Defragmentation ! - Make your drive go zoom zoom!We hear it all the time, "Defragment your drive to make it faster" and i can assure you this applies to everyone who uses a computer regularly, after many write cycles files get spread all over the drive, so just in time, right after this big New years clean up, its time to sort all and gain back some speed!
There are several Defragmentation programs available, from many brands and with different features, and you might spend hours reading and trying programs to see which one is better, the truth is that each program tackles your information and fragmentation in different ways, so my goal in this post is to recommend a good "all around" program that brings forth a lot of optimizations, ease of use and doesnt take hours to do so.
Iobit SmartDefrag 2.0 - defrag more than just files FOR FREEhttp://www.iobit.com/iobitsmartdefrag.html (sd-setup.exe)
I have tried many programs during my tech life, and i find this one to be the best combination of many little tweaks and optimizations, and best of all for FREE, head on over to the website and grab it from there, just make sure you are downloading "sd-setup.exe", as iobits publicity can be a bit miss leading, and end up downloading something else, also during the set up, make sure to avoid/decline/skip installing any t00lbars and or search engines, and SKIP any offer to try any other program included, while i appreciate their "care" of giving me a "faster system", i have not tried their other products, so dont come naggin at me if you get full of bloatware or scare ware because you installed it blindly!.
Here are the main reasons why i love SmartDefrag 2.0
Fast Defrag optimization: Iobits defragmentation method might not be as in depth as other programs, but it does defragment most used and accessed files and lays them down in an optimized manner, after just a quick 5 minute pass, you will notice the difference when opening your favorite programs. in short big drive defragmentation takes less time than other program because it focuses on end performance of core system files, which brings me to...
System Boot Defragmentation: This one is a very big point for me, because, 90% of the programs out there cannot deal with Hidden File system records and special entries, some of these entries include the USN journal which is basically a database of the hard drives files and placement(sort of a secondary fat) the $MFT work space, which is also a space reserved for temporal files in a fast area of the drive, and my favorite: Windows Core system files dll's and registry, that you would normally need to take out your drive and defragment in another computer.
The only down side to this is that its only done during windows boot up, but they made it in such way that it takes less than a few seconds to complete, you can choose to use it on every boot up, or once every day or few days, i use it once every week and it takes around 5 seconds or less, and i swear that for me it does not take the time away from the windows boot up time!
SETUP AND USE - get on with it already!As you setup Smart defrag, SKIP/DECLINE any t00lbar offer or program trial, and you will be just fine, upon Loading Smart defrag there are a few things i would recommend you to do before using:
First we have to disable Automatic Defragmentation, while it is a good idea, i love to feel i am in control and not have things scheduled in the background. Also its a good time to Enable our drives to optimize system files and special File system entries at boot up, we will configure it on the next step.
boot time defrag is turned on or off here, the regularity will be configured next
Go ahead and now click on "settings" the first thing is to avoid having SmartDefrag Load up each time you start windows, while a great program, i hate having programs load up when i dont need them, taking away precious boot time, you can open the program via desktop shortcut when needed!
a great program but i dont need it running on every single boot D:
Then move over to "Boot time defrag" where youc an set how often to perform a boot time defrag, you could run it every single boot, or every first boot of the day, but i have been using it for the default 7 day cycle, believe me the first time might take around a minute, but consequential ones will be just maintenance runs, and with a HEAVILY fragmented drive, this is the most important thing that will help you speed up the drive, sorting out the Filesystem entries and hidden databases, this is the core of this speed up guide!
after the first run, consequential runs are more of a maintenance
After all that, you are sure that the program wont pop up in the middle of something important and also wont load up at startup, giving you total control over it!, now all you have to do is select and hit Defrag, Fast defrag or Fully Optimize, i always run Fully optimize, but you can try the others if you are short on time, also you can stop the process at any time, so dont be shy!
fully optimize, restart and fully optimize again!After it finishes, its a good thing to restart your system to let the Boot time defrag kick in for the first time, and once you are back in windows, you can Defragment once more, to work around the new Boot optimized changes, after a second pass, you are pretty much done!
YOU ARE DONE :D , enjoy your "faster" system, of course, this is relative on to how fragmented your drive was prior to this, the more a drive is written onto the more it gets fragmented and the "fuller" it is the worse it gets, hard drive brands and write methods vary so you may note a huge increase in performance or barely at all, but if you are hesitant on defragmenting i plead you to at least install, and use the boot time defrag at least once, ITS THAT IMPORTANT :D
Next i will try explain in depth why defragmentation works, and the various methods that different programs use and take into account, see you next time :D