When Windows NT was released and with Windows NT the NTFS file system, everyone said “NTFS doesn’t fragment”. When the first defragmenters for NTFS were released, we got to know how untrue that statement was.
Back in the Windows NT era I bought “Diskeeper” and was quite satisfied with it until it destroyed one of the partitions on my hard drive. I didn’t use it since then. A feature-striped version of Diskeeper was built into Windows 2001. I used this defragmenter for some time. It worked OK, it didn’t kill any partitions, but it didn’t perform too well and doesn’t till today. To really defragment a partition with it you’ll need to run it several times and even then it won’t do a very good job.
Then some 2 or 3 years ago I stumbled upon “PerfectDisk”. It worked ways better than the integrated defragmenter. Often it only needed one pass to defragment a partition. And it even had an offline defragmentation mode for defragmenting system files. Since I still had a grudge against Diskeeper because of that lost partition, I didn’t test it. So I cannot compare PerfectDisk with Diskeeper as it is now. I can only say that PefectDisk worked pretty well all the time I’m using it.
The new PerfectDisk 8 comes with a convenient screensaver mode. As soon as the screensaver is started, PerfectDisk starts to defragment the drive. You can use any screensaver you like. There is no visual output from the defragmentation in that mode. You’ll only hear your HDD working while it’s being defragmented.
Since I bought my current computer nearly two years ago, offline defragmentation didn’t work. Somehow the CMedia driver for the sound chip on my main board prevents it from starting. But there is a workaround for this. You need to disable the driver, start PerfectDisk and schedule an offline defragmentation. After rebooting the offline defragmentation starts without problems. Then again after loading Windows you’ll have to reactivate the driver. That’s a minor annoyance in my opinion. It’s still a perfect defragmenter and recommendable.