Sunday, October 28, 2007

Diskeeper 2008 Professional: Preliminary Results

These two images represent several days of Diskeeper 2008 Professional keeping my hard drive in order. I will be testing Diskeeper 2008 Pro Premier this week, to see whether the extra $50 for their I-FAAST technology is worth it. This is going to be quite challenging, because DK 2008 has no way of showing me the location of each file, so I'm going to be using some third party apps to find the location of the files.
The marketing hype in the "What's new in DK 2008" section of the help file states:
Complete file and free space defragmentation in the most extreme of conditions
Diskeeper 2008 introduces the most powerful defragmentation engine ever developed. Even if your systems only have a percent or two of free space left available or a file in millions of fragments, Diskeeper can restore lost performance and save the applications reliant on those files from major reliability concerns.
You have to read this several times to find what they are actually saying. I think the crux is the word "can" in "Diskeeper can restore lost performance". It doesn't actually say that it will defragment a full drive, not does it guarantee to defragment the free space, although it gets quite close.
This is just as well, because I could find no way of telling DK to consolidate all the free space and defragment my files. In the case of the C: drive (top image) I have clicked the "defragment" button a number of times but this is the best it can do. Oh, and the very large red file in the picture is a database file used by Microsoft SQL Server, a critical business application.
In the case of my D: drive shown here, notice how the free space is distributed in chunks all over the disk. I also encountered a bug when trying to exclude several .iso files from being fragmented. One of the files didn't appear in the directory listing. Weird.
The problem I have with all of this is that it appears that version 12.0.758 (DK 2008) is just a tweaked version of 11.0.709 (DK 2007). They claim to have improved the engine and the ability to defrag "nearly full" drives, but the results I am getting look remarkably similar to the results in the DK 2007 test, and my previous pictures using DK 8.
My conclusion: version 12 is simply version 11.2 with a different name, and a brand new price tag.
The most frustrating thing about Diskeeper is my inability to tell it to do what I want it to do. I can't tell it to move certain files to particular parts of the disk, not can I tell it to consolidate free space, or even to group regularly used files together. Granted, I can only do two of these 3 in PerfectDisk, but at least I have the feeling of greater control over what is going on.
I guess I'm not really Diskeeper's target market: I understand how the file system works and what can be done to optimise it. Diskeeper's target market seems to be the ignorant masses who neither know about nor care about defragmentation, and will believe all the marketing that is thrown in their direction. People like these who try to explain on the Chris Pirillo Show how DK works, but end up demonstrating their ignorance about what the MFT is. I know this sounds terribly superior, but I am a database programmer and I do understand defragmentation.
I will report back further once I have tested DK 2008 Pro Premier further.

Update: "" has published a full "review" of DK 2008, and Diskeeper UK informs me that they did not pay for the review. "He is just a big fan of our product".

A Closer Look at the DK2008 Review on Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | How Fast is I-FAAST™? | Diskeeper 2008 Professional: Preliminary Results | First Impressions | Diskeeper 2007 Review | Benchmarks: DK2008 and DK2007


Trailer Trash Notes said...

As one of ignorant masses all I ever wanted was a defragmentation utility that was automatic and being better that XP's tool was a plus.
I purchased DK 7 two months ago and never got it to launch despite 4 exchanges with support. At one point DK had me download DK 8 and that didn't work.
I have returned for credit. Tried PD and have bought and installed three copies with no problem.
DK has a good reputation (I think) but us ignorant masses can't be expected to change entries in firewall and security programs. I did and it didn't help.

mmaterie said...

Hi Donn,

If you are excluding files (especially large ISO's) you're limiting the ability of any defragger to consolidate files or free space.

For the record, the Premier and Server versions do allow you to tell it what files to move to the front of the disk (just not to the back) with the I-FAAST feature.

Donn Edwards said...

Thanks for the valuable feedback.

In the case of the .iso files they are already defragmented and placed at the end of the disk to keep them out of the way. There were no .iso files on the C: drive where most of my testing was done.

I will check out the I-FAAST feature in more detail. Thanks!

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