V Communications – Partition Commander review

partition and boot menu management
Photo of V Communications – Partition Commander

There was a time when a partition meant nothing more than a piece of plasterboard separating two rooms. But where computers are concerned it means something altogether more complex. Partitions are used to divide hard drives into separate logical drives (C:, D:, E:, etc.). In addition to being a more organised solution to data storage (after all, who would want a filing cabinet that only had one drawer?), dividing a drive into partitions can reclaim lost storage space and provide a certain amount of data protection.

Partition Commander is designed to make partitioning easy. It is a DOS program (although it can be accessed seamlessly from Windows 95) that provides a quick and easy way to manipulate partitions. For the relatively novice user, there’s a ‘wizard’ that offers a selection of choices – More drive space, Faster disk access, Better organisation, Add an Operating System – from which the user can choose. Depending on the choice, Partition Commander will carry out the rest of the partitioning operation automatically. There’s also a Manual partitioning option for more advanced users, which lets you get to grips with things at a lower level, deciding on the filing structures and preparing the partition for one of over 30 different types of operating system, including most variants of Unix.

Some of Partition Commander’s more advanced features include the ability to convert partitions between FAT16 and FAT32, handle hard drives larger than 8.4GB (as long as the BIOS or drive overlay software supports it) and, which is more impressive, an ‘undo’ feature that will restore accidentally formatted or re-partitioned drives, although only in the current session. Because partitioning is only half of the equation, V Communications also includes a copy of System Commander Personal Edition, a boot-time management program that allows the user to configure a menu containing hundreds of different operating system variations, turning one PC into several very different machines.

Company: V Communications

Contact: 020 7372 9733

Partition Commander is just about idiot-proof (we know; we employed an idiot to test it). Like the other two similar products on the market, Quarterdeck Partition-It and PowerQuest PartitionMagic, it provides the full Monty in one box, allowing you to create, resize, move, delete and copy partitions as well as providing a comprehensive boot menu. No power user should be without at least one of these packages, and Partition Commander is arguably the best of the three.