Best Free Partition Management Software

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Introduction

Having partitions on a hard disk works like, although not exactly the same as, having different hard disks.

If your computer has unallocated space on a hard disk, you can create additional partitions from the unallocated space after logging on as an administrator. If a hard disk space is fully allocated, unallocated space can be generated if the size of a partition is reduced or a partition is deleted.

One of the main objectives of having partitions in a hard disk is for separation of user files from operating system files. By keeping user files in a separate partition from another that hosts the operating system, user files can usually remain intact if the operating system needs to be reinstalled. If you need to prepare for a multi-booting setup from a single disk, it would be ideal to have a separate partition for each system. Other than these purposes, you might also want to refer to other benefits for disk partitioning as described here.

Some users may prefer Windows’ built-in Disk Management utility to manage partitions, but most average users will like third party or standalone partition managers, which are usually equipped with more features and easier to use in general.

 

Rated Products

MiniTool Partition Wizard  

A very easy program to use with the power and features needed for your disks


Our Rating: 
5
License: Free (Private/Educational use)
Fast performance, easy to use, support RAID drives and disks over 2 TB; repair MBR; support UEFI boot and Linux ext2 and ext3 files systems.
Recovery media requires separate download.
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EaseUS Partition Master Free  

Easily create, delete, format, convert or explore partitions on your hard drive


Our Rating: 
4.5
License: Free (Limited features)
Intuitive and user-friendly interface, features include resize, move, copy, create, delete, hide, unhide, convert, explore and format partitions. Compatible with Windows based on GPT drive and UEFI/EFI boot.
A wizard is included for copying partitions and hard disks only. No recovery CD.
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Paragon Partition Manager Free  

Make disk management easy with wizards


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Limited features)
Wizards to create, format, resize and copy partitions with support for deleting partitions. Informative detailed, customizable layout on main page. Support of GPT/UEFI configurations and works with Apple HFS+ file system.
Require to register to get a free serial number, more advanced features available only to the paid version.
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GParted  

A GNOME partition editor for resizing, creating, deleting, moving or copying partitions


Our Rating: 
3.5
License: Free (Open source)
Supports for ext2, ext3, ext4, ntfs, fat16, fat32 and many other file systems. Most reliable overall in my experience, program itself is standard in Linux distribution.
Offline. Partitions need to be unmounted before they are allowed for editing. The Linux environment may be a bit intimidating for first-timers.
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Lost/Deleted Partition Recovery

My top two choices both offer partition recovery wizards. Both work as expected. For Partition Wizard, you will need to download the bootable recovery CD from their website and burn to a CD. Why make a recovery disk? Well, if the partition that you happen to delete is the main OS partition, your computer will not boot, so a recovery CD will be essential in restoring the partition or fixing the master boot record in order to return your computer to a bootable state.

You might also want to try TestDisk. This is a console application designed for data recovery. The free program can be used to fix partition table, recover deleted partitions or copy files from deleted partitions. Other features include recover or rebuild NTFS or FAT boot sector, fix FAT tables, undelete files from the file systems, etc.

 

Other Partition Managers

These are a number of other free partition managers which were brought up in comments here or noted from other sources. As they are not rated in this review, I am listing them here with brief descriptions and links to their sites for ease of reference.

  • Partition Logic allows you to create, delete, format, defragment, resize, move partitions and modify their attributes. It is based on the Visopsys operating system, booting from a CD or floppy disk and running as a standalone system, independent of your regular operating system.
  • Cute Partition Manager is using DOS interface to add, edit, delete and manage the partitions in your computer, but merging or resizing existing partitions is not supported. 
  • Ranish Partition Manager is a hard disk partitioning tool to create, copy, and resize primary and extended partitions. It includes command line interface and simulation mode that works with large files.

 

Notes

  • Number of partitions: A hard disk configured as a basic disk is limited to 4 primary partitions, or 3 primary partitions and 1 extended partition that can contain multiple logical drives.
  • Basic disk: A basic disk is a physical disk that contains primary partitions, extended partitions, or logical drives. Partitions and logical drives on basic disks are also known as basic volumes.
  • Primary partition: A primary partition can be created on a hard drive that can host an operating system and functions as though it were a physically separate hard drive.
  • Extended partition: An extended partition is a container that can hold one or more logical drives, which function like primary partitions except that they cannot be used to start an operating system like Windows.

 

Editor

This software review is copy-edited by Ian Richards. Please help edit and improve this article by clicking here.

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Comments

I will share my experience, regarding installation of Easeus Partition Master(EPM), and you will see how things can change. I already had setup of Easeus Partition Master 9.2.2 from before, when the new version had been released. This was months ago. After reading and replying to your comment here, I installed EPM on the computer. In the setup that I had, there was nothing wrong... no bundled software, no extras, none at all. Then, I downloaded the setup for EPM again from its site. This is the same version, 9.2.2... the latest available. But, this time during installation, there were bundled extras. As you report, there is Entrusted Toolbar. But, I deselcted them by choosing Custom Installation. Had you chosen that? After choosing custom installation, and unchecking all checkmarks underneath it, I did not get any extras on my computer. On the next screen though, another program was suggested, which was an extra too, and I opted out of that one too. EPM was then installed, and nothing extra was installed on my computer. So, you can see, for the same version, how things changed. So, how can you expect us to always be updated? The editor obviously wrote his review for the previous version, when no extras were bundled with the program. Even with the same version, as shown above, things can change. You cannot expect us to keep updated with such situations. Also, when I installed EPM, and chose Custom Installation, and carefully opted out of the extras, nothing extra was installed on my computer. So, maybe you were not careful enough, and got the extras on your computer? Sorry for the trouble you had to go through, but as shown, I think you are being unjustly unfair to Gizmo's.
Whenever programs are bundled with toolbars, etc... we try to indicate about it, in the reviews, but these situations keep changing. The program might be clean sometime before, but then they decide to change, and start bundling it with extras. Or, the program was bundling some other extras before, but comes bundled with some other thing now. In such situations, we might not always be updated. Therefore, it is also upon the users to be careful while they install the software. Essentially, Gizmo's Freeware is a review site. We provide reviews of software, that's our main job. But yes, because we care, whenever possible, we do provide information about extras being bundled... but that's not our main job. It's the responsibility of the users to be careful during software installation, etc. Anyways, thanks for bringing this to our notice, the review will be duly updated after checking about the bundled extras.
Anupam is correct. We have well over a thousand products in our database and these would need testing every week in order to keep up with what they might be bundled with, so as you can see an impossible task. We do however amend the product details whenever changes become known and are always grateful when these are pointed out in the comments. It is however unfair to place this onus totally on us when all of these components can be seen and avoided during the install process. We also provide dedicated information about this in other articles. MC - Site Manager. http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/what-else-have-you-just-download... http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/cnet-downloadcom-wrapped-install... http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/controversial-advertising-progra...
crank, have a look at Active Partition Manager. It seems really good and is fully freeware (unlike others). *The latest version has the ability to convert GPT to MBR and MBR to GPT partition style on fixed disks preserving existing partitions Also another good partition manager is AOMEI Partition Assistant. It's free for both home and business users.
I concur with both George.J and Anupam. Active Partition Manager is pretty basic, and the AOMEI spam level is over done. That last is unfortunate because their latest version looks quite promising, I am going to give it a closer look, see how well they implement their WinPE recovery environment, if the application should really prove exceptional, then I could make an exception! Thanks for your input, all is welcome and we sure appreciate attentive, helpful visitors to the site. Have a good day.
Aomei have been spamming the site since long. I don't their products will be included.
On testing Active Partition Manager, I find that it's just a basic partition manager that doesn't have advanced capabilities.

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