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Auslogics Freeware Speeds Up Disk Defragmentation

March 10th, 2008

Earlier today I received an email from my mother alerting me to an article posted by Dennis O’Reilly at CNET News.com. The article describes a handy little freeware program called Auslogics Disk Defrag that is supposed to be able to defragment your hard drive faster than the standard Windows utility can. After downloading the software and trying it out myself, I can confirm that it does work very efficiently and managed to finish the defrag process on my main drive in about four minutes.

Although the exact value of disk defragmentation is debatable, most experienced computer users recommend it as a routine maintenance operation to keep your computer running smoothly and prevent severe slowdowns. The process organizes your files more neatly on the disk and maximizes use of your free space to store additional files. It also reduces the wear and tear on the mechanical parts of the drive because they do not have to spend as much time accessing program files if they are in one location on the disk as opposed to being scattered all over the place.

Before you actually begin the defrag process, it is a good idea to go to Control Panel >> Add/Remove Programs (or Programs and Features if using Vista) and remove any applications that you are no longer using. You can also do a disk cleanup to remove any temporary Internet files and empty the Recycle Bin. This will free up more space on your drive and prevent fragmentation later after these files are eventually removed. For example, I had a few old PC games left on my drive that I was not playing anymore, so I was able to free up a few gigabytes of space before I even started defragmenting.

When this is done, you can install the Auslogics utility and open up the initial screen. It has a nice little pie chart that shows you the actual size of your disk, how much of it is occupied by various files, and how much free space you have left:





auslogics-disk-defrag-1.jpg





If you have more than one drive, you can choose which one you want to optimize, then click Next to begin the defragmenting process. As the application is running, it will show you a picture that displays lots of little boxes that are supposed to represent the data sectors on your drive. You can read the legend underneath to get a general idea of how much free space you have and how the file allocation is organized. You can also see a running total of how many files you have and how many actually required defragmenting:


auslogics-disk-defrag-2.jpg




After the program has finished running, you will see a results page that displays the total number of files, how many were defragmented, and the total percentage of fragmentation. As a nice bonus, it also shows you two vertical bar graphs that tell you how much of your disk space was recovered by reorganizing the files:


auslogics-disk-defrag-3.jpg




If you wish, you can view more detailed information by clicking on “View Report”. Meanwhile, the “Optimize PC” option at the top of this screen is somewhat of an advertising trick - it takes you to a page where you are given the option of purchasing the BoostSpeed utility, which is supposed to increase performance. This step is not necessary if you are only trying to optimize the space on your disk(s).

As a humorous aside, the CNET article cited above originally contained a noticeable English usage error in the very first sentence. This is what the sentence looked like when I first clicked through to the site from my Mom’s email:

In the long list of odious chores, defragmenting your hard drive is right up their with flossing your teeth and washing your dog–or flossing your dog’s teeth, for that matter.

The word “their” is used incorrectly; the correct spelling is “there”. Apparently, as I was typing this post, the CNET editors caught the mistake and corrected it. Don’t forget to proofread your articles before hitting that “Publish” button!


2 Responses to “Auslogics Freeware Speeds Up Disk Defragmentation”

  1. comment number 1 by: ireland5

    The images are great. I, too, tried the program. It beats XP on speed without a doubt! I also like watching the little colored boxes!ha.

  2. comment number 2 by: billy fitzgerald

    excellent

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