Defragmenting Windows Home Server
I was noticing some of the disk access on my Windows Home Server was running a bit sluggish and I thought about how usually when this happens on other computers, I’ll run a defrag… but since Windows Home Server has a different filesystem, you can’t really just do a stanard defrag, can you?
Turns out, there are Windows Home Server defrag products.
The two that seem to be the most popular are PerfectDisk 10 and Diskeeper 2009. Both of those have WHS-specific versions that integrate nicely with the WHS console and understand that filesystem. There’s a great head-to-head review of these products over at We Got Served. The end result? It’s a tie - they are comparable products.
I ended up choosing PerfectDisk based on the price point. It costs just over half of what Diskeeper costs ($50 vs. $80) and I found this coupon code (SUMMERFUN20 - expires June 30) over at Philip Churchill’s site that got me $10 off that so I’ve got WHS defrag for $40. Can’t beat that.
UPDATE 1/26/2010: I noticed after about a couple of weeks of PerfectDisk for WHS use that I was getting health warnings every three or four days on my WHS system disk. At first I thought I was going to have to replace the disk, but on a hunch I disabled defragmentation of the system drive. While the warnings on the system drive stopped, I did get a warning on another drive, so I disabled PerfectDisk on the WHS entirely. Since then I haven’t gotten any disk health warnings. I’ve run all the disks through extensive diagnostics so I have to blame PerfectDisk for the warnings. I’m going to post to their user community and see if anyone else is having the same issue, but in the meantime, YMMV.
UPDATE 2/5/2010: I’ve started talking with PerfectDisk support about the issues I’m seeing. I’ll keep updates running on the explanatory blog entry.