Piriform Defraggler fragged

Being a Computer Engineer, I am expected to write a technical blog plush with engineering jargons. However my last two posts were about two cricketing personalities. But this one is fairly technical.

Though an engineer, I am an intermediate computer expert. I’m always keen to get ahold of anything new in order to tweak the performance of my PC. Not that I love tinkling with my system or that I’m curious about the way it functions. It is more out of necessity. My desktop PC specs are stone-age which makes it obligatory for me to try and boost the performance in whichever way that I can.

Disk defragmentation is the process of consolidating fragmented data on a volume (such as a hard disk or a storage device) so it will work more efficiently, says the Microsoft website. So basically in simple terms, defragmenter concatenates parts of files so that the the data access times are reduced leading to a better performance.

PC Specs:

Windows XP SP3;

Intel Atom Processor with Clock Speed @1.66 GHz;

2GB RAM;

250 GB HDD.

I have always been defragmenting my HDD with the built-in Windows Disk defragmenter. However, more recently I came across a post about the Defraggler from Piriform. Being an avid CCleaner and a Recuva user, I had immense faith in Piriform products. Blindfoldedly, I downloaded the Defraggler software. And I was totally disappointed with the performance. For once Windows had scored over Piriform (CCleaner beats Disk Cleanup while Windows doesn’t have any file recovery software). Defraggler performance left a lot to be desired.

For starters, I clicked on my HDD to defrag and the expected time was 8 hours ffs! My Windows Disk defragmenter took just 20 minutes to pull it off.

I persisted with it and the next time I did wait for 8 hours for Defraggler to defragment the drive and to my horror there were quite a few red blocks that I could see. Basically, it meant that even after 8 hours of wait, 19% of files were still not defragmented. I went through the 8-hour ordeal again only for the end result to be the same. However I analyzed the drive with the WDD and found out that the disk was only 2% fragmented. I’ve never had such a high percentage of fragmented files with the WDD. Defraggler 2.x has to be the world’s slowest defragger! Also I further learnt that it doesn’t move all files up to the front of the drive as all WinNT systems do.

Only good thing about Defraggler that I noticed was its GUI. It was visually pleasing (WDD is too boring, I have to admit). As I said, it is more graphical, than the Windows defrag rather than just colours lines. Plus you get a list of files that need defragging and a good countdown when it’s done.

Also, WDD defragments only those files which are not in use. So basically since “Windows” is already running, WDD is unable to defrag system files. I am guessing that Defraggler would be able to defragment sys files (though I wouldn’t understand why anyone would want to do that! )

All-in-all, my tryst with Defraggler ended prematurely, my faith in Piriform hampered and I was back at using the WDD.

In Microsoft We Trust!

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