Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Great Defrag Shootout XXIV: Puran Defrag 1.1

Puran Defrag 1.1 is a new application, and aims to be fast and efficient. It has a minimal interface, as shown here. A useful option in Windows allows you to right-click on any file or folder and request a defrag of the selected item. Another option allows you to reboot the PC, do a defrag, and then either reboot again or shut down. This is not the same as a boot time defrag, but it goes some way to solving the problem of trying to defrag files that are in use.
My biggest problem with this program is that it is so minimal that it doesn't tell you what files it is busy with, and it isn't thorough so it ignored some of my particularly badly fragmented files. Even when I used the right-click option on the file itself, the progress bar went to 99% and then I was told the defrag was finished, but there were still plenty of fragments in the file. During the defrag process it uses a lot of processing power, so don't try to do other things at the same time.
There are no documented command line options for this program, so you can't schedule a defrag. There is also no boot time defrag available, so it won't help to use it when trying to defrag key system files or the MFT. I can't recommend this program because it isn't thorough enough. It also managed to freeze a Windows 2000 Server machine when I ran it there. It's still early days (version 1.1 was only the second release of the package) and the program may improve over time.
Update: I downloaded version 2.0, which is no longer free, but costs $14.95. You can try it for 30 executions before buying it. Don't bother. I used SQL Server to create a single large compressed backup file with 171000 fragments. There were also 227 other fragmented items on the drive. After a "complete" defrag the large file had exactly the same number of fragments, and there are still 45 fragmented items on the drive, as shown by the yellow image above from JkDefrag in analyse mode. Not good for a commercial product; WDD did marginally better.
Update: The support guys at Puran Software sent me a beta version of PD 3.0, which performs correctly on massively fragmented files. The product is starting to look pretty mature, and is much more user friendly than the WDD that ships with Vista. I will do another test when 3.0 ships, and expect it to get a "Thumbs Up" rating.
Update 30 October: Version 3.0 is now available, and it is a great product, better than Diskeeper 2008 Home in my opinion.
Update 10 December 2007: Version 4.0 is even better than 3.0, and I can thoroughly recommend it.

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...

I downloaded this tool yesterday, its not free anymore but it was so good that I ordered a copy today. I was impressed by the speed it worked with, also as opposed to this article which might be valid for 1.1, new version 2.0 gives a lot more like automatic defragmentation and low priority defrag, I like both of them a lot because they allow me to work on my system even when defrag is going on. great... this utility has minimal interface which is really easy to use and is giving everything a user requires without any complex terms used. this is great for user like me, I dont know why this article says that its a disadvantage... well everyone has their thoughts, this was mine. oh I have written so much...stop

Donn Edwards said...

I'll try out version 2 as soon as possible, but i doubt if their essential inability to deal with complex files has changed. I hope I'm wrong. The new version costs $14.95

Anonymous said...

Hello donn, you created a file with 171,000 fragments? Is it naturally possible for a file to get so much fragmentation?

Well in my case I never came across such a situation. The max fragments that I ever came across were some 2000.

And for Puran Defrag, I had a file about 2 gb with 350 fragments which I defragmented with this tool and got positive results in least time with low priority defrag. this was one of the reason, I bought this product. and now when its automatic defragmentation is on, its doing its job well. This is what I experienced.

Donn Edwards said...

It's easy to create a file with so many fragments. Create a compressed folder, and then get SQL Server to make a backup file in that folder. A 5GB backup file compresses down to around 1GB, but with a gazillion fragments, as shown in the picture.

It's a pretty tough test for any defrag program, but I have used it to test ALL the defrag programs, including this one.

I agree that PuranDefrag is fast and efficient, but any defrag program that simply refuses to defrag a file is counter-productive. Because the program doesn't show you the drive, you won't know where the "problem" files are.

I'm glad you're getting your money's worth, and I wish Puran Software well.

Anonymous said...

I think it does tell where the problem is... did you try "View Last Defrag Report"? On one of my drive which was almost full, it did tell me which files were not defragmented, so I freed some space and ran it again, it defragmented them all.

CyberMW said...

I use both Paragon Partition Manager 9.0 and Puran Defrag 5.0 to properly Order my Files in the way it should be.

Partition Manager has the Defrag Option from a Boot CD to Defrag the MFT and also to Compact the MFT - in that order. (This causes the MFT to be defragmented and placed at the beginning of the Drive in one contiguous area)

I then would use Puran Defrag with All of its Boot Options (including its PIOZR Technology - to add to the optimization procedure. Meaning, that the free space option creates an area for temp files and Puran Defrag places the files according to the Layout.ini file.

After defragging using these software, I noticed the order of the files when i did an analysis of the drive using Vopt 9.0 by clicking on a cluster on the map display.

Great Software... Howz Dat!

Awaiting the Boot Module from UltimateDefrag - It looks promising from their screenshot on their website...