We put in a bunch of 160GB drives. If takes forever to defragment them. Had been running them at night but as the disks start reaching about 50 percent capacity they don't finish before people start arriving in the office. Someone ends up shutting them down because it brings everything to a crawl.
Your best bet is to switch to a better filesystem that doesn't fragment itself, like UFS. (Yes, NTFS is prone to fragmentation problems.)
For most NTFS servers a process runs in the background and constantly tries to keep the disk clean. This is the kind of thing you want to have running all the time, because it's able to keep up with the poor choices the OS makes.
Diskeeper on NTFS for a heavily used desktop here. I set it to defrag in the background every few hours on heavily used drives and longer intervals for less busy drives. It has a "self schedule" feature too, based on fragmentation level but I've never used/needed it. I'm very happy with the product.
Tried Diskeeper right after Executive Software took it over from DEC. Had nothing but problems with it at that time. That was about 3-5 years ago and it may have changed/improved. I don't even remember what the problems were but do recall the frustration. They also supplied the technology that MS used in their built-in defrag product which is useless on a large drive.
I'm locked into NTFS on Win2K servers.
Weekends don't work because we have a staff that does.
Guess I'll take another look at the current version of Diskeeper
You have a good memory :) Here is the story It regards Wins 98 On a tech site that I co-own we found and supported that replacing the 98 defrag by 2k defrag was saving a great deal of time (at least 200%) However we got a nice letter from MS lawyers asking us not to support that nice trick any longer at least we were happy that MS had any regards for us! Henry