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File fragmentation and Defrag tools

By:Christine Fettinger

Over time, every computer hard drive will experience file fragmentation which will slow down the system and make a big impact on overall performance. Microsoft recommends running a defrag whenever file fragmentation on a disk reaches 20% or higher. It’s a good idea to check for file fragmentation about once a month, or whenever your computer seems to be running slow. The built-in Windows Disk Defragmenter tool works pretty well, but has some limitations. It can’t defragment locked system files, or the Windows paging file. Here are some tools you can use for keeping file fragmentation low, and your computer running at an optimal level.

PageDefrag: This is a free tool that is used for defragmenting Windows system files, registry files and the paging file. It can set to run at boot-up, before Windows is loaded. For more info and to download the tool, go to: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897426.aspx

PerfectDisk: This 3rd party defrag software is made by Raxco Software. It provides many features including scheduled defrags, boot file optimization, and automatic defrags when your system is idle. This is a solid product and has been around for quite some time. For more info, go to: http://www.perfectdisk.com/

Diskeeper Professional: This 3rd party defrag software is also solid and packed with features, and pretty similiar to PerfectDisk. Features include InvisiTasking, which defrags your files as fragmentation occurs; I-FAAST, which accelerates file access time by organizing files based on actual usage; and Frag Shield, which adjusts your MFT and Paging file to an optimal level. For more info, go to: http://www.diskeeper.com/