Tips and Tricks

Performance

How to improve system performance significantly

First of all we recommend to disable the Windows paging file. It expands RAM, but works much slower. If you need more memory than physically installed, buy more for the best performance.

Then, if you'd like to keep some files close to the beginning of the disk because of the highest speed of this area, don't ask the disk defragmenter for this job: just repartition the disk and use the first partition to keep the most frequently accessed files while the second one - for backups, videos, music and other stuff tolerant for a bit slower access.

How frequently to defragment

Defragment files whenever you think their fragmentation slows your system down. It really does make sense to defragment the system drive from time to time and optimize it after massive updates. On the other hand, data drives rarely benefit from defragmentation, especially when they are filled by music and videos.

The best environment for UltraDefrag

The program shows the best performance being launched at Windows boot where no concurrent processes are running. Nothing interrupts its flow and no applications are locking files preventing their movements.

On the other hand, when your system is in use, some files, being locked by running applications, drop UltraDefrag performance down. Due to this reason we recommend to optimize entire disks at Windows boot rather than on a fully running system. Slightly better results can be achieved in Windows safe mode, but at boot they're always the best.

Note
You should disable your virus detection software before defragmentation, because otherwise it will be extremely slow. If your antivirus program allows to exclude processes from being monitored, you might exclude UltraDefrag instead of disabling it completely.

Regardless of environment remove temporary contents from disks before their optimization. This will shorten optimization time and lead to better results.

Hardware

Flash and SSD drives

Defragmentation of flash memory and solid-state drives (SSD) is not recommended, as it reduces their lifespan being pretty useless: those drives don't rely on physical movements of mechanical parts anyway. On the other hand, defragmentation can help to make their contents more recoverable.

Floppy drives

Floppy drives defragmentation is not recommended, because it always reduces lifespan of the floppies.

Checking the file system

Freshly used drives can be defragmented immediately; any drive, which has been in use for a long time without maintenance, should be checked for consistency first. Open a command prompt and type one of the following commands there:

:: check drive c: and repair it when needed
chkdsk C: /F /V
:: check drive c:, repair it and collect lost clusters
:: when needed (takes quite long, but is the safest)
chkdsk C: /R /F /V

Parallel processing

Simultaneous defragmentation of multiple hard disks can save time.

For instance:

  • Hard disk 1 contains partitions C: and D:
  • Hard disk 2 contains partitions G: and H:

Start two UltraDefrag sessions simultaneously - one for partitions C: and D: and another one for G: and H: to save up to 50% of time (compared to the case when all four partitions are processed one by one). On the other hand, don't try to defragment partitions C: and D: simultaneously - they belong to the same physical disk, so their parallel processing will be pretty slow.

Caveats

Repeated defragmentation

Highly fragmented disks will have to be defragmented several times till you'll see any improvement.

How to prevent endless boot processing

We are trying to keep the program as reliable as possible, but some little chance still exists that its boot time interface will crash making it impossible to boot into Windows. So, for extra safety we recommend to automatically turn the program off for subsequent boots by inclusion of the boot-off command to the beginning of the boot time script.

USN journal cleanup

Sometimes a fragmented USN journal prevents free space consolidation. Open an administrative command prompt and type the following commands there to clean it up:

:: query the journal parameters,
:: write them down to use later
fsutil usn queryjournal c:
:: delete the journal
fsutil usn deletejournal /n c:
:: now it's time to optimize the disk...
:: recreate the journal afterwards
fsutil usn createjournal m=33554432 a=4194304 c:

A reasonable value for the maximum size is 85MB for each 100GB of the disk space. The allocation delta should be between 1/8 and 1/4 of the maximum size. The default values are usually 32MB and 4MB respectively.


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