With the prices of SSD coming down like a falling rock, more
and more folks are ditching their hard disks and moving towards this faster
medium of storage – at least as an operating system drive. Unfortunately, for
the storage hounds among us, SSDs that are over 512GB can be prohibitively
expensive while good old-fashioned platter drives are still king when it comes
to acquiring massive capacity on the cheap. Because of this, the chore of disk
defragmentation will still be with us for the foreseeable future, so long as we
use and abuse our platter based drives to no end. To accomplish that task, here
are five apps that will safely defragment such drives thoroughly and

Five Apps

1. Defraggler

from Piriform Software has to be my personal favorite. It’s extremely
lightweight and doesn’t impact your system’s performance too much while
running. Defraggler has the ability to not only defrag whole disks and
partitions, but also individual files. This can be quite useful if you just
want to sort a few large files and leave the rest of the drive alone, which
would save you time. There is a free version of Defraggler with basic
functionality, additional features are available in Pro ($24.95) and Business
($34.95) versions.

2. Diskeeper

Although a commercial software product, with a starting
price of $29.95, Diskeeper
has a proven track record, which it has established over the years, and the
latest release is no different, delivering the same reliability and performance
as it always had. Diskeeper offers an intelligent background defragmentation
mode that quietly sorts files whenever the computer is idle. Also, those still
running Windows on the flagging Intel Itanium architecture can take solace in
the existence of an Itanium build of Diskeeper. A trial version of Diskeeper is

3. MyDefrag

Formerly known as JkDefrag, this little application might
not look as polished on the surface, but does still manage to pack files in
nice and tightly. Within the initial options area that you view when you first
start MyDefrag, in addition to the
standard defragmentation options, there is a choice for defragging an SSD,
using a special script. Given the limited write cycles count that an SSD has,
the author recommends only using the option sparingly. MyDefrag is free.

4. Auslogics
Disk Defrag

There’s not much to it. This no-frills product, Auslogics
Disk Defrag, offers basic defragmentation without any fancy features. For some
folks however, simpler is better and has less to get in the way of the user.
When I investigated the settings area, a VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service)
compatible mode switch is available, which can be used to prevent excessive
changes being made to shadow files in the event of adjusted bits on the disk.
There is a free version of Auslogics Disk Defrag, but you can also purchase a
subscription for $29.95 which will keep the application up-do-date.

5. Puran Defrag

Puran took notice of the competition, particularly in
Piriform’s Defraggler, and made an attempt to deliver a useful product, with
the ability to defrag individual files in addition to whole disks and
partitions. Additionally, a boot optimizer is available which is said to shave
a few extra seconds off your Windows loading times. Puran Defrag is free.