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Messages - bugis [ switch to compact view ]

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No defragger can actually specify physical placement of the files on the platter. The file system and storage hardware are not directly 'aware' of each other, so a defragger work only within the realm of the logical disk; it's the drive controller that decides as to which physical blocks are actually used for writing the data. Logically contiguous files may or may not be physically contiguous (but they should be pretty close I guess). Remember, the physical drive is not 2 dimensional although that's what the drive maps show. The HDD consists of more than one platter and more than one surface (and read/write heads) for storing data; so any claims of a defragger being able to write to a specific part of the platter should be taken with a pinch of salt.

As for Diskeeper, I use the 2009 Pro edition currently, and it has defragged my non-OS 250GB drive even with only 6% free space without any problems; it was in auto mode as I usually run it that way. The current Diskeeper versions work in low space quite well.

Found Deals and Discounts / Re: PerfectDisk 10 @ -20%
« on: January 29, 2009, 06:01 AM »
Anyone have any thoughts about DiskKeeper vs PerfectDisk?

Thanks, Ken

I haven't used PD in a long time, and I am used to Diskeeper so take it FWIW: the 2009 edition of Diskeeper is pretty decent. The 2k9 Pro that I have has added i-faast (file sequencing) that was previously only in Propremier versions, and a few other tweaks. Best part about DK is that it's truly set and forget and it works really brilliantly in that respect. Very stable and never has any issues with any of my other apps.

General Software Discussion / Re: What's your music player of choice?
« on: October 13, 2008, 08:17 AM »
WMV11 and Winamp. I find myself reaching for WMV more often. :-\

General Software Discussion / Re: CCleaner Or Not?
« on: October 13, 2008, 08:14 AM »
I stopped using Ccleaner on my Vista machine a few months ago.  :( It tended to undo explorer folder settings regardless of what options I used for cleaning (only disk cleanup, never the registry). Don't know if that was a bug specific to my Vista config, or a known problem. I probably need to download a newer release and see if it still occurs.

Diskeeper 2008 Pro for me! :up:
Easiest to use, and most 'invisible', yet delivers great results.

General Software Discussion / Re: The great defrag shootout
« on: January 28, 2008, 12:27 PM »
and I'm finding the new processes that run in the background to facilitate AutoPilot (which now defrags on the fly): PD91Agent, PD01Scanner, and PD91Engine quite resource hungry. I have left AutoPilot enabled for now, but note that it rendered my computer unusable this morning during an optimization run (invoked while I was away from the computer).

What were the hardware specs of your test system if I may ask? 

Also, when you say 'unusable', do you mean -a crash, or just that the program was leeching all the resources?

General Software Discussion / Re: XP or Vista user — take the poll!
« on: September 17, 2007, 01:47 PM »
IMHO,  Vista's defrag is a mixed uses fewer resources than XP's defragger even though it runs in the background most of the time, so that's a plus; but on the other hand it never seems to finish what it set out to do, unlike third party defraggers. I personally like automatic defragmentation in general because once you set it up it autodefragments intelligently, and  you usually don't have to bother with manual defrag jobs, setting schedules, worry about a schedule running during a busy time etc.,  So, the philosophy behind the Vista defrag is not wrong per se, it's just that it doesn't deliver the results expected. Who knows, maybe MS will fix it down the line via an update or in SP1.

Living Room / Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« on: August 27, 2007, 12:46 PM »
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 defraggers

If you have free time on your hands then it's a decently interesting flame discussion  ;D 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.

Living Room / Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« on: August 26, 2007, 02:03 PM »
The main problem with DK is that it doesn't fully defrag everything (to save time apparently) and it doesn't intelligently place files on the disc so fragmentation occurs more quickly after the defrag process. I found that DK always left gaps in the files on my disk (it didn't move everything up to remove small gaps). The net effect is that the file allocation system places files in these gaps and they are automatically fragmented all over the disc surface. I wrote and complained about this to DK (and the lack of control over file placement) and their response was "we know best". Not impressed.

Yes, DK does not consolidate all the free space all the time, since they claim it does not really provide enough benefit to justify the work the drive has to do to move everything into one chunk everytime. I saw a more detailed discussion of this at some other site when I was trying out the different defraggers. It's bookmarked on another PC and I'll post it later when I have access to the PC.

Personally, I am on the fence when it comes to full free space consolidation. It seems to my n00bish reasoning that pushing up all the files into one contiguous block will not help delay fragmentation. Because, as soon as some of those files are modified

(1) they have no space to expand, resulting in file fragments placed after the block of consolidated files

(2) reduced file sizes result in space between the consolidated files leading to further fragmentation during writes.

Maybe if some 'locked' free space is left at the end of frequently modified files to allow only those files to exclusively expand without fragmenting, then that would be a better solution? How it could be done, I have no idea since it would be dificult to predict how much a file is going to expand  ;D

On a similar note, DK has a feature that allows you to enlarge the MFT to prevent fragmentation, but AFAIK none of the other defraggers have this.

That said, DK does consolidate free space reasonably well, atleast from what I can see in the graphical reports. Pity it does not give a detailed log like some other defraggers do. :mad:

PD has all the scheduling functions of DK (including screensaver mode which I like best) but it also allows you to run an extra intensive defrag whicjh removes all gaps on the disk. You can also set number of days for each drive to determine files that don't change, files that change occasionally and files that change regularly. This allows the files to be moved during defrag so that the files that don't change much can be in an area where they are blocked together and left undisturbed (similarly for the other file groups). This minimises the need for future defragamentation and makes them faster too.

Actually, DK's automatic mode is quite different from the scheduling function built into the other defraggers. It is an 'always-on' thing that defrags if (1) fragmentation has increased beyond some threshold (what is the value? No idea!) (2) enough idle resources are available to defrag without interfering with concurrently running apps. So, it's truly set-it-and-forget-it. That's what drew me to DK ultimately, it was a complete no-hassles solution with great results.  8) There is a conventional scheduler too, but I never use it.

I never understood how the placement method of PD worked in conjunction with the free space consolidation idea. Does it move the frequently modified files to the beginning of the drive and the rarely modified files to the end of the drive, leaving a large block of free space in the middle? Or does it bunch up all the files towards the beginning of the drive, but the order in which they are arranged is such that the most frequently modified are at the very beginning to provide the performance boost from faster access times?

But, that would also mean that a block of most frequently modified files stuffed together will fragment the quickest too, right? Or am I looking at it the wrong way? :stars:

Windows defrag is based on an old version of DK in pure brute force mode. Basically it just shoves everything up to the start of the disc in any old order. It also doesn't support boot time defrag which means that system files and the MFT get badly fragmented and lots of disk space is lost in excess fragments which it can't reclaim.

I find the biggest speed difference occurs after you do a boot time defrag followed by a full defrag. Without the boot time defrag all the system files are left in a fragmented mess which especially forces Windows to startup slowly.

That's very true. A good boot-time defrag is necessary to complete the process. Incidentally, I have my paging file on a separate, dedicated partition on a different drive to minimize fragmentation. My OS has it's own dedicated partition too. Infact, my drives are all partitioned to hell :D

Living Room / Re: Life without XP SP2 - is it possible?
« on: August 26, 2007, 10:29 AM »
I dropped Diskeeper some time ago and went back to Perfect Disk. I found DK just didn't do the job properly - and recent reviews of it haven't been that complimentary.

I've been using Diskeeper pro 2007 and never had a problem with it. Seems to do a fine job on my system, and the automatic defrag feature is really cool. Overall, system resource usage is very low, and results are great, so no cause for complaint from my side. 8)

I've been enjoying GIMP lately, to my surprise. I've rejected it a dozen times in the past, but now I can finally get past the fact that it has no background workspace. That crap always drove me crazy, but suddenly it doesn't. Go figure.

You are a stronger man than I, my friend. :D
I almost lost my sanity with GIMP's user interface. I simply couldn't get used to it after PS. I hate that program with a passion now. :P

EDIT: ahh that GIMPSHOP thingie looks interesting. Gotta give it a shot, if they claim to have improved the suer interface. Mind you, I am not a PS power user by any stretch of the imagination, but PS has been relatively straighforward to use even for a novice like me.

If you use QT Alternative, then it gives you an option to download the file (among other options). This works for only HD movies (such as the trailers on the QT site), but it works fine.

My freeware favourites

-VLC (best media player)

-Quicktime/Real Alternative (work around the headache that is itunes+quicktime)



-AVS (antivirus)

-utorrent (*ahem*)

-DVD Decrypter + DVD Shrink + Daemon tools


-Nero 6 (OEM, came with my drive so I didnt really 'pay' for it)

-Adobe Photoshop (again paid for by the univ since it was for research work)

-Endnote (courtesy the univ).

-Diskeeper Pro 2007 (I paid for this, but worth the money. Great defragger, does everything I want, and more!)

-Purevideo (I had it for a while on my desktop. Long story...but I dont have it anymore)

Edit: should sneak in these payware programs, since they are really my favourites: ;D
Call Of Duty2
Unreal Tournament 2004
Need For Speed: Most Wanted

Caveat: I have not used this software, and do not know how well it performs, or what problems it has.

I recall this software being mentioned in another forum, where some of the guys liked it. Maybe you can see if it matches your requirements.

General Software Discussion / Re: Safari 3 for Windows
« on: June 22, 2007, 06:55 AM »
I am a Firefox fan, but in all fairness it should be pointed out that Safari  is the only windows web browser that fully suports embedded colorprofiles and thus apropriately displays pictures that are not in the sRGB colorspace.

But would it really matter to those who are not in the publishing business? I am ignorant in these color profile matters  :-[ , so please correct me if I am wrong. My understanding was that unless your monitor/video card color profile was set accordingly, it wouldnt matter what profile the image used, and it would display according to the monitor profile only (eg sRGB in my case)?

I have finished my masters, and am currently in a PhD program in materials science & engineering. :)

General Software Discussion / Re: Endnote XI is released...
« on: June 14, 2007, 04:41 AM »

What's the PhD on, bugis, and have you voted in the How many students are active here (instead of writing up?!)?

Hehe I dont think I would have shelled out the cash for EN9, if the univ library didn't provide all students with a free copy. So I don't know what I would have done. ;D

I agree, the minor improvements are not worth the $$$ for the upgrade. As it stands, ver 9 does what I need (and more!) just main gripe is only with the interface, but lets see..if the univ upgrades it license, I wont mind updating. Usually there is a 1-2 year lag between the release of a new EN version and our univ licensing it. We got EN 9 only earlier this year IIRC, until then we were on the buggy ver 7.

Thanks for the heads up on the thread. I have not posted there yet, will do so. I am currently doing my PhD in materials engineering.

But, speed aside, what about harddisk thrashing?  It just doesn't seem like it's a good thing to make the harddrive heads slam around all the time.  Speed is a secondary concern to me... I care about the life of my harddrive!  Is this a valid reason to defragment?


EDIT: After re-reading my post, I dont think I made much sense even to myself :D, so let me edit my post and add this, before I am misunderstood: some people claim that regular defragmentation can actually *reduce* the life of your HDD because of heavy read-write activity. I personally think this is utter rubbish, and the opposite is actually true.

And if your HDD fails because of defragging, then it was faulty to begin with....HDDs these days should be able to do some reasnoably heavy duty stuff and keep going without blinking. I believe they are engineered with this in mind.

I have never heard about any HDD failure due to defragging. But keep in mind that other factors also come into play such as the temperature, dust, humidity etc. I have a 80mm fan in the front panel of my Centurion 5 case blowing air over the HDDs, keeping them reasonably cool but not as cool as I'd like. Ideally a 120 mm fan would be nice, but it wont fit in the casing in front.

I dont see any cons of defragging....

I personally do believe in defragging regularly...there are a  lot of skeptics out there when it comes to payware defrag programs, but I have gone with what I know does the job for me. I do quite a bit of gaming (COD2, Oblivion, NFS:MW and UT2K4 mostly) and a lot of *ahem* bittorrenting ;) so the state of my drive is not always perfect. I tried a few of the commercial defraggers, and finally settled on Diskeeper 2k7. Seems to be the most unselfish defragger when it comes to eating up my precious system resources. Runs smoothly in the background without stuttering (has been a problem with me with some other defraggers) and one big advantage is its multiple drive defrag capability. Doesnt take too long to defrag my twin 160 GB T7k250s compared to the built in windows utility that would take all of eternity to finish the job >:(.

General Software Discussion / Re: Safari 3 for Windows
« on: June 13, 2007, 09:38 AM »
I tried out Safari yesterday, but didn't like it very much because it completely lacks mouse gestures. I cant do without MGs! Also, the text smoothing seems really wierd, and the right-click functionality was buggy. Back to Opera for me. ;)

General Software Discussion / Re: Endnote XI is released...
« on: June 13, 2007, 09:34 AM »
I have endnote 9 currently (free from my university) and it is quite good, but some parts of the interface could be streamlined and made more intuitive, I feel. It took me quite a while to figure out a lot of the features, and even now, I am not 100% comfortable with some...especially when messing with a near finalized fully formatted and referenced manuscript, i get really jittery :D.  But I cannot live without it...indispensible for my PhD thesis and papers. :up:

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