I was a little disappointed when I discovered that the defrag utility in Vista is pretty much "headless." In case you hadn't guessed, I'm a little on the propeller-head side, so I like seeing the graphs of the file-system allocation and I can be induced into a hypnotic trance watching the defragger go about it's business.
So, I went and did some digging and I've come around to think....I'm ok with the Vista defrag. I realize that the graph and the GUI defrag process is mostly eye-candy, and the vast majority of the consumer market has no idea what defrag is or does. Not to mention, after the first 30 seconds watching the defragger do its thing, it's about as exciting as watching grass grow. If you have time to eye-ball the defragger....I would say you got to much time on your hands;)
But what about us alpha-geek contenders ;)? I need to be able to force a defrag on external drives that aren't always connected to my system, which means I can't rely on the auto-defrag to optimize these drives. In my case, I regularly travel with a 60 GB 7200 RPM bus-powered HD I put together which holds most of my VPC images and a 250 GB 7200 RPM harddrive I put together which I use for misc storage (iso's, backups, etc.) and some less frequently used VPC images. Unless I'm doing some specific work in the evenings, I don't usually have these connected overnight. Maybe when WiMAX is widespread (not that far out), I'll be more inclined to connect up every night, but for now the hassle is rarely worth it.
The solution for us super-duper power-users (or wanna-bes)....Command line baby!!! Remember those days...it seems we've come full circle (not sure if that's good or bad :s). Of course you could go get a defrag utility to give you back the nice GUI, but what's the fun in that?! Open an administrative command window (yes you do need to use elevated privileges) and type the following:
To run an analysis on the C: disk enter:
defrag c: -a -v
And to run a full defrag on my external V: drive:
defrag v: -c -w
Now we all know enough to be truely dangerous....Maybe in all my spare time, I'll use this as an excuse to play with WPF and create a graphical representation (once again the full-circle thing).
Sometimes progress ends up making the impossible easy, and the easy really difficult. C'est la vie!