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DirMS - defragging when Windows doesn't want to

review by ClifNotes, Jul 2006


Recently, my wife (Respect2Glory) complained that Windows XP defrag utility was very slow. It was so slow it appeared to nearly give up at several points. To be honest, I rarely defrag my PCs, but when I do, I expect it to take less than an hour.


What was my solution? I'd been hearing about a free defrag utility called DirMS and decided to try it. Here's a screenshot of it in action ...




As you can see, it's a pretty plain jane interface, but it does the job. Is it better than Windows defrag? I don't know and I wasn't able to find any evidence that it is. However, it did the job for my wife's laptop when she needed it.


There is one thing about it I should mention. This is a RegisterWare application and the authors would like you to register it. I tried to myself, but for some reason it didn't take. That's no big deal though, because it appears to work anyway.


DirMS comes in two versions, DirMS-S and DirMS-CL. The S version is the one you see above with a Windows grapical interface (GUI). The CL version is a command line version which makes it easy to schedule it to run using the Scheduled Tasks applet in the Windows Control Panel.


Quote from the website

Defragment Hard Drives


Move non-contiguous "fragments" of a file to a single contiguous location.


Full Drive Defragmentation


DirMS can decrease fragmentation in large files by using a partial defragmentation algorithm and will also compact files to rid your system of the dreaded interstice problem. The operation of DirMS similar to Diskeeper, but has some differences, like moving files not just from the bottom of the drive to the top, but actually finding the largest free space that is achievable and moving files to both the front and end of the drive to get the biggest possible free space in which to defragment.


Partially Defragment

Suppose you have a huge file that contains several hundred fragments. You might find that some defragmentor programs will not even touch it, since there is no free area large enough to put the contiguous file. That is silly! Un-fragmenting it into a dozen large fragments gives you most of the benefit! If the drive is nearly full, this will be the case for most files. But dirms can partially defragment a file, the best it can under the circumstances, and still provide improvement.


Squish out small gaps between files

Other programs actually leave little gaps between files. These do not show up on their interactive displays, so you might not know you even have them! Though you might wonder why a disk that's only 80% full has no visible free areas.


DirMS website (registerware)