Diskeeper–a short review

Published Monday, May 16, 2011 9:23 AM

I have been lucky enough to be ASP.NET MVP for a number of years now. One of the perks of that is you get access to free licences of software such as Diskeeper. This piece of software keeps your disks running as smooth as they possibly can.

I have been using Diskeeper for around 2 months now and am pretty impressed. It silently does its thing in the background without you having to touch anything. One of the newest and also one of my favourite features is the automatic defrag capability.You don’t have to launch a defrag application and have it run on your system or schedule it to run periodically, as Diskeeper performs this operation all the time, in the background for all disk operations. Basically, you just use your system like normal, and it just magically gets defragmented, all the time. Nice.

I have 2 disks in my system. A SSD (Solid State Drive) as my primary ( C: ) drive, and a 5200rpm 320Gb hard disk as my secondary data drive ( D: ). After installing Diskeeper, I have noticed a significant difference in the performance of the secondary drive in particular. I imagine because it is the slowest disk and because it stands to benefit the most. The SSD is fast anyway, so it is much harder to notice any difference. I have noticed a small difference, but it’s only slight compared to the secondary ( spinning rust ) drive.

I should mention that in order for Diskeeper to work with SSD hardware, you need a special edition of Diskeeper with an add-on called Hyper-fast that takes into account the SSD unit and has special algorithms that are designed to optimise SSD operation.

For those interested in the actual metrics, Diskeeper provides an easy to use management console that displays your current system improvements. The initial display is shown below.

image

The management console offers a number of ways to look at what has been done to your disks and how it has been performing. I find the history view particularly interesting as it proves a look at how the disk is being used and optimised over time.

image

So would I recommend it? Yes, and this is not simply because I have been given a free licence and feel obligated to do so. It is particularly useful if you have standard hard disks regardless of how fast they spin. You will notice a much smoother and responsive system as a result. For SSD owners, it is still worthwhile but the benefits are less because of the inherent speed in SSD units. For a system with a mix of SSD and hard disks, it works beautifully.

by Glav

Comments

# Derek De Vette said on Monday, May 16, 2011 7:25 PM

Thanks, Glav.

I too have a hybrid HDD/SSD set-up at home (a terabyte Seagate HDD and smokin' Kingston 128GB SSD) which I use for digital music recording.

It's important to understand that SSDs suffer more from "free space" fragmentation as opposed to "file fragmentaion".  So when they DO take a performance hit, it's on the Write side (as opposed to the Read side found on traditional HDDs).

You won't see or feel this until about 3 months or after they start to fill up (this is what the SSD manufacturers tell me anyway, whose factories I've toured personally).

The earlier generation SSDs suffered horribly from this (I remember our test lab showed 100,000 SSD free space fragments on a fresh Vista install after 8 weeks). The newer generations have however, to the manufacturer’s credit, improved markedly.

Either way, you'll still see a nice benefit and extended life span by Diskeeper with HyperFast being installed on this set up. For those new to this who wish to try, check out our web site. The free 30 day trial ware is actually a fully working version.

-Derek De Vette

Vice President  

Global Alliances | Partner Affairs

Diskeeper Corporation

# Harry said on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 10:24 AM

Diskeeper 2011 is great! I have always noticed a significant change in speed and performance whilst using it. In fact it's the only defrag/performance software i'll use.

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