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.

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Manage your disks with EASEUS Partition Master 9

Partition Master 9 is an ALL-IN-ONE partition solution and disk management. It allows you to extend partition (especially for system drive), manage disk space easily, and settle low disk space problem on MBR and GUID partition table (GPT) disk under Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Windows 7 (SP1 included) 32 bit and 64 bit system.

EaseUS offers a free version of this program and several other paid editions which come with additional features including Technical Services to Clients, free lifetime upgrades and License with WinPE bootable CD.

With the free edition of Partition Master 9 you can now safely merge different partitions without data loss on the same physical disk. It comes also with the ability to wipe data on unallocated space. This option is very useful when you want to get rid of sensitive data. The paid editions include in addition support for dynamic volumes, including copying, resizing and converting without data loss.

In comparison with the free edition, Partition Master 9 Server can repair RAID-5 volumes and supports command-line usage. This allows system administrators to create macro functions that can be scheduled to run without having to launch the main application. Therefore Partition Master 9 Server is also compatible with Windows Home Server.

The developers paid a great attention to the non-technical and inexperienced computer users. With Partition Master 9 anyone is able to backup, image and upgrade boot drives on their computers with ease. Also a bunch of video tutorials, accessible from the opening splash screen, are a great addition for those who need help when using this application.

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