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Potentially the best - but with WinXP it can be a lottery
on 26 September 2003
This program is probably the best of its kind - which unfortunately isn't saying much, as partitioning programs are a dodgy lot. Partition Magic 8.0 is a very well-presented program and straightforward to use, and potentially very powerful. Most systems will be OK with it. But partitioning is a tricky business, and as with other similar programs, the NTFS filesystem used by XP and NT can cause hiccups in the form of frequent stoppages and error messages. Plus, it has one serious glitch: with some, not all, XP set-ups, it throws out Error 1513 (relating to file recognition) and refuses to partition.
PowerQuest's technicians are polite and responsive but don't actually have a solution to this. Their only patch is from version 8.0 to 8.01 - which most buyers, me included, will already have. Running ckdsk /f as recommended by the technicians also doesn't work - and most people would have done this before attempting any partitioning work in any case.
The fact is, for some of you out there, Parition Magic won't work. This is poor from a well-known company who shouldn't make claims about XP compatibility that they can't uphold. After extensive web searches (e.g. check out the reviews on Amazon.com, rather than .co.uk - they seem to give a good overall picture) I have discovered that I am not alone. This saga seems to have happened to many people trying to use PM8 with XP.
No partitioning program is perfect, and some are frankly lethal, so I will hang onto this one in the hope that PowerQuest come up with a suitable patch. I would advise potential buyers who have recent Win XP systems to wait for the next version and/or keep a sharp eye on web reviews rather than risk splashing out on something that might be useless to them.