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3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 17 June 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've partitioned drives in the past using Windows and also using a free bit of software available to download. It isn't for those who only have a basic understanding of how to use a computer. If you get partitioning a drive wrong it could spell serious disaster in terms of losing all your data, screwing up the operating system and in short putting yourself into a mess that is rather hard or expensive to get out of.

Fortunately, other than one hiccup the partitions in the past have gone reasonably okay. So when I saw this bit of software, I thought I would see how user-friendly it really is.

The fact that at the very start of the installation process it asks you whether you want to install the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the software, will probably put your average punter into a minor panic. Of course, it is easy enough to find out which system you have - simply got into Start, find 'My Computer', right click and then select 'properties' and if under the General tab it does NOT say 64x then it is a 32-bit computer.

So once you have figured that out, you proceed with the installation. It takes a good 5 minutes or so to install at the end of which it asks you to restart. This is not unusual. However, what it doesn't tell you is that when it restarts, it will jump straight to the CD rather than going into Windows.

Again, this will throw your average joe into a mild panic because what they are seeing in front of them is NOT what they are used to seeing when the PC starts up. Instead, there is a tiny Partition Commander window with various options like 'Resize Partition' 'Backup' and so on. There is a mini description of what each function can do but nothing particularly clear and no warnings of what it might do.

There is an option to eject the disk and then another option to restart the PC. Doing that will ensure that the PC loads up normally.

Once it has done so you can still click on the newly installed Partition Commander logo (that should be on your desktop) and run the program from within Windows. Of course it is better to run it before windows loads but again only suggested as an option for those who are confident with what they are doing.

Opening the software provides an array of options like:
1. Partitioning - under which you can 'Quick Create', 'Quick Resize', Delete Partition and Merge Partitions.
2. Cloning and Migration - does what it says!
3. Mac related operations - not entirely sure what that does as I don't have a Mac to play around with!
4. Back-up and Rescue
5. Multi-system Management - where you can set up how your PC boots and also use this to install a new OS (Linux for eg) onto your PC.
6. Launch Advanced View - click on it and it says 'Don't forget to create a recovery CD'. No doubt, this is good advice but again will put fear into those who just want things to be done! It then also tells you to back up your system. So you know you are entering into territory that can be rather disastrous. The Advance View is a lot more complicated but advanced users (duh) will probably appreciate it.

Needless to say if the terms NTFS, FAT32 and FAT16 mean absolutely nothing to you then I would advise you to get someone who does know to partition your drives rather than trying to do it on your own even with this bit of software.

Having said all that, I would highly recommend partitioning NEW drives particularly i.e. if you have just bought a new computer and it has come with a 1 Terabyte hard drive that is not partitioned. The benefits of partitioning? Well, your computer will work faster, you can keep all your programs in one partition, and all your documents safely in another partition (only drives with programs in are likely to crash).

This is a useful bit of software, makes it easier to do and make changes, but I would still really recommend you have a certain level of knowledge and confidence before you go buying and installing it and trying to make some serious changes to your PC.

Hope that helps.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I always had a copy of PowerQuest's superb Partition Magic 8 about, but that only worked with OS's up to Windows XP and with the rise of Vista and 7, present owner's Norton have lost interest and discontinued the product. That leaves an emptier playing field for Avanquest's Partition Commander 11, that works with XP, Vista or Windows 7 [not Apple Mac OS, although there are Mac related options]. Partition Commander was by VCom, but is now rebadged and marketed under Avanquest's brand. There are also well respected competitor's to consider as well, such as Paragon Partition Manager 11 Personal and Acronis Disk Director 11 Home available for similar money. This Partition Commander 11 is only licenced for use on one PC, which is a bit mean, a standard three home PC licence would be preferable. Installation of Partition Commander 11 for 32-bit or 64-bit Windows was easy with a restart required. Run the software and a 'Quickview' appears with a series of wizards. I wanted to partition a hard drive and so selected the 'Quick create Partition' button, which seemed to be the only option on offer. A very cryptic drive map appeared [I have 4.5Tb of hard drives attached to my PC, split into 6 partitions, and I couldn't really see what was going on]. I selected 'smart mode' and next, expecting to get a proper hard drive map, and alarmingly the software started partitioning goodness knows what. I quickly clicked 'cancel' and fortunately the software muttered 'user cancelled' and all went back to the original state.

I was about to give up on this software when I saw the 'Launch the Advanced view' tab, clicked that, and my old familiar Partition Magic style view leapt onto the screen. From there I quickly found my XP NTFS formatted Western Digital Green 1.5 Tb drive, and created the two 1Tb and 500Gb partitions I wanted. There was a little slider to adjust the size of the new partition and it was easy to select the correct hard drive. So a success, although I couldn't get Partition Commander 11 to merge two NTFS partitions that were side by side - the wizard 'couldn't find adjacent volumes', although they were clearly there. However Partition Commander's advice to back up all the data on the hard drive beforehand is valid, and I have a 1Tb eSATA external drive that made this quite easy. The backup software is OK, but treat it more as a decent freebie - it can't match the likes of Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image 10/11 [but then it is called 'simple backup'].

That said there's a useful 'clone hard drive' tool where you can copy an entire hard drive, although this predictably takes a great deal of space, and freeware from your hard drive manufacturer may be able to do this for you more easily [i.e. copy over your Windows OS install partition onto a new hard drive]. Likewise there is a boot manager offered, but I've always had problems with multiple OS boots and OS virtualisations and so won't be bothering with that. There's also hard drive defrag software included, that can run in a 'safe' mode [sounds OK] or a 'fast mode' [to quote: that "may corrupt data, or mess up your hard drive if the power fails", not at all OK] - again it's no match at all for Diskeeper 2010 Pro, but then the latest licence cost for Diskeeper on multiple home PCs is ludicrously expensive and Partition Commander's defrag appears to offer a bit more control than Windows basic [but very safe] hard drive defrag option.

In fact you get a lot for your money with Partition Commander - only problem is that you can get into a lot of trouble with partitioning software like this if it goes wrong - which certainly happened once when I used PowerQuests Partition Magic 8 - I lost an entire partition full of data, although it was all backed up except emails and fortunately it wasn't the C: OS drive [the other 100s of times I used Partition Magic 8 it worked perfectly]. More worrying is that I see no options for software patch updates with Partition Commander 11 and even on-line support and FAQs are hard to track down - I've had real buggy problems with Avanquests far more simple birthday card software, and I really wouldn't want any of that with software of this nature [although this partitioning software is derived from VCom's expertise, who have been in this field for many years]. Plus the simplistic QuickView wizards could lead the unwary into difficulties.

So easily 3* for all the features on offer and the support for XP/Vista/Windows 7, but Partition Commander 11 loses a star for the hard to find on-line support, the occasionally confusing walk-through wizards, the single PC licence and the apparent lack of any software updating option. If you're a PC techie and interested in hard drive partition software, also consider the likes of Acronis Disk Director 11 Home [which would be my choice] and Paragon Partition Manager 11 Personal. And check out your hard drives manufacturer as they offer freebies that can do 'simple' things like set-up a new hard drive or clone [copy] the old Windows system disk to the new drive to save a massive Windows & software re-install [e.g. Western Digital's Acronis True Image WD, which I would trust more than Partition Commander 11s clone wizard].
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on 25 May 2010
Quite simply this product does what it says on the box. The wizards make using the software very easy even for a non-technical user like me. It has breathed new life into my hard drive.

My only reservation is the tech support by E-mail. I had problems installing the software and when I asked for assistance they simply repeated what the software had already told me. Eventually I managed to install the software and thereafter it literally took only twenty minutes to increase the size of the C Drive and at every stage the software explained what was happening. Magic indeed!
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on 6 June 2015
I could not tell if this was a free trial or a genuine disk. There was no user guide and it had trial info.
I have used Avanquest Partition Magic in the past and found it easy to use but it is not suitable for Windows 7

I will persevere with it since I have had a computer crash.
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on 18 September 2012
Most new computer systems nowdays do not include a floppy drive. It is old technology which died out years ago. I don't think anybody at Avanquest realizes this fact because partition commander11 still requires the use of a floppy drive to complete most of it operations. Be advised if you use this software and you do not have a floppy drive, you are going to lose the use of your computer until you can find a way to rewrite your MBR. The reason being when you create a new partition commander cannot move the files about while your computer is online, so it does it during a reboot. Unfortunetly, during the reboot it asks that you put a floppy disk in the drive with some kind of startup disk and it will not progress further untii you do so. It acutally modifies the MBR and will not progress further until you put the disk in the floppy drive. The partition commander recovery disk is of no use since it apparently is running in linux mode and is of no help to a windows system. Luckily, I was able to boot off of my win 8 dvd and go into repair moode, which allowed me to run bootrec /FixMBR to get control of my PC back.

So, if you do not have a floppy drive you had better get one before attempting to use partition commander 11.

The software seems to work fine other than the above problem. I can't vouch for that though since I never got athe partitioning taks completed.
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on 1 May 2010
Very easy to use and very powerful, I managed to resurrect a hard drive that Partition Magic version 8 had given up on. Integrates well with Windows 7 64-bit version.
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on 26 April 2014
I have been working with disk partitioning since at least Windows 95. However, I followed the instructions in this program with the greatest care and got into such difficulties which defeated me and the local technicians that we were obliged to reinstall Windows Seven and start again from scratch using a basic command system. I can only report just what happened to me.
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on 1 October 2010
Partition Commander 11 (PC CD)I bought this product as I was having problems with some partitions on my new harddrive, OS WINDOWS 7, set it up to install Windows XP to run on another partition only to find it completely wiped out my main OS, fortunately i had made a back up image so did a restore, tried it again to find it wiped out my OS again, tried to defragment harddrive to be told that my system would have to be restarted so partition commander could have full access to my files, rebooted and got the message "nothing to select" and could not boot back into windows so another system image restore required. I am quite competent when it comes to computers as I have been building / fixing them for the last ten years, so I think I know what I am doing. Anyway I would not recommend this product at all. If you are going to use it make sure you make an image backup first. Good luck.
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on 23 April 2010
This software does the job it says will do, and for 64 bit systems (I tested it under Windows 7 64 bit) it is an acceptable substitute of Patition Magic. The boot loader works, but need some improvements.
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VINE VOICEon 10 July 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Partition Commander is a disk partitioning tool for Windows XP, Vista and 7 systems. In Windows, disk partitions hold the file-systems (C:, D: etc. drives in Explorer) used to store the operating system and your data files. Typically a new build PC will come with one partition for Windows, plus an extra hidden recovery partition which allows you to re-install the operating system if you need to. However many people (myself included) prefer to separate data and other non operating system files onto a separate disk partition because it makes backing up your data easier and can in selected cases improve PC performance. You may also want to create a 2nd partition if you want to install another operating system onto the same PC in a dual-boot configuration. Partitioning tools like Partition Commander allow you create additional partitions on an existing disk, either by using free space on the disk or by shrinking the size of an existing partition in order to create a new one. Partitioning is an advanced operation in Windows and not one I'd recommend you do lightly if you're at all unsure, especially if changing your primary boot partition (C: drive). Note: Wikipedia has a good overview of disk partitions and the benefits of multiple partition set-ups.

To date I've been using Partition Wizard Home Edition on my Windows 7 system - this is free for home use, so I was keen to know what a paid for product like Partition Commander actually offers over and above something that you can get for free.

Installation was straightforward but it was disconcerting that a reboot was required, and that all of my hard disks (apart from the C: drive) caused "media auto-play" dialogs to appear once the installation was complete. I can't imagine why Partition Commander should need to un-mount and re-mount the existing partitions (which is what appears to have happened). But I didn't notice any further ill effect - it was just a bit disconcerting.

In use the tool gives a user friendly overview screen with four basic options covering Partitioning, Copy and Migration, Backup/Restore and Boot Management. There is also an advanced view, more like traditional partition managers, which is better in my view than the default interface, but perhaps that's just me being old-fashioned. The basic partition management functions offered by Partition Commander are pretty much standard these days in partitioning tools (despite what the product comparison shown on the box and website implies). However Partition Commander does offer the following extras compared to something like Partition Wizard:

- Disk defragmentation
- Disk imaging / backup
- Boot manager for multi-OS booting

Defragmentation is useful, but there are other tools better suited that offer things like background defragmentation (Partition Commander doesn't - you have to run up the tool to trigger it). Some are also free for personal use.

Disk imaging is genuinely useful, but as I already have Norton Ghost this is not a differentiator for me. Similarly, the boot manager is great if you need one, but I only have Windows 7 installed on my PC and have no intention of installed another OS.

One missing feature from Partition Commander is a function to secure erase partitions / disks - very useful if removing an old/failing hard disk for a new one where you want to be sure that your personal data is securely erased before you throw out the disk. This is offered in the free edition of Partition Wizard which combined with the free price tag makes it the winner for me. At current Amazon prices Partition Commander is good value, but my recommendation would be to try one of the free tools first and then decide for yourself.
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