Product Spotlight: Diskeeper 2010

Derek Schauland outlines the features of the new edition of the popular Diskeeper disk defragmenting software.

Diskeeper 2010 is the latest release of a top-notch disk defragmentation utility, with new features designed to allow the application to be configured easily for a true set-it-and-forget-it experience.

The original defragmentation application within Windows, all the way back to Windows 95, was actually a product from Executive Software (now Diskeeper) that Microsoft licensed to handle defragmentation. The same defrag utilities were kept in much the same fashion all the way through Windows XP. The problem with the Windows defragmentation utility isn't so much that it does not get the job done, but it certainly doesn't get it done in a streamlined way. Diskeeper 2010 changes all that and provides background processing and real-time defragmentation of files.


  • Diskeeper 2010 Professional (standard): $59.95
  • Diskeeper 2010 Pro Premier (standard): $99.95
  • See the Web site for other package pricing.
Supported operating systems:
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP
  • Windows 2000

Diskeeper supports both 32- and 64-bit operating systems.

Hardware requirements:

Approximately 100MB of disk space will be required from installation to application operation.

Disk subsystems supported:

  • Primary Partitions
  • Extended Partitions
  • Logical Drives
  • Volume Sets
  • RAID Arrays (hardware and software)
  • Mirrored Disks
  • Mounted Volumes (letter-less drives)

Who's it for?

Diskeeper 2010 is a tool that can benefit any PC user from the consumer all the way to the enterprise. A simple interface and easy-to-understand reporting make it a great alternative to the built-in Windows defrag application (Figure A). At the same time, enterprise-level management tools allow IT staff to ensure that all the systems in their environment are performing at top levels.

What problem does it solve?

Slow performance and disk wear and tear are kept to a minimum because Diskeeper is constantly checking the disk to ensure fragmentation is virtually eliminated before it happens. Because the application is always running and loads as a Windows service, there is no need to watch the defrag process to ensure completion or to keep the screensaver from kicking on.

Standout features

IntelliWrite Fragmentation Prevention This feature is used to help ensure data written to disk is written efficiently where it belongs on the disk. IntelliWrite keeps fragmentation from occurring in most cases by keeping disk write operations from being scattered all over the disk at write time (Figure B). The feature cannot prevent all fragmentation, but it prevents most of it. Note: IntelliWrite requires at least 2GB of disk space to run. Background Operation

This feature ensures that Diskeeper will not get in the way of your users. When using the tools included with Windows, users are required to interact with the tool and leave it open while it runs. Diskeeper runs as a Windows service and needs nothing from the user. In most cases, the PC user won't even notice Diskeeper exists.

Figure A

Click to enlarge.

The Diskeeper 2010 user interface

Figure B

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The Diskeeper 2010 IntelliWrite feature

What's wrong?

Currently in the Diskeeper Professional version, the maximum supported volume size is 2TB. As disks grow and become cheaper, this limit will need to be examined and likely be increased or removed. On most systems, this limit will not pose a problem today, but it is sure to be an issue in the future.

Note: In the Pro Premier version of Diskeeper, the 2TB limit is removed.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

Ensuring optimal performance of all the PCs in your environment can extend the life of the PCs you have and help improve the productivity of your users.

Since I started using Diskeeper in my environment, I have found it to be an outstanding utility. The fact that it allows background operation and centralized administration makes it worth the per-seat price. The helpful support staff is also a plus.They have been great the few times I have needed help.


Derek Schauland has been tinkering with Windows systems since 1997. He has supported Windows NT 4, worked phone support for an ISP, and is currently the IT Manager for a manufacturing company in Wisconsin.

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