Product Type: other Operating Systems
Member Name: TheGoodSurveyer
Advantages: Powerful partition management
I've used many partition editors and managers over the years, until I heard of Parted Magic (http://bc.vc/KN3uOb), which is a free open source Linux based partition manager and a mini operating system.
=== Partition Management ===
There are many uses of partition editors and managers in the typical home PC system. Using the old DOS based fdisk and later (non-DOS) automatic partition management tools were good enough for a while, but with an increase in the need for customisation, repair and maintenance; it has become essential to have access to tools giving advanced editing options.
Advanced disk volume management is a vital part of checking the authenticity of a digital storage drive, whether it's a hard drive or a USB flash drive. This is especially important for adjusting faulty devices to enable them for practical data storage.
=== Parted Magic Contents ===
The bootable mini operating system contains GParted partition management, offering powerful free disk management tools for a typical home PC. Parted Magic has Firefox built-in, which works almost as if you have an operating system installed; the missing features are multimedia plugins, which you may not really have any use for when dealing with drives and partitions. There are several accessories, tools and a text based web browser for anyone who prefers using ELinks.
Benchmarking and hardware information tools are especially useful when determining the authenticity of a USB flash drive, which you may have purchased from an ebay seller. You can run hardware testing tools and generate reports, which can be saved for later records. Although there is H2testw (http://bc.vc/DdTLpC) in Windows, which benchmarks USB flash drives. It doesn't offer any repair options, which Parted Magic's partition manager does. I'll write an explanation for making USB counterfeit oversized drives usable, because if you're a victim, you're aware ebay won't help you. You'll have to make the drive usable, which isn't too difficult, but will reduce the volume size to what the drive is capable of handling.
The Partition Manager (labelled "Partition Editor" on the Parted Magic Desktop) allows you to create from a list of ten partition table types. You may be familiar with MS-DOS, which is the most common Windows compatible Partition table. The new GUI Partition Table is also supported, and unlike Windows, this offers the capability to use multiple drives with different partition tables simultaneously. If you're running a Unified Extensible Firmware Interface system; you may have noticed you can't install some Windows operating systems on an MS-DOS partition. This is because the operating system can only handle the computer's firmware, if it's running from a compatible partition table.
GParted allows editing and checking partitions, and can be used as an alternative to Windows chkdsk. It can also be used for data rescue on many partition and volume types, which is very rare to find in many non-free partition managers. The Partition Manager can also handle sixteen partition types for formatting, resizing and editing. Resizing partitions is made easier with the slider bar, which adjusts the size by left clicking, holding, and sliding the bar. Entering the values is more accurate, but you may prefer this method. Advanced volume capacity alignment options aren't available, but they're not available in most partition managers, so it doesn't count as criteria for down rating the software. There is a basic function to align the drive's storage capacity to the cylinders, which may be useful with older hard drives.
Although Parted Magic is Linux based, and exFAT support on Linux is very limited; the partition manager fully supports the exFAT partition table in the new versions. If you're a Linux user; you may prefer BTRFS, which has a much greater data and storage volume handling capability than exFAT. I usually stick to NTFS for drives containing user data, and rarely have the need for exFAT or BTRFS. As we see improvements in storage volume size; BTRFS may become the ideal partition type for data storage.
=== IMPORTANT ===
The tools in this bootable system should be used with care, and boot protection should be applied to a computer to avoid unauthorised access. Using this software, someone may be able to gain unauthorised access to your files or wipe a login password protection using this software. Always make sure relevant security measures are in place, to avoid such problems.
=== My Conclusion ===
I would give Parted Magic five stars for the powerful features, ease of use and high level of compatibility. A very important thing to consider is that it's completely free; so you won't be wasting you money on an expensive partition manager. You won't have to worry about problems of limited compatibility, nor chase up a company for a refund.
=== Web links ===
Parted Magic: http://bc.vc/KN3uOb
Parted Magic Help Forum: http://bc.vc/DodIUj
Summary: Top partition manager with very powerful features and is highly compatible
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