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Partition Magic

by Harald Freisen

If you haven't heard about Partition Magic, it's time you got wise. FDISK.EXE, that dreaded program that was used to partition a hard disk in the dark ages of computerdom has finally met a timely death. Fdisk is not intuitive. It had a cryptic DOS interface that was used, maybe once, to set up a hard disk. Most of the time one ended up with one big DOS partition and very large cluster sizes. Any time Fdisk was used thereafter, came the realisation that everything that was on your hard disk before was completely and irrevocably GONE forever. 

With PowerQuest's powerful 32-bit software tool, you can dynamically create, resize, format, and move hard disk partitions. This ability maximises the efficiency of any file system and takes advantage of smaller cluster sizes. All this can be done on the fly and with very easy-to-use graphical menus. There is no loss of files or directories and you can easily copy files between partitions. 

Why consider repartitioning?

For all computer users with large hard disks, Fat 32, multiple disks, Win '95, NT, and OS/2, up to 50% of your 4Gb hard disk space could be wasted! 

The smallest area of a hard drive that can be written to is a cluster. Cluster sizes are determined by a disk limitation of 65,575 clusters. The larger the hard disk the larger the cluster size. A one-byte file would take up 32Kb of disk space on a 1024Mb hard disk and would use 64Kb on a 2048Mb or larger hard disk. A hard disk between one and two gigabytes with a single large partition has a cluster size of 32Kb. This leads to a potential waste of approximately 40% in disk space. Similarly a hard disk between 512Mb and 1023Mb would have 16Kb clusters and a potential waste of 25%. Repartitioning a hard disk as smaller multiple logical drives would naturally cause less waste. 

Multiple operating systems

For those of you who run multiple operating systems, you can partition a disk with its maximum of four primary partitions: each partition can house a separate operating system. The ability to shield one operating system from another insures the absence of inter-operating-system compatibility problems. Boot Manager, from IBM, is included and you can use this to switch easily between operating systems. 

Partition control

Partitions can easily be reconfigured from a primary partition to an extended partition. Logical drives can be created, sized, and easily formatted in any extended partition. FAT32 partitions are recognised and can be changed to FAT16 partitions. 

Partition Magic can be loaded and run in text mode from a bootable floppy disk, which can be a real savior in certain situations. 

This is one very powerful and easy to use piece of software. The excellent, easy-to-read-and-understand manual explains not only the functionality of Partition Magic but also hard disks, sectors, tracks, clusters, and effective partitioning of the hard disk. If you are concerned about waste of disk space, run multiple operating systems, and want better control of your hard disk, then this is the program for you. For more information visit:

Bottom Line:

Partition Magic (Proprietary)

Originally published: February, 1998

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