Free Utility Makes Defragging a Delight11 Nov, 2009 By: Robert Green
CAD Manager's Toolbox: If you're dissatisfied with your disk defragmentation process, IObit's Smart Defrag may be a smart choice.
Is it just me, or has the Disk Defragmenter utility provided with Windows become less robust in Windows XP and Vista? It seems that the utility runs so slow that I don't want to wait for it to run, and I don't want to leave my machines in a powered-on state to let it optimize in an overnight setting mode. Consequently, I haven't been optimizing my hard drives as often as I'd like.
That has changed with a really cool, free utility from IObit called Smart Defrag, which I've been using on my XP legacy machine and Vista laptop for the past month. You can download Smart Defrag directly from IObit. (Please note that users of AVG antivirus software may receive a warning message when attempting to access the web site.)
By the way, IObit did not ask me to write about this tool. I ran across it online a few months ago and since then it has become an indispensable utility.
Rather than requiring the user to run the utility periodically, Smart Defrag installs as a background utility that does its job quietly. In fact, it runs very much like the Carbonite backup program I use — to be honest, I don't even know it is running. The program supports different levels of optimization (see below), so you can defrag files only, do some rudimentary disk optimization (with the Fast Optimize option), or reallocate files to their optimal position on the drive based on frequency of access (with the Deep Optimize option). And note the handy "Turn off computer after defragment" control so you won't have to leave machines on all night.
You can set up the default controls for Smart Defrag to load at startup and not run when your laptop is running on battery power (as illustrated below). I also set it to ignore 1GB or larger files so it won't try to optimize some of my larger Outlook archive files, which I access semi-regularly. Now that I've got Smart Defrag set properly, I hardly even know that it is running.
For free, you can't beat this utility. Heck, I'd happily pay for it.
Windows 7 Disclaimer
At this time, IObit claims that Smart Defrag will run on both 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, but I have not personally tested the application, so I can't vouch for the manufacturer's claims. I can tell you the application runs perfectly on my Vista and XP 32-bit systems.
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