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Speed up your PC and Windows with IObit Smart Defrag 2

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Files on the disk drive become fragmented over time - literally broken into small fragments. When you access the contents of a fragmented file it takes longer than it would if the contents was stored in one place. This is because the system must find the first fragment and read it, find the next fragment and read it, find the next and so on. Defragmenting the disk reassembles the fragments into whole files again and so speeds up the computer. IObit Smart Defrag is one of the latest disk defragmenters to be released and it's free, so you get a faster PC for nothing.

Frgamentation affects older computers a lot more than new ones because modern operating systems running on big hard disks can partly avoid fragmenting files in the first place and partly run defragmentation software automatically in the background to reassemble file fragments into whole files again. So Windows 7 running on a 1Tb hard disk isn't going to have much fragmentation, but Windows XP running on a 50Gb hard disk could well have quite a lot of fragmentation. The older a disk drive is, the slower its performance too, so this is another reason why old PCs are more affected by fragmentation.

So fragmentation is an issue for small hard disk drives or for older operating systems like XP. A combination of both is the worst case scenario ad disk defragmentation software can be a big help in boosting performance.

Even though Windows 7 running on a big disk won't have much fragmentation, it is still possible to boost performance with a disk defragmenter. One reason is that some files are constantly in use, such as Windows system files and they can't be touched by defragmenters. However, it is possible to write software in such a way that it works before Windows even starts to load and a boot-time defragmenter can defragment Windows system files.

Another way of boosting performance is to move files into positions on the disk that can be accessed faster. The way a disk drive is built means that some parts of the disk are easier to reach than others. Touch your nose and touch your toes - it takes longer to reach your feet because they are further away. Some bits of the disk are further away and/or spin at a different speed, so some parts can be access faster. Moving frequently access files to the fastest part of the disk can boost performance.

IObit Disk Defrag

IObit Disk Defrag 2 has boot-time defragmentation and this is a new feature for the software. It means that system files can be defragmented in addition to normal files and so the result is better. You don't need to do this every day and there's a nice feature in the program that enables you to schedule it - once a week is the default. You can schedule ordinary defragmentation to run every day, week or month. There is also an automatic defrag mode and Disk Defrag run in the background all the time and whenever the PC is idle it checks the disk for fragmented files and defragments them. So defragmentation takes place in your luch breaks and coffee breaks.

Defragmentation has been improved in this version claims IObit and it should work better. There are options to defrag, defrag and fast optimise and defrag and fully optimise. The first is the fastest and the last is the slowest, but the most thorough. It puts the most used files in the optimum position for the best performance.

There are some nice features in the program, such as the live charts on the Automatic Defrag tab. You can see CPU and disk activity chart histories and the time and date defragmentation took place and how many files were defragmented. This is interesting if you want to see it at work.

IObit Disk Defrag 2 is free and it's a good disk defragmenter. There are commercial programs that offer more, but if you just need the basics then this lightweight program is a good choice.