Go to Google and type in "vista defrag" or "vista defrag s***s" or "vista defrag good" and you will find lots of opinions and exchanges about how terrible the Vista built-in defragger is or defenses of why Microsoft did what it did with this iteration. As I represent a company that produces a third-party defrag solution, you know my opinion and I won't go through a lecture here.
Look, people can go back and forth (and do all the time) about whether or not defragmentation is necessary. I can (and do all the time :)) but won't do it here today. Some vendors will try to equate defragmentation to a life or death (I can do THAT too, but won't here today :)). I do want to make a few points. IF you want to defrag your system or systems on Vista, you should know:
- With the Vista built-in defragmenter, fragmentation information is only available via a command-line tool
- The Vista built-in defragmenter is a multi-pass defragmenter, meaning whenever it runs it's only doing a partial job of defragmenting files and a partial, very limited job of consolidating free space
- The Vista built-in defragmenter requires significant free space on your drive in order to operate
- The Vista built-in defragmenter does not defragment all NTFS metadata.
And for those running in an enterprise environment:
- The Vista built-in defragmenter has no management console
- The Vista built-in defragmenter is not designed for large, multi-terabyte drives
- The Vista built-in defragmenter does not integrate with Active Directory.
And there are a lot more differences.
The NTFS file system is still the NTFS file system. It fragments. Free space fragments. Fragmented files and fragmented free space are detrimental to a computer's performance. Depending on what you do, it could be more or less than for someone else. It could be an annoyance, or it could be a severe problem.
If you determine that the limitations of the Vista defragmenter are something you can live with, then you have your solution. If not, then we have a solution for you. I can tell you this - as the only disk defragmenter certified for Vista, we now have more requests, inquiries and purchases for PerfectDisk than ever before from Microsoft employees, Microsoft MVPs, Microsoft Certified Trainers, as well as users, corporations and government agencies around the world.
They see the need, and we are pleased to provide the solution.