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Guide On How To Configure Ultimatedefrag 2008 Properly

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How to configure UltimateDefrag(UD) 2008 properly


Please note this is a tutorial I made for another site but decided to post it on here as well because I thought it would help some of you when it comes to the time to defrag your pc...


First of all: Don't try to be smart and skip the notes or other parts of the guide.


Clickable! Table of contents:


* Notes

* Last Access Timestamps

o Enable Last Access Timestamps

o Programs that mess with Last Access Timestamps

* Setting up

o Archive

o High Performance

* Other options

o Using the 'Excluded Files' option

o Put directories close to MFT

o Respect layout.ini

o Resource usage

o How often should I defrag?

* Two or more HD's

* Credits





* I would ask anyone to first read the included Help file(Read pages 5 through 22 and 34 through 39) that comes with UD 2008 before making his own configuration based on my guide written here, this Help file will give you a far greater understanding about how HD's operate and what will give an increase/decrease in their performance. Read the Help file, read my guide, add a little common sense and there you go: you're own 'perfect' defragmentation job configuration.


Download UD 2008 Help File (Read pages 5 through 22 and 34 through 39)


* Works best with Windows XP, will work with any version of Windows as many of the files are the same, but this probably won't be useful for a Mac or Linux PC.


* This guide is not to be taken as something that applies to every HD/Computer setup. This is due to the fact that everyone has a different HD size and some have more data on it then others do, these differences can affect on how my proposed settings affect your computer's performance. Something I can guarantee is that using this guide in combination with UD 2008 will give you a performance increase, how much? That's up to your interpretation and how much your HD looks like mine in size and number of GB's used.


* If anyone has any suggestions, additions or comments please do post them! Also: There are no dumb questions, so if you don't understand something don't be afraid to ask!


However, don't come in and ask 'What is the best configuration for my PC', without even reading the Help file, my guide and adding some common sense.



Last Access Timestamps

It is very important to check if the Last Access Timestamps (from now on "LAT") are enabled, UD needs LAT to specify which files it will put in High Performance and which in Archive when Auto option(Explained later on) is selected, if not enabled you will lose some, if not most, of UltimateDefrag's functionality. If you do not wish to use Auto option then you can disregard this.


Enable Last Acces Timestamps:

To check if LAT are enabled do the following:


* Go to the Command Prompt (Start → All Programs → Accessories → Command Prompt) and type the following (without quotes):




* If it returns a value of ''0'' or "not set" then you do are done, LAT are already turned on.


* If it returns a value of ''1'' then you need to type the following to enable LAT (without quotes):





Programs that mess with Last Acces Timestamps:

Now you probably think you're done, but some programs(like some AV) change the LAT of your files when they scan them. At first glance this doesn't seem a problem, but yet it is. When Windows makes it LAT statistics it will see that every file that is scanned is not unused. This might cause UD to place them in the HP section, which is something we don't want for files that we almost never use, only when scanned by an AV. This will cause degraded performance, and that is something we do not want. The above does not apply to the on-access scanning of an AV, since the LAT will be changed anyway by the program accessing the file.


To find these programs and enable an option that will make them preserve LAT (or stop using it) spasserfan has started this thread.


Note: If you must use a program that does not preserve LAT, you should search for an alternative or if you really need the program you could disable LAT, reboot before using a program that changes them and afterwards enable the LAT and reboot again.


Above about LAT is written by spasserfan and edited by me.


Defragmentation Method

All of this is done with the 'Folder/File name' defragmentation method('Respect high performance', 'Respect archive', 'Put directories close to MFT'(You can find these setting under Folder/File name > Options) options selected). If you don't want to spend half an hour (or more) configuring your defragmentation application you can leave this and just select the 'Auto' defragmentation method('Put directories close to MFT' selected), which will give you improved performance, but not as much as when you follow this guide.


Setting up

I will specify which files you should put in the Archive section and which files you should put in the High Performance section now (You can get there by pressing Tools > Options> 'Select your HD' (If you just have one it is selected by default) and there you can find Archive(Wildcards, Auto and Custom), High Performance(Wildcards, Auto and Custom) and Excluded Files(* replaces any number of characters and the ? will replace one):





* *.rar files(Believe it or not, but these files are 'Archives', wonder where they belong...)

* *.zip files(''Same as above'')

* *.r0?, *.r1? and following up to *.r9? (Don't add these if you don't use split archives) (* stands for any number of characters and ? stand for one, UD recognizes this)

* *.00?, *.01? and following up to *.09? should be enough, but you could also add *.0??, *.1?? up to *.9?? but that would include any file with an extension with a digit at the start, so I recommend the first methodology (''Same as above, about the split archives, the * and the ? signs'')

* *.iso files(CD backup files, used to distribute CD content over the net or to backup a CD, Warning sign: Don't use this option when you have game .iso files which you use to play those games. If you just used them for installing and applied a no-CD crack you can use this option though.)

* *.cab files(Same as above, with the difference these are much used as Installer Archives)

* *.avi(Personal preference, I download A LOT of movies and mostly I just keep them on my HD until and after I burn them. I've got RW DVD's so I might delete the some time and have to burn them again or there might be something wrong with the subtitles, so I always keep the .avI files until i've watched the movie(s))

* *.mpeg(''Same as above'')

* *.mpg(''Same as above'')

* *.wmv(''Same as above'')

* *.mov(''Same as above'')

* *.vob(These are special, these are files created when I convert a video file into a dvd. Most of the time they aren't on my PC for very long because I watch most movies right after I converted them, but sometimes they are and then I want them to be out of the way)

* *.mp3(Large music collections, I only use this option when I run out of space. Because I listen to my music very much so I don't want it to be slow)

* *.wma(''Same as above'')

* *.aac(I don't use this, but you might)

* *.bak(Backup files, will probably never be used)

* All other Archive files like .rar and .zip you use, I won't list them all since there are too many.

* All other .iso like files (Virtual CD's) you use, I won't list them all since there are too many.



I don't select anything here... Because I might not have used some of my programs (In Program Files) and they would be placed in the lower performing areas that way.. Where we don't want to have them. In any case this value would depend on the available and used HD space. My HD is pretty empty so I put it to 0, but it's your pick. If your HD is more filled up, mines about 25 %, then you could try to pick a value like 5, 10, 20 or even 40 depending on how full your HD is. There isn't a 'best', there's millions of bests, for each PC it's own.


If you could give me some more information about your HD capacity and usage I would be glad to give you some tips on how to set these values. I think it's best to just select all the files you want out of the way in the next step, this'll give you much more control.



'C' can be any drive letter here.

* In case you use MS Office, you can select C:/MSOCache/ here, these are the installer files for MS Office, which you probably won't be needing any time soon.

* C:/System Volume Information/ (Place where System Restore information is stored(if activated). You probably never use this data, and when you do you won't be worrying about speed, believe me. On smaller systems I recommend setting this option on for once, creating one restore point, making a .rar file out of this, putting that somewhere safe and deactivating it. This way you can always extract the .rar file into the previously mentioned folder and activate System Restore again)

* C:/Windows/Driver Cache/ (Name says all... Place where possibly needed drivers are stored, but you probably won't need them after you installed your system. (Except for when adding new hardware of course))

* C:/Windows/Installer/ (Installer database, used when you uninstall a program. In my case this is an event that won't happen very often, so it pick these files)

* C:/Windows/$...... (Mostly uninstaller backups, all folder in C:/Windows with an $ in it can be put with Archive)

* C:/Windows/pchealth(Help subjects. If you need a lot of 'Help' don't add this...)

* C:/Windows/Help('Same as above')

* C:/RECYCLER/ (Trashbin...)

* C:/Windows/IE7Updates (Old IE7 update files)

* C:/Windows/ServicePackFiles/ (Old SP installation files)

* C:/Windows/SoftwareDistribution (Used when updating Windows)

* C:/Windows/system32/dllcache/ (Shadow-copy of important system files)

* Any folder named i386 (It can be C:/i386 or C:/Windows/i386 or anything else) can be added to the Archive.

* If you have a folder in which you store all your downloaded files (such as installers etc.) select that too, since these files only are used once (the programs run from another folder in C:/Program Files/ which is High Performance)

* If you have large photo, video or music collections put them with Archive too.

* Any other files you can think of you will never use...



High Performance(HP):



* Outlook and/or Lotus users can select *.pst and/or *.ntf files to boost the performance of their email applications.

* *.exe All .exe files(I have never used this option myself, but UD recommends it. It is quite logic, all executables should be high performance)

* *.dll All .dll files(''Same as above'')



Same story as with Archive and Automatic... I use 10 % here, but that's just because otherwise UD will place some of my selected Archive files within high performance... Leaving gaps in the inner tracks... So not recommend for any of you, just so you know. You should decide which value fits your needs best, I recommend setting it to 5-30 % depending on the capacity of your HD and how much data is on it. If you pick your High Performance files very carefully in the next step you don't even really need this value, but I recommend never putting it under 5% because you can always miss something.



* Any game you play should be High Performance... It'll make a big difference when you're on a slow computer, but fast computers profit a little from this too.

* C:/Windows/Prefetch/ (This folder contains data that will automatically be loaded into the RAM at boot, programs you use much etc.)

* C:/Windows/system32/ (All important system files. You can just select this folder in High Performance and leave C:/Windows/system32/dllcache in Archive, as Archive will overwrite High Performance)

* C:/Windows/assembly/ (.NET Reference Assemblies, and no I don't know what that means, but it's important nevertheless...)

* C:/Windows/Microsoft.NET/ (Microsoft .NET service)

* C:/Windows/ime/ (Windows text services)

* C:/Windows/inf (Important, has something to do with drivers)

* C:/Windows/system/ (Need for explanation, I don't think so)

* C:/Windows/WinSxS (Important system files)

* C:/Windows/RegisteredPackages

* C:/Windows/AppPatch/ (Important system files, at least they look important to me)

* C:/Windows/..... (Don't select the whole folder, but all the important files in it, like explorer.exe, taskman.exe and such. (These files should probably be within the 5% I put with Automatic, but just to be sure select them here))

* C:/Program Files (Program files... More explanation needed? Go ask your dad or ask the IT people at your school and laugh at them when they don't know...)

* C:/Documents and Settings/ (Select all folders here except for the folders that contain those large video, mp3 or photo collections you want out of the way.

* Any other files you use frequently.



Other options:


* Using the 'Excluded files' option

Excluded files won't be processed during the defragmentation job. They will be left alone, no matter to what category(Archive, High Performance or Other) they belong. This might seem like a useless option to the untrained eye, but it's not. It might come in very handy some time. For example: When i've got some files, that UD marks as part of the 5% most frequently used data I selected for high performance, which is want to put into the archive region for a very long time because I won't be using them anymore then I can use this option. First you select the files in the Archive section and run deragmentation(in which you only select the option 'Respect archive', so do not select 'Respect high performance'). Now these files will reside in the Archive region. After you did this you probably want to optimize the placement of your High Performance files too, but you can't do that because then the file you just put inside the Archive region will be replaced to the High Performance region again... So after you ran a defragmentation(in which you only selected the option 'Respect archive') you just put those files into the 'Excluded files' section and they will be left alone. Now you can go ahead and run a consolidate defragmentation with 'Respect high performance' selected too. (Remember to always have 'Respect archive' selected, otherwise all your archive files will be consolidated to the outer bands of your HD, and that is something you don't want because then you'll have to place them back to the inner bands again, which is a waste of your valuable time.


* Put directories close to MFT

Whatever defragmentation job you're running (except for 'Fragmented files only') always select Put directories close to MFT. I don't know exactly why, but the MFT and the directories are always accessed at the same time or right after each other. So they should be close to each other for improved performance. This way the HD won't have to search this much. It also helps SystemBoosterXP(by Disktrix) do it's job, dramatically. SystemBoosterXP is a RAM utility which loads your frequently used files in RAM before they are even asked for, this way the HD(slower than RAM) doesn't first have to find them and load them. For a guide on SystemBoosterXP, which has a much better layout than my guide does, go here.


* Respect layout.ini

I don't recommend using layout.inI at this moment. Since UD seems to have a hard time handling it correctly, I will try it out every new release and see when it gets better...


* Resource usage

Unless you're multitasking a lot, I recommend setting it to 100%. When you're running a defragmentation job overnight or whilst you're away you should set it to 100% too. If you set it to Auto, it'll use less resources but will take much longer for the defrag to complete, even when you're not using your computer.


* How often should I defrag?

I recommend doing a Folder/File name defrag with Strict Placement for HP and Fast Placement for A once every month(if you do not install much programs in a month, more than 5) and running a Folder/File name defrag with Fast Placement for HP and Fast Placement for A or a Fragmented files only defrag once every 1/2 week(s).



Two or more HD's:

At this point I don't think I will be making a guide for people with two HD's or more. I don't have two HD's myself so I can not test this. It's even more complicated due to the fact that I don't know how big your HD's are and that problem is minor when just using one, but when using two or more HD's this problem is much bigger. I also don't know the 'preselection' you guys made, most people have a HD containing Windows, Program Files and Games and another one with Movies, MP3's and images, but not all of you do. This makes it even harder to make an universal, works for everyone guide for two or more HD's. If you do own two HD's try to read the Help file, my guide and the note below and add some own input to make a configuration that's best for your HD's. If you use them in RAID(0, 1 or 0+1) and see two or more drives as just one you can just apply my guide for one HD. If you didn't make a preselection when using 2 HD's you could try to place Windows on the outer tracks of the first drive and Program Files on the outer tracks of the second drive and place all Data on the inner sections of both drivers, or Consolidate all Data(when it's not much) right after you HP files. This would be better and give higher performance than using my note below and making a preselection. So method before is preferable, but method below is much easier to accomplish when you already did make a preselection.


Short configuration note for two HD's(With preselection 'Data' and 'Main'): On your 'Data HD' you should use Folder/File name method and select all files in High Performance, actually they are all Archive, but since the whole HD consists of Archive files you should put them to the outer tracks for faster access. On your main HD(Windows, Programs and Games) you should select all files I mentioned in high performance for High Performance and you should put all files that are on the main HD and are mentioned in Archive in this guide in Archive.


- Ash.


My Other tutorials:

Password Encrypt Your Files And Folders!, How To Password Encrypt Your Files.

How To Move Files Or Folders Quick Than Another Other Program

Make Windows Xp Run Much Faster! (100% Working)

Edited by Ash-Bash (see edit history)

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