Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Free disk partitioning tool - gparted

I've used partition magic in the past, and it's a great tool. But it does cost money, and being able to do the same thing for free is always nice :)

It's called gparted. It's free and open source and runs on top of linux (don't worry it works with windows, and you don't need to install anything).

You can download it from there. Download the stable cd ISO image. At this point you can burn this ISO image to a CD using whatever cd burning application you normally use. Once the disk is finished, just reboot your PC and select the option to choose your boot device and select the CD drive to boot from. Everything runs off the CD so there's no need to install anything to the hard drive.

If you prefer, you can boot gparted from from a usb thumb drive. Its a fairly small boot image, so a 256meg thumb drive will give you more then enough space.

To do this, you can download another open source and free utility called UNetbootin from here: Again, there's nothing to install. Just run the program you downloaded, select the ISO image, choose the gparted iso you downloaded, select your thumb drive and let it do it's thing.
WARNING: doing this will erase whatever is currently on your thumb drive so make sure you've backed up anything on there you might need.

After you do this, plug the thumb drive into whatever PC you want to use this on, reboot the PC and at the start up screen, look for whatever key combo you need to press to select the boot device, and if you are using a relatively modern PC you should have a USB option. Select that and in a few seconds you should be up and running with gparted. It has a fully graphical interface and you can use the mouse and keyboard to shrink, enlarge, move, delete or copy partitions from the same drive or another another drive.

There you go - totally free hard drive partition management (except for the cost of a CD or thumb drive).

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