Best defragmentation program for Win XP?

I’m looking for an after market defragmentation program. I personally don’t think Win XP’s built-in defragger is doing a very good job. So far I’ve found:

  • Raxco Software’s PerfectDisk
    ** Disk-Keeper
    ** O&O Defragger

Which one should I use and why do you think it’s really good? I’m looking for one that does not run memory resident, is under my full control, and can defrag everything. I don’t care about setting up “times to defragment” or "scheduling… just don’t need nore want them.

Thanks for the help! :)

Can you explain why you don’t think the WinXP defrag is doing a very good job?

Doesn’t move ALL files, and when it’s done there’s lots of clumps spread all over.

Last I checked Diskeeper was the best of the bunch and 10 is fresh out.
So good in fact, that they built the internal XP defragmentation routine for Microsoft. Of course that is limited compared to the full product, but most people don’t need any more.

And it is one of those things where once you get used to having Diskeeper deal with your disks, you won’t want to go back …


How is it for speed? Comparable to XP’s defrag?

Diskeeper may or may not have damaged my old hard drive. See it was old as hell but running fairly alright and I downloaded Diskeeper and ran it. In the middle I got a blue screen. For a couple months I started to get them with more and more frequency. Nuking Windows didnt help me and eventually I just gave up. It could’ve been age but like I said I didnt have any problems until Diskeeper came along.

I’ve generally found it to be better in all ways - faster, more efficient, lower overhead, and so on.

No clue … but since it does move stuff around, it is always possible that it failed to see a corrupt sector and dropped something important there that basically hosed you for life.


How long should WinXP’s defrag take, anyway? Say on a 160GB drive with about 100GB free.

Also, how do you access scandisk on WinXP?

Diskeeper is the one I use the most on my client’s machines. It gets a big thumbs up.

It depends entirely on how large the drive is, how much free space it has, and how badly the data is fragmented. The short answer is: probably longer than you’d like. Which is why faster disk defragmenting is always a Good Thing ™.

Also, how do you access scandisk on WinXP?

Right click on the drive in Explorer and open the Properties window, go to the Tools tab, and it’s called “Error Checking.”

Do any/all of these allow for free space compression (i.e. moving files instead of defragmenting them in place?) That’s my biggest complaint about the XP defragger is that it will defrag files in place and leave horrible free space allotments which is necessarily going to fuck up new file fragmentation when new files are placed on the disk. (Especially these days with the huge size of some game files, which is primarily where I see issues.)

Why would anyone actually pay fifty dollars of their own money for a defrag utility in 2006? Of course they’re heavily pirated, and maybe you could convince your IT department to shell out the cash, but… fifty bucks that I worked for? No way.


I think the selling point for all these programs is the ability to defragment the MFT. Windows NT/2000/XP defrag utility won’t touch the MFT.

Diskeeper eh. I don’t like it. I don’t like having to pay so much extra for the two features I want. Perfectdisk has far less discriminatory pricing. Both boot-time defragging and x64 support are in the basic client package…since there is only one client package.

I’ve tried a few alternatives to the built-in XP defrag program and was generally disappointed. However, I have to say PerfectDisk is indeed very fast and very thorough, much better than anything else I’ve seen. The only question is, does the system really get any faster?

I’ve been fiddling with FAST Defragger from AMS and it’s been working, but it might not do or not do the things mentioned in this thread, the bad stuff. Someone tell me if it does, so I can stop using it. It’s silly quick, and free (well, you can get the Pro version for 9 bucks, but all you get is Tech Support and skins).

I may be missing something, but it appears as if Fast Defragger will defrag your system memory, and optimize processes on your system, but doesn’t actually defrag your hard drive.


So what program do you use? Bill that looks interesting… but how can it do it so quickly? Maybe I’m stuck in a DOS mindset, but ti seems to do the best job possible it’d need to move and re-organize lots and lots of files. Besides the fact the Win XP defragger leaves a lot of stuff untouched, doesn’t put stuff end-to-end, it completes everything so quickly I’m left wondering how much of a thorough job it is doing. Having a nicely defragged disk should cut down wear and tear on the disk heads shouldn’t it?