GParted

GParted – A Tool to Manage Your Hard Disk

Introduction

For those of you who are contemplating the move from Windows, disk partitioning may be on your mind. For me, when I first started tackling Linux (in 1998), this was a frightening affair. At one point, I completely ended up writing zeros to my hard disk and reinstalling Windows all in a sweat that I had voided my warranty (silly me!). Fortunately, I was around people who were friendly enough to walk me through the process and who had recommended Mandrake (now Mandriva) due to the amazing DiskDrake utility which is included for disk management and partitioning.

GParted

We all know that Window comes with a very limited set of disk utilties. The conspiracy theorist in me believes this is to prohibit users from easily partitioning their hard disk in a manner which would promote alternative software/operating systems being installed and your computer being managed in the way YOU see fit. (The other part of me knows that the average computer user is not very saavy, and would continually ransack their own computer (accidentally, mind you) if these tool were ever found.) This had forced people to go buy software such as Partition Magic. PM is a wonderful piece of software. But it is pricey. What alternatives does one have?

1. Fdisk. This is the good old standard. However, text-based tools (not having a pretty GUI), are sometimes daunting for anyone!
2. GParted. This is a very mature piece of software including a very nice GUI.

GParted uses simple GUI-based tools similar to what many of us use.

GParted, taken from gparted.sourceforge.net GParted, taken from gparted.sourceforge.net

Taken from gparted.sourceforge.net. Left: Main window showing breakdown of hard disk partitions and formats. Right: Resizing tool. Other screenshots are available at the GParted Screenshot Page.

Conclusion

What makes this software even more fantastic, is that you can also download GParted as a LiveCD or LiveUSB format allowing you to boot into this software and make immediate changes at the GParted Downloads Page. Their page also includes documentation for users to read. This software even resizes NTFS partitions which is good news to all of us who have a second Windows partition.

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