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A few days ago, I reviewed MyDefrag, a script-based disk defragmentation tool. A downside of the tool is that its GUI is somewhat limited (although a reader commented that there is a better third-party GUI available). The free disk defragmenter Auslogics Disk Defrag definitely has a nicer GUI. It has the common features that most disk defragmenters support, such as fragmentation analysis and disk defragmentation scheduling. In addition, it comes with some special features that I will discuss in this post.
Disk defragmentation can speed up a computer significantly. The only problem is that during the defragmentation process, the computer can slow down considerably. Third-party disk defrag tools use different algorithms to minimize the impact on system operations by limiting defragmentation activities according to certain rules. But sometimes it is better to let a human decide how disk defragmentation should be restricted.
For this, Disk Defrag allows you to select what folders or files have to be defragmented. For instance, this can be useful if you only want to defrag a Hyper-V virtual disk file because you just defragmented the corresponding disks in the guest system. To defrag a certain file or folder, you only have to right-click the object in Windows Explorer and then choose Defragment with Disk Defrag. Note that Windows Explorer integration has to be enabled in the program settings first.
You can also select fragmented clusters; Disk Defrag will tell you what files are in this block. This helps you see whether defragmentation can really improve disk speed. If only rarely-used files are affected, you don't need to defrag the disk.
Another feature that gives you more control over what will be defragmented is the option to skip fragments larger than a configurable size. Moving large fragments can slow down defragmentation noticeably but will only improve the disk performance slightly. For example, if a large file consists of the two fragments, you won't notice the difference between the fragmented and defragmented configuration because reading the large file takes much longer than moving the disk head from one fragment to another.
If you use the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS), you will like Disk Defrag's VSS compatible mode. This feature reduces the growth of the VSS storage area caused by file movements and ensures that no shadow copies are overwritten.
Also useful is that Disk Defrag can delete Windows and user temporary files before defragmenting. It doesn't make much sense to waste resources on defragmenting temporary files because, by nature, these files are only valid for a limited time. Unfortunately, it is unclear which temporary files Disk Defrag deletes.
Disk Defrag allows you to move system files to the beginning of the hard disk, which makes sense in most cases because the outer side of the disk contains more sectors per cylinder and, therefore, has a higher transfer speed. Thus, a system where the operating system resides at the beginning of the disk, boots up faster and has a higher responsiveness.
I tested Auslogics Disk Defrag 126.96.36.199 on Windows 7.