Diskeeper and PerfectDisk are main leading Windows defragmenting tools in the market. The hard disk in my Windows XP machine is heavily fragmented and the MS built-in defragmenter doesn’t help very much so I decide to take a look into the commercial defragmenter tools out there.
First I tried Diskeeper because I found that the Windows built-in defragmentation tool contains code licensed from Executive Software (the makers of Diskeeper). I thought that being licensed by Microsoft was a good sign but… Diskeeper like the built-in tool is a multi-pass defragmenter. That means that if you run it one time (or two or three for that matter) the hard drive will not end fully defragmented. You need to execute it periodically over a long term to end up with a fully defragmented drive. And it doesn’t consolidates free space. Diskeeper says that those two things are not important because drive performance is not affected. Doing it that way they consume less resources which is good but I found very frustrating to execute a defragmenter and end up with a slightly less fragmented disk I want a full defragmentation now!.
Then I tried PerfectDisk, for me it’s better. One pass defragmentation and free space consolidation that’s what I want. Now the disk map looks much better. Everything is defragmented and all the free space is grouped at the end of the disk.
The only thing I miss from Diskeeper is the background defragmentation. Diskeeper runs a service that continuously search fragmented files and defrag them. I found that interesting but at the end I prefer the PerfectDisk way of working: you schedule the defragmentation once a week or once a month and PerfectDisk will start automatically.