There may not be many times you need to reorganise the partitions on your hard drive, but when you do, you really need specialist software. Partition Commander, originally a product of VCom but now rebadged under the Avanquest label, is exactly that software.
To try to make what is a series of quite geeky procedures more accessible, the new program has a set of Wizards for tasks like creating and changing existing partitions. As long as you understand enough about the structure of a hard drive to realise you can create more than one partition and logical drive on a single physical disk, you should be able to work your way through the Wizards easily enough.
If you prefer to use the more advanced interface, this too is clearly laid out. In some places, such as when allocating partition sizes, it would be useful to be able to enter specific numbers rather than dragging a slider which doesn’t work in real time, but overall there are few problems.
New features of version 11 include a revamped interface, though it looks very similar to the previous one to us, and a utility to build a rescue disc on CD or USB drive. It can also help with the installation of a new operating system in a freshly created partition and has a built-in boot manager, so you can select which OS to run when you start up your PC.
The program also has a use on a Mac running OS X with Boot Camp. Although the program doesn’t run under OS X, it can be run in a Windows partition on a Mac and from there it can be used to adjust the relative sizes of the two partitions.
Although we have reached version 11 of this software, the main file mechanisms have been in place for a while. Avanquest heralds the arrival of Windows 7 compatibility, in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, but little has changed in the file structure since Vista or indeed XP, so there can’t have been much that needed to be changed. While Partition Commander 11 is a useful utility on the few occasions you need to restructure a hard drive, it’s not likely to be regularly used, which makes it look a bit pricey.
To increase its overall value, it really should be sold with a three-machine licence, like most Internet Security suites and Avanquest’s own AutoSave 2 backup application, a tool which will be used every day. A single-PC licence for that excellent real-time back-up utility is included on the Partition Commander 11 CD.
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