Free Partition Managers, Editors and Recovery (Partitioning Software)
Manage your partitions: create, resize, move, copy, convert, unerase or undelete your partitions
Free Partitioning Software (Partition Editors, Managers, and Recovery Tools)
The partition table editors listed on this page allow you to create, resize, move, concatenate, copy, undelete (unerase) the partitions that you have on your hard disk (or hard disks). For example, if you wish to create more partitions from the existing one (or more) that you already have on your disk, these tools will allow you to resize the existing partition to make space for more partitions without losing your data that is currently on your existing partition. They can also assist you in creating, and sometimes also formatting, new partitions. Some of the tools may have the ability to slide your partition, that is move your existing partition from one location on the disk to another location, without losing data, as well as convert a partition from one type to another (for example, converting from NTFS to FAT32 or vice versa). Still others may be able to help you recover partitions that you have already deleted, that is unerase or undelete partitions.
If you want a commercial tool to manage your partitions, you may want to check out Terabyte Unlimited's BootIt Bare Metal, which, besides being a partitioning software, is also a boot manager and a backup and imaging program.
Create, Convert, Edit, Move, Undelete, Resize, Copy Partitions (Partitioning Software)
- GParted LiveCD
GParted is a well-known Linux application that allows you to create, delete, resize (some partition types), move (some partition types), copy and check partitions on your hard disk. This version of GParted comes in the form of an ISO for a CD, which you can burn to your CD to create a bootable CD from which you can modify your hard disk partitions. GParted supports the following partition types to varying degrees: ext2, ext3, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, HFS, HFS+, JFS, linux swap, ReiserFS, Reiser4, and XFS.
- Partition Logic
Partition Logic allows you to create, delete, format and move partitions and modify their attributes. It can also clone hard disks, that is, make a copy of an entire hard disk onto another (possibly new) hard disk. It boots from a CD or a floppy disk and runs as a standalone system. At the time this was written, it has some limitations, including the ability to only format FAT partitions, the inability to partition SCSI hard disks, the lack of support for USB mice and keyboards, etc.
SystemRescueCD is a bootable system rescue CD-ROM for PCs containing utilities that allow you to manage and edit your hard disk partitions (GNU Parted and QTParted), image your hard disk partitions (Partimage), a partition table backup and restore utility (Sfdisk), various file system tools that allow you to format, resize and edit existing partitions on your hard disk. It does not depend on the operating system you have installed on your hard disk - the CDROM is self-contained and is designed to serve as a rescue disk. There is also a version for the blind (it incorporates a speech reader).
- Ultimate Boot CD
Ultimate Boot CD is a bootable CDROM for PCs that contain a variety of software for diagnosing and fixing problems on your computer, managing your hard disk partitions (including creating, resizing, copying, moving, etc), imaging or cloning your hard disk partitions (it includes Partition Saving, see elsewhere on the Free Hard Disk Backup and Image Software page, resetting your (forgotten) password on NT, Win2k, or XP, scanning your hard disks for viruses (it includes some free antivirus utilities), etc. The software included on this boot CD include a number of those already listed on this page (the one you're reading).
- Ranish Partition Manager
Ranish Partition Manager is a hard disk partitioning tool that allows you to create, copy, resize primary and extended partitions. The later versions of the Partition Manager (2.43 and above) apparently allow you to work with up to 30 primary partitions. Also available from that same site is the XOSL (Extended Operating System Loader) Boot Manager that gives you the ability to choose which operating system (OS) you wish to boot from when you start your system. I think it works under DOS, so you can simply put it on a DOS startup disk, reboot to the disk, and work on your partitions from there.
- The Partition Resizer
The Partition Resizer resizes and moves your existing partitions for hard disks up to 2 TB (that is, 2 terabytes). It can handle both primary and extended partitions. It is able to move your data (where necessary) so as to make space for (say) an expanded FAT which may be needed if you are increasing the partition table. You can resize (expand or shrink) or move FAT partitions (including FAT32 partitions) and move NTFS partitions (though not resize). The program is a DOS program, and you can put it on a startup disk, reboot to it, and work on your system from there.
TestDisk is a tool to check and undelete partitions. It essentially searches for lost partitions, and allows you to repair errors in the partition table, create a partition table, create a new MBR, etc. It works with FAT32, FAT16, FAT12, NTFS (Windows NT, If you have accidentally lost (or deleted) a partition, you might want to try TestDisk to see if it can find the partition and recover it. 2000, XP), ext2, ext3, BeFS (used by BeOS), BSD disklabel, CramFS, IBM Multiboot, JFS, Linux swap (versions 1 and 2), NSS (Netware), ReiserFS 3.5 and 3.6, and XFS. The program runs under DOS, Windows 9x/NT/2000/XP/2003, Linux, FreeBSD, and Sun Solaris. It is licensed under the GNU GPL.
- Extended FDISK
Extended FDISK allows you to create and delete partitions and logical disks on your hard disk. It appears to come with a boot manager (that allows you to choose between multiple operating systems when you boot).
- Cute Partition Manager
Cute Partition Manager is a freeware application that allows you to create partitions (up to 100 partitions per hard disk), delete partitions, change the boot flag and partition types of partitions, etc. The download is a Windows executable that creates the Cute Partition Manager bootable CD. You will have to boot your computer using the bootable CD and run the partition manager from there.
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