O&O Defrag Professional 14 Is a Solid "Fire and Forget" Defragger

O& O Software has skipped unlucky 13 and leaped from version 12 to version 14 of their O&O Defrag Professional ($50, 30-day free trial) program, adding a few new features but retaining its earlier functionality and interface. Available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, it remains one of the best "fire and forget" defragmentation tools available.

O&O Defrag Professional screenshot
Colored blocks dancing their merry defragmentation dance, an interface classic since the 1980s.

By "fire and forget," I mean that O&O Defrag has a decent slew of options and settings,--but for most users most of the time, you can simply let it run and it will do the job. It's very easy to select a drive for defragmentation and then pick the level you want, and to see and understand the results. O&O Defrag uses the ribbon bar interface introduced with Office 2007, and has very few drill-down dialogs requiring you to click your way past multiple levels to find a needed function. Just about everything it can do is one or two clicks away. Version 14 really brings this home with a "Quick Configuration" that easily sets up ongoing defragmentation. Install, configure, and, as they say in New Jersey, "fuhgeddaboutit."

Among the more useful features are the ability for the user to define "file zones," deciding which files will be moved to optimum disk locations and which will be consigned to the remote reaches, and boot-time defragmentation. That last one is very handy, as it allows the defragmentation of files locked during runtime, such as the page file, which can become very large and very messy in short order.

O&O Defrag 14 offers a decent set of reports on defragmentation results and cluster composition, but they cannot be edited or tweaked to meet specific needs. Granted, only a few users would ever want to do this, but it could be handy in an office or network management environment.

Looking at other defragmentation tools, O&O Defrag is much easier to use than freebie MyDefrag, but it lacks the fine-tuning of that program. PerfectDisk Professional has a few more features and a slightly lower price, so it might be worth checking out the trial for that before making a final decision.

At $50 for a single-computer license, O&O Defrag is not exactly bargain basement software, but the price isn't out of line. The ability to set such things as CPU utilization, regular defragmentation at various levels of thoroughness, and startup defragmentation all add greatly to the overall utility. The more storage you have and the more control you need, the more O&O Defrag becomes a viable choice. It is certainly worth downloading the trial, which has no missing or locked features and annoys you only when you start it up.

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