Product Reviews

Defragmentation that Works

Diskeeper 5.0 provides optimizing services for your entire network.

Every once in a while you run into a software product that does one thing so well that it’s hard to imagine any improvements. Diskeeper 5.0 is such a product. If you’ve been around the computer industry for any length of time, you’ve run across the issue of disk fragmentation: As you work with files on your hard drive, they get split into multiple discontiguous chunks by the operating system. This slows down file access because the hard drive heads have to travel farther to get the same data.

The solution to fragmentation is defragmentation—software that rearranges your hard drive to make all the files nicely contiguous again, preferably with most-used files in the fastest areas on your drive. Independent software vendors (ISVs) and Microsoft recognized this long ago, and disk defragmentation utilities appeared on the market. Ultimately, Microsoft built such utilities into the operating system and provided APIs for ISVs to use.

Diskeeper provides a simple, uniform interface for disk defragmentation across the entire Windows product line from Windows 95 to Windows 2000 Advanced Server. It’s simple to install and easy to use: click “Analyze” to find out whether you need to defragment your drive, and then click “Defragment” if you need to take action. The program runs happily in the background and co-exists with other active processes. There’s no need to shut down the computer, log out of data files, or otherwise alter your work habits while Diskeeper is doing its work.

After the initial setup and optimization of disk on servers or clients, you can turn on Diskeeper 5.0's "Set It and Forget It" feature--one less admin task.

Once you’ve done the initial defragmentation run, you can use the “Set it and Forget it” feature to schedule periodic defragmentation. This schedules Diskeeper as a service, providing continuous optimization for your hard drive.
Best of all, Diskeeper is network-aware. A single server installation can connect to and control any number of server and workstation installations on your network. As a network administrator, you can use Microsoft SMS to push Diskeeper out to all the computers on your network (the wonderfully clear manual includes instructions for doing this), connect to them from your own computer, and schedule periodic defragmentation everywhere.

A 30-day trial download is available from the company’s Web site. You can also purchase and download the full product via the Web site at a slight savings over list price.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.

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