Defragmenter Pro v1.0

Reviewed by: Jim Huddle
Published by: Abexo
Requires: Windows 98 or higher
MSRP: $25.00

Defragmenting your hard drive is something probably even the most wide-eyed newbie has at least heard of. There are many utilities out there that do the same job. Even current versions of Windows supply a decent defragmentation utility. What the Windows versions don't do is move the swap file or at least disable it so it's out of the way during defragmenting. Before running its own defragmantation process, Windows also won't close open files or shut down any of the junk running in your system tray.

There are some commercial utilities which will close system tray programs and move the swap files. One that most folks will recognize is Symantec's Norton Speed Disk. I've used Speed Disk from time to time and it always does a reasonable job. I don't have Speed Disk installed currently as it's bundled with the Norton Utilities suite and since I never use any of the other utilities in the suite, well, that's another story.

Defragmenter Pro is an attempt to provide a utility that gets around the swap file by performing the defragmentation after first disabling the swap file and then rebooting. It then runs Window's defragmentation utility on the drives you specify. The program is run from a standard Windows dialog box and the choices are fairly simple. You can choose which drives to defragment and whether to shut-down or reboot Windows once the deed is done.

Once you click OK, the utility shuts down Windows, disables the swap file and reboots. On startup, the utility triggers Windows Scandisk and Windows Defrag before any of the programs you normally use have a chance to start up. Once the scanning and defragmentation process is done, Defragmenter Pro re-enables your swap file and reboots or shuts down, depending on your previous choice.

I ran into some problems with the program using it on a Pentium III/1GHz computer with the Novell Netware client installed. Defragmenter Pro hung or locked up on the initial shut down and the computer had to be restarted by pressing its reset button. On reboot, scandisk started before anything else but ran very slowly. Scandisk was noticeably quicker on a non-netware computer, but it appears to be a good idea to set aside a fair amount of time to let Defragmenter Pro and Scandisk do their work.

The program is delivered by download and at it's price is a decent alternative to the more expensive products out there (if you have the time to wait for the software to do its work). I suggest running Defragment Pro after you're done with the computer for the day. Abexo offers one year of free upgrades and unlimited e-mail tech support. There's also an online FAQ but I think you'll find you exhaust its usefulness on the first visit.




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