There’s a reason thousands of Microsoft MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals), MCTs (Microsoft Certified Trainers) and businesses the world over, along with millions of consumers, use PerfectDisk for their Windows 7 defrag solution. Simply stated, PerfectDisk continues to be a superior solution to the one provided by Microsoft, and results in greatly improved performance and optimization for PCs, servers and virtualization environments.
What are some of the key differences? The list is long, but this post highlights some of the key differentiators:
#1 Restore Points/VSS
This issue is addressed in Microsoft KB 312067. Defrag activity can purge snapshots off a system. If the drive is formatted in 16K clusters (or a multiple) then steps are taken to minimize purging snapshots or shadow copies. On VSS-enabled drives with a cluster size less than 16K, you need to minimize file movement in order to avoid purging snapshots. By default, PerfectDisk addresses this issue by running in VSS Compatibility Mode with a configurable threshold. The Windows 7 defrag tool has no compatibility mode and will purge the snapshots off a VSS-enabled system.
#2 Fragmentation Prevention
The OptiWrite feature in PerfectDisk prevents up to 99% of any new file fragmentation, significantly reducing the need to run a defrag pass on a regular basis. The Windows 7 defrag tool has no fragmentation prevention and it is more resource intensive than PerfectDisk.
#3 Administrator Rights
If you allow the Windows 7 tool to run on its default schedule, then this may not be an issue. However, if the OS-scheduled run proves inadequate or the schedule doesn’t run, the end user will not be able to run the Windows 7 defrag tool unless they have Administrator Rights. PerfectDisk does not require the end user to have Administrator Rights to run the product, so they can run it whenever necessary and/or on selected files.
Just temporarily suspending a Windows 7 defrag schedule is a major undertaking involving Task Scheduler and scripts. With PerfectDisk, you can suspend a schedule on thousands of machines with a few mouse clicks.
#5 SSD Detection
The Windows 7 defrag tool is supposed to identify and ignore SSD drives. There are instances, however, where Windows 7 misidentifies an SSD and it is defragmented, entailing many unnecessary write I/O’s, with a negative impact on its longevity. With PerfectDisk, you can specify that a disk is an SSD, and it will only be subject to the SSD-safe SSD Optimize pass — or it can be ignored.
#6 Centralized Management/AD
Most large implementations of PerfectDisk use its centralized management console to schedule and manage the software across hundreds or thousands of machines. This allows PerfectDisk to be custom-tailored to each environment with a few clicks. PerfectDisk is also fully integrated with Active Directory and Group Policy for additional management capability, including the ability to restrict access to features within the product. Windows 7 has no central management and is not AD-enabled.
Users have discovered that PerfectDisk provides a host of different ways they can adapt the software to the situation at hand. Whether it is changing schedules, defragmenting selected files or choosing from different defrag options, the product can be used to obtain the desired result. The Windows 7 defragger is “one size fits all.”
#8 Much More Than Defrag
Of course, PerfectDisk provides additional capabilities as well, including space management reports, duplicate file finder, file recycler, and S.M.A.R.T. monitoring.
The NTFS file system, part of Windows from early on, continues to fragment upon everyday use, causing performance problems for all machine sizes and types.
There’s still a superior alternative for defragmentation, fragmentation prevention and overall drive optimization than what Microsoft provides with Windows, and that alternative is PerfectDisk.