When you have a high capacity hard drive, it is good to divide it into partitions and keep your operating system and other software in one partition and other files in other. This will help to protect your important files in case the OS fails or gets infected by a virus. Apart from security, optimization of disks is important and here are some utilities good at one or both and more.
EASEUS Partition Master – A hard disk partitioning tool and system optimization software
- Its professional edition comes at a price of $159 and is compatible with Windows Server 2000/2003/2008 and Non-Server 2000/XP/Vista 32 and 64 bit systems.
- Its home edition is absolutely free and works well with Windows XP/Vista 32 bit. It provides most of the features which you would need.
- It is popular, easy to use and cost effective tool which makes it attractive for beginners.
- You can increase C Drive without rebooting windows.
- It can create/resize and move partition without any data loss.
- It can copy partitions to protect data.
- There is no bootable recovery CD available.
- Version 9.0 supports merging, and wiping unallocated regions of disks.
Paragon Partition Manager – A great disk partitioning utility that comes with wizards to provide you step by step support
- Free edition offers basic tasks like create, resize, copy and delete partition.
- It is user friendly and comes with wizards for almost all functionalities.
- Wizard exists to create a new partition, format it to NTFS, assign a drive letter and make it available in the system.
- Wizard is provided to increase free space on one partition by up-taking the unused space of an adjacent partition of your hard disk.
- On the main screen you can view your data about all of your disks/partitions, including start/stop sectors, size, label, Partition ID, file system. Unfortunately exporting this data is not supported.
- A bit setback is that you have to register online to get a free serial number for installing the program.
- In case you are interested in more advanced features, you can go for the paid version of Partition manager.
- Allows you to make a boot disk with the program.
- It supports Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Home Server 2011.
SMART (Self-monitoring analysis and reporting technology) utilities
PassMark DiskCheckup – Great program that can save you from failing HDDs/losing data and helps the user to monitor the SMART attributes of a particular hard disk drive.
- It monitors elements of possible long term drive failure, such as ‘Spin Up Time’, the number of start/stops, the number of hours powered on and the hard disk temperature.
- It compares current hard disk drive (HDD) attributes to the TEC (Threshold Exceed Condition) values determined by the manufacturer of the HDD.
- Notification via different methods like Email is possible when a TEC value has been exceeded.
- DiskCheckup can be configured to use command-line parameters so that it can be integrated as part of a larger automated testing process.
- It doesn’t read USB connected external drives, or drives which have RAID set up in the BIOS.
- DiskCheckup can also execute and display results of built-in Disk Self-Test (DST) routines implemented by the vendor to detect drive failures.
- DiskCheckup also displays device information, such as the drive geometry, serial number, model number, media rotation rate, and supported features.
- DiskCheckup is free for personal use. Company licenses can be purchased for $15 USD per license.
- The majority of newer drives connected via USB and Firewire are supported. However, older drives may not be supported due to the protocol bridge on the hard disk not supporting SMART commands.
Disk Space analyser utility
SpaceSniffer – It is a fabulous utility that displays your disk space usage
- It is a free utility which provides best features of a disk space analyser.
- It runs as a standalone utility and require no installation on your computer.
- It is fast and can display not only free space but unknown space as well.
- There are 8 levels of details available.
- Default colors used are orange for drive, green for free space, skin for folders, grey for unknown space and blue for files (all changeable).
- It works for Win98 and above.
Defragmentation and Optimization
Auslogic Disc Defrag – It is a freeware disk fragmentation utility
- It consolidates free space and move system files to the faster part of the disk.
- It is fast and provides comprehensive reports.
- Easy to use and you can see pie graphs, sector map for visual learners.
- Defragmentation starts with one click.
- You can defragment multiple disks or select individual files or folders for defragmentation.
- It allows you to set the priority of the application and can tell your computer to shut itself down when the defragmentation process is complete.
These are few good ones from the vast sea of utilities. Use them and make best use of the information provided.