MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro 8 is the latest version in the Partition Wizard application line. Built to fill the gap when Symantec gave up support on Partition Magic, Partition Wizard is a fully featured partition and disk manager solution. Following is a review of version 8.1.
Overview and Features
Below are just some of the features offered in Partition Wizard Pro 8.
- Supports Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8
- Support for Dynamic Volumes including Simple, Mirrored, RAID 5, Spanned and Striped
- File Systems supported including FAT, NTFS, Ext2, and Ext3
- Manage partition operations such as resize, move, merge and copy
- Convert Dynamic to Basic Disk
- Manage Dynamic disks
- Convert File Systems (FAT to NTFS, etc.)
Installation and Usage
Installation was quick and simple. A straightforward wizard installs the program and upon first launch, you are taken to the main user interface (Figure 1). Once in the program you have access to a number of wizards or specific operations. The Wizards are logical and will help you perform common tasks such as copying partitions, copying disks or recovering data from a partition.
When you select a partition, several additional options will open up and you can format, label, merge and resize partitions. I ran some tests and found the user interface to be straight to the point and easy to use. As changes are made, Partition Wizard will queue up actions and will list them in the interface. Once you’re ready to apply your changes you can click the Apply button and the actions will be carried out.
I ran through some basic operations such as creating new partitions and resizing an existing one (Figure 2). After applying the changes, the operations were pretty fast and completed without issue.
What makes Partition Wizard stand apart from other tools is some of the welcome extras included in the Professional edition. Of particular note is the ability to wipe partitions securely. This is very handy when you want to get rid of your hard drive and wish to clean it making it nearly impossible retrieve data from the drive. Partition Wizard offers several levels of “secure wipe” based on your needs (Figure 3).
Other available tools include Data Recovery and a Bootable Partition Wizard CD. However, these are separate downloads and the toolbar in Partition Wizard simply takes you to the MiniTool website. I am a bit disappointed these tools and extras aren’t included in the base download as these tools appear to be free versions available to anyone, whether you purchased the product or not. I appreciate MiniTool making these tools available for free but it would be great to see them included in the base tool in future versions.
If you aren’t exactly comfortable with working with partitions, MiniTool has some great tutorials and guides available on their site. If you run into trouble, you can also get free email-based support.
Pricing, and Overall Comments
You can purchase Partition Wizard Pro 8 for $39.00 or you can purchase the version that comes with free lifetime upgrades for $59.00. Whether Partition Wizard Pro is right for you will depend on how much partition work you need to do. If you just need to resize and create basic disk partitions, you can easily do this in Windows or using Partition Wizard Home Edition (free). However, if you need to work with Dynamic disks, and move partitions or use other advanced functionality, MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro works very well at an affordable price. Check them out at www.partitionwizard.com.