A full-featured disk management utility is something most experienced Windows users need, whether it's to add and format a new hard drive, configure a USB drive, or copy partitions or whole drives and move them to new drives. MiniTool Partition Wizard is a powerful but easy-to-use partition manager that does all that and much more, and it's free, too. It supports FAT, NTFS, EXT, and Linux Swap file systems, and all hard-disk types recognized by Windows, including RAID arrays. It's also compatible with both MBR and GPT partition tables. Partition Wizard supports hard disks of up to 2TB in capacity and up to 32 individual drives. New features include one-step partition extending and improved partition splitting as well as Windows 8 compatibility.
Partition Wizard's user interface is good-looking and also intuitively configured, with a layout resembling many similar tools, including Disk Manager. Bar graphs and tables displayed the capacity and status of all our system's drives, including its three logical partitions and USB thumbdrive. Even if you're familiar with disk-managing utilities, it's not a bad idea to start with Partition Manager's Help file, which does a great job of explaining each feature. And this program has features, starting with four Wizards: Copy Partition, Copy Disk, Partition Recovery, and Free Data Recovery. Each of these tools walks you through the steps necessary to perform these tricky operations. Speaking of Operations, Partition Wizard lists no fewer than 21 of them, everything from Align Partition to Surface Test. We could format, delete, copy, merge, split, explore, hide, and wipe partitions; set Active and Logical partitions; change serial numbers; and much more. You can also create a bootable CD that lets you use Partition Wizard during reboot to perform operations that you can't do when Windows is loaded.
Step 1 when making changes to your disk drives is always backing up your system, especially if you're making changes to your primary drive. All the tools we tried worked well, including the Move/Resize Partition Wizard, which let us set the partition by dragging it into place. MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition is a keeper.