Winternals Software Defrag Manager 4.0

Defrag Manager is so easy to use, it eliminates your reasons for avoiding the task in the first place.

September 16, 2005

3 Min Read
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The Winternals Defrag manager 4.0Click to Enlarge

The software's console installs on an administrator workstation. The client, the SmartPhase engine, launches from the Windows admin share onto each client PC and is set by default to remove itself when the defrag is done. The client configuration procedure includes setting installation and removal rules and scheduling when the defrag should occur--just once, daily, weekly, monthly, at system start-up or logon. By directly installing the client, admins can schedule a defrag via TCP/IP as well. To install the program from a domain account, file and print sharing must be enabled on the client and accepted by any associated firewall. If such permissions make you queasy, you're not alone--a stagnant or weak password could provide the keys to the kingdom through an open administrative share.


• Help file is complete and well-indexed• SmartBind integration ensures compliance across OUs and helps track licensing


• No flag to indicate a disabled schedule

• Cannot export schedule details to a file

Defrag Manager 4.0, starts at $99 per server and $20 per desktop. Winternals Software, (800) 408-8415, (512) 330-9130.

To set up my first defrag, I provided a description and assigned the user-management account. Unfortunately, there's no indicator to let admins know if a scheduled defrag has been disabled. On the plus side, the software's SmartBind scheduling feature lets you drag and drop an entire OU onto a schedule, ensuring the defrag will happen even if the PC is renamed or replaced.

Safety First

Defrag Manager lets you set an admin password and define the communication port to use. Also when defragging remote clients from Windows networking or TCP/IP, you can define Windows APM (Advanced Power Management) settings to pause when the machine is busy and continue when it's idle, and set start and stop times. I tested client options by leaving the defrag icon visible in the system tray on the client workstation but disallowed non-admin-initiated pausing or termination. It worked as expected.

Once the schedules were set, the console worked flawlessly, letting me drag and drop clients into test schedules from AD or local network branches or add them from a browse window. From the console, I could view system properties, kick off a manual disk analysis, or defrag and view history reports.

For reports, you can select a single client or all clients in a particular schedule for a pre- and post-defrag analysis.I'm still not wild about defragging. Although some server configurations benefit from the increase in data integrity, reliability and performance defragging brings, today's faster drives and large volumes don't see a huge increase in speed from defragging. Still, if defragging is your bag, Defrag Manager 4.0 is a good way to go.

Jonathan Wright is a support analyst at Syracuse University. Write to him at [email protected].

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