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Windows 7: What is the best free defragger?

05 Jul 2009   #51
Chappy

Vista Ult 64bit - Windows 7 Ult 7264 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by johngalt View Post
Yup - they are as good as memory optimizers and snake oil.
LOL John....we've seen this show before eh..

People found that they could pretty much sell most users ANYTHING that sounded techie and promised improved performance back in the olden days, and it has never changed since
.
We actually came across a "Registry Optimizer" app back in 02 (when I still did security work) that was found to be written by a known spyware group, so we tested it both for spyware and monitored all it's activities. The thing looked like it was buzzing thru 1000's of reg keys and cleaning up, defragging, and generally "optimizing" a users registry. All that was actually taking place was a neat little show of random key names whizzing past too fast to read, and a colorful progress bar wrapped in a cool GUI...and that was all!!
Absolutely NOTHING was done, and in fact it didn't even install a nasty either, but they were asking $19.95 to unlock the app and apply the changes (we had unlocked it by another method.. ).
They even had a user forum where people were "astounded" at how well their systems ran after using the app, when nothing was done by it except to lighten their wallets of $20. They lasted exactly 6 months and disappeared with a pile of cash.

Talk about the "Placebo Effect" eh
LOL!!

Now I'm sure most of these things actually DO something, but it sure as heck ain't making systems any faster, just a waste of money & time IMO.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Jul 2009   #52
Charles Kane

Windows 7 Ultimate, Ubuntu
 
 

Chappy, that is a great story.
Doubly funny because what that reg defragger did was certainly much safer and more reliable than those that actually do something!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jul 2009   #53
Victek

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Chappy View Post
LOL John....we've seen this show before eh..

People found that they could pretty much sell most users ANYTHING that sounded techie and promised improved performance back in the olden days, and it has never changed since
.
We actually came across a "Registry Optimizer" app back in 02 (when I still did security work) that was found to be written by a known spyware group, so we tested it both for spyware and monitored all it's activities. The thing looked like it was buzzing thru 1000's of reg keys and cleaning up, defragging, and generally "optimizing" a users registry. All that was actually taking place was a neat little show of random key names whizzing past too fast to read, and a colorful progress bar wrapped in a cool GUI...and that was all!!
Absolutely NOTHING was done, and in fact it didn't even install a nasty either, but they were asking $19.95 to unlock the app and apply the changes (we had unlocked it by another method.. ).
They even had a user forum where people were "astounded" at how well their systems ran after using the app, when nothing was done by it except to lighten their wallets of $20. They lasted exactly 6 months and disappeared with a pile of cash.

Talk about the "Placebo Effect" eh
LOL!!

Now I'm sure most of these things actually DO something, but it sure as heck ain't making systems any faster, just a waste of money & time IMO.
.
That's a funny story, but to be fair I feel you need to distinguish between the different utilities you lumped together. Your example is a product that's a blatant scam similar to "scareware". There are many products that do what they say. The question then is are they useful. RAM defraggers are just smoke and mirrors IMHO. I've never found registry cleaners to be either beneficial or completely safe either, however I do believe registry defraggers are useful on an occasional basis. They do not provide any noticeable improvement in performance, but they do free up disk space and some are freeware. Hard disk defraggers are another matter. In my experience thoroughly defragging a hard drive can significantly improve performance if it hasn't been done for a long time. I regularly work on PC's in the field where the users don't know about maintenance, and their hard drives have not been cleaned up and defragged for years, so when it's done you really notice the difference. Whether or not there's any benefit in buying a third party disk defragger is debatable, but hopefully we can agree that the task itself is valid.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Jul 2009   #54
Charles Kane

Windows 7 Ultimate, Ubuntu
 
 

Quote:
registry defraggers are useful on an occasional basis. They do not provide any noticeable improvement in performance, but they do free up disk space
By no consideration does a registry defragger "free up disk space".
A Registry Cleaner is like sweeping one parking space in a car park the size of Nevada and imo therefore useless and risky.

What a registry defragger does is pretty mumbo jumbo really. All it can do is ensure that the hive is contiguous - that is that all parts that make up the registry hive are physically next to each other on the drive. There is no freeing up of disk space involved at all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jul 2009   #55
Victek

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Charles Kane View Post
By no consideration does a registry defragger "free up disk space".
A Registry Cleaner is like sweeping one parking space in a car park the size of Nevada and imo therefore useless and risky.

What a registry defragger does is pretty mumbo jumbo really. All it can do is ensure that the hive is contiguous - that is that all parts that make up the registry hive are physically next to each other on the drive. There is no freeing up of disk space involved at all.
.
First of all we agree about registry cleaners so let's move on. Regarding registry defraggers I haven't checked directly to confirm it's true, but they (for instance Quicksys regdefrag) claim to remove free space in the registry. Apparently the registry does not adjust itself down in size automatically when programs are uninstalled. Reg defraggers usually show a map detailing the free space and stating the size difference after compressing the registry. Is this not true?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jul 2009   #56
KazeNoKoe23

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1
 
 

Defraggler for me!
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05 Jul 2009   #57
messjess

Windows 7 x64
 
 

JKDefrag, CCleaner and i just downloaded Defraggler. Ill probably uninstall Defraggler because i just like the convenience of clicking once and JKDefrag goes at it lol.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jul 2009   #58
Charles Kane

Windows 7 Ultimate, Ubuntu
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Victek View Post
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claim to remove free space in the registry. Apparently the registry does not adjust itself down in size automatically when programs are uninstalled. Reg defraggers usually show a map detailing the free space and stating the size difference after compressing the registry. Is this not true?
In all honesty - i don't know. But it just doesn't make sense to me. Remove a few hundred even thousand lines of text from a gigantic database (actually 5), what "space saving" are we on about. Hardly any. Many files we use change all the time, so what - it's a computer - it deals with that stuff in an instant.

Any way even if it does "compress" have you really noticed any difference. Again I don't see any definitive (or "any" actually) research which indicates any benefits. MS are quiet on the issue but if the registry screwed with their system maybe you'd expect them to provide something like this.

Mark Russinovich (SysInternals, TechNet) talks about it. But he's a bit inconclusive. He basically says that for troubleshooting a Registry Cleaner may be useful. That surprised me a bit - but he was particularly interested on the effect of uninstallation on different users, and had an example where a registry remnant could cause an issue. Generally Registry Defrag hardly gets a mention by anyone "in the know' and when it does its all pretty negative.

I still think the benefits are entirely unproven and illusory and create a bigger risk than its worth. I'm sure that Win7 users should stay right away, there are just too many reports of busted systems.

If you must, get a good defragger which will do a pass at boot (and therefore defrag the registry). JkDefrag is utterly reliable (it uses the Windows API) and the JkDefragGUI version easily allows Defrag on boot. Its free, no install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jul 2009   #59
Victek

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Here's a real world scenario where a defragger with a disk map and boot time defrag capability was necessary:

I decided to install/dual boot Windows 7 on my Vista laptop, but when I tried to shrink the primary partition it would only allow a few hundred megabytes. I figured there must be data at the end of the partition preventing it from being re-sized, so I tried Disk Cleanup and deleted everything including shadow copies/restore points, but this didn't help. Then I loaded Perfectdisk to analyzed the drive and sure enough there was "locked" data at the end of the partition. I did a few repetitions of boot-time defrag and defragging in the GUI. Afterward there was still one file left that wouldn't move, but Perfectdisk identified it and Google produced instructions for deleting it. Then I was able to shrink the partition sufficiently to install Windows 7. This is the only way to get the job done AFAICT.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jul 2009   #60
Chappy

Vista Ult 64bit - Windows 7 Ult 7264 64bit
 
 

Quote:
That's a funny story, but to be fair I feel you need to distinguish between the different utilities you lumped together.
Actually, I think I made that quite clear in my first post, registry defragger's and compacters do nothing of any real value, except to the person who sold it to the poor user. The story was just emphasis.

Quote:
Remove a few hundred even thousand lines of text from a gigantic database (actually 5),
Gigantic??
Most of them are sized in KB's, 2 are in MB's and are under 30...what's "Gigantic" about that? I do agree with all of your post except that choice of word there Kane..LOL! You're absolutely right tho, the DB loads in less than a second, so what savings can be had...1/10,000 of a second...OMFG...I'm missing out!!


Yah, Mark does mention a bit about it sometimes, there is a VERY rare occasion where a key in a sensitive location "could" pose a problem, but a reg defrag or cleaner app also isn't the way to go about fixing that either.
Disk defrag is another story since we're talking many 100's of GB's these days, but Windows defrag utility is a top performer, works in the background silently, and is done without any user intervention. What more is needed?

And besides, it's Windows OS that uses the disk space, who knows more about how to set it up to the OS's best advantage than Windows defrag...right? 3rd party apps use different algorithms and while their GUI might show a pretty picture of how it's done it's job, is it actually done to the best advantage of the OS?
Me thinks not
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 What is the best free defragger?




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