No the opposite - all files are pushed to the start of the drive so that a large contiguous block is left at the end of the drive. Static files are placed first where they sit and don't need to be defragmented again in the future. Rarely modified files are placed next and at the end of the block (usually surrounding the MFT and pagefile if present which are placed in the middle of the partition) so that they can grow and it minimizes fragmentation. Finally folders are placed - and this seems to make sense to me as they change frequently and defragment very quickly when required.
That makes good sense from a defragmentation POV, but as far as file access is concerned, wont it be slower to read the most frequently modified files if they are further away from the start of the disk, especially when there are a large number of files?
Re. DK "Set it and forget it" - yes I know they have that but I found it really frustrating as you could never predict when the system would start chuntering away. If you deal with large files (DVD images and video spring to mind) you can find your self filling up discs rapidly with fragmented files and then halfway through a time critical process DK suddenly decides it is time to defrag. The best automatic defrag to my mind is screen saver mode which is supported in both DK and PD.
Yes, I think the older DK versions seemed to have had issues with starting defrag without warning, but the 2007 versions have this fixed properly. I play UT24k and COD2 online with DK autodefrag enabled and so far, no hiccups. Even if it does start chugging away when you are working, once some other app needs the cycles, DK retreats. The autodefrag works nicely IMHO.
Re. MFT expansion ... actually DKs method sounds good but there are two problems: firstly, if you expand the MFT you end up with a block of wasted space on your disc permanently; secondly, that isn't a problem if the disc has loads of free space but as the disc fills Windows automatically uses empty MFT space to write files - so you just end up fragmenting the MFT and the enlarged MFT you chose is lost.
Apparently, the MFT is expanded (if you opt to) for preventing future fragmentation. But what you said is absolutely right, if you are short of space, then it is going to become fragmented.
I had bookmarked the following link when i was trying out the defraggershttp://www.driverhea...erfect-disk-8-a.html
If you have free time on your hands then it's a decently interesting flame war..er discussion
on how the two PD and DK have different approaches to the defrag process.
There is one more link on the free space consolidation aspect which was on the diskeeper blog. This is pretty old, so I think it refers to DK 10 and not DK2007.http://www.diskeeper...es/2006/04/post.html