MyDefrag PowerGUI is a front-end for free hard drive defragmentation software MyDefrag. It is designed to manage all aspects of hard drive defragmentation with MyDefrag, including scheduling defragmentations, auto-updating the MyDefrag engine, installing the MyDefrag screensaver option, as well as providing a variety of advanced defragmentation functions such as a wide range of defragmentation profiles to choose from, filtering files by extension or by location that would be included or excluded from the defragmentation operations.
An interesting addition is MyDefrag PowerGUI’s coupling of defrag operations with disk-cleaning functions, a rather useful feature that can prevent moving and processing useless and unwanted files during the defragmentation process. MyDefrag PowerGUI can do this by performing its own cleaning operations before the defragmentation process or alternatively it can run another program such as CCleaner to do this instead.
If you don’t know what disk defragmentation is imagine this: you’re reading a newspaper and once finished with the first page you have to go up to the third floor to get the next one, then, after reading that one, head to the basement to find the third page, etc. Imagine how much faster the reading process would be if you had collected all the pages in one place ahead of time. That, essentially, is what disk defragmentation does: collect and line up all the parts of a file that would otherwise be scattered all over the hard drive, making reading operations much faster. (Note: this newspaper metaphor is not my original thought; I read it somewhere which now I cannot recall where).
What you need to know about MyDefrag is that it is probably the best defragmentation software out there. What you need to know about MyDefrag PowerGUI is as follows:
- Pre-built profiles: there are many different strategies that can be used (e.g. your weekly defrag may be slower and more thorough than the daily defrag), and if you have a preference you could select it from a dropdown (see screenshot above).
- Can schedule defrags: it implements this via Windows Task Scheduler, such that MyDefragPowerGUI does not need to be running for the scheduled tasks to run.
- Can clean hard drives prior to defrag operations: this can potentially remove a large number of files that have no business being packed into the defragmentation process. MyDefrag PowerGUI uses an internal cleaner which is probably good enough. Alternately, you can switch that one off and simply tell it to run CCleaner with the /Auto parameter prior to defragmenting (you will need to create a .bat file to this though as strangely MyDefragPowerGUI will not accept running executables with parameters).
- Includes,Excludes, and “spacehog” file sizes easily definable: you can easily tell it to skip or include certain files or extensions in the defrag process, as well as define what the size is for the so-called “spacehog” huge files to be moved to the end of the drive.
- One-click to update to the latest version of MyDefrag: not only will it grab the latest version, but it will also run the 32 bit or 64 bit version that is appropriate to your system.
- Portable: unzip and run. It will download all of the external tools it needs and save them to its directory. You could install or uninstall both the MyDefrag PowerGUI itself in “program files”.
- MyDefrag Screensaver: can also be easily installed or uninstalled from within PowerGUI. If you are unfamilliar with defrag screensavers, what they do is defrag your hard drives whenever your computer is idle; instead of running a screensaver that does nothing, you get your hard drive defragmented. It is VERY cool.
- Registry optimization/defrag: PowerGUI: downloads NTREGOPT registry optimization tool, but the version I tested does not do anything with it. I am guessing that this feature will be implemented in a future update.
- The interface: is hard to navigate at first, which is strange for a GUI. The icons, whether in the sidebar or inside the panels, are unlabelled and confusing. On the positive side once you spend some time using it you’ll figure it out.
- Run before and after does not take parameters: MyDefrag PowerGUI lets you optionally run an executable before or after the defrag, but doesn’t seem to accept parameters. You could go around this, as I did with CCleaner, by creating a .BAT file instead.
- Downloads NTREGOPT registry optimization/defrag tool but doesn’t
The verdict: this a one-stop shop for defragmentation management that makes it easy to be as sophisticated as you want to be about defragging your hard drive, without having to write scripts or delve too much into the process. I highly recommend it.
Version Tested: 1.0.2
Compatibility: Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008 and Windows.