On The Side Of Partitioning

There should be an image here!There are really two schools of thought. Some people see no need in partitioning. The opposite camp views partitioning as a valuable tool for organizing, for security, and for overall efficiency. Many of our readers are on the side of partitioning and the following argument will support that position.

One of the best arguments on the side of partitioning was given by Mitch Tulloch, in an article for Microsoft. The three major points on which Mitch bases his argument are:

  1. Partitioning organizes work
  2. Partitioning safeguards the data
  3. Partitioning increases the computer’s performance

The full text of Mitch Tulloch’s discussion can be found in this article: Best practices for partitioning a hard disk.

One of the points that Mitch makes is: “At the end of each month I copy last month’s subfolders archive to CD, label it by date, and put it somewhere safe. That way I have last month’s backup ready if both my hard disks fail from a lightning bolt hitting my office, or my computer is infected with a virus, or a thief steals my computer.” Needless to say, the security programs should be run to make certain that the backup is not infected.

There are numerous benefits of the Acronis Disk Director Suite. For example, it is possible to use it to restore boot records, recover partitions, and so forth. Edward Mendelson, in PC Magazine, said: “Our test system (running Acronis Recovery Expert) worked effortlessly and quickly to find and restore a Linux partition that had been deleted months ago. If you’ve ever lost a partition to buggy or malicious software, this utility alone may be worth the price [of Acronis Disk Director Suite].”

Acronis Disk Director Suite is one of the most popular and well-used partitioning programs. It has won industry recommendations and users’ praise. The many main features can be found here: Disk Management and Partitioning.

The Acronis Disk Management and Partitioning program is easy to use and effective. It supports Windows (NT 4, 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista). And, until December 9, 2009, the Acronis people are offering our readers an amazing thirty percent (30%) discount. Use this link for the discount.

This program is a CNET Editors’ Choice Award winner: “A suite of utilities that will keep your hard disk healthy. An excellent set of tools that will allow you to keep your hard disk healthy and organised.” The Acronis Disk Management Suite has had many third party reviews and it has been top rated. Thanks to the Acronis people for the generous offering for our readers.

Partitioning Is Go!

There should be an image here!There are really two schools of thought. Some people see no need in partitioning. The opposite camp views partitioning as a valuable tool for organizing, for security, and for overall efficiency. Many of our readers are on the side of partitioning and the following argument will support that position.

One of the best arguments on the side of partitioning was given by Mitch Tulloch, in an article for Microsoft. The three major points on which Mitch bases his argument are:

  1. Partitioning organizes work
  2. Partitioning safeguards the data
  3. Partitioning increases the computer’s performance

The full text of Mitch Tulloch’s discussion can be found in this article: Best practices for partitioning a hard disk.

One of the points that Mitch makes is: “At the end of each month I copy last month’s subfolders archive to CD, label it by date, and put it somewhere safe. That way I have last month’s backup ready if both my hard disks fail from a lightning bolt hitting my office, or my computer is infected with a virus, or a thief steals my computer.” Needless to say, the security programs should be run to make certain that the backup is not infected.

There are numerous benefits of the Acronis Disk Director Suite. For example, it is possible to use it to restore boot records, recover partitions, and so forth. Edward Mendelson, in PC Magazine, said: “Our test system (running Acronis Recovery Expert) worked effortlessly and quickly to find and restore a Linux partition that had been deleted months ago. If you’ve ever lost a partition to buggy or malicious software, this utility alone may be worth the price [of Acronis Disk Director Suite].”

Acronis Disk Director Suite is one of the most popular and well-used partitioning programs. It has won industry recommendations and users’ praise. The many main features can be found here: Disk Management and Partitioning.

The Acronis Disk Management and Partitioning program is easy to use and effective. It supports Windows (NT 4, 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista). And, until December 9, 2009, the Acronis people are offering our readers an amazing thirty percent (30%) discount. Use this link for the discount.

This program is a CNET Editors’ Choice Award winner: “A suite of utilities that will keep your hard disk healthy. An excellent set of tools that will allow you to keep your hard disk healthy and organised.” The Acronis Disk Management Suite has had many third party reviews and it has been top rated. Thanks to the Acronis people for the generous offering for our readers.

Joys Of Dedicated Data Partitions

Whether you use Windows or Linux, there is something fantastic about having a dedicated data partition rather than keeping all of your user data on the same partition as your OS. For Windows XP users, this means following this LifeHacker article for a better understanding on how to do this with XP and Vista.

For Ubuntu Linux users, setting a dedicated home partition could not be easier. Just do this with the first install of the OS, using advanced partitioning as one of the option. Create three partitions. One swap, one as /Home/ and the last one as the / directory.

The benefits of doing this are tremendous. Reinstalling a fresh copy of the OS may mean reinstalling the software, but once reinstalled, the data partition remembers all of your user settings. This is a massive time saver. But there is also one other thing to consider when taking this approach, considering using a separate hard drive. Bundling this approach with the separate partition, you have extra insurance in case of outright hardware failure.

Still at the end of the day, using a separate hard drive is not a replacement for solid off-site backup. Then again, doing both can make for a fairly decent way to keep your computing life as sane as possible.

[awsbullet:data partition]

Today Only – Free Paragon Partition Manager 9.5 Professional

Today only, August 12, 2009, get a free copy of Paragon Partition Manger 9.5 Professional , at the link below. The software must be downloaded and installed today only. It is a large download, 115MB, so a broadband connection is highly recommended.

Here are the spec’s & instructions – read carefully.

Windows Vista/XP/2000; 300MHz or higher processor; RAM: 256 MB; Disk space: 100 Mb; Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher, SVGA video adapter and monitor, mouse; Limitations: No winPE CD included in this version.

Unzip the package you’ve downloaded, and carefully read the instructions which you can find in the readme.txt file. This readme.txt file is included with all our downloads. Follow the instructions carefully to install and activate the software.

Free Download

Source.

Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Partition Was In)

It is surprising how strongly some people feel about the issue of partitioning or not. Voices are raised — faces become a bit redder — language becomes a bit more colorful. If you are from the school of thought that partitioning is absolutely not necessary, please leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Your point of view is valuable and should be considered.

This presentation, however, will favor partitioning. There will be some of us who will remember the days when, for example, a 3 GB hard drive on your laptop was considered to be “state of the art,” and the cost of that machine was several thousand dollars. Now, that seems archaic, and the hard drives increasingly grow in size — and some are partitioned.

One of the best arguments on the side of partitioning was given by Mitch Tulloch, in an article for Microsoft. The three major points that Mitch basis his argument are:

  • partitioning organizes work
  • partitioning safeguards the data
  • partitioning increases the computer’s performance

One of the points is that Mitch makes is: “At the end of each month, I copy last month’s Archive subfolders to CD, label it by date, and put it somewhere safe. That way I have last month’s backup ready if both my hard disks fail from a lightning bolt hitting my office, or my computer is infected with a virus, or a thief steals my computer.” Needless to say, the security programs should be run to make certain that the backup is not infected.

One of the most popular and well-used partitioning programs is Acronis Disk Director Suite. It has won industry recommendations and users’ praise.

The Acronis Disk Management and Partitioning program is easy to use and effective. It supports Windows (NT 4, 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista). And, until July 22, 2009, the Acronis people are offering our readers an amazing thirty percent (30%) discount.

This program is a CNET Editors’ Choice Award winner: A suite of utilities that will keep your hard disk healthy. An excellent set of tools that will allow you to keep your hard disk healthy and organized. The Acronis Disk Management program has had many third party reviews and it has been top rated.

Thanks to the Acronis people for the generous offering for our readers.

On Which Side Of The Partition Do You Stand?

It is surprising how strongly some people feel about the issue of partitioning or not. Voices are raised — faces become a bit redder — language becomes a bit more colorful. If you are from the school of thought that partitioning is absolutely not necessary, please leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Your point of view is valuable and should be considered.

This presentation, however, will favor partitioning. There will be some of us who will remember the days when, for example, a 3 GB hard drive on your laptop was considered to be “state of the art,” and the cost of that machine was several thousand dollars. Now, that seems archaic, and the hard drives increasingly grow in size — and some are partitioned.

One of the best arguments on the side of partitioning was given by Mitch Tulloch, in an article for Microsoft. The three major points that Mitch basis his argument are:

  • partitioning organizes work
  • partitioning safeguards the data
  • partitioning increases the computer’s performance

One of the points is that Mitch makes is: “At the end of each month, I copy last month’s Archive subfolders to CD, label it by date, and put it somewhere safe. That way I have last month’s backup ready if both my hard disks fail from a lightning bolt hitting my office, or my computer is infected with a virus, or a thief steals my computer.” Needless to say, the security programs should be run to make certain that the backup is not infected.

One of the most popular and well-used partitioning programs is Acronis Disk Director Suite. It has won industry recommendations and users’ praise.

The Acronis Disk Management and Partitioning program is easy to use and effective. It supports Windows (NT 4, 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista). And, until July 22, 2009, the Acronis people are offering our readers an amazing thirty percent (30%) discount.

This program is a CNET Editors’ Choice Award winner: A suite of utilities that will keep your hard disk healthy. An excellent set of tools that will allow you to keep your hard disk healthy and organized. The Acronis Disk Management program has had many third party reviews and it has been top rated.

Thanks to the Acronis people for the generous offering for our readers.

There Is No Place Like Home

When you read the title of this, you might think I was speaking of my place of residence. No, I am speaking of the single most important folder you need to be backing up – your home folder. For Mac and Linux users, this literally is called the Home directory while for Windows users, this would be Documents and Settingsname or with Vista, /Users/name.

Regardless, the point I am about to make is the same — no matter what other backup tools you might happen to use, be sure to backup this folder the old fashion way as all other more “advanced” methods can and do fail.

Speaking for myself, I take this one step further by using a separate partition for my home directory. This means when my OS goes bad (and yes, Linux is just like any other OS in this way), I can recover with minimum time spent. What might surprise many of you is that I opt out of using mirroring tools such as Ghost, etc. Not because there is anything wrong with this, rather by taking the approach of examining the extra software installed, I can start off clean if I want to. And yes, Vista users can do the same thing with a /Users/name partition too. Well, that is what I am reading anyway. It used to be fairly doable in XP, the same ease surely carried through to the new flagship OS, right?

With Ubuntu Linux, all I need to do is make sure my home partition is big enough that I can spot it. Then during the Live CD install, I can see it listed when I use the advanced partition tool and choose /home for partition with my home data already on it and the root directory is then set to /. It’s actually surprisingly simple and completely idiot proof on a dedicated box.

So why not bother with using mirroring products as clearly, they provide a much faster option? Simple, because what do you do when the restore fails for some reason. Regardless of OS, it happens and when it takes place, life becomes really unpleasant. Think about it — a home folder on a separate partition. If you already use some fancy backup scheme, this is only serving to save your backside should you reach for that external hard drive only to find that the recovery tool you used to back things up with failed for some reason. It happens, nothing is perfect, but a user directory on a separate partition is sure a good place to start when reaching for near perfection for the casual home office! Let’s just say it has yet to fail me.

Prevent End-User System Changes With Deep Freeze Part II

Two versions of Deep Freeze are presently available for Windows desktop computers: Deep Freeze Standard Edition and Deep Freeze Enterprise Edition. Windows Vista supports both the Standard and Enterprise versions of Deep Freeze.

Deep Freeze Standard Edition
Deep Freeze Standard Edition is the basic Deep Freeze product designed for the individual or organization that needs to be able to freeze a computer’s hard drive and restore to a default configuration at reboot. Pricing starts at $39.95 however, the price goes down the more copies that you buy.

Deep Freeze Enterprise Edition
Deep Freeze Enterprise Edition works the same way as the Standard Edition but includes many more features. Deep Freeze Enterprise offers centralized deployment and enhanced flexibility options for customizable management of large computing environments. Deep Freeze Enterprise Edition is significantly more expensive than the Standard Edition. A 10 pack of licenses, with one year of maintenance, starts at $547.50.

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Prevent End-User System Changes With Deep Freeze Part I

End users tinkering with their desktop PCs can be a major headache for the help desk. But now there is a way to make end-user damage disappear by simply rebooting the PC, thanks to a product called Deep Freeze from Faronics Technologies. Version 6.2 has been certified by Microsoft with their official "Works with Windows Vista" designation.

How Deep Freeze works
Although Deep Freeze is a desktop lockdown utility, it operates differently than other such products. Instead of actively preventing end-user changes, Deep Freeze runs passively in the background. Users are free to make any changes to the system that they like. They can install programs, delete files, and change Windows settings. When the system is rebooted, though, all of the changes are undone and the system is restored to the state at which Deep Freeze was installed.

How does Deep Freeze accomplish this?
According to Vik Khanna, director of sales for Faronics Technologies, once Deep Freeze is installed it "freezes" all the used space on a particular hard drive partition. No permanent changes can then be made to that partition unless Deep Freeze is disabled or uninstalled or Deep Freeze Professional’s ThawSpace feature is used.

Just how Deep Freeze manages to lock a partition’s contents, Khanna wouldn’t say-to protect Deep Freeze’s patent-pending technology. The process does not, however, involve any imaging of the hard drive; in fact, Khanna touts Deep Freeze as an alternative to the repeated imaging that is often performed on open-environment computers, such as those found in school computer labs or corporate training classrooms.

But Deep Freeze’s power doesn’t come without a price. No permanent changes can be made to a partition once it has been frozen-including saving files. If a user saves a file to a "frozen" C: drive, it will be lost once the machine is rebooted-this includes information saved in Outlook PST files and Internet Explorer Favorites. Any programs that automatically save information to the frozen drive will need to be configured so they use an alternative location, such as a network drive or separate hard drive partition. Help desks must also configure their PCs to boot from the hard drive first for Deep Freeze to be totally effective. Otherwise, individuals would be able to boot from a floppy and bypass Deep Freeze.

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Vista Downdgrade To XP – Is It Really This Simple?

Yesterday I received a link from a client of mine asking if it was really this easy to downgrade from Vista down to XP. The link took me to a InformationWeek article, they had a slide show presentation [see below] of just 5 slides showing the ease in which to complete the task. I must admit it did appear at first glance that what was being presented would work. Or would it?

Though the process was easy, insert your XP CD, boot, a format, and a call to Microsoft to get a activation number, it made me wonder just how many people have actually done this? Not only have done this, but actually were successful in completing the task by follow these simple directions?

I guess I’m just being overly caustious since I like to be prepared just in case something happens. It is hard to believe that anything would happen because installing Windows is 100% fool proof. Right, and the earth is flat. But I think I personally would want to do the following BEFORE trying a downgrade.

First, I’d call Microsoft and confirm that they will really give me a activation key when I downgrade. I don’t want to be sitting with a system in which I can’t active XP because of some type of legal licensing quirk that is specific to me or my machine, while the entire universe moves on in a different direction.

Second I would make sure that whether I had Vista disks or Vista installed on another partition that these were going to work as well. You’ve never had bad disks? Have you ever tried calling a OEM or Microsoft and getting replacements disks sent to you? Good luck on this one. How about if the partition in which Vista is installed is corrupt? What than? It would be nice if we lived in paradise where in everything worked just peachy keen, but I have experienced to many bad happenings to trust Windows.

Third, and this is a big must, I’d check on the manufacturers site and see if in fact all of my hardware is supported by the correct XP drivers. I don’t want to be sitting with XP on my box without sound, because of a lack of drivers. Just another thought.

But what do you think? Am I being way to cautious and should we throw caution to the wind? Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead! :-)

Comments welcome.

InfomationWeek slides are here.

[tags]vista, windows, xp, downgrade, disks, partition, drivers, oem, format, install,  [/tags]

Parted Magic LiveCD v1.9

Optimized at approximately 30MB, the Parted Magic LiveCD OS employs core programs of GParted and Parted to handle partitioning tasks with ease, while featuring other useful programs (e.g. Partition Image, TestDisk, fdisk, sfdisk, dd, and ddrescue) and an excellent set of documentation to benefit the user.

[36.13M] [Win95/98/ME/NT/2k/XP/Vista] [FREE]

If Only Moses Had PartedMagic

Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

Many of you have asked me for a recommendation for a partition tool. In the past, I’ve recommended Partition Magic, which of course is not free. Wirelesspacket gave me a link to a free partitioning program that appears to be quite good!

PartedMagic is an Open Source project. It is a Linux Live CD/USB/PXE with its elemental purpose being to partition hard drives.

What is a partition, you ask? Well, to put it in simple terms… take your disk on your computer. Usually, your C drive. You can use this tool to create “partitions” on it, that is, separate sections. You can have one that boots a Linux distro, one that boots Windows, and even one for your music files. You see where I’m going with this? A partition tool will help you divide that hard disk, and manage the separate sections… or partitions.

There are two things that make PartedMagic stand out above other alternatives. One is the fact that it comes with complete documentation. The other thing is the sheer number of file systems it supports. PartedMagic supports the following: ext2, ext3, ext4, fat16, fat32, hfs, hfs+, jfs, linux-swap, ntfs, reiserfs, reiser4, and xfs.

I’m always interested in hearing your tips, tricks, ideas, and programs you can’t live without. I encourage you to send me your thoughts via a comment to this or any other video, or by sending me an email to chris@prillo.com.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code:

[tags]disk, partition[/tags]

Partition Panic!

Today, Angel writes:

Matt… I have two hard drives. One has two partitions with XP Home on C drive and Vista on D drive.

All this is working just fine with the help of easyBCD boot manager. Now my problem is I would also like to connect my second hard drive with XP pro as a slave drive. Is it at all possible to run the 3 OSes on the computer as I have described?

I really really would like to use the XP Pro as well as the other two on the master drive. I am thanking you in advance as I know you are very knowledgeable in these matters. Hoping to hear from you soon.

Thanks

When I first read this, I must admit that my initial response was to question the need for both XP Home and Pro? Honestly, you would be better off to simply use different user accounts in Pro, take that Home partition (hard drive), wipe it and use it for extra storage.

If however, you still have your heart set on making this tri-boot system work. I would personally use Disk Director as the most comprehensive, no-nonsense solution to get this to work right the first time. I say this as the alternative looks to be more work than it is worth. Then again, it is certainly possible that the community here at Lockergnome has some thoughts that can provide you with a clearer path so you are not left to spend the money for Disk Director? Check the comments and see what our readers have to say.

Do you have an IT-related question? Perhaps you are just burnt out on writing on the walls with crayons? Whatever the comments may be, drop me a line and you, too, can “Just Ask Matt!”

Also, don’t forget to check out “Just Ask Matt,” Linux Edition!

[tags]partition[/tags]

Basic And Dynamic Disks In Vista (Part IV)

It is common these days for someone to move a hard disk between two computers. When you move a dynamic disk from one computer to another, the status will appear as “foreign” within the Disk Management console. You will be unable to access any data on the disk until you import the disk into the computer’s system configuration.

If you have moved a dynamic disk from one computer to another, you can use the steps below to import it. The steps below assume that you have already physically added the foreign disk to the computer.

  1. Click Start, right click Computer and click Manager.
  2. Click Storage
  3. Click Disk Management.
  4. From the Action menu, click Rescan Disks.
  5. Right click the disk marked as Foreign and click Import Foreign Disks.
  6. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the process.

You should now be able to access the data that is stored on the new disk. The important point to remember any time you remove or add a physical type to a computer is that you have to open the Disk Management console and select the Rescan Disks option from the Action menu. And on that note, you should now be able to tackle many disk management tasks.

[tags]vista, basic disk, dynamic disk, windows, microsoft, partition, volume, drive[/tags]

Basic And Dynamic Disks In Vista (Part III)

Now that you are familiar with basic and dynamic disks, you can move on to performing some basic disk management tasks such as creating, shrinking, extending and formatting simple volumes.

In Vista, you can create a new simple volume by completing the steps below:

  1. Open Disk Management.
  2. Right click unallocated space on the dynamic disk and click New Simple Volume.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Type in the size of the volume and click Next.
  5. Assign a drive letter to the volume and click Next.
  6. Specify the formatting options. If you choose to format the partition, type in a name for the volume in the Volume Label field and select the file system you want to use.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Review your selections and click Finish.

New in Vista is the ability to shrink a volume. This means you can reclaim unused space from a volume and then create a new volume from that free space.

To shrink a volume:

  1. Open Disk Management.
  2. Right click the volume you want to shrink and click Shrink Volume from the context menu.
  3. Enter the amount in MB to shrink the partition.
  4. Click Shrink.

Once the operation is complete, the free space that you reclaimed will appear as unallocated space within Disk Management.

As with XP, Vista also lets you extend a volume.

To extend a simple volume:

  1. Within the Disk Management console, right click the simple volume that you want to extend and click Extend Volume.
  2. Select the disk that the volume will be extended to and click Add.
  3. Specify the amount of space to add to the volume. Click Next.
  4. Click Finish.

In the final installment of this article, I’ll outline some of the additional disk management tasks that you can perform in Vista.

[tags]vista, basic disk, dynamic disk, windows, microsoft, partition, volume, drive[/tags]