Product Reviews

Windows 2000 Defragmentation Tools: PerfectDisk 2000

Five ways to fight the inevitable disk slowdown.

PerfectDisk lives up to its name. It does a good job of defragmenting your disk and it's reasonably priced. On top of that, it comes with a number of valuable features that may come in handy. The first thing you'll notice when you open the software's Microsoft Management Console interface (Figure 1) is that it's simple and easy to use. The drives are listed in the left pane and there is an instruction page in the right pane to help you get started.

Pros: Easy to use
Cons:
Splits files across the disk by default
Verdict: An easy-to-use tool that's worth the money

First you're instructed to analyze the disk. All defragmenters have to do this because they need to know what files belong where. After the analysis you can start to defrag. You have three defragmentation options to choose from for an immediate defragmentation: standard, turbo, and offline. A standard defragmentation runs in the background and gives its CPU time to handle other processes if needed. Turbo defragmentation is more aggressive; it runs at a higher priority and does not give up its CPU time so easily. Turbo therefore finishes faster, at the cost of making your system more sluggish while it's working. An offline defragmentation is used to defragment your system and paging files. Each of these types can be scheduled for you, just in case you forget.

PerfectDisk
Figure 1. PerfectDisk supplies full instructions when you run it. (Click image to view larger version.)

The settings for each partition can be set individually by creating a partition profile. Just right-click on the partition you want to modify and select Edit Partition and you'll see the Partition Notebook screen. Figure 2 shows some of the settings that are available here.

PerfectDisk customization
Figure 2. Customizing settings for an individual partition.

On the settings tab you can tell the software what to regard as frequently modified vs. rarely modified. You can also tell it what to defragment during an offline defragmentation. The second tab gives you statistics about your drive. It is on the third tab that you find the only real drawback to the software. By default, PerfectDisk will split files across the disk, placing the free space in the center of the disk. This seems a little odd compared to other products that consolidate free space at the end of the drive. You may want to change these defaults.

Overall this tool is very easy to learn and use and it gives you a fair number of features for the price. It does not do as much as O&O, but it certainly does more than the built-in defragmenter. For the cost, this is an excellent piece of software.

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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