There are lots of disk defraggers in the market, but Raxco PerfectDisk is one of the best that I’ve seen to date. Now the Gaithersburg, Md., company is expanding the scope of its flagship product to further improve computer performance and security.
Raxco’s new product, PerfectDisk Rx Suite (US$39.95), is built around five components: a disk optimizer, a registry cleaner, a free space creator, a file eraser and a Windows settings tweaker.
For the new offering, Raxco has redesigned PerfectDisk’s interface so it gives you a quick visual peek into the health of your computer. It includes a “health meter” that displays the soundness of your system from poor to fair to excellent.
When I launched the program for the first time, it gave my system a poor health rating. From what could tell, it was because I had never run any of the suite’s programs on my computer before.
Not only was this evaluation surprising because I had done a complete system restore just two weeks prior to installing Rx, but a little annoying since the program couldn’t know what shape my system was in before performing any diagnostics on it.
Space Restoration Technology
The disk optimization component of the program contains several useful features.
It will defragment your files — that is, put them together so that they’re on contiguous sectors on your hard drive — so your system can have fast access to them.
It includes a StealthPatrol feature that defragments and optimizes your hard drive when your computer is idle and when fragmentation reaches a certain threshold. That allows your hard disk to be continuously defragmented without slowing down the performance of your computer.
With its exclusive Space Restoration Technology, the software will completely consolidate free space on your hard drive into the largest block possible to ensure its optimum performance.
When the program optimizes your drive, it writes your files to it based on usage. That can not only minimize future disk problems but also improve your system’s performance.
The registry component cleans the Windows Registry of deadwood.
The registry is a database of settings, file locations and other information essential for the smooth running of your system. Every time you make a change in your system, the registry changes. Over time, that can result in all sorts of debris collecting in your registry.
PerfectDisk Rx can eliminate that debris and improve the speed and stability of your system.
Since messing with the registry can create as many problems as it solves, the software allows you to back up anything you delete with it so you can restore those deletions should they result in unforeseen consequences.
As someone who has been burned more than once by the results of registry cleaners, I’d also recommend creating a new restore point with Windows Restore before tinkering with your system’s registry.
Wipes and Tweaks
The recapture space component performs your typical search and destroy functions on temporary and Recycle Bin files.
It will also perform the more dicey operation of eliminating duplicate files. The reason that operation is dicey is because some programs need files located in more than one location to operate. Removing one copy of the file can foul up the operation of those programs.
The file eraser component of PerfectDisk Rx will scrub information from your computer that can lead to invasions of privacy — such as your Internet browsing history, Internet cookies, Internet cache files and history of most recently used files.
The tweak component allows you to make some minor adjustments in your system to improve performance (turn off fast menus, visual effects and such), bolster security (disable browser extensions, turn off flash animations and so forth) and alter its appearance (disable balloon tips and CD autorun, and remove default items from the Start Menu.
PerfectDisk Rx provides a unified way to keep your PC healthy. However, most of its components — other than disk optimization — can be found in more robust forms in other standalone or PC maintenance suites should you want stronger medicine for your computer.
John Mello is a freelance business and technology writer who can be reached at [email protected].