Is the Disk Defrag utility built into Windows 2008 and Windows 2008 R2 good enough?

I see lots of 3rd party defragmentation tools out there but I'm wondering if they were meant for Windows 2003 and below?

I don't have any special fragmentation problems, I use only W2k8 R2 but would like to setup a regular schedule and I'm wondering if there's any reason to spend money on a 3rd party solution.

Thanks in advance.

5 Answers 5


I would vote for Defraggler (www.defraggler.com). It's small, easy to use and works fine for me.

  • right, but the question is ...isn't the OS one good enough? I know there's plenty of options just don't understand why.
    – user27387
    Dec 8, 2009 at 19:33
  • Because the OS one isn't smart enough. It's slower, it's just not that good. If you have enough free disk space, it will work fine, but if your disk is near-full, only external tools are able to clean up stuff (that's my personal experience as my disks are always near-full). Dec 9, 2009 at 11:31

If you don't have any specific problems then I would say "yes", it's plenty good enough. Most 3rd party defraggers are written to address issues with the Windows one (such as not being able to defrag certain files, like the pagefile) but if you're not experiencing these issues why would you look for a solution for a problem you don't have?

  • you are right, but if he has for example file server fragmentation became problem after time, I try solve fragmentation on file server by Windows degragmentation but it wasn`t very good(a lot of files stay fragmented) then I buy O&O defrag Server(oo-software.com/corp/en/products/oodefragnetserver/index.html) and it is great.
    – drizzt
    Dec 8, 2009 at 12:47
  • Is it still true then that the built in defrag tool doesn't do the pagefile and MFT?
    – user27387
    Dec 8, 2009 at 19:34

Contig is useful.

Diskkeeper, which is one of the popular 3rd party defrag tools claims to support all editions of Windows Server 2008.

I've never had the need to pro-actively defrag windows servers. But you may have special needs.

  • That's my point, no special needs here just wondering what the big deal seems to be when folks say that windows defrag isn't good enough. Maybe they all work for Diskeeper (with one k) ;-)
    – user27387
    Dec 8, 2009 at 19:32
  • They have 'value add' features and/or unique selling points. Diskkeeper lets you defrag open files, not sure about the others. prettier gui's? Dec 8, 2009 at 22:06

Use the Server 2008 defrag until you go SSD. Once you get an SSD in the system you want to not defrag the volumes that are on the SSD(s).

Save your money on defrag software to buy better hardware instead.

  • Funny, if I went SSD money would not be the concern ;-)
    – user27387
    Dec 8, 2009 at 19:31

Ancient question, I know...

But I can add a data point. On a Windows 2008 R2 server that has had the weekly built in defrag scheduled task enabled for months, if not years, I decided to try contig on the data drives. There are maybe 100GB of random office environment files docs, images, etc. - and to my surprise, contig found thousands and thousands of fragments, most of them on files that haven't been edited in years. I assume the built in defrag is doing something, but I think it's worth using a 3rd party tool like contig once in a long while too.

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