Raxco Software PerfectDisk 8
When all segments of a file are laid down in order, file reads are much faster, because drive's the heads move smoothly and sequentially from one segment to another. However, when fragments of a file are strewn all over a computer's hard disk drive, it takes longer to load the file because the drive's heads have to hop all over the drive's platters to read it. Hard disk defragmentation software moves scattered file fragments back into an efficient sequential whole. Over the years we have found Raxco's PerfectDisk to be the most reliable and trouble free defragging option and with version 8 our view has not changed.
In the screen capture above PerfectDisk 8 has just completed an analysis of the C: drive on one of our computers. Unlike some other defragmentation products, PerfectDisk doesn't require that every file be fully defragged. The disk sectors marked in red in the screen capture are still fragmented, but PerfectDisk 8 has determined that the fragmentation is not serious enough to waste time fixing. Also unlike some other defragging software, PerfectDisk 8 performs defragmentation in a single pass. This might require more pre-calculation, but in the end it saves time.
PerfectDisk 8, and 7 before it, have been running flawlessly on this computer for a long time. All defragmentation operations are scheduled to run automatically in off hours. Operations are scheduled for different drives at both different times and frequencies. Less used drives are defragged once a week. Heavily used drives are defragged daily. This computer may run a bit slowly sometimes, but with PerfectDisk 8 that's clearly not because of file fragmentation.
Lower powered laptop and notebook computers are especially good candidates for a product like PerfectDisk 8. Already saddled with slower CPUs, memory and hard disk drives, they don't need to have their performance further reduced because they must access highly fragmented files.
PerfectDisk 8 is available in a variety of sizes from home office and small business versions up to fancy enterprise versions that can run on multiple computers and even defragment such complex databases as the ones used by Microsoft's Exchange Email Server. The home office/small business version (named the "Professional version") retails for about $40 for a single license. Prices go up from there.
If you can't find PerfectDisk 8 elsewhere, you can always purchase it at Raxco Software's website www.raxco.com.
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Ed Tittel is a long-time IT writer, researcher and consultant, and occasional contributor to Tom’s Hardware. A Windows Insider MVP since 2018, he likes to cover OS-related driver, troubleshooting, and security topics.