capsule review

JkDefrag

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder JkDefrag

Note: This file is no longer available. The developer has replaced it with MyDefrag.

Windows comes with a free defragmentation tool, so any third party product needs to have something "extra". Piriform's Defraggler has a pretty interface and per-file defragging; JKDefrag has source code and is released under the GPL, which means a lot if you're heavily into free-as-in-speech software (although if you are, running Windows seems an odd choice). It also has a number of powerful options and features accessible from a command line interface.

Speaking of interface, JKDefrag goes beyond "bare bones" and straight into "bones crumbled to dust." You double-click the .exe and it starts up. A less-than-attractive graphical display of your hard drive's fragmentation is quickly generated, and then the defragmentation begins. No, you do not get to click 'scan' and then decide to 'defrag'. You made your choice when you clicked the application! Those who are familiar with the design philosophy of old-school *nix will not be surprised at this; most typical Windows users may find it a bit odd.

In terms of functionality, the default executable does what it's supposed to do. It automatically defragments and optimizes all fixed drives. It does have the nice feature of showing the file currently being worked on and the number of blocks being moved, as well as a percentage done, but there's no option to stop or pause the process except by closing the program, which the help file assures us can be done safely and without risk.

If you do want more control of the program, there is a helpful command line version, documented in the HTML help file included with the package. Surely, "JkDefrag.exe -a 7 -d 2 -q c: d:" is much easier and more intuitive than a screen full of buttons, checkboxes, and option flags. The command line option actually adds a tremendous amount of functionality -- for example, it allows you to include or exclude files or directories, move large and infrequently used files (archives, for example) to the slow parts of the disk (thus freeing up space for more often used files on the faster parts of the disk), and so on. All the real power of the program is locked behind this command line wall, but it is there for those who choose to master the interface.

JKDefrag's full source code is available as well, so if there's any feature you want, you can add it yourself. It's also a useful way to learn about how defragmentation software works.

--Ian Harac

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder JkDefrag

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