Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Great Defrag Shootout IV: Auslogics Disk Defrag 1.1.2

The best thing about this program is that it's free. It also has a nifty user interface and appears to work well. That's where the illusion ends. Even Windows Defragmenter works better than this, although probably with less panache.
First, the good points: it has a clean, helpful, intuitive user interface, and does a good job of telling you what files it is busy with, something that PerfectDisk doesn't do. As it processes the files it shows their characteristics on the display map. From time to time it does weird display things, so after a while I lost confidence in what it was claiming to display.
The next good point is the detailed report it displays on demand once it is finished. The information is well presented and could be useful. It is certainly well presented.
Unfortunately the weakest point in the entire program is the defragmentation algorithm itself. It's not as good as the built-in Windows Defragmenter. Considering that Auslogics uses this freebie program to tout the virtues of its PC performance optimisation package, it only succeeded in making me extremely sceptical of the products they sell.
I'll concede that the test it failed was a fairly heavyweight test: I copied a 4GB file from the server into a compressed directory on the local hard drive. It's an archive of a 4GB SQL database, and contained several thousand fragments by the time it was copied. Then I restored this data to the main SQL Server database, again stored on the hard drive in compressed form. Once this was complete, I asked the Auslogics program to defragment the now fairly cluttered hard drive.
I was somewhat annoyed when the package completely skipped this first file, claiming not enough free space to defragment the file, and then crunched its way through the remaining 2 files and a number of smaller ones. The end result was a bit of a mess, with the free space fragmented into a number of small sections. The defragmentation algorithm clearly does not try to consolidate free space, and only looks at existing files to see if they are fragmented or not.
I have uninstalled this package from my hard drive. It may be free, but it lacks some features that even the built in Windows Defragmenter provides, such as a command line interface and the ability to schedule defragmentation automatically. Perhaps version 3 or 4 will do a better job, but for now its not worth downloading.
Update: Version 1.2 will add command line support and scheduling. No idea when it will be ready.

The Great Defrag Shootout: Part I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX | X | XI | XII | XIII | XIV | XV | XVI | XVII | XVIII | XIX | XX | XXI | XXII | XXIII | XXIV | XXV | XXVI | XXVII | XXVIII | XXIX| winner | all | why


Anonymous said...

Dear Donn,

Could you please rereview Auslogics Disk Defrag with the latest version?

I ask this because v1.1.2 which you originally reviewed was the company's second public release. They have had 15 updates since then! ( From the looks of it, they have done some changes to the algorithm too.

It seems that they are working hard to fix the bugs for their free product. I personally believe they are worth another review.

Keep up the good work! I personally am using Perfectdisk 2008 and love it, by your recommendation.


Anonymous said...

Dont be too hard on it about the 4GB file windows defrag will skip over anything larger than 2GB also. This isnt uncommon amongst defrag programs.

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering if you had given the same 4 Gig test to the other defraggers.

Donn Edwards said...

The 4Gig file is a permanent fixture on my laptop, so all the defrag programs tested have had to deal with it, with varying degrees of success.

Actually, the file has grown so some defrag programs have had bigger sizes to deal with.

Anonymous said...

You need to review their 3.1 version. This review doesn't do justice, as their 3.1 version now seems to be superior to anything else out there.

Sally said...

I agree with the previous comment - please review Disk Defrag 3.1. The new version is very good and, amongst other improvements, can defrag both files and free space.

Donn Edwards said...

I will be happy to do a review. Real soon now!

Anonymous said...

Donn, please do a review of the latest release.