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A closer look at PerfectDisk and PerfectDisk Live
A closer look at PerfectDisk and PerfectDisk Live Published on September 14th, 2005

Product Overview
Today we are going to look at one of the best 3rd party disk defragmenter tools available. Perfect Disk 7 is an extremely complete and fast disk defragmenter. It was designed to work with Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000, Windows 2000 and Windows XP only. Raxco's PerfectDisk's SmartPlacement technology provides a fast and efficient defragmenter that offers single pass file defragmentation and free space consolidation. It can also handle any of today's large disk sizes. PerfectDisk 7 integrates seamlessly with Microsoft's Active Directory to provide easy scalable network deployments and scheduling abilities.

There are Workstation and Server versions of PerfectDisk 7 available. Both versions offer pretty much the same feature set but the Workstation version will not install on a Server based operating system. The Server version includes a component for Exchange Servers that allows you to schedule the offline compacting/defragmentation of Exchange Server 2003, 2000 and Exchange 5.5 data stores to save disk space and boost overall Exchange performance.

**PerfectDisk 7 and PerfectDisk Live are not currently supported by the 64bit edition of Windows**

What are fragmented files?
Fragmented files are files that have been broken into hundreds of separate pieces all over your hard drive. This happens every time new files are created, deleted, or extended. This also happens when your operating system is first installed.

What does fragmentation do to system performance?
Fragmentation can lead to a major loss of performance. The worse the level of fragmentation, the longer your system takes to perform any read/write related tasks. It increases the load times of applications, and adds to your system startup and shutdown times.

After releasing PerfectDisk 7, the gang from Raxco went back to work and designed the PerfectDisk Live subscription service that requires Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher to operate. This activeX control has pretty much all the goodies of the full version but it allows you to subscribe online for 12 months ($19.95 USD). If you want to purchase the retail version of PerfectDisk 7 you can do so for $39.95 USD. Being the curious type that I am, I thought it would be interesting to put the two versions side by side and see where the better value lies.

In order to use PerfectDisk Live the first thing is to visit their website and setup an account. They offer a 15 day free trial if you want to try the service before purchasing a subscription. Once you have activated your account you then just have to download the activeX control and you are then good to go. While you have to be connected to the Internet to activate the activeX control, once it has started to defrag your drive you can close your browser and disconnect from the Internet if you so desire.
PerfectDisk and PerfectDisk Live defragment a disk by locating all the parts of a file and bringing them together so that they are contiguous. As a result, the system only has one place to look to find a file. Your system uses less CPU cycles and memory to complete disk operations, which enhances overall system performance. Applications will launch faster, access to your files will also be faster.

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