NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
Partition Magic 3.0 From PowerQuest Corporation
Part 2 of 2 - A Review by David Hinds - November 97
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After giving the presentation on Partition Magic at the last general meeting, I am not sure there is anything new I can add in regard to it except the more I have worked with it, the more I have been convinced that it is an excellent utility for anyone who wants to organize a system's hard drives and files.

Other utilities included on the CD-ROM also can be put to good use. PQBoot allows more than one partition to be designated as a primary boot partition so multiple operating systems can be installed and selected without any interactions or conflicts because when one is selected the others are not seen by it. Data files can still be accessed by any of the different systems by storing them on an extended logical partition, which can be easily created by Partition Magic as I have already described. In order to use PQBoot it will need to be installed with each of the operating systems. (An alternative is to run it from a bootable floppy). From a user standpoint, PQBoot is a simple, easy-to-use DOS program that actually does what the manual says it will do.

The Uninstaller Mover utility (a MicroHelp product) allows easy relocation of applications from one partition to another or from one drive to another. Since the version of Partition Magic I have was released, Power Quest has released their own MagicMover utility in Partition Magic V 3.04, available to owners of previous versions as a free download from the Power Quest Web site at http/www.powerquest.com. The Uninstaller part of the utility is a demo of MicroHelp's Uninstaller 4 that shows you how you could uninstall if you bought their product. The demo version will not uninstall anything, even itself (you have to use control panel to get rid of it).

The Cluster Analyzer utility in Partition Magic displays information about the cluster size of FAT and FAT32 file systems in a dialog box that recommends the cluster size that most efficiently uses the space on the partition. In the dialog box you will also see a comparison graph of all the different cluster sizes with the amount of wasted space associated with each. I did not experiment with changing any of my cluster sizes as they were already at the recommended setting.

The Drive Mapper utility allows you to easily change drive letter references (references that tell your system where files are located) after you have added or deleted partitions as this may have changed drive letter assignments and some of your applications can no longer find your CD-ROM. The manual also explains how to make your system assign a drive letter to your CD-ROM so any future change in the number of drives or partitions will not result in a change to it.

IBM's Boot Manager (included on the CD) is alternative way of using multiple operating systems. I have been using it for some time to allow me to select between OS/2, Windows for Workgroups, and Windows NT and have not encountered any difficulties; however, a Tech Tip from Power Quest warns of possible problems when using it with systems using FAT32 as it was developed before FAT32 existed. They advise against using Boot Manager in situations that involve FAT32. I seem to have escaped the boot failure because I installed NT using the NTFS instead of FAT32.

In conclusion, I can highly recommend Partition Magic as being a program that does what its developers claim it will do (unlike a lot of software I have purchased). An added bonus is the user guide that comes with it. I believe I can truthfully say it is the most helpful manual I have ever used. It not only tells you how to install and run the software, it also explains the concepts of hard disks and drive assignments in a way that even I can understand.

PowerQuest Corporation 1-800-379-2566 www.powerquest.com P.O. Box 1911, Orem, UT 84059-9948

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