Automatic Defragmentation from IObit
key review info
- Application: Smart Defrag 188.8.131.526
- Reviewed on:
- Automatic defragmentation
- (3 more, see all...)
Unlike registry cleaning, defragmenting the files on the hard disk can really make a difference in your computer’s performance. Equipped with improved engine and interface Smart Defrag 2 from IObit attempts to achieve a contiguous sequence for the files on the hard disk in order to increase system performance.
The application is free of charge and the amount of settings available makes it perfect for the average user who wants constant, hassle-free defragmentation. The interface has been redesigned to a more elegant look preserving ease of use.
Main application window lists all drives available to the system, including removable ones. There isn’t much initial information available for them but you will be able to view the total size of each volume as well as the amount of free space on them.
A very interesting feature is the ability to add a file or folder in the listing. Thus, if you want to keep a close eye on a specific directory/file and monitor fragmentation level, simply add it to the list. Smart Defrag will provide the same defrag and analysis options as for any other volume in the menu.
Although the new look is quite an impressive one - you can toggle between the two skins available: black and white, there is one painful drawback that needs to be mentioned: you cannot expand the volume list at all. Thus, on a system with more than four drives you won’t be able to see all the entries in a glance. Maximizing the interface does not help either.
Smart Defrag 2 features three defragmentation methods, a simple one designed to make the data contiguous and two that include optimization of the data on the disk. The purpose of these two is to eliminate blank space and organize the files so that their contiguity is preserved for a longer time.
From “Automatic Defrag” screen of the main window you can turn this feature on, which means that whenever the volume is idle for more than 5 minutes the app will start defragmentation. The trigger for pausing the process is increased CPU activity. Smart Defrag 2 sets the two values to 5 minutes for idle time and 60% for CPU usage, but you can configure them so that they suit your needs.
Boot time defragmentation is supported by the program and it can be enabled to be performed every day at first boot, each time the system starts or the first boot at a certain time interval. As for the data targeted, you can enable pagefile and hibernation file as well as MFT metadata.
One of the most important parts, though, is the “Report” tab, which gives you details about the files that have been defragmented and the results obtained by the software.
Our tests included a 2GB partition with 10% of free space and a fragmentation level reported by Smart Defrag at 86.05%. The total number of fragments on the volume exceeded 18,000.
During the first pass IObit did not do too well as it dropped fragmentation level by 2.91%, bringing it to a still very high 83.14%. Further attempts to lower this value with Smart Defrag 2 failed, so we tried to free up some space, making 656MB available for the application.
This time around the analysis returned a report that read 63.58% fragmentation level. Starting the improvement procedure made no great difference, though. After less than a minute of defragging the program showed an insignificant improvement decreasing the total fragments to only 60.69%. We insisted several times as each attempt showed a slight change, but we could not make it go lower than 60.6%.
In both cases the report labeled some items as unmovable, and some were not touched because of the lack of space on the volume. However, in the second test there should have been better results since the 37% of free space is plenty for its defrag activity.
We went on with our experiments and scrapped all large items off the test partition, making more than 50% available to Smart Defrag 2. With 1.13GB at hand, the program reported a total fragmentation level of 41%. This time we did see a lot of improvement as this value dropped to 8% in a bit more than a minute. Running the program again but only a 0.4% improvement was recorded.
If you are content with the results of the application on your drives, you can customize it for scheduled runs that can happen on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Coupled with the automatic defrag this ensures constant data defragmentation at system idle times.
To make defragmentation take less time, or spare the program from specific files you can create an exclusion list in Smart Defrag 2.
The interface is easy to navigate and the set of options is not complicated, yet encompasses boot time defragmentation, scheduling, and defrag in accordance to system resource usage or drive’s idle time.
You can add files and folders in the drive list and monitor their fragmentation level. “Report” section in the main application window shows all the files that were processed and the result of the processing.
There is no clear view at all the entries if there are more than four drives available on the system. Also, in our case the application did not manage to deal with high fragmentation level. During our tests there were plenty of reports of “no space” even when there was more than 50% of free space available.
IObit Smart Defrag 2 makes for an elegant looking defragmentation tool and it comes with all the necessary options to improve the performance of the system’s drives. But during our tests it did not manage to drop the heavy fragmentation on drive we put it up against. Bottom line is that in order to do a good job you need plenty of space available on the target volumes.