If you have a hard drive with a large capacity, then it’s a good idea to split the hard drive into two or more partitions, where you can create two logical drives, such as C: and D: drive. You would then install the operating system and other software on the C: drive, and you could keep your important documents, music and video files on the D: drive. This way you can protect your important files in case Windows fails or is infected by a virus. But that’s just one example.
Partitioning programs give you more options, such as: create, format, resize, copy, split and delete partitions, ensure data safety, convert to different file systems and fix problems on the hard drive.
I tried to select ten of the best programs out there, most of them free, because let’s face it, once you partition your hard drive, you may not need it again for a long time. Therefore it doesn’t make sense to spend money on such software. I have used Partition Manager several times and I was always amazed at how effective and simple to use it was. However, it was recently discontinued and old versions don’t support Windows Vista or 7.
This is my top 10 list:
- Partition Commander 11 – very good tool that supports Windows Vista/7 but it costs $49.95.
- Paragon Partition Manager – supports Windows 7.
- Acronis Disk Director – powerful tool that includes much more than partition manager, but it’s not free – buy it for $49.95.
- Partition Wizard – works similar to Partition Magic but supports all Windows systems. Home and Business editions are FREE.
- Easeus Partition Master – great partitioning tool and it supports Win 7. Home edition is FREE.
- Cute Partition Manager – Freeware and supports all Windows systems up to Win Vista.
- Partition Logic – supports Windows Vista but not 7.
- Active Partition Manager – one of the components of Active Boot Disk (Windows based LiveCD).
- Ranish Partition Manager – Ranish’ original page has been moved to Sourceforge. Visit the new link for the Sourceforge location as well as a list of great alternatives (edit Dec 2018).
- Partition Magic 8.0 – doesn’t support Windows Vista or Windows 7, but great for XP. Google old versions 7.0 or 8.0.
If you know of any other programs that may be better than some of my programs, please add a comment.