Better Disk Defragging Upside Down?
by Alan German
Microsoft's Vista looks pretty and has some useful new features, but
a change in the user interface for an old friend just
doesn't cut it. I'm talking about Accessories
System Tools - Disk Defragmenter, a program that I use
fairly frequently, both to make me feel good about the
neatness of my hard disks, and to ensure that backup
images made of these drives take minimal space for
storage and shorter times to write.
The new version of Disk Defragmenter that comes with
Vista is evidently designed to work on an assigned
schedule, performing its magic in the background. Gone
are the brightly-coloured displays of bad disk sectors
with files that are scrambled, good sectors where
information is packed tightly together, and hopeless
sectors that are reserved for system use. No more
blinking lights as the program reads and writes sectors,
pulling together like-minded bits and bytes. No feeling
of satisfaction when comparing the rainbow of disk
sectors before the defragging operation, to the neat
columns of solid colours afterwards. In fact, running a
manual disk defrag under Vista yields only the soul-less
message: This may take from a few minutes to a few
Vista's Disk Defragmenter a few minutes or a few hours!
But, what about those of us who don't work on schedules, and don't
wish our computers to do so either? Is this message all
we can hope for? And, how many minutes or hours are we
going to have to stare at this message until the
defragging process is complete? There must be a better
way! Let's turn our computer upside down!
Well, no. Not really. But, we might want to turn to a
company from down-under for a solution. Auslogics Disk
Defrag comes from a company based in Sydney, Australia.
This utility supports FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS formats. The
makers say that their program was designed specifically
for Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows 2003 and Windows
Vista and for fast optimization of today's modern
While I haven't performed any real side-by-side testing
with Vista's Disk Defragmenter, it seems to me that
Auslogics Disk Defrag does run much faster. And, Disk
Defrag has a nice display with lots of pretty, coloured
boxes showing that it is really doing something. What
more could you want?
Well, a nice user interface would be good for a start.
And Auslogics comes through in spades. The interface is
clean, good looking, and couldn't be simpler to use. A
drop-down menu lists the available drives that could be
defragged. The disk format of the pre-selected drive
(usually c:) is shown, and the disk space (total, used
and free) are displayed both in a table and on a
pie-chart. Select a drive from the drop-down list, press
the Next button, and lights start blinking as the disk
defragmentation is in progress.
Auslogics Disk Defrag Main screen
Disk Defrag Defragmentation in progress
Soon, the window changes to announce Defragmentation of disk
C:\ is finished. A summary table provides
information on the total number of files and directories
processed, the number of files fragmented, defragmented,
and/or skipped, plus the percentage fragmentation both
before and after the operation. A Display
Report button provides the option of viewing an
HTML report with the summary information and the details
of the individual files processed.
it's easy, it's colourful and it's free. My kind
of utility program (even if, now, I have to stand on my
head to defrag my disks!)
Auslogics Disk Defrag (Freeware)
Auslogics Pty Ltd, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Originally published: October, 2007
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do not necessarily represent the views of the
Ottawa PC Users' Group or its members.