Hard drive management can be a complicated process, requiring you to master a host of different Windows applets, then build up a further library of tools to fill in the functionality gaps.
But there is a simpler alternative: just install Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2010 Suite and it'll do almost everything you'll need, all on its own.
Once a new drive has arrived, for instance, it can migrate your existing windows installation across with the minimum of hassle. Or, if you're starting from scratch, you can use the very powerful partitioning tools to organise the drive in any way that you'd like.
A powerful defrag tool will then keep your drive running at its optimum speed. And you can protect its contents with a range of backup tools. The simplest option is just to copy a partition, but the program can also create an image backup, save particular groups of files (your emails, say), or protect whatever files and folders that you specify.
If something goes wrong and Windows won't start, then Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2010 Suite has tools that can help. Load from its bootable recovery environment, for instance (one that can run from CD, DVD or USB flash drive) and it can try to fix your system, or restore a backup to get everything working again.
And other options include a Wipe tool to securely erase free space or complete partitions; a Boot Manager that will help you install multiple operating systems on one PC; and a range of advanced low-level utilities, including the ability to edit your hard drive at the sector level.
What you won't get here is support for dynamic volumes, beyond the ability to read them. If you need to back up, restore, wipe and generally work with dynamic disks then we'd recommend you try Suite's big brother, Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2010 Professional. Other benefits of that version include strong support for working with virtual machines, scheduled copy tasks, and powerful low-level tweaks like the ability to change a partition's cluster size.
The backup tools are a little basic, but otherwise Paragon Hard Disk Manager 2010 Suite is packed with useful drive management functionality, and almost all of it powered by helpful wizards so it's very easy to use