Editor's Choice: Defragmentation
<b>Winner: </b>O&O Software O&O Defrag 4 Professional<br>
<b>Honorable Mention: </b><a href="#diskeeper">Executive Software Diskeeper
A few months ago I wrote an
article discussing the pros and cons of a number of defragmentation packages
on the market, and there are quite a few. Many of them have good points
and are worthy tools for the price; at the time, I was most impressed
by O&O defrag—and that remains true today.
This excellent tool has everything you need to keep your disks running
efficiently, built into an easy-to-use package. One nice feature is that
O&O Defrag is based on the Microsoft Management Console (MMC), so the
interface is easy to learn; but its real strength lies in the control
the software gives you over your drives.
It gives you a great deal of control over data reorganization on your
drives (by name, date modified, last access date or free space consolidation).
Each has distinct advantages. For example, you should defrag a file server
using the access date organization, as most users access the same files
over and over, so files used most often would be the easiest to locate
on disk. With the latest upgrade to O&O Defrag, there’s even a new type
of defrag called “stealth.” This new stealth defrag is designed for use
on machines that have low system resources or less than 10 percent free
provides administrators great control over their hard drives. (Click
image to view larger version.)
Another nice touch is the ability to defragment files offline. Not only
can you defrag the Master File Table (MFT), paging file and registry files
offline, but you can also defragment locked files offline. (If you run
an Exchange server, the databases are never defragmented during a normal
defragmentation unless you stop the services because the databases are
always locked while services are open.) If you set the option to defragment
locked files, the locked files will be defragmented at boot time with
the registry, paging file and MFT.
All of this can be tightly controlled by a built-in scheduler. Using
this, you can create a space-consolidation job to run during the week
and a file access defrag job to run on the weekend. Because the space
job finishes faster, there’s less chance that it’ll still be running in
the morning; on the weekend, you can run the longer job.
One server license, $259.95; one workstation license,
There are a couple of minor cautions. First, O&O is a German company,
so it had all software translated from German to English. That isn’t a
big issue, but it makes for an interesting read. The company also has
no U.S. tech support number; so, unless you want to call Germany, you
can only contact O&O by e-mail (but tech support responds quite quickly).
You may also run into some issues with the setup (for some strange reason
I had to map the P: drive when I set up some servers with the latest iteration
of the package), but the install went quite well after that.
My second choice in this category has got to be Executive Software’s
Diskeeper. This doesn’t have all the features O&O has, but it’s less expensive
and still does a good job of defragging—definitely worth considering.
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.