Diskeeper 10


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srdiamond

Oh really that is why it says this is the Diskeeper help file then?

It is important to know that having all of the free space in a single, contiguous piece provides very little (if any) performance benefit. Free space fragmented into hundreds of pieces will impact disk performance, but free space that’s in a few pieces should not have any effect on the performance of your disk.

"Our primary philosophy with Diskeeper is improving and maintaining the performance of your computer. The disk drives are the primary bottleneck in your computer's performance. Diskeeper restores the disks to top speed by eliminating fragmentation.

It is a common misconception that a defragmented disk should look very neat and tidy in the Volume Map tab, with solid blue bars all the way across the screen (representing fragmentation-free files) and the rest white space (representing consolidated space).

Clearly, the speed of the volume (meaning how fast you can access the data on it) is more important than the prettiness of the display or the consolidation of all the free space into one place. Free space consolidation might be important if the next file that you plan to create needs to be one gigantic contiguous file, but it has no effect on performance. In fact, the operating system may or may not write the next file into a contiguous location — even if there is a large enough space.

Because of this, when using the "Quick" or "Recommended" defragmentation methods, Diskeeper uses algorithms that achieve the highest speed from your volumes regardless of the arrangement of the free spaces on the disk and on the screen—and it does so without wasting time on excessive consolidation of free space. We simply go for the fastest possible file access times and then stop.

Even so, you might ask why we don't continue and rearrange the files further to get a neat display? Because it takes computer power to do so. We long ago decided that it would be wrong for Diskeeper to consume more of your computer's performance than it gives back. So Diskeeper defragments until the disk is in top shape performance-wise and then stops.

Now this might not be important to you if you like to sit and watch the display as Diskeeper defragments your drive, but it is a very big deal to large corporate data centers and people who depend on their computers for their work. They need all the performance they can get and can't hold up production while the defragmenter works to enhance the "look" of the disk but not improve its performance. This is why Diskeeper is designed to run in the background at the lowest possible priority, giving way to any other program that needs to run. And it is also why Diskeeper stops defragmenting when maximum performance has been achieved.

Of course, for those who want to expend the additional computer resources, the "Comprehensive" defragmentation method is also available. This defragmentation method performs additional processing to further consolidate the free space on your volumes."

The above was part of the manual for Diskeeper 9. Perhaps it's in 10 also. But the steeply price "Pro" version of 10 really directly contradicts this philosophy. The Fast procedure there takes a lot more time than "Comprehensive." It is not merely consolidating free space, it is arranging programs according to use, even when the Comprehensive procedure isn't used. So it gives you maybe 15% greater speed, in their highly optimistic estimate, but it uses computer time lavishly. Either this use of computer time--which is probably happening at night--is terrible or it isn't. Diskeeper can't have it both ways.

Stephen R. Diamond

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Mastertech

Here is a good article explaining the differences.

Disk Defragmenters Demystified

Difference of Opinion

Raxco Software Inc. in Gaithersburg, Md., and Diskeeper Corp. in Burbank, Calif., have very different views of storage optimization. Diskeeper, the 800-pound gorilla in the market, advertises ease of use and the simplicity of remote, network-based administration. It advocates automated, daily defragmentation as standard maintenance. Raxco claims that its PerfectDisk does a more thorough job in a single pass, can operate on disks with less free space and offers powerful analysis tools. Indeed, our tests show that Diskeeper does run faster, making daily use less cumbersome, while PerfectDisk is more thorough.

Raxco also touts PerfectDisk's ability to defragment all free space as well as areas containing data. Free space on a disk gets fragmented over time, just as space containing data does. However, defragmenting free space takes extra time. Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Disk Defragmenter focuses only on areas with data.

Diskeeper deliberately chooses to save processing time by not defragmenting free space. PerfectDisk tackles both but takes significantly more time as it unifies free space and consolidates files. Defragmentation time isn't the only trade-off, however. If you defragment only data on a disk that's nearing capacity and then save a file that's bigger than any available chunk of contiguous free space, the operating system will have to fragment the new file right from the get-go.

But Diskeeper product manager Michael Materie claims that splitting files into two to three fragments is not a problem in most cases. "Putting all the free space into a single chunk is only useful for some purposes—for very large files," he says.

According to Raxco CEO Bob Nolan, if you're talking about a workstation with a small hard drive that's half empty and all you're concerned about is data, then any product will defragment it. The differences between the products start emerging "as the disk starts to fill up, as severity of fragmentation increases, and as remaining free space gets increasingly fragmented," he says.

Still, Raxco's approach takes longer, and the incremental value of complete defragmentation is questionable, according to Diskeeper. It opts for a fast but good enough pass to save time. Because of the dynamic nature of storage, the drive is constantly writing and deleting files, and free space is continually changing.

Materie contends that with Diskeeper's free-space engine, "we'll do a comparable job to Raxco, but we'll do it over a period of time rather than all at once."

I still agree with Diskeeper's philosphy of not wasting resources for minimum performance gain. If you really wish you can fully consolidate free space with Diskeeper but it is not the default method for performance reasons.

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srdiamond

Here is a good article explaining the differences.

Disk Defragmenters Demystified

I still agree with Diskeeper's philosphy of not wasting resources for minimum performance gain. If you really wish you can fully consolidate free space with Diskeeper but it is not the default method for performance reasons.

True, you don't have to use Comprehensive defrag, but in the $100 Pro version of the product (considerably pricier than Perfect Disk) you do have to use their Faast technology to organize files on the desk for faster access. But this violates the Diskeeper precept that you should strive for an economical relationship between defragmenting time and and degree of completeness of the defrag process.

The two philosophies are this. Diskeeper thinks you should defrag fast and often. Its favored mode is automatic defragmentation with autosensing. PerfectDisk claims that if you unify free space, fragmentation slows down, and you have to defragment less often. Those two positions each at least make sense and are consistent unto themselves. But now DK comes along and says, "Hey, uneconomic use of processing time for deframentation is a bad way to go, EXCEPT if you use it to rearrange things for faster read access BUT NOT if you rearrange them to unify free space for faster write access and anti-fragmentation protection. The positions were consistent until now. Apparently DK has been forced to make a concession to the PD approach, and now its position doesn't hold together.

Stephen R. Diamond

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Mastertech

Not even remotely. Arranging files on the disk for faster access time has nothing to do with free space consolidation. Windows Prefetching does this already. Diskeeper is not saying to defragment more often but only when it is necessary and to stop once performance has been optimized with wasting as little processing power as possible. Perfect Disk by default wants to consolidated all the free space, Diskeeper's argument which is valid is that do to the nature of disk access, free space is consistently changing. Perfect Disk advocates would like you to believe that once free space is consolidated it somehow offers massive performance improvements and stops future fragmentation. Once you start deleting files, your "perfect" free space consolidation is not perfect no more and it requires alot of time and processing power to rearrange the whole disk back to maximize free space.

Edited by Mastertech
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srdiamond

I didn't say it had anything to do with free space consolidation but rather that it consumed more processing time than free space consolidation. The native defragmenter only organizes a few files. Organizing the entire file system in terms of usage patterns requires putting the files in a particular order, not just in a given space.

Of course Diskeeper advocates frequent defragging. How else to explain the automatic defragmentation, which tries to avert anything but the most nominal degree of defragmentation. It involves defragmenting a work station several times a day.

Stephen R. Diamond

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Mastertech

The I-Fast feature has to be turned on and scheduled. It is not part of the real time defragmentation. Don't confuse real time defragmenting with advocating defragmenting more. Can real time defragmentation run more often then scheduled times? Yes but it can also run less if nothing changes on your disk. You seem to miss this point. No were does Diskeeper claim to want to defragment your HD several times a day. The Diskeeper engine only activates if fragmentation levels pass a predefined threshhold. I'm sure you understand this. Don't spin.

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srdiamond

To say it kicks in when fragmentation reaches a "predefined level" is like saying a vehicle's gas mileage isn't excessive because the vehicle doesn't need any fuel until it runs out. That is, the statement is completely irrelevant, since the question being discussed concerns whether the gas consumption (or the "predefined level") is high or low (not whether it is "predefined.") In the case of Diskeeper, the help says it schedules the defrags automatically so that Diskeeper only moves a small number of fragments each time the automatic frag kicks in. It kicks in well before Diskeeper shows any general performance decrement at all.

Stephen R. Diamond

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AgEnTsMiTh

As long as I defrag my drive, I dont care what I use. I will stick with Diskeeper as it has always done fine by me and I like the new updates.

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srdiamond

As long as I defrag my drive, I dont care what I use. I will stick with Diskeeper as it has always done fine by me and I like the new updates.

I think that's the right attitude. I think Raxco has taken the same position, saying that if you are defragmenting a work station with a half empty disk, it doesn't really much matter what you use.

But for serious corporate use, I can't see anything that approaches PD. The DK requirement of 20% free space is an outrage.

Each product has its advantages for a particular kind of user. Actually, I'm currently using O &O Defrag 8, because I find I like the flexibility of its screensaver mode, even though I think it is really the least technically advanced of the 3. PD unifies free space; DK is really fast; O * O's virtues lies in its flexibility of modes and conditions.

For the ordinary personal user, the choice, where not one of convenience, seems more like a statement of personal identity than a technical choice, which is why the arguments can become so heated over something as mundane as defragging your disk.

So I admit, my dislike of DK isn't based on its technical incompetence. For many personal users its automatic defragmentation will prove quite convenient. There is purpose to the seeming madness of defragging in the presence of almost nominal fragmentation, in that by taking advantage of time between tasks, the user need lose no time, while avoiding leaving the computer on all night, which some people don't like to do.

My dislike is indeed more of a personal statement, against Executive Software's disregarding the distinction between commercial hype and technical advice. It advises the user that he should use autodefragmentation to clean up his "mild defragmentation." No technical reason to attend to such a mild "problem." Raxco takes a scientific approach to a topic a topic which has a history of snail oil sales, while DK remains with one foot in the exploitation of wives tales and purveying hype as technically well-founded.

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mipra

Well...said...I think that can explain the hype...

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xpgeek

I'm still trying to really decide which I like more. Been switching back and forth over the last few weeks. Except for Diskeeper's blazing fast speed I do like PerfectDisk more for almost every reason.

But, one question I hope someone can answer.

I noticed one feature that Diskeeper has that Perfectdisk does not. Diskeeper said my C drive was not as healthy as it could be because the MFT was 99% full and had an easy to use tool to make it larger. It increased its size by like 20 megs and now its only 62% full and Diskeeper now says the drive is perfectly healthy.

Perfectdisk does not have this feature at all. So my question, is the way Diskeeper increased the MFT's size actually useful and or even necessary ? It sounds like a very good thing.

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NeoXY

I've been using this for the last 2 weeks and I do really like it. I do. I just run a Defrag sometimes and it finish in under 5 or 10 minutes on my 7200RPM 120GB HD. It gets the job done and do it quickly at that.

Diskeeper gets my vote :)

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srdiamond

I noticed one feature that Diskeeper has that Perfectdisk does not. Diskeeper said my C drive was not as healthy as it could be because the MFT was 99% full and had an easy to use tool to make it larger. It increased its size by like 20 megs and now its only 62% full and Diskeeper now says the drive is perfectly healthy.

Perfectdisk does not have this feature at all. So my question, is the way Diskeeper increased the MFT's size actually useful and or even necessary ? It sounds like a very good thing.

First of all, effecting this increase is not a difficult thing to do. It can be done by making a small change in the registry, and the procedure is one recommended by Microsoft. But whether DK's diagnosis is correct is something else. MFT fragmentation can have various causes. Ofter the first thing recommended, before increasing the size of the MFT file, is a boot-time defrag with Raxco Perfect Disk. It seems often to solve the problem of MFT defragmentation.

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xpgeek

The MFT wasn't fragmented, just 99% full or so it said, which will lead to it fragmenting when it hits 100% full so it said.

Ok, so if I do want to stay with Perfectdisk for good, which I do, how do I see how full it is on my own without using Diskeeper ? Where in the registry do I make it larger if it is ?

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srdiamond

The only reason I know of for concern about the size of the MFT file is that if it is set too small, it causes the MFT to fragment. Here's a link to the registry tweak: http://www.tweakxp.com/article38125.aspx

I think you should put in a technical support request to Raxco, telling them what DK reported and asking for their recommendation and take on the problem. Sometimes it is said that increasinng the MFT file is a last resort solution. It may be that Raxco's defragmentation handles the whole business in a better way. Perfect Disk provides the option for it to take over the management of the MFT file. Perhaps it sets it automatically, and you are simply wasting disk space by increasing it. In any event, the MFT file reserved file space is larger now, and it won't revert if you uninstall DK. There's nothing you need do further, if you don't mind the reallocation of space.

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Mastertech
But for serious corporate use, I can't see anything that approaches PD. The DK requirement of 20% free space is an outrage.
I think that is nonsense. Diskeeper is even better on servers. Since you want the fastest possible defragmentation with the least amount of resources used.
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srdiamond

I think that is nonsense. Diskeeper is even better on servers. Since you want the fastest possible defragmentation with the least amount of resources used.

I'm not sure what you're saying here. Do you actually think that it is acceptable to require 20% space free on a disk, when other products only require 5%?

That was my point. But since you raise the issue, the fact is that only Perfect Disk is Microsoft approved for terrabyte disks. On servers DK is not faster than Perfect Disk. Raxco has data on this. It is simply a mistake to assume that because a product is fast on smaller disks, it will also be faster on large disks.

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Mastertech

Do you have any independent tests? The Raxco one sided testing is getting old.

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RootWind

Do you know how PD's smart placement, it usually does it in one pass? Has anyone seen a case where it is unable to "finish" defragging, as in, all the files are not smartly placed? Could it be because of not enough free space? 15%? I have had PD run 10 times in a row scheduled at night, each taking an hour, and getting to 100%, but it always has left-over fragments, and the files aren't placed like they usually are.

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ghayes

The Diskeeper engine only activates if fragmentation levels pass a predefined threshhold. I'm sure you understand this. Don't spin.

This is incorrect. Diskeeper does NOT automagically wake up and defragment a drive if it exceeds a certain level of fragmentation. What Smart Scheduling does is to compare how much work it took to defragment the drive on this run compared to how much it took on the last run. If there was more work to do, then it schedules itself to run more frequently. If there was less work to do, then it schedules itself to run less frequently. As one of the Diskeeper developers posted in a microsoft.public.win2000.general in 2000:

"Experience has shown that on most volumes, Smart Scheduling eventually 'settles down' to run about once a day."

If Smart Scheduling settles down to run about once a day, how is that different than running a daily schedule?

- Greg/Raxco Software

Microsoft MVP - Windows File Systems

Disclaimer: I work for Raxco Software, the maker of PerfectDisk - a commercial defrag utility, as a systems engineer in the support department.

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ghayes

I noticed one feature that Diskeeper has that Perfectdisk does not. Diskeeper said my C drive was not as healthy as it could be because the MFT was 99% full and had an easy to use tool to make it larger. It increased its size by like 20 megs and now its only 62% full and Diskeeper now says the drive is perfectly healthy.

Perfectdisk does not have this feature at all. So my question, is the way Diskeeper increased the MFT's size actually useful and or even necessary ? It sounds like a very good thing.

PerfectDisk doesn't have this "feature" because it is not needed :)

A little background on NTFS and how it works. When an NTFS drive is formatted, it creates the $MFT and it contains a fixed number of records that can be used. As files are created, then these records are used. Eventually, the pre-allocated number of records is filled up and the $MFT needs to "grow" - allocating another chunk of file records. Immediately adjacent to the $MFT is created what is called the MFT Reserved Zone. By default, it is 12.5% of the drive and goes from the first record of the $MFT to the first non-free cluster after the last MFT record. If you have a 100GB drive, then the Reserved Zone is going to be 12.5GB - pretty large if you think about it. If you look in Windows Explorer/Properties on a drive, the free space shown is the total of both INSIDE and OUTSIDE of the Reserved Zone.

The MFT Reserved Zone is created specifically to allow the $MFT to "grow" in a contiguous fashion. When the $MFT fills up, it allocates the next chunk from the free space located in the MFT Reserved Zone. NTFS will avoid putting files inside of the Reserved Zone unless you get into a low free space condition. It is not necessary to artifically pre-allocate additional space for the $MFT in order to keep it from growing fragmented.

Since NTFS takes care of this automatically, there is no need to artificially extend the $MFT. However, since most people don't have this level of knowledge of how NTFS works, when they hear about this "feature" in Diskeeper, they think it must be a good thing and worth paying extra money for :)

- Greg/Raxco Software

Microsoft MVP - Windows File Systems

Disclaimer: I work for Raxco Software, the maker of PerfectDisk - a commercial defrag utility, as a systems engineer in the support department.

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ghayes

Do you have any independent tests? The Raxco one sided testing is getting old.

Speaking of independent tests - Computer World did a comparision ( http://www.computerworld.com/softwaretopic...105582,00.html)

What is interesting to note is the comparision chart at the end of the article. It provides some interesting before and after statistics.

- Greg/Raxco Software

Microsoft MVP - Windows File Systems

Disclaimer: I work for Raxco Software, the maker of PerfectDisk - a commercial defrag utility, as a systems engineer in the support department.

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Slimy

^Interesting read and I'm still sticking with perfectdisk, I couldn't care less how long the defrag takes, as long as it is done well.

- Greg/Raxco Software

Microsoft MVP - Windows File Systems

Disclaimer: I work for Raxco Software, the maker of PerfectDisk - a commercial defrag utility, as a systems engineer in the support department.

Any idea when the next version of perfectdisk will be available?

Edited by slimy
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xpgeek

PerfectDisk doesn't have this "feature" because it is not needed :)

A little background on NTFS and how it works.

Thank you. A friend explained that to me yesterday too. I too wasn't really aware how the MFT worked in NTFS file systems and I asked him about this diskeeper 'feature' and he said it was flat out wrong and useless then explained why.

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