory cleanup. Best product we've seen along this line.

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