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Smart Defrag program from CNet

by Matt910 / March 1, 2009 6:54 AM PST

I just downloaded the Smart Defrag program from CNET.
After running it, my drive was 4 TIMES WORSE!
Do Not download or use this program!
Your web page would NOT allow me to write a review of this program to warn anybody else.
I swear, if I can sue, you are in big trouble!
Computer is now very slow, barely running and everything is red on the drive, meaning MAJOR FRAGMENTATION.
This was what the so called program was supposed to fix, not make much worse. Will now have to reformat drive, wipe computer clean, and loose many files. Thanks one hell of a lot.

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And why would you have to "loose (sic) ...
by Paul C / March 1, 2009 7:45 AM PST

...many files"? Does the word "backup," when applied to personal computing, mean anything to you?

I submit that if a defragmenter made a slow running computer run even slower, the fault isn't in the defrag, but rather in everything else that may be happening on that hard drive. When was the last time you scanned for malware? With what programs? And what were the results?

I'm sorry, but I repeat that if what you say is true, the probable reason is a condition that preceded the installation and use of the utility you mention (the effectiveness or lack of effectiveness of which I have no knowledge, BTW).

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Maybe you didn't use it correctly?
by EdHannigan / March 1, 2009 8:01 AM PST

Anyway, this might have been better at one of the computer forums.

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Smart Defrag
by Matt910 / March 1, 2009 9:23 AM PST

Thanks, am sorry, am not familiar with CNet, the download of the dreadful SMART DEFRAG program was my first contact here. I was not granted access to write a user review to warn other people what the program did to my computer so the only way I saw to warn others was to post a warning in a forum system I was totally unfamiliar with.
I am running another older but trusted defrag program now to attempt to repair the dammage done by that program. It usually takes about 20 minutes, but has been running for over 2 hours so far. Wish me luck and stay away from smart Defrag. Turns out, it was anything but smart. Neither the program, nor me being foolish enough to use it untested. Thanks for your reply and hope to learn more about the forum system here.

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Defrag takes a loooong time.
by James Denison / March 1, 2009 10:57 AM PST
In reply to: Smart Defrag

I sometimes do it across several episodes. Eventually it gets fully defragged. Typical method is to turn off AV and any automatic programs that look for new downloads etc. I then turn it on at night and go to bed. Sometimes it hangs up, so set it the next night. Eventually it gets done. Today's hard drives are quite big compared to defragging some older 3-10G hard drive that took less than an hour in the past.

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by Matt910 / March 1, 2009 11:18 AM PST

Thanks, I follow the same steps you mentioned also.
Gonna let it run overnight again also. First pass removed almost half of the newly fragmented files but disk is still in far worse shape than before I used the "Smart" defragger.
I wonder who/why they named it that? It certainly wasn't the "smart" thing to do in this case. <G>
Have a good evening!

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not bad
by oldie and goody / March 1, 2009 8:10 AM PST
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I suspect a problem before the program was run.
by James Denison / March 1, 2009 10:58 AM PST
In reply to: not bad

Too many NEVER defrag until they are having computer problems that often AREN'T related to fragmented files.

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very true
by oldie and goody / March 1, 2009 11:34 AM PST

I also do my defrags at night, with a 40 gb hd it is the only way to do it. And from what I see 40 is very small for a hd now.

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In addition to what Paul said....
by Josh K / March 1, 2009 9:19 AM PST

...you may want to review the disclaimer that appeared on your screen when downloading and/or installing the software.

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by Matt910 / March 1, 2009 9:33 AM PST

You sure hit that nail on the head, you are right.
However like most of us, we just click, "Yes, I accept" never thinking that an available program would cause us such dammage.
Who would have thought it? Now I know. Its definately "Use at your own risk!" A lesson I should have learned long ago, but still stupidly trusted the available program. Hence, my earlier warning to others so what happened to me wouldn't happen to someone else.
Thank you for your reply.

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I hear you
by Josh K / March 2, 2009 12:27 AM PST
In reply to: Really!

They call it "readme" for a reason but most people don't read it. I used to work in tech support. I got a call once from a woman who was getting an error message. The issue involved Norton Antivirus and Microsoft Access. I had seen this issue enough times that I downloaded some instructions from Symantec for correcting it. I forwarded them to her. 30 minutes later she called back saying the problem still wasn't fixed.

ME: Did you get the instructions I sent you around 30 minutes ago?

HER: Yes.

ME: Did you read them?

HER: No.

True story, I swear.

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by Matt910 / March 2, 2009 2:00 AM PST
In reply to: I hear you

Oh yes, I believe you! I also work in computer repair/maintenance.
(You'd never know it the way I downloaded and used that bad program...LOL)
Would you believe many people don't know what defrag, diskclean, cookies, updates etc..even are? It still amazes me everyday.
I sometimes wonder how they can even get their computers turned on.
I have seen many computers that have never been defragged or cleaned, full of temp files running with only 3% free space. And they couldn't figure out why their computer was getting slower...LOL, heck, I can't believe they didn't crash. Their Drives almost half fragmented... (kinda what I ended up with...btw, still haven't got back to normal after hours of work though making some improvement.
Thanks for the laugh!

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don't you have
by oldie and goody / March 2, 2009 2:39 AM PST
In reply to: ROFLMAO

a restore point set? But since you never said what OS you use it is hard to guess what you can do.

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by Matt910 / March 2, 2009 4:29 AM PST
In reply to: don't you have

Started out with Vista, but reformatted and put Win XP back on the
drive. I was not a fan of Vista, and I have been told I am not alone in that, but I mostly like older versions of some programs (Like XP)that I am more familiar with and do a fair to good job.
So, Win XP on 345 intel Celeron D processor, 512 meg Ram, 320GB hard drive.
Have restore points in many programs, but as far as I know, they don't
fix my defrag status, or at least the ones I have run so far haven't.
Will try the others though, Thanks!
I also use the original SPYBOT program which does a great job (so far anyway) of keeping any kind of spyware, adware, malware, etc from even getting in in the first place.
One thing I don't use is a spellchecker, though you've prob noticed that already...<G>
Take care.

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all you
by oldie and goody / March 2, 2009 4:47 AM PST
In reply to: XP

need to do is restore the system to back before you installed smart defrag, and you are suppsoed to fix others computers? OK

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by Matt910 / March 2, 2009 6:57 AM PST
In reply to: all you

Ran the restore of course, it restored all the files that it backs up, like the config, registry files etc. It does not of course
reverse time and uninstall new programs, files etc that are not part of the restore program, only the files that it keeps track of.
There was no "reverse/restore function " to the delinquent defragger.
Would have been nice to be that easy though.

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by oldie and goody / March 2, 2009 10:14 AM PST
In reply to: nope

but it always puts my system back in order and works like it did before, also gives the chance to go into add remove programs and delete what I don't want.

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by Matt910 / March 2, 2009 8:06 AM PST
In reply to: all you

With many of my programs having a restore point, it just hit me that you may have been talking about a Complete System Restore. If so, thats exactly what I am trying to avoid. While that will restore the computer back to its origional shape, it will not be a blessing.
Original files are so outdated, examples: It comes with adobe 7.0 on original setup. I am using ver 9.something now, the acrobat would be outdated, IE would be back to ver 5 or 6, I use 8 with updates now. I would lose maybe close to 100 drivers that I replaced and updated. Everything on here has been updated since the original files were installed. As well as losing the new registry entries for all the new programs, etc. that would not be in the restore files. If a full system restore was done, thats the same as reformatting here.
So much would be lost.

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System Restore versus Recovery/Repair/Re-Install
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 2, 2009 6:52 PM PST
In reply to: restore
System Restore.

Available from Start > All programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore.

If enabled, System Restore will create Restore Points, (backup files), of the registry and system files automatically when Windows is updated, or "User created" restore points before new software is installed. If an update or a new software install causes problems, System Restore will attempt to 'return' the system to what it was before the update/install. The user can choose which date/time to restore back to from within the System restore utility window.

Individual programs, software, applications, do not have their own restore points from within the software itself.


When 'all else fails' a user can attempt to;

a) Recover the system to it's initial new state, either using an inbuilt Recovery partition, (common on many OEM systems nowadays), or Recovery disks provided by the supplier or created by the user.

Everything is wiped clean and the system is returned to the state it was in when new.

b) Repair the system. This needs the original XP installation disk where a repair installation can be attempted. System files are replaced, and other critical files. Personal files should be preserved, but no guarantee is given.

c) Re-install. This typically reformats and re-installs the operating system from the XP CD. The whole of the old install is deleted.

Any files that 'cannot afford to be lost' and are backed up to different media, CD, DVD, external hard disk, etc, are preserved of course, and many users back up those installation .exe files they download from the internet, so they can re-install any software should such a failure occur.

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Thanks for clear directions, you should be in Tech Support!
by Matt910 / March 2, 2009 11:11 PM PST

Unfortunately, the built in Win Sys Restore was one of the first 5 steps I took in trying to repair the dammage. I also have an outside
backup & restore program installed, which is a hair better than the built in one, but not better enough. Neither one removed the super fragmentation I got after running the Smart Defrag.
(BTW, has anyone else used this program and what results were obtained from it?, Thanks!)
I also ran chkdsk/f from the command line, it helped minimally.
My McAffee and a few other programs have restore points/dates, but no help there. Have run DKLite defragger about 18 times now, each time removes a couple more frags but only half of the new total amount.
Everything I try removes a few, but too few, though I make a little progress, its not enough. Its looking more and more like a complete
sys wipe/restore from my partioned HD or the disk, I have both as well as the XP disk, but , God, I hate the thought of that, saving it as a last resort cause it will take weeks to get everything back to shape it was in cause of all the new drivers, updates, service paks, new program releases, security, microsoft updates..etc, etc, this computer was really tweaked. (it takes so long cause I use a dial-up ISP)
Looking more & more like reformatting...
Again, thanks for taking the time. You seem very knowlegable.

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What I would do now.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 3, 2009 2:05 AM PST

You seem to be persisting with undoing this defrag situation with another 3rd party defragmenter. Whether it is better than the inbuilt Windows Defragmenter or not I can't say from personal experience, but I find it difficult to understand that you are running this other defragmenter over and over again, and it is continuously 'unfragmenting' bit by bit of the hard disk.

That doesn't sound right. It should either defragment the whole disk in one go, (by design), or it is encountering problems. There should be no further fragmentation of the files on the disk after one run in such a short period of time.

So, time to sort this out. Be prepared, is the disk failing? Not always easy to tell. so it is time, whilst you have the time, to get all your backups done, and prepare yourself for a catastrophic disk failure which will require installing a new disk, and using your XP Install CD and drivers CD to perform a format to NTFS and full install.

That said, and so prepared if the worst happens, now is the time to use the Windows utilities to check the disk for errors, (CHKDSK), and then, after that, use the Windows own Disk Defragmenter. They go hand in hand, and although many will say the Windows defragmenter is sub-standard and slow, that is not my experience, nor that of many others.

CHKDSK - Open your My Computer icon on your Desktop or in your Start menu. Navigate to and highlight the disk you want to check. Right click, select Properties, then the Tools tab.

Select Check now under Error Checking. Select "Automatically fix file system errors" and "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors". If there are a lot of processes running in the background, or if Chkdsk determines that it should be run when you next restart your computer, it will suggest it. It is always advisable to run the Chkdsk from the restart in this case.

Depending on your disk size and how many files are on it, this could take hours. So set aside a half day or similar.

When done, and assuming the disk is still OK, CHKDSK will boot up into Windows. Disconnect from the internet, (if you have to close down again to do that, then do so and reboot), turnoff the firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware. Turn off the screen saver and any other background software you have running.

Then return to that hard disk Properties and select the disk defragmenter. Again, depending on the properties of the disk, the process could take hours so be prepared for that.

Lets see if we can nail this in one, (extended), fell swoop.


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another one to try
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restore points in many programs?
by jonah jones / March 2, 2009 5:05 AM PST
In reply to: XP

as far as i know, i only have restore points in one program (Restore)

when you run restore, restore points appear in bold type for each point set

you may have 1 a day, or a week or even a month (depending on the amount of time the computer is turned on)

one of the points "should" be marked defrag install


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by Matt910 / March 5, 2009 4:00 AM PST

Sorry about replying here... it told me thread was too long and couldn't continue it....but wanted to reply somewhere. I've got to get some free time and learn/explore your <CNet) site. I have been replying to the individual copy CNET sends to my email address. Haven't participated in Forums since I used to moderate a few on a Public Info BBS over 10 years ago, so am not familiar with it.
First off, I thank all of you for your help! (especially the guy with those detailed perfect instructions. Even my mom would have understood them... LOL (Thats a compliment!)
Well, I have solved the problem and the dammage has been undone.....Finally!
Part of the solution was pretty obvious.... Can't believe it took me so long to get it since I suppossedly fix computers... LOL
The other half of the solution was just downright strange...
and doesn't make a whole lot of sense... but it worked.
Its a long story though, will send it soon, I just want to log on tonight, learn the forums and the proper place to post it. Again, thanks everyone for your help.
Wait till you see how obvious the first part was.... <G>

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Nice to know it's fixed but would be
by Steven Haninger / March 5, 2009 5:33 AM PST
In reply to: Fixed

nicer to know what the fix was.

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I won against the computer!
by Matt910 / March 5, 2009 12:18 PM PST

[ The Case of the "FAULTY DEFRAGER" ]

OK, this is gonna be a real LONG... one... Writing this on NOTEPAD and hope to heck I can cut and paste it
to the forum or I've wasted a lot of time. Should work, but haven't tried it here before. With my luck,
who knows....I hope the forum can accept a message this long, its almost a book.
If it does work, grab a drink, sit back, and see if you can figure out the obvious solution before I
did. The clues of what I tried along the way almost scream the solution....
Let me know if you figure it out ahead of time.......
(Can you tell, I always wanted to be a mystery writer?... ROFLMAO!)
Our story starts with this anal retentive (but good looking!) guy who fixes computers (usually).
Our hero.. (again...ROFLMAO) lives by the philosophy of Sherlock Holmes (& Spock)
who said, "when all the obvious fails"..., (be damned if I can remember the rest of the quote,
but know you've heard it before) He obsesses over the littlest computer problem and won't give up till
he solves it by any means necessary, no matter how long it takes. He believes if something doesn't work,
then there is another solution that will. There is always another solution if you can just think of it.
He thinks "outside the box" (Maybe cause he ain't smart enough to think inside the box?)
So, having a slightly defragmented drive which neither the Windows defragger nor his outside defragger
will cure, our hero decides to download a 3rd defrag program from the internet, thinking this will
solve all his problems. Imagine the shock and indignation of the poor guy
(who apparently hasn't discovered spell check yet) when this new defrag program actually makes
it over 20 times worse! Extremely frustrated, Seeking vengence, and wanting to warn anyone else
from making the same mistake, he logs onto the site he got the program from and rants and raves
about what has happened. Not knowing the circumstances, and seeing this strange message, the regulars
on this site of course think he's "a few fries short of a happy meal!"
But they take the time and consideration to try and help him. All offering help and suggestions.
Nothing works.... He tries the built in restore program as well as the 3rd party restore program he had
installed. He runs chkdsk/f (checkdisk), the virus and spyware scanners, RegEdit and EVERYTHING
he can think of. Each thing reduces the defrag level just a tiny little bit. He keeps running DKLite,
his 3rd party defragger after each attempt but it only removes a few. For some reason, each time he
runs it, it removes 2 or 3 more. So, he keeps running it. Against logic, it removes a couple more each
time he runs it, while you think it should have done it all the first time. After running it about 18
times,it quits having any benefit. So, he finally thinks defrag ain't gonna help no more, what else
could he do? he doesn't believe the drive is ready to crash and can think of nothing else to try at
first. Racking whats left of his addled brain, and grasping at straws, he remembers that the last time
he logged onto JUNO (his backup email program) the modem handshake sounded really strange and it took
much longer to connect as well as being slower. Hmmm.. maybe this is an indication/cause/sympton of
the problem/solution, he wisely deduces..<LOL>. besides, theres not much else to try at this point.
So, he deletes JUNO, downloads a new copy and then runs the defrag program yet again.
20% of the newly defragmented files dissappear! (OK, thats your 2nd clue to the solution, got it yet?)
Wow, he thinks, I got it, its not the drive thats fragmented, its some programs on it!
Knowing he just spent 2 hours downloading the new ADOBE a month ago, he knew it was a large file
and since deleting a small program helped, maybe deleting a bigger program would help.
At this point, he was ready to try anything. So he deleted ADOBE, downloaded a new copy, and ran
defrag again! Another 15 to 20 % of the defragmentation level dissappeared!
(OK, at this point the solution is hitting you/us over the head! (Got It yet?)
OK, here it is....
At this point our hero knew he was finally on the right track!
"Gee," he said, "If there was only SOME way I could tell which files/programs were fragmented,
I could delete them, and get a new copy." If there was only some way to know which files had the
fragments in them.
Then he heard a little voice saying, "Read the defragment report, *******!"
Thats what he did and he saw exactly which programs to replace and he lived happily everafter!
Hope you enjoyed it! Who got the answer before the end?
It sure took me long enough! LOL
Problem solved, but it did leave a couple new questions.... which I will post in the help forum
tomorrow. Thanks everyone for your suggestions!
Good night guys/

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In other words
by Steven Haninger / March 5, 2009 7:21 PM PST

you have no clue. It's just fixed. Of course you said you're in the business of repairing computers. These forums offer free advice and thus compete with you. So you'd really have nothing to gain as a business person by providing feedback in a succinct and understandable way that could be shared again later...free of charge. Anyway, and despite your verbose explanation, I get your purpose.

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Steven. I deleted his post.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 7, 2009 4:46 AM PST

I deleted that post he made in the Computer Help forum. Sorry, I was just constructing an offensive alert on it to let the other Mods know why it was going when you posted your reply.

It was a nice, long, reply as well, Happy

His post. Yes it was directed at you, but I don't know why. You offered advice but he did not seem to be able to grasp that.

Such posts like that are not needed in these forums. That's why I deleted it. I hope you understand.


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Thank you for letting me know
by Steven Haninger / March 7, 2009 4:59 AM PST

Maybe I came off as a bit harsh in my final post to him in this thread. Clearly the topic didn't fit SE anyway. We're all just a bunch of mean spirited folks when we don't have to sit face to face. Otherwise, a bunch of teddy bears. Happy

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(NT) Reverting would not correct the frag status of his drive.
by Dan McC / March 2, 2009 8:52 PM PST
In reply to: don't you have
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