Take command of your hard drives with GParted

gpartedI’ve been working with computers since 1982-1983.  I’ve been through floppy discs (8″, 5.25″ and 3.5″) and the early, EARLY hard discs that were absolutely immense at 5MB (yes, MEGAbytes) and totally ginormous at 10MB.  We never thought we’d ever, EVER use all that space. Today, any internal hard drive under 1TB (terabyte) is considered small. I was looking at 3TB and 4TB drives the other day while shopping. We’ve come a long way…

If you aren’t looking at SSD’s (solid state drives) on your computer, then you’re likely looking at your current hard drive and either wondering how you can squeeze more performance out of it, or you’re looking at upgrading a hard drive and wondering how to get the most performance out it. This is where utilities like GParted come in. This Windows-based, hard drive utility can help you figure out the best way to construct your drive’s partitions so you get the best performance from it.

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Hard drives today contain more sectors (places to store data) at the outer edge of their physical platters than at the inner edge. All disc based hard drives spin at a constant rate of either 5400 RPM, 7200 RPM, or 10,000 RPM (rotations per minute). Obviously, the higher the rating, the faster the drive can access data. This physical configuration means that more data can be accessed at the outer edge where the drive “starts” in a single spin than at the inner edge where the drive “ends.”

To take advantage of these physical hard disk drive characteristics, you should place frequently accessed files near the beginning of the disc. For example to shorten your PC’s boot time, you should place the OS in a partition at the physical “start” of the drive. Less frequently accessed information, such as your data files, should be placed in a partition after the OS.

GParted is a hard drive partitioning tool that helps you do just that on your Windows-based PC.  With GParted, you can resize, copy, and move partitions without data loss, enabling you to change the size of your C: drive, create multiple, logical drives on a single, physical disc drive, enable and disable partition flags, (for example, mark a partition as either your boot partition or to mark it hidden).  You can also use it to try to recover data from lost partitions.

The app works with the SATA, IDE, and SCSI hard disk drives , flash memory drives, such as USB memory sticks and SSD’s, RAID Devices (hardware RAID, motherboard BIOS RAID, and Linux software RAID), and supports all sector sizes including drives with 512, 1024, 2048, 4096 byte sectors.

GParted and apps like it are very powerful programs.  Working with drive partitions used to be very difficult and time consuming. Now, with GParted, you get the data that you need, placed on the drive where it will be the most useful, and that configuration can be changed on the fly.  Everything is displayed graphically, so you know exactly where and what you are doing, taking the guess work out of a lot of the process.

However, please note that GParted is a serious system tool.  You need to understand what it does and how it does what it does before you start changing the configuration of your physical hard drive into a lot of smaller, logical drives.  You could lose data if you’re not careful.  Make certain you have a backup of your data before you make physical changes to the configuration of your drive.

download GParted

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Macrorit Disk Partition Expert Home Edition

Manage hard drive partitions on your Windows PC’s with this easy to use utility.

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If there’s one thing that I know, and have learned over the past 30 years of working with computers, its that hard disk drive management isn’t always the easiest thing to do. I remember back in the day, if you wanted to do anything else with your hard drive, other than have one main, boot partition, you had to use not only format.com to format your drive, but you had to get very familiar with fdisk.exe. If you couldn’t master the command line syntax for either of them, you were in a pickle. This is why I really like tools like Macrorit Disk Partition Expert Home Edition. It’s a free and easy to use hard drive partitioning utility for Windows that even a novice user can work with.

MDPE-09Macrorit Disk Partition Expert Home Edition is a free hard drive management tool that allows you to extend partitions, settle low disk space problems, and manage disk space easily on MBR and GUID partition table (GPT) drives. The utility is designed for home users and supports 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows including Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.x.

The app is full featured. With it you can resize and move existing partitions create new ones, set individual partitions as active or inactive, hide or unhide partitions as well as other common disk activities. You can also defrag, wipe a drive as well as perform a surface test. The app supports up to 2TB hard drives, and supports 1024 sector sizes, as well as MBR and GPT partitions

I’ve always been partial to productivity tools and utilities on my PC. They are in fact, my favorite. The thing that I like the best about Macrorit Disk Partition Expert Home Edition is that its fairly easy to use. However, the concepts used in the app are very advanced. The tool makes it very easy to complete some very complex tasks that take place at the system level of your computer’s operating system. You need to be careful when using the app and understand the risks associated with making changes to your hard drive configuration. If you do want and need to make these kinds of changes, this is a great tool to do them with.

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EASEUS Partition Manager – free all-in-one magic partition solution and disk management utility

Storage. You can’t have enough storage. If you have a desktop PC, and you’re internal storage doesn’t equal 1TB or more, then you really need to take a look at your local, discount computer store, and pick a drive or two up. Disk drives are cheap right now.
However, after you get it home, how do you manage it? How do you work with it? How do you make the most of it? EASEUS Partition Manager Home Edition is a free hard drive partitioning utility that has all of those answers.

Read the full review | Download EASEUS Partition Manager

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