[Review] Paragon Total Defrag 2010

{rw_text}Software reviewed in this article::

Paragon Total Defrag 2010

Version reviewed:

v2010 Build 8713 (05.08.09)

System Requirements:

Windows 7 (x32) / Vista (x32) / 2000 Professional / XP Home Edition / XP Professional; 300 MHz or higher; RAM 128 MB; (256 MB or greater recommended); Disk space: 20 Mb; Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher

Software description as per the developer:

File system starts out with all or most of its files contiguous, and becomes more and more fragmented as a result of the file creation and deletion over the time. Thus files and their parts become spread all over the hard disk, which follows the delays in the hard disk work and further lower performance. Total Defrag 2010 is a new comprehensive product for total file system defragmentation and optimization. Built on original Paragon technologies, it performs complete low-level defragmentation that provides almost zero fragmentation level.

{/rw_text} –>

{rw_good}

  • Straightforward and fairly easy to use.
  • Allows for defrag and compacting of MFT along with the norm disk defrag.
  • Gives users the option to select how to order files/directories.
  • Supports internal and external (USB/Firewire) hard drives.
  • Can create a bootable CD/DVD or USB/flash drive for defraging without loading Windows.
  • Ability to automatically shutdown computer after defrag has finished.

{/rw_good} –>

{rw_bad}

  • Huge file size (~75 MB)!
  • Lacks any sort of automatic defrag feature (no scheduler or anything similar).
  • Does not support USB/flash drive defrag.
  • Can only defrag one partition at a time.

{/rw_bad} –>

{rw_score}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”8″}Fairly point and click for the most part. However lacking any sort of automatic defrag feature and only allowing for defrag of one partition at a time can be annoying.
{/for}
{for=”Performance” value=”10″}No problem I can see here.
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”8″}Everyone can use a defragger; however the lack of automatic defrag or multiple partition defrag at once may turn off some people.
{/for}
{for=”Arbitrary Equalizer” value=”7″}This category reflects an arbitrary number that does not specifically stand for anything. Rather this number is used to reflect my overall rating/verdict of the program in which I considered all the features and free alternatives.
{/for}
{/rw_score} –>

{rw_verdict}[tup]
{/rw_verdict} –>

Paragon Total Defrag 2010 is, obviously, a defragmentation software. It allows for defragging of partitions on internal or external hard drives, and defragging and compacting of the MFT. Additionally, it allows users to create a bootable CD/DVD or USB/flash drive so users can run Total Defrag without having to load into Windows (the advantage of a boot disk is no files will be in use so defrag will occur more smoothly).

This is what Paragon Total Defrag 2010 looks like:

2009-11-18_233455

Total Defrag is fairly straightforward; you simply select the partition you want to defrag, hit “Defrag Partition” button:

2009-11-19_002513

Total Defrag allows users a little bit of control on how the defrag will occur. From the window that pops up when you select a partition to defrag, you can (optionally) select how where to put the directories (first, last, leave as is) and how to sort the files (largest first, smallest first, newest first, oldest first, or leave as is). If you are not sure how to arrange the directories/files, just leave the options at “Leave as is”/”Do not sort” – the defragging will still occur… just no special file re-ordering will happen.

Additionally, my default the pagefile and hibernation file are excluded from the defragging by default; users can optionally include them but there really is no need for that.

Lastly, there are two modes for how the defrag will occur: “Safe mode” and “Fast mode”. I am not particularly sure what exactly are the differences between the two modes besides what Paragon tells me: fast mode is faster but if your computer shuts down by accident or power failure there may be some file corruption.

Once ready, hitting “Yes” will start the defrag. Keep in mind unlike other Paragon software, Total Defrag does not have a “virtual system”; in other words all other Paragon software you would have to hit an “Apply” button to start the processes. For Total Defrag soon as you hit “Yes” the defragging will start – no “Apply” button to hit:

2009-11-19_0039322

Don’t pay attention to the “time left” value you see in the above screenshot; when you start a defrag, Total Defrag actually first analyzes the partition before it does the actual defrag and that “time left” is how long is left for the analyzation then the actual defrag will start automatically. How long it will take to defrag your partition totally depends on how fragmented it is (and the size/type of the disk also plays a factor). It is worth pointing out Total Defrag defragged my D:/ partition in about 6 minutes. However it is also worth noting the partition was not very fragmented to being with.

Take note there is an option to shutdown your computer after the defragging has occured. Because, by nature, defragging is a very long process (again it will vary on how fragmented your partition is) this feature is very handy.

When the defragging has finished, a report is generated for the user summing up everything that happened:

2009-11-19_003937

One interesting feature is users can save the report as a .TXT or .HTML file.

That being said, Total Defrag has some other features also:

  • Analyze – this feature allows users to analyze the status of any partition. A report is generated and the user is informed of how fragmented the partition is, etc.:

2009-11-18_233921

Just the previously mentioned defrag report, users can save the analysis report as a .TXT or .HTML file.

  • Defrag MFT – MFT, or Master File Table, is a small reserved section on your partition which holds detailed information about all files on your partition. As more and more files gather on your partition, the MFT can also become a little fragmented. So for that purpose there is the Defrag MFT feature which will defrag your MFT for you.
  • Compact MFT – compacting the MFT is a bit different than defrag MFT in the sense that compact MFT actually rewrites your MFT and makes it smaller by compacting the entries closer together; defrag will not rewrite your MFT/make it smaller. To be honest, aside from the fact that compact makes a smaller MFT, I am not particularly sure of the advantages of compact MFT vs defrag MFT. Anyone with info on this feel free to input below.
  • Test Surface – found under the “Partition” drop down menu, this feature tries to locate bad sectors on your partition.
  • Check File System Integrity – found under the “Partition” drop down menu, this features searches for any file system errors. I believe it does the same thing as the chkdisk tool of Windows (someone feel free to correct me if I am wrong).
  • Recovery Media Builder – found under the “Tools” drop down menu, this feature allows users to create bootable CD/DVDs and/or bootable USB/flash drives:

2009-11-19_013259

The bootable media allows users to run Total Defrag without having to login to Windows. The advantage of this is defragging will go smoother if no files are in use because Windows has not loaded.

That is about it for what Paragon Total Defrag 2010 can do. I give Paragon Total Defrag 2010 a thumbs up because it is a nice defragger. However there are some serious cons with it also:

  • First and foremost, it is a ~75 MB download. That is huge considering other defrag tools are ~2 MB. All of Paragon’s software are extraordinarily large and frankly I am getting sick of it. However, in Paragon’s defense, most/all of their software come with bootable media creation abilities, so about half of the file size is because of the bootable media (~45 MB in Total Defrag’s case). However, even ~30 MB for a defrag tool is too big in my opinion.
  • There is no ability to either schedule defrags to occur automatically, or an automatic defrag feature which defrags on the go. I would like to see both of these features added; the scheduler is more important one and the on-the-go defrag is an extra novelty that is not really needed but nice to have.
  • In the Help file for Total Defrag it states “Defragmentation of files that are located on USB 2.0 and IEEE 1394 (Fire Wire) drives (fixed drives only, not removable ones).” As per my tests, Total Defrag is able to defrag my external hard drive (USB 2.0) but not my USB/flash drives (USB 2.0). Of course USB/flash drives do not really need to be defragged but it is worth mentioning.
  • Total Defrag can only defrag one partition at a time. This may sound like not a big deal, but since defragging can take a long time, I want to be able to queue up multiple partitions to defrag, then walk away from my computer assured that the partitions will be defragged. With Total Defrag I cannot do this (but I can with other freeware defraggers).

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows 7 Professional 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

{rw_freea}

Auslogics Defrag

Disk Defrag will speed up your computer by optimizing file system. It can defragment files, consolidate free space and move system files to the faster part of the disk. With Disk Defrag you’ll get the maximum out of your hard drive performance. It is supplied with a powerful engine and smart algorithms which allow Disk Defrag to run much faster than similar tools. And with its comprehensive reports you will always be aware of what have been done. Disk Defrag features: fast and safe defragmentation of the disk drives; optimization of clusters’ structure and file system for even better disk performance; useful disk fragmentation map that displays defragmentation process in real time; simple and intuitive user interface; comprehensive defragmentation report; extremely low system resources usage. Running Auslogics Disk Defrag at least once a weak assures your hard disks are optimized for maximum performance.

-Developer

IObit Smart Defrag

Disk fragmentation is generally main cause of slow and unstable computer performance. Smart Defrag helps defragment your hard drive most efficiently. Smart Defrag not only defragments computer deeply but optimizes disk performance. With ‘install it and forget it’ feature, Smart Defrag works automatically and quietly in the background on your PC, keeping your hard disk running at its speediest. Smart Defrag is complete free for home, organization, and business.

-Developer

Defraggler

Defraggler is a file defragmentation tool. It differs from other defrag tools on the market, by enabling you to quickly and simply defrag the files you want to, without having to process the whole drive. Simply run it, select the file and defragment in seconds.

-Developer

MyDefrag (formally JKDefrag)

MyDefrag is a disk defragmenter and optimizer (a maintenance utility to make your harddisk faster) for Windows 2000, 2003, XP, Vista, 2008, and for X64. It is freeware, with no time limit, and is fully functional with no advertisements. It is fast, with low overhead and many optimization strategies. It can handle floppies, USB disks, memory sticks, and anything else that looks like a disk to Windows. Included are a set of easy-to-use scripts for endusers, a scripting engine for demanding users, a screensaver, and a combined Windows plus command-line version that can be scheduled by the Windows task scheduler or for use from administrator scripts.

MyDefrag is based on the standard defragmentation API by Microsoft, a system library that is included in Windows 2000, 2003, XP, Vista, and 2008. Most defragmenters are based on this API, including the free defragmenter that comes with Windows and many commercial defragmenters.

-Developer

Here is an interesting chart available at Auslogics Defrag’s website:

2009-11-19_015247

Obviously it is written to make Auslogics look better than the other tools but it is nonetheless interesting.

{/rw_freea} –>

{rw_verdict2}While I do like the fact that Paragon Total Defrag 2010 allows users to create bootable media, defrag/compact MFT, it still needs a little bit of development in terms of adding some basic features, like a scheduler and ability to defrag multiple partitions at once. That said, the real advantage of Paragon Total Defrag 2010 is the ability to create bootable media and defrag without logging into Windows. If you need that kind of capabilities, get Paragon Total Defrag 2010. Otherwise, I see no other reason to download a ~75 MB defrag tool when ~2 MB ones will work just as well. Auslogics Defrag, IObit Smart Defrag, and MyDefrag are really nice defraggers. My favorite has always been Auslogics Defrag but either one will serve you well.
{/rw_verdict2} –>

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22 comments

  1. MikeR

    @Josh:

    JkDefrag isn’t around anymore: its developer replaced it with MyDefrag, which is what flommedrengen was referring to at posts #1 and #6.

    Anyway! With your vote, and flommedrengen’s and mine, that makes three of us rooting for MyDefrag.

    Although I note Ashraf’s point, when it comes to critical software such as a disk defragmenter / optimiser, I actually couldn’t care less about the aesthetics if it does its job.

    Of all the defrag apps I’ve used, MyDefrag is in my experience the best of the lot: small, fast, absolutely dependable, resource-light, and created (and evolved) with such care that — unlike certain other products I can think of — it never puts a user’s computer at risk.

    Compared to the little freeware MyDefrag, Paragon’s offering is bloatware at its most inelegant.

  2. Josh

    @flommedrengen: Many do not know this, but JkDefrag is one of those, once in a while, free tools that are simply ingenious. Pity the interface is so simple. Still, it does such a fantastic job, that you just trust it to do the right thing without talking back too much.

  3. leland

    You can defrag 64-bit with the bootable cd (recovery media). Also,I have used this in the past and it does do a great job when using the recovery media. Plus you can do a full defrag because no system files will be in use (not possible with most freebies). The extra space is taken up by the files needed for Recovery Media Builder which has all the files needed to boot up most machines. It is indeed a useful tool to add to your arsenal especially if you have some very fragmented hard drives. However it is probably better suited for occasional use for major defragging rather than the casual quick defrag.

  4. Melatonin

    I have been using ULTIMATE DEFRAG FREE EDITION as Giovanni has mentioned… I find it to be my favorite, but noticed that it wasnt on the alternatives list… Is there a reason why? or have you not tried it?

  5. Bob

    Be very careful aboutusing 3rd party defrag programs. They can really mess up your hard drive so that it doesnt boot up. I tried one 3rd party defrag (not sure if it was Paragon or pctools). Anyways, computer restarted and the defrag process started. When it was finished, computer did chkdsk automatically and unfortunately, started doing a lot of repairs. THe defrag messed up my file system. I had to reinstall the OS (Thank Gd I had Acronis image). Believe it or not, oyou are better off with microsofts defrag. Yeah, it may be slow, but it gets the job done. If you do decide to defrag, make sure you have a backup image or have backed up your important files.

  6. Giovanni (King of Freebies...LOL!)

    ULTIMATE DEFRAG FREE EDITION (just 2.43 MB vs 75 MB of today’s giveaway) is much better than both this GAOTD and all the defrag free alternatives listed above by Ashraf!!!

    Why??

    Simply because it’s more than just a defragger!!!

    In fact ULTIMATE DEFRAG is also a hard drive file placement optimizer that enables users to defrag and place their files in the areas on their HD where they can achieve maximum performance, taking into account that on average 80% of the time PC owners only use about 20% of the files stored on their hard drive.

    ULTIMATE DEFRAG is different than other defrag applications out there since it’s able to detect and send your rarely used files onto the slower performing areas of your HD making your DRIVE perform as quick as a new and almost empty one!!

    And it’s the best fast reliable defrag tool out there even if you don’t want to use (all of) its ADVANCED OPTIONS and simply want an ordinary defrag by selecting the “AUTO option”, because it uses effective “in- place” defragging algorithms for fast, reliable and complete defrags.

    Highly recommended!!

    http://download.cnet.com/UltimateDefrag-Freeware-Edition/3000-2094_4-10582157.html

    Enjoy!!

  7. Rick

    I use Defraggler because it’s small, portable, and basic, while being easier/quicker/better than Windows defragmenter. I’m no huge fan, it’s just the right tool for my current priorities. So, that disclaimer aside…

    I’d like to point out that Defraggler’s description implies that it does not do a full-disk defragmentation. That is not the case. Its default defrag action, if you just open it and click the button, is to defrag the whole disk.

    Only if you choose to defragment specific files (it gives you a list that you can sort by filename, size, or how many fragments the file is in) does it limit itself to those files. That’s a useful option if you want quick results for important files or for only the most badly fragmented files.

  8. 4624Raymond

    Just tried the Paragon GAOTD to defrag my C drive, choosing the option of directories first, It took app 4 hours to complete this on an 80gb C drive.

    Did I notice any real diference? Sadly no!
    Am I missing something? It would to me seem that 75mb of free space can better be used!

    I’ll be sticking to Iobit Smart Defrag

  9. MikeR

    In my experience, the IObit defragger is a car crash waiting to happen: I used it a few times and the results were hopeless — the software “claimed” to have achieved this ‘n that, but the reality was far different.

    I’ve used other commercial defraggers as well as freebies and after all that am still with the best little defragger out there: MyDefrag (as recommended in post 1.)

    MyDefrag is small, light, stable and thorough. Use it first time out as a ‘monthly’ session and it’ll do a fantastically thorough job. Thereafter, use it as a ‘weekly’ session (the software deploys different scripts for different tasks.)

    Today’s GOTD giveaway from Paragon is laughable: 75MB???? Is someone having a joke???

  10. Adrian

    Paragon’s Software? Good quality but FAR TOO HUGE FILE SIZE! Anyway, I’ve never got the need to defrag my drives – The built in XP defrag tool says that all of my partitions do not require defragiing – strange?

    Anyway, as a commenter on GOTD described, Flash USB drives do not need to be defragged, although you can do it. The reason is that there is no mechanical drive in a USB – which means that there won’t be any physical problems with the USB that are usually caused by fragmentation.

  11. OldElmerFudd

    I’ve taken a two-tiered approach to defragging over the years, since different softwares tend to organize in different ways, afaict. The same blocks of data can be placed in unique places by competing programs. For a long time, I used the native Windows defragmenter side-by-side with the Contig/Power Defragmenter (Sysinternals, et al.) Now I pair Defraggler with Diskeepper, with decent results.

    Imho, defragging is also generally unnescessary on modern drives unless a) a user is moving large blocks of data on and off it, or b) it hasn’t been done for six months or more.

  12. flommedrengen

    @Ashraf: I agree with you about MyDefrag being ugly. The thing is I don’t look at the interface very much. My primary concern is performance. Especially in an app that is meant to do its job without my interaction.

  13. Muhammad

    Ashraf,
    thanks for your great review

    i am an IE 8 user today i discovered two things when i was using Opera 10.1 that you have a spelling checker which i miss in IE 8
    also i cant leave a reply using Opera 10.1

    i would appreciate your help on this conflict

    is it security wise or cookies managment or somthing else!!!

  14. flommedrengen

    Hi Ashraf

    Thanks for the review. How about doing a full comparison review on free defraggers.
    Personally I use MyDefrag (and before that, JKDefrag). Not because I just know it is the best in terms of optimizing result and performance, but because it is: light weight, standalone, has a built in screesaver (instead of a constant running background task), has different optimization scripts.
    But whether the optimization is any better than other free (or paid) defraggers I don’t know