Diskeeper is a defragmentation program and claims to do a much better job at defragmenting hard drives than Windows' own built in software.
For those unfamiliar with defragmentation it's a process whereby all the information stored on a hard disk is ‘put back in order'. After some use, the information on your hard disk actually gets moved around and data that should reside next to corresponding data gets moved away from it.
This means when the heads on the hard disk are reading some particular software or other, they have to jump from sector to sector to read information. When data is scattered about a hard disk it's known as being ‘fragmented'.
Diskeeper's defragmentation software corrects this problem and rearranges all data so that all data for any particular program is stored together in one location on the hard disk. The heads therefore don't have to keep moving from one location to another to read information. This means faster hard drive performance, and therefore system performance.
Diskeeper comes in quite a lot of different versions and there should be an edition to suit most any computer user's requirements. The products range from Diskeeper 2007 Enterprise Server Edition to Diskeeper 2007 Home. I would expect that most readers here would be interested in the versions of Diskeeper intended for home use. There are three of these, Pro Premier, Professional and Home. If you want to view the differences between editions, the full info is here .
I was given the Pro Premier edition to try which is identical to the Home edition as far as I can see with the exception that it contains a feature called I-Faast, which simply put ‘Learns a system's file access patterns then accelerates file access and creation'. The version that most of us would go for is the home edition and a one licence version of this costs £23.74 inc VAT. The Pro Premier version costs £95.20 inc VAT and the Big Daddy of them all, the Enterprise Server Edition, costs £975.47 inc VAT.
The first thing you see when installing Diskeeper is this notice:
This only applies if you intend to install the software across a large network but as most of us home users don't usually have more than 2 or 3 machines, this doesn't concern us so I installed Diskeeper straight to my hard disk. My main hard disk, incidentally, is a RAID 0 array using two Western Digital 74Gb Raptors.
The main difference and improvement in the latest version of Diskeeper is something they term as 'Invisitasking' which means the program will defragment your hard drive in the background but only doing so when the software being defragmented is not being used. Diskeeper claim this feature does not affect system performance.
Here we can select auto-defrag. If not selected, this feature can be accessed at a future date from the program's menu.
If the software needs updating, you will be prompted to download the latest patch: