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-- by Serdar Yegulalp
The first disk defragmentation program for the Windows NT platform has just entered its second revision, and it's gotten even better. The copy of Diskeeper 2.0 (which is only for NT 4.0) that I looked at was a late beta and had no visible problems.
Once installed, Diskeeper almost immediately makes itself invaluable-both because it works so well and because of the performance boost it grants to heavily used NT systems. The program defragments both in the foreground and background, as an application or as a system service. It defrags FAT and NTFS drives transparently, preserving long filenames and security features on both.
Before executing the defrag, the program performs a detailed fragmentation analysis, determining which files are fragmented and how badly. Diskeeper also gives you a graphical map of the drive(s) to be defragmented, letting you see how files, directories, free space and fragmentation compete for disk space.
The program's "Set It and Forget It" feature lets you use the system service version of Diskeeper to schedule defragmentation runs at certain intervals-every few hours or days, on specific calendar days or during particular times of day. This keeps your disk in optimal condition without giving you the headache of remembering to run the program.
You can also forcibly exclude drives, directories and individual files from the defrag process. Unfortunately, you can't designate the sort order for files or direct the program to put all directories at the front of the disk for optimal performance-highly useful features common in many Windows 95 defragmentation programs but visibly absent here.
On a server-quality system, the overhead needed to run a defragmentation process in the background is noticeable, but minimal. On a workstation, it's much more intrusive. In both cases, it's perfectly possible to continue work uninterrupted while Diskeeper does its job.
Although NTFS' design made some improvements concerning fragmentation, Diskeeper 1.0 was a much-needed addition to Windows NT. With this version, Executive Software has banished the program's technical shortcomings and has outdone itself.
Copyright (c) 1997 CMP Media Inc.