Sometimes native Windows software just doesn’t cut it. Though Windows does try to do a good job of providing comprehensive tools that will allow you to manage your computer, third party software developers see flaws in Microsoft’s programming as a business opportunity. This couldn’t be truer of MiniTool’s Partition Wizard 9.1, which is a handy utility for partitioning your hard drive.
You can download the free version if you wish, but they have different versions of the software for servers, enterprises, technicians, a bootable version, and a professional version. The download is pretty darn quick as the file is only about 25 MB in total, too. However, as you might expect, the free version lacks features that the advanced versions contain. One of these drawbacks is the inability to reverse changes you make with the program unless you buy an advanced version. Also, the installation process is very straightforward and it doesn’t try to install any adware or additional features.
This Patrition Wizard disk manager has some features that the Windows software lacks, but it obviously contains a lot of the same features as well. First and foremost, it displays all of the partitions on the current disk. It also displays detailed information about each partition such as used space, free space, the filesystem on the partition, and its status (active/boot, system, etc.). As an advantage to Linux users, the partitioning software also includes file systems that aren’t part of the Windows operating system. Supported file systems include FAT 12, FAT 16, FAT 32, NTFS, Ext2, Ext3, and a Linux Swap partition which is used to offload data from memory into a portion of the hard drive that acts as an extension of RAM.
In addition, Partition Wizard will help you create, delete, format, move, and resize partitions. This is very handy if you have run out of space on one partition and need to borrow some extra space from the rest of your disk. You even have the ability to merge partitions, but the only catch is that both partitions have to be NTFS. Conversely, you have the option of splitting a partition, so you really have a high level of control over how you want your HDD resources divvied up. Yet another handy tool that I really like is the ability to copy partitions, which has multiple uses. You could back up your active partition verbatim so you can recover your computer in the event of a hard drive failure, or you could copy a partition verbatim to a completely new hard drive if you just want a hardware upgrade.
Their pricing model varies significantly dependent on the version of the software that you need.
- Free: The free version remains rich in features and can cater to many users needing a capable partitioning toolkit
- Professional: $39.00 for a single user license and $59.00 for free lifetime upgrades
- Server: $129.99 for a single user license, $159.00 for a snap-in bootable builder, and $259.00 for free lifetime upgrades
- Enterprise: $399.00 for a single site license and $499.00 for free lifetime upgrades
- Professional: $699.00 for an unlimited license and free lifetime upgrades
They also offer 24/7 technical support – even for users of the free software. However, they state on their website that paying customers get priority. They use a ticketing system and you will need to send your license key as well as a screenshot of your issue, but there is one problem. They don’t offer a phone number on their site. Instead, they need your email address for correspondence – but they do offer a live chat service
There are two really cool features with this software that will enhance your security. If you want, you can hide/unhide partitions that contain sensitive data. In the event that you want to clear that data for good, Partition Wizard has a utility that will permanently delete your data so no one can see it should it fall into the wrong hands. And last but not least, this software contains all of the features you would need to check the health of your HDD with surface tests and health monitoring scans.
I would recommend Minitool’s Partition Wizard 9.1 for people who need more functionality than the standard Windows software or people who need to partition Linux drives. I honestly think the security benefits alone can be justified by the price because sometimes people throw away computers with hard drives that haven’t been properly cleaned and they lose sensitive data as a result. Also, I think the interface is pretty clean and easy to use. The only downside is that their support doesn’t give you a phone number to speak with a human being immediately.