Man. Just when you thought it was safe to get back into the water (after my defragmenter roundup) this new one comes out. It’s the next version of the JKDefrag program I previously mentioned, and it’s actually pretty good. The interface hasn’t been upgraded much since JKDefrag, and still looks like crap, but the wealth of delightful features it has more than make up for what it lacks in the looks department (kinda like me, actually).
The strength of the program lies in its flexibility. Other defragmenters organize your disk really well, and up until now UltimateDefrag has provided the most flexibility in terms of file placement. Not any more.. MyDefrag provides the user with a virtually limitless ability to choose where files are located on the disk. The main program is more accurately defined as a script interpreter. Each type of defrag exists as a .myd script, and when you run them the defragmenter parses and executes the script directives. Sounds clunky, and to tell the truth unless you’re a serious computer hacker (this means if you have an iPhone you can pretty much stop reading now) you should probably use one of the more straightforward, easier programs out there – but if you’re willing to get immersed in the scripting concept you can pull off some pretty neat stuff with this. Basically, your script will identify a target for defragmentation, exceptions, and a method by which to defragment it and any additional pieces such as leaving a small chunk of free space after that “zone” has been defragged. Then you tag other targets and have the program act on those in turn, and so on until the drive is done. My current script will optimize and sort all directories to the absolute fastest portion of the disk. Then it defrags and moves the MFT directly after that – one cannot do this with UltimateDefrag because the only option it gives you is to move the directories “close” to the MFT, which actually means after it. Next, the list of files from the prefetcher (layout.ini) feature of Windows, in order of import. Next, all other files EXCEPT those that match a certain criteria (Picasa database files, other large files) are defragged. Finally, everything else is done and the drive is complete. I actually slightly modified the SlowOptimize.myd provided standard with the program to do the above. You can edit and position file “zones” to your heart’s content – if you’re anal-retentive enough (adjusts tie and sips piña colada) you could make a different script for every drive on your system and have full control over how they are defragmented based on their contents. There are other subfeatures too, such as a “slowdown” command with which you can reduce the amount of system load placed by MyDefrag – great for regular scheduled background defrags of high-activity servers, for example. The UI is also kinda fun to look at, if you’re a quasi-autistic like me. My wife walked in on me staring at this thing defragmenting a drive, opened her mouth like she was going to say something, then shrugged and left. Which was entirely the correct thing to do. *8-)
Lacking from this program is the ability to do a boot-time defragment, and I can’t see the ability to shrink the MFT reserved area anywhere. Maybe that’s coming in a future version, so we’ll see. I’ve noticed a bug with this program too, which I have been discussing on their forum. But it’s definitely not a dealbreaker to using it.
MyDefrag is highly recommended – I’m pretty sure it’ll get better. And yes, there are already feature requests out there for a better UI. I personally don’t care – that’s the first step towards bloatware as far as I’m concerned.