IObit Smart Defrag 2.0 promises faster performance

IObit has released version 2 of its freeware defragmentation tool for Windows. Smart Defrag 2.0 includes one major new feature -- a boot-time defrag option -- as well as a redesigned user interface and numerous performance improvements to speed up the analysis and defrag processes.

Smart Defrag 2.0 is one of a growing number of free defrag tools that aim to replace the inadequate defragmentation tools built into Windows. By offering such options as automatic defrag, boot-time defrag and defragging on a schedule, Smart Defrag is able to keep a user's files from fragmenting, which noticeably slows performance and can also reduce the lifespan of a hard drive due to the extra work it has to perform in reading and writing to a fragmented drive.

Smart Defrag 2.0 includes a new defrag engine which IObit claims makes it the world's fastest defragmentation tool. The engine has been optimized to work with larger hard drives, helping eliminate long waiting times during analysis and defragmentation.

Version 2.0 also includes an enhanced "always-on" option, which defrags files in the background to prevent fragmentation building up in the first place. It promises a low memory footprint to prevent the process from interfering with other running programs and services, and uses new "Safe Intelligence" technology to ensure it's not constantly analyzing or defragging the drive, which can wear it out as quickly as simply leaving it to fragment over time.

The new Boot Time defrag option basically allows Smart Defrag to defragment the drive at boot time, enabling it to defrag major system files that are usually locked when Windows is running, helping to improve performance further. Other improvements include a redesigned user interface that IObit promises will make the program easier to use for novices.

Smart Defrag 2.0 is free for both personal and commercial use, and requires a PC running Windows 2000, XP, Vista or 7. Like all defrag tools, Smart Defrag 2.0 is not recommended for use on the new generation of solid-state storage (SSD) disk drives, where fragmentation has no effect on drive performance.

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