Partition Wizard Home Edition: excellent, free partition management utility

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Partition Wizard is a free partition management utility that works on both 32bit and 64bit systems. It offers a wide range of functions, including creating, resizing, formatting, copying,

deleting, and hiding partitions. Other functions include setting active partitions, changing drive letters, performing hard drive surface scans, checking the file system on your partitions, and even converting partitions from FAT to NTFS.

Partition Wizard also includes an option to create (or download) a bootable CD that can be used for recovery functions such as rebuilding the MBR (Master Boot Record) of your hard drive, or for performing partition management operations.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you would have encountered two kinds of free partition management software: a Linux-based live-cd that can be booted into (GpartedParted Magic), or a desktop-based software that typically looks a lot like the (non freeware) classic Partition Magic (Easeus Partition Master for example). Partition Wizard belongs to the latter category; in fact, it looks so deceptively similar to Easeus Partition Master as to make me wonder if somehow they were based on the same code. However, there was one small yet crucial distinction between the two: Partition Wizard is provided free of charge for both 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Windows, while the 64bit version of Easeus Partition Master, for some reason, is not free.

My experience using this software: I have used this software over two weeks to perform a number of partition creation and resizing operations, and I must say I am very impressed with it. From a purely subjective viewpoint it seems to perform major resizing operations very rapidly given a large volume of data (70 gigs on 80 gig drive and a very large number of files). It employs the standard virtual system whereby the user can request a number of changes and then “apply” them at a single stroke when he/she is ready.

More notes:

  • Supports disk/partition sizes larger than 2TB.
  • Supports RAID devices.
  • Converts dynamic disks to basic disks (more on these here).
  • Bootable media: can be created within the application or you can download and burn an ISO image from the program home page.

Freewaregenius 5-Star Pick

The verdict: excellent free software that does exactly what it says. If you’re looking for a top-notch “Partition Magic” replacement that you can run and use from within the Windows environment (as opposed to the LiveCD types), this is the program you were looking for.

I also like the fact that Partition Manager is a swiss-army-knife style collection of hard drive tools in a single place (surface scans, renaming drive letters, converting FAT32 to NTFS, rebuilding the Master Boot Record), which to me makes this a must have program. Recommended.

Version Tested: 4.2.2

Compatibility: 32bit & 64bit versions of Windows XP, Vista, 2000 Professional. Does NOT support Windows Server 2000, Server 2003, Server 2008.

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 6.7 megs).