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3 suggestions/issues in DF


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First of all, I must say that I prefer to use Defraggler v1.10 over any of the higher versions. It has a special GUI feature, I particular like, and that's being left out in higher versions. I only use e.g. v1.20 or v1.19 in rare occasions. But I noticed a number of things in v1.20 that can and - IMO - should be improved.

 

1. When I manually select a number of files to be defragmented CPU usage can go up to over 80 and even up to 100%. (See attachment). First, I thought it was the combination of Adobe Flash 10 and Windows Explorer (XP SP3) again that's giving me problems from time to time in the last four to five months. Since I started installing Adobe Flash versions RC 10 in late february, in certain circumstances CPU usage can go up to 100% and then the computer doesn't respond anymore or responds extremely slowly. Then I have to manually stop the process called "Explorer" and restart it, in order to regain control. But when I opened Taskmanager I was surprised to see that this time it was Defraggler (and not Explorer) to be the reason for CPU usage going up to over 80 or 90%. In one case I even had to stop the process ""Defraggler"" in order to regain control.

 

Did Piriform change the way DF handles memory usage in v1.20 ? Does DF use any of the Adobe Flash features ?

 

2. I also noticed that when one file is being defragmented, DF is counting down the number of fragments. Perhaps that feature is causing that high CPU usage ? Personally, I would get rid of that feature. Just simply display the end result only.

 

3. DF lists the files that are fragmented. In the columnheader, an arrow (triangle) appears (up or down) to indicate on which column, the list is sorted. There're a number of things that can be improved.

-- Directly after analysing a drive there's no arrow at all.

-- In one particular case two arrows appeared. When I click on the columnheader ""Path"" in some cases the arrow in the column ""Size"" doesn't dissappear. (See attachment).

-- I would suggest that the column, on which the list is sorted, is highlighted in one way or another (e.g. in light grey). Or that the columnheader is highlighted (as well).

System setup: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/gcNzIPEjEb0B2khOOBVCHPc

 

A discussion always stimulates the braincells !!!

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Defraggler does not use any functionality from Flash. Flash is for web animation and media, not for application programming. (Although I admit actionscript does have excellent support for complex mathematical problems)

 

The high CPU usage is most probably caused by a lack of RAM on your computer (anything under 2GB is very low these days) or by some malware which is consuming cpu cycles. You could try removing some items from starting with Windows (CCleaner has a tool to do this) and also run some anti-virus/anti-malware scans with free programs. I recommend Malwarebytes and Trend Micro Housecall, both can be found with a simple Google search since I can't be bothered fetching links.

I'm Shane.

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I think I need to give a little bit more info.

1. High CPU usage as a result of the combination of Adobe Flash and Explorer always requires me to restart the process ""Explorer"". Something doesn't jive between those two.

2. Using DF v1.20 to defrag a (long) list of (manually) selected files, pushes, as mentioned above, CPU usage up to and to over 80%. But when DF has finished defragmenting the selected files CPU usage drops rapidly down to, say 20%. Although in one case - as mentioned above - CPU usage remained 100%, even after finishing defragmentation.

System setup: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/gcNzIPEjEb0B2khOOBVCHPc

 

A discussion always stimulates the braincells !!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

First of all, I must say that I prefer to use Defraggler v1.10 over any of the higher versions. It has a special GUI feature, I particular like, and that's being left out in higher versions. I only use e.g. v1.20 or v1.19 in rare occasions. But I noticed a number of things in v1.20 that can and - IMO - should be improved.

 

1. When I manually select a number of files to be defragmented CPU usage can go up to over 80 and even up to 100%. (See attachment). First, I thought it was the combination of Adobe Flash 10 and Windows Explorer (XP SP3) again that's giving me problems from time to time in the last four to five months. Since I started installing Adobe Flash versions RC 10 in late february, in certain circumstances CPU usage can go up to 100% and then the computer doesn't respond anymore or responds extremely slowly. Then I have to manually stop the process called "Explorer" and restart it, in order to regain control. But when I opened Taskmanager I was surprised to see that this time it was Defraggler (and not Explorer) to be the reason for CPU usage going up to over 80 or 90%. In one case I even had to stop the process ""Defraggler"" in order to regain control.

 

Did Piriform change the way DF handles memory usage in v1.20 ? Does DF use any of the Adobe Flash features ?

 

2. I also noticed that when one file is being defragmented, DF is counting down the number of fragments. Perhaps that feature is causing that high CPU usage ? Personally, I would get rid of that feature. Just simply display the end result only.

 

3. DF lists the files that are fragmented. In the columnheader, an arrow (triangle) appears (up or down) to indicate on which column, the list is sorted. There're a number of things that can be improved.

-- Directly after analysing a drive there's no arrow at all.

-- In one particular case two arrows appeared. When I click on the columnheader ""Path"" in some cases the arrow in the column ""Size"" doesn't dissappear. (See attachment).

-- I would suggest that the column, on which the list is sorted, is highlighted in one way or another (e.g. in light grey). Or that the columnheader is highlighted (as well).

 

While the speed of your CPU is unknown, I can see that you are running:

 

- XP under classic mode

- Have a single core processor

- Have 265 used mb out of 1,057

- Have a reported 7.2 Gb drive that 7.1 Gb (99%) is used

 

Here are some things that could be slowing your system down.

 

- How much physical ram do you have, as opposed to virtual? You will be running slower than you need to be on anything less than 512 mb ram under XP. I have 2 GB under mine since I use a lot of programs & need that mem. If you have less than 512 mb ram, upgrade that please!

- How fast is your CPU? Computers with celeron processors are naturally slower than P4 in processing, & if you have a p2 350 or so, I would say that is quite old & not the fault of piriform developers or XP.

- Harddrive on the one you highlighted as the problem area is mostly used. This leaves very, very, very little space for defraggler to defrag. It does need space to move things around. Perhaps delete restore points or turn off sys restore under system properties for that drive? Get clear room for defraggler, & try to leave at least 10% to 15% free so it can defrag properly?

 

* Your harddisk is an older drive, so you should update to a larger & faster drive. You don't really need a 2 tb drive, so if you get an 80 to 120 gb drive, that will work a lot better than what you have now, & can be had pretty cheap. 7,200 rpm drives are 2 times faster than 5,400 rpm drives. 15,000 rpm drives are insane, but too expensive. You will want the 7,200 rpm drive.

 

* Check on a video card. ATI has the most compatible at the moment, & can increase computer speed substantially, especially rendering 2D/3D objects. Older computers benefit even more. Find out if your computer supports AGP video as opposed to PCI, because AGP is meant for dedicated video & is much faster. 1x AGP is 2 times faster than PCI. A lot of systems have at least 4 x AGP, so this would make it 8 times faster. Some may have 16x AGP, but your system won't have that. Try for a minimum of 128 mb video card ram.

 

* If you have to, just get a USB 2 card ($19 - $29) & plug into an empty PCI slot, then get an external USB harddisk to copy all your files over to. Get a drive that is 120 GB or less, or partition your harddisk into 125 GB partitions if it is far bigger, because XP can experience corruption of data if you fill a drive over the 137 GB limit (unless you have SP1 or higher, SP2 recommended because SP3 has various bugs & flaws with it) & perhaps a bios that supports 48 bits, & the large drive enabler for the registry patch.

 

* If you have an older PC, turning on updates will slow your system over time to a crawl. This is repeatable time & again. It causes crashes sometimes because of driver incompatibility problems or untested feature/flaws. It has happened that a single MS update caused an entire room of 200 computers to crash before & blue screen on bootup. MS later remedied this, but it still illustrates the fact that your system can be compromised/slow down/become less usable over time if updates are left on.

 

* To avoid as much malware infection, recommended to use a browser like Firefox as opposed to IE. Check your system for malware with malwarebytes & updated defs to see if that is causing a prob.

 

* Delete unnecessary items on startup. Generally you only need your antivirus + maybe yahoo or something loading. Everything that loads takes mem & slows it down.

* Delete BHO items. They can be as pernicious as malware, or benign, but they still load with windows.

* Switch to a different AV. AVG does about as good as any, & is free + much lighter on system resources than the mem & processor hog Norton & McAfee.

* Run CCleaner to clear un-needed trash.

* If you had your comp a long time, go to CCleaner reg cleaner, untick the top 3 entries (the 3 that give the most problems), then click scan, fix, & let it back up the items before fixing.

* Under system properties, check the appearance, set for speed, then recheck the one for the icon drop shadows & smooth edges of screen fonts, then hit ok.

* Uninstall all programs you never ever use.

* Check for newer versions of your drivers, & be sure your chipset drivers are installed (if needed).

* Under device manager, check your IDE controllers to be sure they are running in DMA 5 instead of PIO (compatibility, or very very slow mode as opposed to the much faster DMA 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6). Hardisks usually run about DMA 5 or 6 while CD/DVD are a lot of times DMA 2 or so. If it is PIO, right click, uninstall, reboot & redetect drivers, reboot again for settigs to take place. Check DMA again. If still PIO, check for updated chipset drivers to fix it, or a bios update.

 

There are other things as well, but I am sleepy. Hope this helps!

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I have already done a lot of the things suggested above to aleviate the burden on the CPU and the harddisk. One thing I never do anymore, is defragment an entire disk with DF. It simply puts too much strain on my harddisk and the benefits seem to be minimal. Though I manually defragment regularly files as much as possible.

 

Recently I installed Cleammem and that program does seem to help to aleviate the burden on the CPU and the harddisk as well. It clears the memory of tasks that are not active and reduces the claims for memory, and therefore reduces the need for Windows to write information to the swapfile.

 

But again, according to my experience, there's - most definitely - a difference in CPU usage between DF v1.10 and DF v1.20. Perhaps there's some combination of programs (including DF v1.20) that doesn't work out so well.

System setup: http://speccy.piriform.com/results/gcNzIPEjEb0B2khOOBVCHPc

 

A discussion always stimulates the braincells !!!

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I have already done a lot of the things suggested above to aleviate the burden on the CPU and the harddisk. One thing I never do anymore, is defragment an entire disk with DF. It simply puts too much strain on my harddisk and the benefits seem to be minimal. Though I manually defragment regularly files as much as possible.

 

Recently I installed Cleammem and that program does seem to help to aleviate the burden on the CPU and the harddisk as well. It clears the memory of tasks that are not active and reduces the claims for memory, and therefore reduces the need for Windows to write information to the swapfile.

 

But again, according to my experience, there's - most definitely - a difference in CPU usage between DF v1.10 and DF v1.20. Perhaps there's some combination of programs (including DF v1.20) that doesn't work out so well.

 

There are 4 softwares that may help you additionally:

 

- Bart Dart's Context Menu cleaner (google it, it's free)

- Abelha Digital's Hosts Manager (also free)

- Nir Sofer's Startup Run (also free, but they have a newer prog now. Just use this one instead, because it lets you delete startup AND BHO

- End it All 2 (also free... they have a version 1, but 2 does much better. Hard to find now, but still around on some sites as an archived program.

 

If you are looking something to free mem before defrag, check out End it ALL 2, because it will end all the running processes that it is able to, so that you have max mem available. It is different from a clear mem program, because it actually kills processes off. A simple reboot lets them all come back.

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Which of these did you do?

 

If you are using a 10 or 20 year old harddisk, expect performance to slow to a crawl. Your modern harddisks are many times faster in reading & writing data. I know. I have used a lot of older drives vs newer drives & tested performance. I have seen some older drives struggle with data that newer ones flew through.

 

Your drive seems small/older. Why not upgrade to a newer 7,200 RPMM drive for better performance?

 

P.S. If you are sneaky about the upgrade & get it as an external harddrive, you can take the harddrive from the USB enclosure, then put your desktop harddrive in & use it for backup purposes! Just be sure to get the right harddrive, as some enclosures use the laptop 2.5 in drive, while some use the 3.5 in drive.

 

Additionally, be sure you select the right drive, as newer ones use Sata a lot, while yours will be IDE or PATA. Try Tiger Direct to see if they have the older drive if you need to!

 

Remember, 7,200 RPM drives are 2X faster than 5,400 ones. This can alleviate the burden on your CPU somewhat as the CPU does have to wait for data response from a harddisk.

 

This way, no drive ends up "unused" & you killed 2 birds with 1 stone. Newer, faster drive, with a backup drive to boot!

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