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O&O launches free version of its award-winning defrag tool

20 January 2011, Nick Peers

Berlin-based O&O Software GmbH has released a free defragmentation tool based on its award-winning O&O Defrag Professional software. O&O Defrag Free Edition – which is free for personal use – takes advantage of the same advanced defragmentation technologies found in the latest version (14) of its commercial sibling to promise improved drive performance for home and non-commercial users.

O&O Defrag Free Edition offers a set-it-and-forget-it solution to the problem of keeping your hard drive defragged: when first installed it gives you the option of scheduling automatic defragmentation either when the computer is idle or on a specified schedule (weekly to monthly). It also allows you to optimise your hard drive immediately by either performing a standard defragmentation or by also consolidating free space.

The program is a cut-down version of the full O&O Defrag Professional, which means several advanced features are missing (they’re greyed out with a prompt to upgrade if selected). For example, only two of the eight defragmentation methods available in the Pro version are accessible here, while the Free Edition is also incapable of performing a boot-time defragmentation, excluding specific files from the defragmentation process or of defragging multiple drives simultaneously. These features are present in other free defrag tools, including Puran Defrag Free.

O&O Defrag Free Edition does support the use of physical “zones” on your hard drive for placing files based on how frequently they’re accessed. However, unlike the Pro Edition, there is no scope for customising these zones. Finally, there’s no support for Solid State Drives and the O&O Activity Monitor, which provides management capabilities of system resources.

Despite these limitations, O&O Defrag Free Edition is still a capable tool for most Windows users, particularly those looking for a more effective alternative to the Defrag tool built into Windows itself. O&O Defrag Free Edition is available now in separate builds for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows. It requires Windows XP or later.

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