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Diskeeper 2010 Home review

David McKinnon
1 Nov 2010
Diskeeper
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
25
inc VAT

Does what it claims, but the need and expense is becoming questionable for most users.

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Although your computers operating system represents files and folders as contiguous items, the physical reality on your hard disk is rather different. Over time, repeated reading, editing and writing of files inevitably means that they become fragmented across your hard disk. While this has no impact on the way you use and manipulate them, over time your hard disk's performance will wane as it both struggles to both collect and reassemble, and divide and distribute file slithers across its magnetic platters. Diskeeper 2010 aims to overcome this fragmentation problem and keep you file system in tip top condition.

All versions of Windows come equipped with a disk defragmentation utility. It's relatively unsophisticated though, and can only be executed as a one-off housekeeping job that you deploy when the Windows files system has become heavily defragmented. Diskeeper takes a more holistic approach that includes protection against file fragmentation. The automatic IntelliWrite function limits file fragmentation by steering Windows to write files contiguously. This reduces the processing load both during the writing and reading process, theoretically speeding up your computer.

Rather than relying on one-off defragmentation routines, Diskeeper runs continuously in the background grinding away to keep your file system tidy. It does this without using any significant resources, which means it will not interfere with any important work, and laptop users can ensure it activates only while your computer is running from the mains, to retain maximum battery life. Of course, it’s also possible to run a one-time defragmentation if needed; upon first install, for example.

A defragmentation routine can also be scheduled to run on system startup. This allows files that would otherwise be locked by your operating systems to be defragmented. The Professional version adds a facility that tracks and analyses file usage and optimises access to the most commonly used files.

We did some tests, to compare Diskeeper with Windows 7’s own utility – Disk Defragmenter. We didn’t see any notable differences in performance after defragmenting. That’s not to say that Diskeeper’s constant write management isn’t superior, just that for most tasks, scheduling daily defragmentation overnight is more than sufficient. If you work on large files all the time, like HD video, you can partition off a section of your hard disk as a scratch disk. Then you can use it for working on files, and format it once you’ve saved off the final version.

Diskeeper 2010 Home is a great defragmentation utility, but we question whether anyone really needs it. Windows 7’s defragmentation scheduling is perfectly adequate, and those with serious data-intensive work to undertake should have already upgraded to the latest Windows release.

Details

Price£25
Detailswww.diskeeper.com
Rating***

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