This week, we'll take a look at a nice little utility that can help everyone running Windows 2000. This utility, PageDefrag v2.0 from the geniuses at www.sysinternals.com can breath new life into a machine that seems to have lost its zest.
Hard Disks get fragmented. There's no way around the problem. Whether you're using FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 or NTFS, you'll be victimized by the fragging demon. Fragmentation is the natural outgrowth of adding and deleting files on the hard disk. When your disk is fresh and new, all the chunks of your files get placed next to each other. But over time the files change, and there isn't space on the disk adjacent to the original files. The file system driver has to put those new pieces somewhere, and that somewhere may be very far from the start location of the file.
Overlooking the Obvious
It amuses me when users and admin's who have never defragged their disks talk about upgrading RAM, Processor and video components in their machines to improve the performance of their system. In well over 95% of all instances, the disk subsystem is the bottleneck in the PC-based system architecture server. If you want to optimize performance, you should start by addressing this bottleneck .
Fragmentation causes the disk head to have to move about the platter much more than it would have to if all the clusters associated with each file were adjacent to one another. When those clusters are strewn all over the disk, the head must move back and forth, and must wait for the disk to rotate to bring those clusters under the head. All this moving and waiting can lead to an impressive degradation of disk read/write performance.
Fortunately, Windows 2000 comes with a defragging tool built right in. There are also commercially available 3rd party defraggers such as Executives Software's Diskeeper and Symantec's Speed Disk. The 3rd party products have more features, and also allow you to schedule your defragmentation runs.The built-in product does not (officially) do that. However, all of these products have a major limitation in that none of them is able to defrag the registry or the pagefile.
Step In PageDefrag v2.0
This program is able to defrag files that are otherwise inaccessible to the other defraggers that are unable to defrag open files. Since the registry and the pagefile are always open, you need to perform defragmentation of these entities in off-line mode, such as during system startup.
There's nothing to install after you download PageDefrag. Just like the days of yore, you run the program's executable from the folder to which you saved it. You'll see a simple dialog box like the one below:
The defrag will take place after you restart. You can choose to have the defrag takes place with every boot, or just the next boot. During the defrag, you'll see the following:
Click page 2, and see what is looks like when the system starts up
When the system restarts, I guarantee that you will notice a performance boost on your machine, even if you've been using other defragging products on a regular basis.
For More Information
You can get this tool for FREE at:
There are a lot of other cool tools at the www.sysinternals.com web site, so be sure to hang out there for awhile and check out the toys!