It often happens that the computer is getting slower and slower. It is more than probable that the reason of this slowness is Disk Fragmentation. But what is the reason of the disk fragmentation? The hard disk consists of so-called clusters. These clusters are very small and that is why you cannot record a very big file to one cluster, you need more clusters. As a rule, the file is recorded to the disk successively, cluster by cluster but very often it is not possible because nearby clusters may be filled with parts of the other file. In this case the file is recorded to any free cluster separately, far away from other parts. Over time more and more files are added to the hard disk and individual parts of one file become more and more distant from each other and they are disorderly scattered over the disk. The system needs more time to find all of them and join together. This is the main reason of computer slowness and bad performance.
But, fortunately, you can solve this problem relatively easy because there are a lot of programs on the software market. Their main task is to bring all those files together and place them as near as possible in order to optimize the use of disk space and speed up the computer. This process is knows as Defragmentation. Regular defragmentation increases the disk speed and performance.
One of these utilities for defragmentation is already integrated into the Windows operating system but its possibilities are very poor, so we recommend the program called Defraggler which has been developed by the widely known English software company Piriform. Unlike the standard Windows defragmenter it offers more flexible and advanced features completely free of charge.
Download and Installation
The program is available for download on the official Piriform website. The installation file comes in two versions – Standard installer with EXE extension intended for direct installation and a portable one which can be used without installation. Both files are small, the installer version is only about 5 MB in size. The main advantage of the program lies in its multilingualism, it supports 40 languages.
The installation procedure is very easy and takes only seconds. A few steps are required for its completion.
The Second Step – in this step the program will offer to select some additional options, you have the possibility to add desktop and start menu shortcuts, integrate the program menu into the Windows explorer and replace the inbuilt Windows Disk Defragmenter.
The Third Step – it is a final step. Defraggler will offer to install CCleaner but if you do not need it, you can simply check the box. That is all. After clicking on Next button the program will be installed and ready for defragmentation.
The Interface of the Program
The interface of Defraggler is very attractive and user-friendly. There are three Menu buttons at the tip – Actions, Settings, and Help. The program is divided into three parts – Drive, drive Map, and Status -Properties.
Drive – it contains a list of drives presented on the system and shows the following info – 1. Media Type (i.e. the disk type- SSD or HDD and file system, for example, FAT 32 or NTFS), 2. Capacity, 3. Used Space, 4. Free Space and 5. Fragmentation level and status.
Drive Map – it shows the fragmentation level of the disk. It is divided into small blocks and each block has got certain colors. Blue color, for instance, means that the files in this block are not fragmented and red color that they are fragmented, etc. You can easily discover the contents of each block by clicking on it. The program will display the full list of files which are in this block.
It is worth mentioning that the Drive Map settings are highly customizable. You can select one of the two viewing modes – Modern and Original or manually customize the desired parameters, i.e. block width and height, block style, and mode or even the colors for empty, fragmented, etc. files.
Status and Properties – the third part of the program is located at the bottom. It is divided into two panes – Status and Properties. The former displays the status of disk health and the second the graphic model of the disk which contains info about the capacity of the drive and quantity of free and used space.
At the top of these panes, there are five additional tabs. They are as follows:
File List – it displays a list of every fragmented files found by the program during the analysis sorted by fragments, size, type, last modified date and path. Just check the file which you want to be defragmented or all of them and click Defrag. More options are available if you use the right click of the mouse, you have the possibility to highlight defragmented files and folders, move them to the end of the drive, open containing folder and save the list to the text file.
Search – this tab allows you to set up some search parameters, for example, you can define the desired size of files or specify their names.
Drive Map – it displays color squares for empty, fragmented, etc. files. After clicking on one of them, they will be highlighted in the Drive Map.
Health – this tab displays detailed info of the selected drive, i.e. its temperature, health, interface, buffer zone, etc. on the one hand and SMART attributes (i.e. read error rate, Spin-Up time, etc.) on the other hand.
Statistics – it contains information about the number of defrag executions, defragged files, etc., which can be sorted by day, week, month, and year.
The Main Features of the Program
Before starting the defragmentation process, the program allows you to analyze the disk performance, health and the number of fragmented files by clicking on the Analyze button. The disk analysis takes only seconds and after finishing it Defraggler will give you detailed info about its health, the number of fragmented files, level of fragmentation (my hard drive with the capacity of 465 GB had 16% of fragmented files) and random read speed (in my case, 2.12 MB per second). You have the possibility to view those fragmented files and discover their names, the total number of found fragments, size, type and path.
After completing the analysis of the drive, you can start the defragmentation procedure if the large number of defragmented files is found by the program. Defraggler supports the following file systems- FAT, exFAT, FAT 32 and NTFS and offers two defragmenting methods – Quick and Standard.
Quick Defrag – this method allows you to perform a very fast defragmentation of the disk. It is very useful if you want just decrease the level of fragmentation without optimization of disk space. It is extremely quick and takes seconds to complete.
In the Option menu you can customize some settings and rules of Quick Defrag, for example, defrag only those files that have fragments smaller than 50 MB, and so on.
Standard Defrag – this method is much lengthier but more effective because the file defragmentation is performed more accurately and thoroughly. Defraggler will consolidate all fragmented files and join them together.
In the Option menu you can customize some additional settings of this defrag method, i.e. specify the minimum file size for moving to the end of the drive or only specific file types, for example, archives or movie files. In the Exclude tab you can exclude some files or folders from defragmenting and in the Advanced tab configure a lot of other parameters.
It remains me to add that Defraggler also supports SSD drives by using TRIM function and so-called Zero Filling for optimizing SSD performance.
Defrag Folder and File – if you want to defragment only some folders and files on the drive of your computer, you must go to the Action menu tab and select one of them and in the opened window specify the location of the file or folder.
Defraggler also allows you to defrag individual files and folders instead of defragment the entire disk. This is a very useful feature and you can take full advantage of using it if you need to speed up a specific application or if the folder is excessively fragmented and you have not got enough time to defragment the whole disk.
Boot Time Defrag – there are some file types, for example, pagefile, metafiles, system files such as MTF (short for Master File Table), etc. cannot be defragmented when the Windows operating system is in use. But thanks to Defraggler, you can perform defragmentation of those files using Boot Time Defrag technology. By default, this option is disabled in the program but you can easily enable it by accessing Settings Menu. The program offers two run options – Run once (the program will perform defragmentation of the system files only once) and Run every time (the defragmentation will be performed every time during Windows boot).
Defrag Freespace – Free space of the hard drive may be also fragmented. Using this method you can consolidate free space on your hard drive to avoid further fragmentation and speed up its performance.
Scheduled Defrag – defragmentation of the hard drive can be performed not only manually but also automatically in Defraggler. You can schedule defragmentation procedure and the program will start at a certain specified time. You can select a desired period for defrag, for instance, daily, weekly, etc., its start time, specify defrag method and apply some additional parameters which are shown in the screenshots below.
Windows XP – Windows 8.1
There are no minimum memory or hard drive requirements.
Defraggler is a very simple and convenient tool for defragment drives at high speed. The program is extremely easy to operate, it does not require any configuration and it is very compact. It is the very pearl for those users who want to save money on buying the paid programs but at the same time get nearly identical disk optimization results which they offer.
1. Very intuitive and easy to use interface
2. Two different defragmentation methods
3. Defragmentation of individual files and folders
4. Boot time defragmentation
5. Scheduled defrag
6. It is free of charge
and many others