Every hard drive works slower and slower over time. If you don’t use it, it doesn’t. However, a speed reduction occurs if you use the HDD drive (Hard D.isk D.rive) work actively – so often save new files, edit existing ones and thus let them grow in size, delete files and then write them again to the drive. The read / write head of the HDD then distributes newly created file fragments so that they are not in one piece. The future reading of the affected files will take longer. You can find more detailed information on PC brake fragmentation in another article.
With defragmentation software you rearrange the components of scattered files. This results in more speed when reading in the data; secondary there are sometimes minimal write throughput boosts. Incidentally, in contrast to HDDs, fragmentation does not slow down SSDs; it is even desirable internally with flash drives. As a result, defragmenters applied to SSD drives do not cause any leaps in speed – they only torment the drive with write operations and promote premature wear. However, if you are using a computer with a classic hard drive, you should defragment it regularly. There is no wear and tear because HDDs, unlike SSDs, can withstand any number of write cycles. Defrags are useful here.
Today HDDs hardly serve as a boot drive, this role is taken over by the faster SSDs. Hard drives are sometimes no longer installed and if they are, they can usually be inexpensively expanded with a tight SSD storage space. Whether you use an old PC with an HDD as a boot drive or a newer computer with an SSD as a boot drive plus an HDD as a data dump: In both cases, you can use a good defrag tool to make an HDD with a high degree of fragmentation work.
We eyed UltraDefrag 9.0.1, its Standard edition 19.99 euros (Enterprise: 39.99 euros) costs. Advantages compared to the free open source variant are the extensive options menu “Process> Defragmentation at Windows start” and a graphical user interface for settings. The offered automatic jobs that come into effect after a defrag are as varied as with the free sibling program: “Do nothing”, “Quit”, “Save energy”, “Idle state”, “Log off”, “Restart”, ” Shut down”. In the configuration interface you can choose to skip fragments with a minimum size of megabytes when rearranging.
The lush sorting algorithms seem a bit more plausible thanks to the graphical config dialog. The “automatic defragmentation” is meant nicely, but modestly easy to set up: This is done by pressing a button on the Windows task planner (taskschd.msc). Calling up the settings window is a bit cumbersome: Click on “Settings> Options”; the latter menu item is the only entry under “Settings”. Could the “Options” – not swap places with the “Settings” command and thus lead to the configuration center more quickly? Unfortunately, UltraDefrag 9 defragments SSDs. The tool is more modern than its twin, but weaker than freeware like Smart Defrag. We recommend UltraDefrag 9 only to fans of the 7 version.