The best free disk defragger

Several new contenders have entered the fray since I last reviewed this category so I was delighted when regular contributor Eric Santucci offered to do a comparative review [1] for me. Eric looked at four freebies as well as a commercial defragger for comparison.

He found that all the programs improved disk performance but the gains were modest and the differences between products small. The result is not surprising; with modern hard drives the benefits of defragging are much less pronounced than a few years ago.

Eric’s personal choice was JkDefrag [2]. I understand that choice but would tend to prefer Diskeeper [3] Lite due to its proven track record of reliability. Diskeeper’s attraction is further enhanced if you look at some of the tweaks you can make – see item 5.1 for details.

And here’s another reason to use Diskeeper: Eric tested Diskeeper Lite V7, the version that is most widely available for download but there is a neat way to get Diskeeper Lite V9. It forms part of Intel’s large (89MB) Desktop Utilities V2.1.9.66 package which is available from the Intel site [4]. When you unpack the file you’ll find Diskeeper V9 Lite in the folder../3rdparty/Diskeeper/. Make sure you don’t accidentally run the setup.exe file that’s in the root folder – that’s the Intel Desktop Utility setup program.

Neither the read-me file nor the License Agreement prohibit downloading and using this program on a single computer so it appears to be a perfectly legitimate way to obtain the program.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2007-02-22: