Most of us know that by keeping your hard disk well defragmented, the right data can be found quickly because it's not spread randomly around the disk. While Windows Defragmenter can do all of this readily, Diskeeper 10 is designed to do that little bit extra.
Rather than simply defragmenting and reordering your hard disk's data, Diskeeper analyses the actual frequency of the data types, and defragments your drive on a usage basis. What you're left with is your most-used application data in the most physically accessible spot on your hard disk.
Upon launching, Diskeeper's easygoing interface presents you with a volume map, and the option of viewing your files and folders by either structure or performance. The latter option classifi es your folders as high-performing, low-performing or low-performing system files.
Here lays Diskeeper's added twist: once your system has been analysed, you're presented with an approximation of how much time you can expect to save accessing files on your drive. Admittedly, our test machine harbours a lot of clutter, but Diskeeper's Job Report indicates a reduction of cumulative access times of nearly three minutes to read all the files on the drive, which amounts to a 57 per cent rate of improvement.
A further difference from Windows' own defragmenter is the lack of system resource drainage when defragmenting takes place. Other than a system tray icon, Diskeeper runs as a background application, and puts little strain on the CPU, so scheduled defrags can continue even when you're using the computer, and Diskeeper can be set up to defragment the drive after any software updates or new applications are installed.
Diskeeper 10 is a subtle, userfriendly and extremely competent package. While the average user should be fine with Windows' own defragmenter, Diskeeper serves as a perfect answer to heavy users who regularly spread their system content across the hard drive.
It may not offer the greatest value for money, but it remains a clever tool for most and almost a necessity for power-users. "Set it and Forget it," states the packaging boldly, and for once a piece of software does exactly what it says on the tin. Tom Dennis