This past week, I finally got around to doing some long delayed work on an old XP system, including an OS re-install. This particular machine is equipped with two Hard drives, with the first drive split into two partitions.
Rather than getting all caught up in work, for the sake of work, with this old machine, I simply booted into Partition Wizard’s free Bootable CD, which allowed me to resize the primary partition, convert the partition from FAT32 to NTFS (told you it was old!), and format.
Using this really outstanding free application, reminded me that I had previously reviewed Partition Wizard in January of this year. So, here’s an update to that earlier review – the emphasis is on the installable version, but the Bootable CD version has virtually the same functionality.
Partition Your Hard Drive/s Freely with Partition Wizard
There are a number of sound reasons to partition today’s large Hard Drives. The best reason I can think of (from a personal perspective), for partitioning is simply this – data organization.
Additional good reasons to partition could include, keeping your valuable data separate from the operating system so that if you are faced with an OS reinstall following an infection, you can do so without losing irreplaceable data. As well, a multiple boot configuration (resident on one of my machines), which allow users to have more than one operating systems on a computer, requires multiple partitions.
While we’re talking about an OS reinstall following a malware infection, let me just remind you that partitioning is NOT a substitute for backing up your important data. Hard Drives can, and do, fail – much more often than most people realize. A good backup strategy is an absolute must.
On my Windows 7 machine I have only one Hard Drive (although my other machines have multiple internal Hard Drives), so I have partitioned this drive as follows:
- Partition 1 – Operating system and programs
- Partition 2 – Data files
- Partition 3 – Research projects
- Partition 4 – Videos
- Partition 5 – Music
- Partition 6 – Photos
The are a number of free Windows partitioning applications available for download over the Internet, but the one I have found to be the most useful, and easiest to use, particularly for those users who are less technically inclined is, Partition Wizard (last updated August 16, 2010). The latest edition supports removable storage devices such as flash drives and memory cards.
Partition Wizard with its simple user interface allows you to easily create, delete, format, move, resize partitions, and more. Users of 64 bit systems are in luck -Partition Wizard supports Windows Vista and Windows 7 – 64 bit.
The Main interface of Partition Wizard has five parts: Tool Bar, Action panel, Legend bar, Disk map, and Disk / Partition List.
- In the Tool Bar, some of the common functions of managing partitions are listed.
- The Action Panel divides the functions into two sections: Partition Operations and Disk Operations. It also shows the partitioning operation commands not yet carried out by user.
- The Legend bar at the bottom of the screen displays the different kinds of legends with various colors used in Partition Wizard.
- The Disk Map gives an intuitive preview of the partitions, or the free spaces.
- The Disk / Partition List shows all the disks and partitions in the system as well as detailed information about them.
After selecting a partition, you can carry out any of the numerous partitioning functions through the top menu, Tool Bar, Action Panel, or through the left click and right click of the mouse.
Some operations will require the computer to restart. When prompted, Partition Wizard will restart the computer and log in Windows in Native Mode to continue the unfinished operations. After your confirmation of restart, Partition Wizard will carry out this task automatically.
Resize/ Move partitions
Change Partition Label
Delete all partitions
Convert file system
Initialize to MBR disk
Initialize to GPT disk
Supported File System: Supports the most commonly used Windows file systems, including FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS.
Supported Hard Disks: Partition Wizard supports all hard disks recognized by Windows such as IDE, SATA, SCSI, USB external disks, Fire wire disks and so on. Partition Wizard also supports RAID devices. All OS-recognized RAID devices can be handled by Partition Wizard. Moreover, Partition Wizard supports disks with capacity up to 2TB. It will support up to 32 disks.
Download at: Download.com
Note: This edition is free for home uses only. However, there is a business edition, also free, which can be downloaded at Download.com.
A little extra something: A Partition Wizard Bootable CD is available, which allows users to boot a computer directly into Partition Wizard to manage partitions. Features include Rebuild MBR, Partition Recovery, Move/Resize Partition, Copy Partition, Create Partition, Delete Partition, Format Partition, Convert File System, Hide/Unhide Partition, Explore Partition and more.
Download Partition Wizard Bootable CD at: Partition Wizard
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