mst Defrag v1.8 Workstation Edition

Reviewed by: Paul Schneider, September 2005
Published by: mst software
Requires: Windows 2000 or XP
MSRP: US$29.90

mst Defrag is a hard disk defragmenter program with a twist. Unlike most disk defragmenters, which require you to run them and then wait patiently until they are finished, mst Defrag runs silently in the background, constantly defragging your hard drive and making sure that fragmentation is always kept to a minimum. I previously reviewed mst Defrag v1 back in October 2004.

Most of the changes in this version are related to performance issues. Depending on your computer, its usage and of course your hard drive, you may or may not notice a difference. For those running Windows 2000 workstation or servers, the good news is that because of added support, you can actually take advantage of the program! Also, all users can benefit from some changes to the placement and adjustment of fragmentations. mst Defrag now optimizes placement by putting system boot files in an optimal location, thus increasing boot speed. It also places modified files at the end of partitions, thus reducing refragmentation, improving partition analysis, providing more efficient data input-output, and decreasing memory usage.

As you might imagine, many of the feature improvements in v1.8 are transparent, but there were still a number of improvements that I noticed immediately. First off, RAM usage has been decreased. Previous versions of mst Defrag used approximately 852KB, but is now down in the range of 350-800KB, depending on activity. Another change is that there is now a system tray icon. It's not a functional icon, just a reminder that the program is running. Although I think keeping the memory footprint small is important, it would have be nice if the developers could add a feature exit or launch the full mst Defrag from the new system tray icon.

Upon actual launch of mst Defrag you’ll immediately see some of the other improvements. The first version had a rather spartan look to it, but this one does a nice job of adding a number of important details. The workstation version provides full network support which is a great add on for those managing a network of any size. Beyond these key features, the other improvements are primarily noticeable through the new key for the cluster view which breaks out mft-reserved, unknown, pagefile, mft, and directory types. mst Defrag’s new optimization capabilities and the additional ability to manually optimize the layout of your files based on a layout.ini file is where these come into play.

Overall this is a nice improvement. The program takes an already great concept and makes it better without sacrificing the key strengths of the original version. About the only thing missing at this point is the ability to mark specific clusters off limits for defragmentation. Though rarely needed, programs such as Symantec’s GoBack request this for optimal use. I previously reviewed mst Defrag 1.0 back in October 2004 and gave a positive recommendation. Since that time there have been two upgrades with v1.8 being the latest version. The good news is that mst Defrag continues to be an excellent performer. Even if you already have a defragment program, I recommend you check out mst Defrag as there are lots of great things happening at mst Software!





© Copyright 2000-2007 All rights reserved. legal notice
home | previous reviews | forums | about us | search | store | subscribe


Hot News Search Home Previous Reviews About Us Store Subscribe