The PC world is packed with hard drive defragging tools, many free, some commercial, but all promising to speed up your PC by reducing hard drive defragmentation. What they very rarely do, though, is give you any precise details on the problem. How much are you really slowed down by fragmented files? No-one wants to say, apparently.
Fragger offers a simple way to uncover this interesting information, however, by giving you the ability to fragment and defragment files on an individual basis. To use it, you would first select one or two or the largest files associated with an application, such as Outlook's PST file. Then launch Fragger, point it at that file and you can choose to split it into, say, 5,000 fragments, scattered randomly over the drive.
Once the program has finished its work, you can then reboot, try reloading the application you're testing, and see how much slower it seems to be. We tried this with Outlook on a test PC and found it doubled the launch time, so fragmentation can be a real problem for us (though the precise results will vary according to your hardware).
When you've finished, then, it's good to know that Fragger can also restore individual files to their more compact original state. Specify the file you need, click Analyze File, then Defragment, and Fragger will shuffle the file around until it's in one contiguous block (or as close to that as your hard drive will allow).
This latter function also means you could use Fragger as an optimisation tool, and there's no doubt it's better than Windows Defrag alone. It does at least let you try to speed up a particular application by selecting files associated with it and ensuring they're defragmented. We think you'd be better off with a more comprehensive defragger that can work with individual files, though - Defraggler, available on this site, is a good example.
Please also note that the program is free for personal use only.
An easy-to-use way to test the effects of file fragmentation on your PC and applications