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I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:47 pm

2nd thread in a series? :lol:

Well, here it is: The last several versions of Diskeeper have left me a little bit disappointed. First off, let me be clear: Diskeeper is still a fine product and I had no technical problems or corruptions, or anything like that. My biggest issue with Diskeeper is graphical. The latest UI design left me a bit confused and I longed for the older interface because I knew where everything was. Also, Diskeeper long ago removed the disk mapping graphics, which show the clusters on a given partition as individual cells, and in even older versions, you could "walk the map" and see the layout of individual files and how they might contribute to fragmentation. Mostly, that display wasn't necessary, and I'll acknowledge that. But I liked it because it allowed me to get my geek fix, and then Diskeeper removed it.

The overhanging question in all this is of course, "do we still need to defrag?" It's a valid question, especially in today's increasingly ubiquitous SSD climate, where defragging is neither needed nor a good practice. Personally, I am on the cusp at this time due to the sheer amount of data that I have. But a good decision could be made by going either way, and in the future, maybe I won't need a defragger either! However, I do still maintain several spinning hard drive partitions (currently only on one physical HDD), and some of them still get updated on a semi-frequent basis. Eventually I just used my good judgement and gut feeling to decide that "this time", I'd like to still use a defragger for this machine.

So I got the Diskeeper (15?) Trial about a month ago and started using it. I was actually not very excited by it; it has been so oversimplified in the last several versions, and this latest one was like a toy version of the product. My personal corruption as an end-user really began with a few idle Google searches, and I saw Raxco's Perfect Disk. So when my Diskeeper trial ended, I didn't do what I always used to do which was buy an upgrade license without really thinking about it. This time, I remembered Raxco and I decided to check it out. I de-installed the Diskeeper trial and I've been using Perfect Disk for about a week now.

Here's what I like:

1. PD doesn't force me into the generic end-user category by hiding the scheduling options and making up for it by saying "oh our product is so resource friendly you can just set and forget". PD actually allows me to set a schedule. Thank you for letting me fit this product in with my usage patterns and my backup strategy!

2. PD also has a walk-map. Yay! I probably won't use it very often but I like having it there, dammit!

3. PD has the other stuff that Diskeeper has. A facility to allow files to be written/re-written without being fragmented. An easy way to just analyze drives. A clear way to see the status of my drives (including SMART information), and an easy way to take one out of my defrag strategy, such as the recovery partition on my SSD or the 3 TB drive I use for my Macrium Reflect backups.

4. The documentation is well laid out, and Raxco actually provides a bit more detail regarding their defragging methodologies. This impressed me.

There are other features that I don't use, such as a duplicate file-finder and a recycle bin management tool, but it's easy to just leave those turned off, and it's nice to know they're there.

I haven't yet found anything I don't like, but then I've only just begun the trial. Only today did I finally figure out how to set the scheduler correctly (Duh!), so it will be a few weeks yet before I make a decision. But so far so good.

Disclaimer: I am not and never have been affiliated with either Raxco or Condusiv or their products. I'm just a mildly dissatisfied partially geeky end-user who gets annoyed when new software is either dumbed down or when useful features are mysteriously removed. :evil:
 
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:08 pm

Eh... It's nice to have a facy GUI, I guess... But there's no need to use defrag anymore for SSDs (I've disabled the scheduled defrag ever since I got my 512GB SSD, which still performs just as new even with only 170GB of free space left), and for HDDs the built-in auto-running defrag in Win7 or Win8 is perefctly fine :wink:
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:38 pm

I've been saying for years that PerfectDisk is the best. Diskeeper has never been a good product. It has been cruising for years on the fact that once upon a time it was the only defragger available for windows. But even then it wasn't very good. It could take weeks (or never) to fully defrag a badly fragmented disk with their poor incremental algorithms.

Glad you found PD. It is a vastly superior product.
 
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:00 am

For overall featureset it can't be beat IMO. I don't agree with the SSD pass on the version I used previously (some version of 12.5) as it just makes things worse, but for HDs it's fantastic.

MyDefrag is better for drive performance IMO, but it doesn't do offline defrags.

(I don't use HDs anymore, only have one in here on the off chance I actually need it someday...which I doubt will happen.)
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:43 am

The SSD pass doesn't actually defrag, from what I've read. Basically it just consolidates free space or something like that.
 
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:46 am

Buub wrote:
The SSD pass doesn't actually defrag, from what I've read. Basically it just consolidates free space or something like that.

Still requires data movement so that's some writes there.

Still, back when I needed to defrag, I felt PerfectDisk was easily the best (and never understood what the appeal of Diskkeeper was).
 
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:02 am

Buub wrote:
The SSD pass doesn't actually defrag, from what I've read. Basically it just consolidates free space or something like that.

...
Right, it frags. Everything in an area. To move it out of the way for future files to be written sequentially.

Even on a SSD that's just retarded.

MyDefrag has a flash memory pass that isn't an embarrassment to an otherwise fine piece of software.
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:43 am

Defragging SSDs doesn't make any sense. The random access speed is so insanely fast (100 times faster than the fastest HDD) that you couldn't tell the difference between a clean, contiguous partition versus a severely fragmented one.
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:46 am

People still 'defrag'?

I thought this has gone the way of the dodo.
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:08 am

 
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:13 am

It's not worth buying for the SSD abilities. Well unless you're still running XP or Vista I suppose.

Of course personally speaking I find it dubious for HDD use as well.

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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:21 am

---- 6 years later ----

What do you think of Defraggler?

It seems popular, but I don't get it. It adds fragmentation by breaking apart large files (maybe because I'm stopping it in the middle), the time estimation is way off and is disconnected from other stats (2GB fragmented, 20 hours to go?), the stats and progress indicators are unclear about the what and why it's doing whatever it is doing.
 
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:48 am

I didn't know people still defragged. :lol:
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:49 am

I do, occasionally, even on my SSDs. Reading small crap from SSDs is still slower than sequential reads. Sure, it probably isn't required, but it definitely helps to consolidate blocks occasionally when running drives that aren't mostly empty.

I use Auslogics Disk Defrag since it's free and has an "SSD optimized" defrag mode that only defrags files that are more fragmented than a particular threshold. There's no point in defragging a 20 GB file that's in 13 chunks, but a 128 KB file in 10 chunks is worth moving around.
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:32 pm

I'm fairly certain that what's presented as "contiguous" to the system isn't even necessarily so internally due to the wear-leveling algorithms (as well as sector remapping if your drive is on its way out). All defragging an SSD does is use up more writes.
 
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Tue Jun 25, 2019 12:48 pm

ChronoReverse wrote:
I'm fairly certain that what's presented as "contiguous" to the system isn't even necessarily so internally due to the wear-leveling algorithms (as well as sector remapping if your drive is on its way out). All defragging an SSD does is use up more writes.

Many small requests through the IO stack are slower than one larger syscall. Sure, it may be presented differently inside the FTL, but that's not the point.
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:12 pm

Okay, given that is true, it seems Windows does a defragmentation on highly fragmented files even on SSDs. So it still seems like a 3rd party defrag tool isn't necessary.
 
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:42 pm

Windows won't defrag SSDs, it only calls TRIM on empty sectors as far as I know.
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:08 pm

In fact it does defrag these days, due to specifically what you mentioned:
https://www.hanselman.com/blog/TheRealA ... urSSD.aspx

It was news to me too.
 
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:13 pm

ChronoReverse posted the link while I was typing my reply... :D

While Scott Hanselman is not directly on the Windows storage team, he did collaborate with them to find out exactly what Windows does with SSD's.

I used to use Diskeeper years ago, but I haven't used third-party defrag utilities for a long time now. One of the things I liked about Diskeeper was that in an enterprise they had (still have?) a central admin console where you could control the schedule of all of your machines and see the status of the drives.
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:25 pm

Usually I can't be arsed to do anything but Windows' defragger anymore. I still think Auslogics free defragger does a better job for HDs tho.
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:28 pm

meerkt wrote:
What do you think of Defraggler?

It seems popular, but I don't get it. It adds fragmentation by breaking apart large files (maybe because I'm stopping it in the middle), the time estimation is way off and is disconnected from other stats (2GB fragmented, 20 hours to go?), the stats and progress indicators are unclear about the what and why it's doing whatever it is doing.

Defraggler works well for me. I find it useful to defragment specific files, which Windows's DEFRAG can't do.

If you interrupt it while it's working, that could be the reason why you find it adds fragmentation.
 
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:38 pm

ChronoReverse wrote:
In fact it does defrag these days, due to specifically what you mentioned:
https://www.hanselman.com/blog/TheRealA ... urSSD.aspx

It was news to me too.

Ha, cool. My big SSD array (behind a RAID controller) doesn't get detected as an SSD, so I run the third-party tools anyway since I have Windows set to not defrag it.

Good to know that they thought through the implementation!
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:28 pm

Yan wrote:
Defraggler works well for me. I find it useful to defragment specific files

Yeah, though too bad file-defrag lacks the full featured progress indication of full defrag.

If you interrupt it while it's working, that could be the reason why you find it adds fragmentation.

Maybe. But I don't want defraggers to fragment files during work, even temporarily. It's especially a problem combined with the poor time left estimations. You have no idea how long it's going to take.

And whatever it is doing, it seems like a very long roundabout method. Or maybe the goals are muddled. I'd expect a fully defragged volume that you use for a while to need relatively less defragging the next time, but that doesn't appear to be the case with Defraggler.
 
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:23 pm

That bit about SSDs was interesting and indeed quite educational.

Thinking back on how NAND cells have an endurance rating, it does make sense to at least move data blocks around otherwise all the wear ends up concentrated on the unused NAND blocks, while blocks that have been constantly occupied will hardly see any wear at all.
 
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:25 pm

meerkt wrote:
If you interrupt it while it's working, that could be the reason why you find it adds fragmentation.

Maybe. But I don't want defraggers to fragment files during work, even temporarily. It's especially a problem combined with the poor time left estimations. You have no idea how long it's going to take.

On a nearly full or badly fragmented disk, temporarily making things worse on the way to making them better may be unavoidable. E.g., in order to make a sufficient quantity of unfragmented free space to write defragmented files to, it needs to move the fragments already occupying that space elsewhere. But since the rest of the free space on the volume is also fragmented, it may have no choice but to fragment them even more, with the goal of moving them again once contiguous free space has been created.
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:35 pm

jihadjoe wrote:
That bit about SSDs was interesting and indeed quite educational.

Thinking back on how NAND cells have an endurance rating, it does make sense to at least move data blocks around otherwise all the wear ends up concentrated on the unused NAND blocks, while blocks that have been constantly occupied will hardly see any wear at all.

Wear leveling is really the job of the SSD's internal controller. If Windows tries to account for that too, stuff may end up getting moved around needlessly, resulting in extra wear. Per the link which was posted above, Windows defrags SSDs to prevent NTFS internal metadata limits from being exceeded, and to ensure that all free space eventually gets TRIMmed.
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:41 pm

just brew it! wrote:
On a nearly full or badly fragmented disk, temporarily making things worse on the way to making them better may be unavoidable.

There was enough space for all the files it fragmented, combined, to be moved elsewhere contiguously.
 
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:50 pm

Back to the original topic, I don't think I've used a 3rd party defrag tool since the Win98/NT days. For Win2K/XP/7 I used the built-in Windows defrag tool and it seemed to give reasonable ("good enough") results.

Getting slightly off-topic, I don't use a defrag tool on Linux at all... but this is mostly because there aren't really any good ones that I'm aware of. Fortunately -- certain odd pathological workloads aside -- ext4 seems to be pretty good at minimizing fragmentation. In general, I haven't noticed it being a problem unless a disk is really full (like past 95%). But don't believe the oft-repeated myth that Linux ext4 is "immune" to fragmentation... I'd say it is "resistant" to fragmentation... except when it isn't! :lol:
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Re: I've been trying Raxco Perfect Disk for NTFS Defrags

Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:50 pm

meerkt wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
On a nearly full or badly fragmented disk, temporarily making things worse on the way to making them better may be unavoidable.

There was enough space for all the files it fragmented, combined, to be moved elsewhere contiguously.

Well if that was the case it was being dumb.
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