Best Defrag and Registry Cleaner Utility?

By mretzloff ยท 34 replies
Jan 18, 2008
  1. What are the best utilities for defraging and cleaning your registry?

    I'm not a fan of Vista's standard defrag utility.

    Also, is there anything else (other than scanning for malicious software) I should regularly do to maintain my PC?

    Thanks :D
  2. hulent

    hulent TS Rookie Posts: 46

    As far as defragging, I like JKDefrag. It's a simple .exe and there are no hard options to choose from (unless you use it command line).

    I don't use a classic "Registry Cleaner". I just have Ad-Aware check my registry for ad and spyware. I just keep off of the pornographic sites :grinthumb

    JKDefrag is simple, small, and free: Get it Here!
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    The professional version of DiskKeeper works great, and the free version is almost as good... You have the options for various degrees of automation, or background defragging where you do not even have to know it is working.
  4. mretzloff

    mretzloff TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 116

    How do I know how much of my disks are fragmented?

    EDIT: Thanks for the help so far.
  5. hulent

    hulent TS Rookie Posts: 46

    Ultimately: Does it really matter? As long as you run a defragger regularly, you shouldn't have an issue. Doing this will give you faster read/access times on your HDD and most likely prolonge the life of the drive. Windows' built-in defragger will tell you how much if you click "Analyze". :grinthumb
  6. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 3,908

    I like Iolo's system mechanic, they have a 30dy free trial. you can defrag RAM, HDD, It will clean up your registry, compress it, and make a backup for you.

    There are a number of other things that I use it for as well.
  7. hulent

    hulent TS Rookie Posts: 46

    Just a curious question, why would you want to defrag RAM?
  8. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 3,908

    I had not ever heard of this either, but my memory usage usually goes from about 45% down to 35% when I do it.
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I think back in the old days defragging RAM was necessary because you could end up with the same amount total free, but if it was fragmented something may not be able to load in 1 chunk, not able to fit. I'm not sure this was ever a real issue with Windows though since there has been a pagefile for as long as I can remember. In Mac OS 6 (I think 7 too, and possibly further) there wasn't a pagefile and there was no disk usage for RAM unless specifically enabled. Therefore defragmenting RAM could potentially help.
    Simple example:
    8 Megs of total RAM.
    1st program launched uses 2 megs
    2nd program launches, uses 4 megs, starting after the first 2 used by program 1.
    You close program 1. Now 4 total free.
    You want to launch 3rd program that uses 3 megs of RAM.
    In MacOS 6, it would say you were out of RAM because there were not 3 megs free in 1 complete span. You'd have to close program 2, then open them both again to allow this to happen.

    Back to defragging HDs though, Vista is supposed to be doing this in the background, and as far as I know it is, so you shouldn't need a 3rd party defragmenter, nor should you ever need to manually run it in Vista. For XP I'd recommend Diskkeeper.
  10. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 3,908

    I formatted and reinstalled vista and then 5 days later I ran system mechanic my HDD was 34% fragmented and it removed 758MB of clutter

    from what I have seen with sys mech, it just enters the commands for you, for example if it finds an error on your hard drive it will schedule chkdsk to run at restart

    like i said though I originally got it to move files from one partition to the other with out having to edit the registry manually.
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Blind Dragon - I'm not disputing what you are saying. But I imagine that it is possible for Vista to take quite a while to defragment a drive on its own, esp if it does like its intended and doesn't interfere with anything you are doing. Perhaps if you'd given it more than a 1 sample test Vista would have done ok at keeping things defragmented.

    Also different programs report differently. I can't recall the specific details, but I think some programs ignore certain system files and others do not. So that may be part of the reason it reported so high.

    In any case, I'm not arguing with your results, just giving a possible explanation. I know at times I've done some stuff in Vista that causes incredible HD chatter, enough to scare me, and I don't think it should have. (Example, sending files from an external usb drive to an external esata drive while winraring into 2 segments a full dvd iso onto another physical drive).
  12. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 3,908

    I didn't think you were, just giving my experience with Vista, I had it for 8 months before reinstall and could usually find 4-10% fragmented on a weekly basis, so it didn't seem from my point of view that vista was defragging
  13. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Could have been that Vista doesn't defrag some files, like system files, that other utilities are able to do. I don't know really.

    Wish someone would contribute that did know for sure, because I've been running vista for almost a year, and haven't defragged yet :/ I've just been hoping Vista was doing as advertised..
  14. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 3,908

    Have you checked how fragmented it is through vista?

    just checked mine and vista was automatically set to defrag at 1am every wednesday (I guess you were right)
  15. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    Vista should be doing this automatically, other than that diskeeper is excellent.

    run crap cleaner registry repair every one in a while.
  16. mretzloff

    mretzloff TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 116

    Does it defrag even if your computer is off?
  17. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Re: Windows memory, memory usage and freeing/defragging memory

    There's an interesting Windows based freeware tool called RAMpage i recently came across and just started playing with. It displays the amount of available memory in a system tray icon and it will free/defrag memory (so it says) on demand. Author claims some people have reported performance improvements.

    In any event, wanted to post the info. Would be interested to hear what others find in using it.
  18. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Q.) What IS your computer capable of doing when it is off?
    A.) Absolutely nothing.

    So defragging is out of the question. Take a moment to think about it. :)
  19. hulent

    hulent TS Rookie Posts: 46

    I don't know about this whole idea of defragging RAM. I think it might be silly if it takes more than 3 minutes to do. RAM is temporary, it might be faster to just, hmm...

    wait for it...

    hold it.....

  20. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 3,908

    it takes less than 1 minute
  21. hulent

    hulent TS Rookie Posts: 46

    Well, how 'bout that.
  22. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    it's not defragging ram - it's called "freeing" ram. And yes- there is a free tool for that called freeram xp pro . I do not know if it works for vista, but I use it all the time.
  23. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 11,984   +72

    Tedster this whole "freeing RAM" is a new one on me. May I ask what the benefits are in doing this? Thanks!
  24. hulent

    hulent TS Rookie Posts: 46

    Route44: Same here, not really getting the concept of "freeing ram"...I especially don't understand the whole "defragging ram" thingy
  25. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I think defragging ram is just a carry over from the old days when operating systems weren't able to manage ram like they can now (post #9 in this thread).

    I can't see that it would do anything beneficial now. Kind of like defragging a usb stick.
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