Manage and maintain your drive’s partitions with Aomei Partition Assistant

The price of SSD’s is coming down. At about $1.00 per gigabyte, putting an SSD in your notebook PC is becoming more and more realistic. Upgrading from smaller SSD’s to larger, faster SSD’s isn’t as financially painful as it used to be. The problem, though is finding a decent drive migration and management tool. This is one of the biggest reasons why I like Aomei Partition Assistant Home Edition. It’s a partition and drive management tool for Windows.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Home Edition is a completely free partition manager. It carries out hard disk and partition management, advanced system optimization and easy copy and partition recovery to keep your computer running. The app works in both 32bit & 64bit versions of Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 Professional. It has the ability to resize and move partitions, migrate an OS to either an SSD or hard drive, to merge or split partitions, to allocate free space, to copy partitions, to copy a disk and to recover a partition on MBR and GPT formatted disks. The app also includes the ability to create a bootable CD to ensure data and system safety. As an added bonus, it includes a free, portable partition manager portable. With it, you can copy the installation directory of AOMEI Partition Assistant Home Edition to any device, including a USB flash drive, a portable hard drive, etc.

Read full review | Download Aomei Partition Assistant

 

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Take complete control of your hard drive with Hard Disk Manager Suite

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past five to six years of being a Mac, its that hard drive management under OS X is MUCH easier than under Windows.  With OS X, upgrading to a larger, bigger, better, faster, stronger hard drive is as easy as making a copy of your hard. There are some really nice utilities out there that do that very well. With Windows machines, its not even remotely close to being that easy. This is why I really like tools like Hard Disk Manager Suite. It’s a hard drive utility for Windows.

Paragon’s Hard Disk Manager Suite is a serious hard drive tool.  Its advanced weaponry for your Windows system and as such, isn’t for people that aren’t comfortable working under the hood.  It has a completely new engine for all partitioning tasks; and works generically with all modern hard drive technologies, regardless of spindle type, drive size, rotation speed, etc.

You can use it to create, format, delete, undelete, hide or unhide partitions, make partitions active or inactive, set, change or remove a drive letter, change a volume label, etc.  You can separate the OS and your data or different types of data by splitting one partition into two different partitions of the same type and file system.  You can merge or consolidate disk space from two adjacent partitions (NTFS, FAT16/FAT32), into a single, larger partition, redistribute free space, or increase free space on one partition by utilizing unallocated space and the unused space of other partitions.

Hard disk Manager Suite will let you optimize the performance of your hard disk during partitioning/copy operations and restoring a backup image to new hard drives, though not all operations are supported.  You can convert basic MBR to basic GPT disks and enjoy all benefits of the newest partitioning scheme with minimal effort.  The app also allows you to perform NTFS and FAT defragmentation, MFT defragmentation and shrinking, low free space defragmentation and can fix most system boot problems that result from human or program error, or a boot virus activity.

read full review | download Hard Disk Manager Suite

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Keep your hard disk in tip-top shape with O&O Defrag

Keeping your spinning media running at peak performance isn’t always as easy as it might sound. Yes, Microsoft has included Defrag in Windows since Windows 95; but the application is basic, and does only the bare minimum in keeping your hard drive running well. This is why I like O&O Defrag. It’s one of the best Windows hard drive defrag utilities on the market today.

O&O Defrag helps you maximum the performance on your PC. If you work on your computer a lot, then after a while, you’re going to notice slow system and program starts, endless rendering and memory processes, or even system crashes. The first thing most people will recommend you do is to try optimizing or defragging your hard drive.

The benefits are well documented. Defragmenting your PC can accelerate the speed your runs and responds to disk activity requests. In the latest version of O&O Defrag, you can now see what the program does for your system thanks to its graphics and statistics displays. They give you a before-and-after Defrag contrast on your hard drives usage as well as file fragmentation status.

Aside from the basic PC performance features you get, O&O Defrag offers some really nice advanced features. The application adapts itself to your PC usage patterns and system loads with Activity Guard. It’s only going to run when you need it to, based on historic use; and won’t get in the way of your computing activities. Best of all, it works on both conventional, spinning media hard drives as well new SSD, without damaging these new solid state storage devices.

Download O&O Defrag

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Smart Defrag the easiest way to defrag

Keep your hard drive running at peak performance with this handy piece of must have freeware. Any PC user will tell you, after a while – after installing applications and creating data files – at some point, your PC will need to be defragmented.  PC’s tend to place data anywhere it can see space. This is fine when your drive is relatively empty. Things get complicated as it fills up with data.

If your PC’s performance is bad – if it’s slow – the first thing I always check is the defrag level. If the drive is highly fragmented, the PC’s performance is going to be bad. Smart Defrag helps improve your PC’s performance by efficiently defragmenting and optimizing your hard drive. With its “Install it and forget it” feature, Smart Defrag works quietly in the background, keeping your hard disk running at its best. Performance issues and crashes will become a thing of the past.

This application is one of the very few where no cons could be easily identified. It’s free, small, fast and good at what it does. If you’re a Windows user, and are looking for a tool to defrag your hard drive with, this is a must have. It’s better than the tool that comes with Windows and is easy to use, and above all, it’s free.

download Smart Defrag

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Use Defraggler to defrag your entire hard drive, or individual files

Disk defragmentation results in better performance of your computer. That’s why Windows has a build-in tool with this purpose. However, most people avoid defragmenting their disks, even if we all know that it is recommended and can improve PC performance. The reasons is simple: the process takes too long to complete.

One of my favorite third party defragger and also the fastest out there is Defraggler – a tool developed by Piriform – the company behind both CCleaner and Recuva. Defraggler allows to defragment and optimize your local drives or a single file, several files or an entire folder.

Defraggler is also very simply to use. If you would like to analyze your drive to determine how fragmented is prior to defragmentation, just use the Analyze button. Once the analysis will finish, it will show you the visual drive map along with the fragmented files. Sometimes, you simply don’t need to defragment your hard drive, expecially if you’re working with a relatively new PC, you’ve defragmented your drive recently, or you don’t use your PC much.

Your hard drive needs to be defragmented? Simply click the Defrag button. If you want to save some time, there’s is a feature called Quick Defrag, which completes the process 3-4 times faster. However, the compromise, though, is that it won’t use the most intensive, optimal algorithm to reorganize your files. To use this feature, simply click the down-arrow next to Defrag button and select Quick Defrag.

Another great feature is the ability to move large files to the end of the hard drive. Your computer can accesses files faster if they’re at the start of the drive. Defraggler can put the large files you probably don’t access that often (videos, for example) at the end of the drive so that Windows can find the smaller files faster which are accessed more often.

Download Defraggler

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Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2011 Suite

Prepare to test the latest version of Paragon’s Hard Disk Manager. One of the most comprehensive hard drive tool has reached version 11 and Paragon brings new additions and improvements to the suite.

With Hard Disk Manager 2011 Suite you can move any Windows OS since XP from a regular hard disk to a fast SSD (Solid State Drive) even of a smaller capacity, thanks to advanced data exclusion capabilities. You can also convert basic MBR to basic GPT disks which means that you can use now the full capacity of a new 3TB drive into Windows XP.

Hard Disk Manager 2011 Suite can also backup and restore any of your drives through differential, incremental, or complementary methods. It comes also with a data consistency checkup and a file system optimization including support for Microsoft’s exFAT file system.

download Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2011 Demo

 

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Seagate releases 3TB Hard Disk that is Windows XP-friendly

Seagate has announced that its 3.5-inch, 3TB desktop hard disk drive Barracuda XT is now available for shipping. A 3TB HDD eliminates the need to purchase additional hardware or software to overcome the 2.1TB drive barrier seen in other hard drives.

The company has also said it was able to make the drive’s capacity available to PC systems with its free DiscWizard utility software, as well as an added virtual device driver. This allows legacy BIOSes and OSes like Windows XP to access capacity beyond 2.1TB on a drive. The DiscWizard can be downloaded for free on Seagate’s website.

This high-performance hard drive delivers the highest available capacity on a single drive for home computers and work stations, enabling users to perform demanding tasks such as high-definition video editing and PC gaming.

The 2.1TB drive barrier was set about 30 years ago to limit the logical block address (LBA) range on a hard drive. The LBA specifies where blocks of data are stored on a hard drive. This makes legacy BIOSes and operating systems like Windows XP unable to use hard drive capacities beyond 2.1TB.

The Barracuda XT can be installed in PCs just like any other hard drive, using Windows to format and partition the drive. A PC that runs on Windows XP can only access 900GB of the drive–the portion above 2.1TB–while computers powered by Windows Vista and Windows 7 will recognize the 2.1TB capacity. Users will then have to download and install DiscWizard.

After installation of the DiscWizard, the user interface would display two partitions: one with 2.1TB and the other with 900GB capacity.

The Barracuda XT features five disk platters, a 7200rpm spindle speed, a 63MB cache, and a SATA 3.0 interface for a 6Gb/sec throughput. It is now available in Seagate’s retail points, costing US$274.

[Via ComputerWorld]

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