Many drives come with a single partition already set up, but all storage devices are just treated as a mass of unallocated, free space when they contain no partitions.
Want to make one hard drive act like two and more?
Well, to actually set up a file system and save any files to the drive, the drive needs a partition.
Having partitions on a hard disk works like, although not exactly the same as, having different hard disks. It’s a great way to organize your files, folders, and applications into their own virtual drives.
Whether you’re working with a new drive, or just looking to partition an existing one though, these best partition manager tools will sure come in handy.
What is a partition manager?
Partitioning is a computer term that refers to the creation of multiple regions on the hard disk to allow the operating system as well as partition manager software to efficiently and separately manage information in each region.
Partition management programs let you create, delete, shrink, expand, split, or merge partitions on your hard drives or other storage devices.
The partition managers are also useful in creating more space for a new operating system, copying the data stored in the hard disk, reorganizing the disk usage, as well as disk imaging. Backing up files and restoring the backups are possible with partition manager software too.
What about the Windows Disk Management tool?
Windows comes with a native disk partition manager. Creatively called Disk Management, it’s functional but uninspiring.
The Disk Management tool is built into Windows 10 can be used to create, delete, format, extend and contract partitions. It can also be used to initialise a new hard drive with a Master Boot Record (MBR) and GUID Partition Table (GPT) partitioning structure.
The tool lacks some the features of some of the best third-party partition manager tools—in fact, it still looks like something from Windows 2000—but it gets the job done. Third-party partition managers do sometimes include more advanced features—like creating bootable disks, recovering information from damaged volumes, and the ability to extend volumes into unallocated space to the left of the volume. So, if you need any of those features, it might be worth taking a look around the following standalone disk management utility instead.
What is the best Windows Partition Manager?
When looking for the best Windows Partition Manager software, we looked at design, ease of use, management support (create, wipe, resize, merge, split, extend, copy or clone partitions, etc.), format partition support, migrate OS to SSD/HDD, rebuild MBR, defragment on MBR & GPT disks, and whether it has the ability to convert dynamic disk. While not everyone needs all of these features, we felt like this was a good guide to help us as we examined the market.
Enter, EaseUS Partition Master Pro – the professional partition manager full of features from EaseUS. I have been using this tool for quite some time and while it does have all the features that the native Windows Disk Management tool comes with, it also comes with the features that are mentioned above. Here’s a detailed run down of what the tool has to offer and we will look at these features one by one.
User interface & experience
As you can see in the image above, the first screen that you see as soon as you open the program is quite self-explanatory.
Only relevant tasks are enabled when a partition is selected. This takes much of the guess work out of deciding what you need to do to complete a task. Since the software is installed onto your hard drive, you work within the familiar Windows environment without the need to boot from a Live CD.
Disk & partition cloning
The Disk Cloning feature in the EaseUS Partition Master Pro is one of the most used features in these types of tool. This feature is very helpful when you want to replace your disk drive or want to have the same software and OS setup on another computer.
As you can see, the disk cloning tool took you through a step by step process. Here’s how the process looks like.
- Click on Wizard > Clone Disk Wizard
- Choose the source disk and then click Next
- Choose the destination disk and let the process complete
It will take some time to clone the disk, depending on the type of disk you’re cloning to or from. If you’re cloning an SSD to another SSD, things will move faster but if a hard drive is involved, the process will take some time.
The cloning process will copy and replicate everything including the data, the partitions and everything from the source disk drive.
4K alignment for better SSD performance
Just adding an SSD to a computer boosts the performance multiple folds and the start-up times and launch times for program improve significantly. But EaseUS Partition Master pro gives us an easy to use process to optimize the SSD’s performance by 4K alignment.
This is a good thing to do if you have just installed a new SSD to your computer and you aren’t getting the performance that you should from this SSD.
Wipe data from disk/partition
Wiping the partition erases all the data in that partition. When you click “Wipe Data”, you’ll have to select which partition to wipe. There is also an option at the bottom to choose how many times you want to wipe that partition. Wiping multiple times ensures that all your files are permanently deleted.
This is great if you want to get rid of any data on a disk that you’re not going to use. Or you can use this when you want to completely format the data on a drive and start afresh from it.
Merging as an English word is defined by the conjoining to two similar things into one. The same stands true for two partitions and the merging of these partitions. The basic thing to know about merging partitions is the fact that with this option, you will be able to merge two or more partitions and create a single bigger partition out of the conjoined ones.
When you merge two partitions, EaseUS Partition Manager guides you through a process of creating a single bigger partition. This is very useful in the cases where you have the main C: Drive as the OS partition and you’re running out of storage on that part of the drive.
Merging the two partitions will save you the trouble of reinstalling your OS again and then partitioning your hard drive from the start.
Migration of OS from hard drive to SSD
While this is something that works in a very similar manner as that of cloning a hard drive partition, the main difference here is the fact that you’re moving the data from one hard drive to another SSD which is a completely different hardware.
You might find this feature useful if you don’t want to go through the process of reinstalling Windows all over again just because you upgraded to an SSD. This also works if you want to move to a newer hard drive instead of an SSD.
Partition recovery wizard
As mentioned in the feature list, the EaseUS Partition Master Pro also comes with a partition recovery feature. This feature has been added to the utility for those who want to recover a partition that was somehow deleted or lost.
Partition recovery is a nice feature, but it’s not as effective as some dedicated recovery applications here.
Cleanup & optimization
This feature offers three sub-features: junk file cleanup, large file cleanup, and disk optimization.
The Junk File Cleanup option works like a PC cleanup tool and it can get rid of junk files that are left over on your system from the OS, the browser or the UWP apps on Windows 10. While you can do this even with the native Disk Cleanup tool that Windows offers, this tool segregates everything under one program.
The Large File Cleanup option will scan for files that are very big in size from the chosen partitions. Once it is scanned, it will present a list of files that are large in size. The list will start from the file that is biggest in size but it will move on to show smaller files as well.
You can choose the files that you don’t want and want to get rid of from the list and clean them up quite easily.
The Disk Optimization tool will scan the chosen partitions for errors and defragmentation. Once the scan and analysis is complete, the tool will present the fragmentation percent. Disk fragmentation can significantly slow down a computer and it is better to optimize and defrag your hard drive for consistently faster performance.
WinPE bootable disk creator
This tool will let you create a bootable image of your current disk setup. You can choose to save it as an image ISO file or you can create a bootable USB or a CD/DVD disk from the tool.
This will be very helpful if you run into issues with your hard drive and if you have an image saved, you can literally restore it on another drive and use the disk as your normal computer quite easily.
Availability & pricing
EaseUS Partition Master Professional is available for Windows. You can download the free trial version from the developer’s official website.
The Partition Master Professional version is priced at $39.99. The price seems a bit steep, but the developer offers TheSweetBits readers an exclusive 30% discount here. For users with less stringent requirements, there’s a free home version of Partition Master. There is also a server version for use with Microsoft’s server operating systems.
As mentioned, I have been using the EaseUS Partition Master Pro for quite some time now and overall, I find this partition manager the most efficient and to the point tool for the purpose. Mostly because unlike some other alternatives, the EaseUS one gives me to the point tools.
One downside that I think this software has is the user interface. It’s not that it is very hard to use or something, it is indeed quite easy to use but it does have a bit of a learning curve. It is recommended for any newbie, who hasn’t worked with such programs to go through the manual first.
The MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro is a great alternative to EaseUS Partition Master Pro. Mostly because of the similarity in the way both programs work. They have the very same options and price and they do the same things.
Whatever points I have listed for EaseUS Partition Master Pro above also stand true for MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro. But the MiniTool option comes with a bunch of additional features that might be useful to a lot of people.
You get things like options to change the cluster size, the option to delete dynamic volumes and other advanced options like migrating the OS from MBR to GPT disk which can be a tricky thing to do.
If you want a to the point partition manager, then EaseUS Partition Master Pro is going to work the best for you and if you’re someone who wants extra features as well, then the MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro will make more sense for you.
Are the freely available tools any good?
When it comes to partition managers, there both premium paid tools as well as the ones that you can download and use for free. But keep in mind that the free tools have a very limited set of features and functionalities that you have available.
Even developers such as EaseUS or MiniTool offer free tools for the purpose but they essentially do the same things that the native Disk Management tool on Windows does. If you need advanced features, it is always a good idea to go with a premium option since the free tools aren’t as good.
GParted is completely free to use, Linux based partition and disk management tool that works with Linux, Windows, and macOS. It has to be booted from either a USB stick or a Live CD/DVD disk. The tool has features such as create or delete partitions, resizing or moving them or changing the labels.
The best part about GParted is the fact that it supports file systems from across different platform so you have support for HFS and HFS+ for macOS, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS for Windows and EXT2, EXT3 and EXT4 for Linux based systems.
While the software has a lot of features, it requires you to put the software on a bootable media and then use it which makes it less user-friendly. The software is completely free to use and you don’t have to pay to download and use it.
PARAGON Partition Manager
Paragon Partition Manager is another alternative that can be used instead of EaseUS or MiniTool if you want. The thing about this partition manager is the fact that this one has a very straightforward user interface and features.
It has all the basic features that a partition manager should carry, this includes splitting partitions, undelete partitions and more. It also comes with other features such as Backup and Recovery, Drive Copy and Disk Wiper.
You have the option to download the freeware version of Paragon Partition Manager but keep in mind that the functionality of the freeware is limited to a certain extent. You can only use the freely available features such as undeleting a lost partition. You also get options for backing up your current hard drive in the form of an ISO image either on your hard disk or on a removable media.
[email protected] Partition Manager
[email protected] Partition Manager is a freeware partition manager that is completely free to use. While it is free, it does come with all the necessary features that a partition manager should have in the package.
You don’t get features like creating a clone of your disk or moving your OS from a hard drive to an SSD but you do get features which allow you to create a disk image, create partitions and format them. It has nowhere near the features that tools like EaseUS or MiniTool offer but since it is a freeware, it is a good program for newbies.
A final word
Finally, it all boils down to the partition manager that gets the job done for you. The EaseUS Partition Master Pro is a great program and has to the point features while the MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro has the features that EaseUS has to offer and then some extra ones.
When it comes to a free partition manager, GParted definitely stands out from the rest and while it is a bit complicated to use, it is the only free option available that has all the important features.