Diskeeper 2011 automatically takes care of hard-disk fragmentation as it occurs, making the manual defragmenters we're all accustomed to a thing of the past. For any Windows users experiencing a lag in hard-disk performance, this hassle-free tool is a fantastic option.
Shortly after installation, Diskeeper analyzes all the volumes on your computer. The data it collects is used as a baseline for the Performance Reports it generates from that point on. These reports let you know how many fragments the program has eliminated as well as how, exactly, it has improved your PC's performance. While most users won't care too much about most of the statistics, it is admittedly comforting to know that the data is there.
Diskeeper is an effective tool mainly because of two core features: Automatic Defragmentation and IntelliWrite. Automatic Defragmentation can be set to either Efficient, which scrubs your disk piecemeal as needed, or Extensive, a more thorough process. The program recommends Efficient, as do we.
IntelliWrite is enabled by default for all volumes on your computer. It's extremely effective at eliminating fragments as they occur, and we think it's the biggest selling point of the software.
One thing we felt could be improved upon was Diskeeper's main interface. In our opinion, it displayed way too much information, and when it first opened we didn't know where to start. For novice users, this can be alienating. We would have liked a more streamlined experience with clearer road maps for typical processes. Meanwhile, every icon in the toolbar opened up a new window, which was infuriating. Perhaps a simpler, tabbed interface would've been better. Luckily, Diskeeper does most of its work in the background, which means you don't have to deal with the interface much anyway.
Overall, we think Diskeeper 2011 is a winner. Its user interface may be overwhelming or confusing to non-technical types, but that doesn't overshadow what it's got going on under the hood. Its IntelliWrite technology eliminates most fragments as they occur, while its Automatic Defragmentation function catches the rest. It's a mostly hassle-free experience and you can still run a manual defragmenter if you feel the need.
Diskeeper is available free to try for 30 days and for $39.95 thereafter.