Boot from a GParted Live disc and create or manipulate the partitions on your hard drives.

If you ever need to partition or edit the partitions on your hard drives without an existing OS on the computer, then GParted Live should be in your PC toolbox.

The free GParted Live is based on a live version of Linux, (i.e. one that will boot from a disc or USB drive), and the Gnome Partition Editor, a.k.a. GPartEd, or more commonly GParted. GParted Live boots quickly, and handles virtually any partition type, including nearly all Linux, OS X, and Windows types.

Available options will vary slightly by the file system your OS uses, but in most cases GParted will detect existing partitions as well as let you create, read, expand or shrink, move, copy, check and rename them. I've been using the USB bootable version for over a year now and it has quite often booted when my Linux-based favorite, Parted Magic (which also uses GParted), wouldn't.

Note, however, that Parted Magic 6 (ISO) has replaced its GUI-based boot menu with a character-based (DOS-like) boot menu and now boots more reliably.

I favour Parted Magic because it doesn't require any command line intervention (GParted Live requires typing two commands) and it contains the Memtext86+ memory diagnostic tool, which I often use.

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GParted Live: Specs

  • UNIX, Windows NT, Windows 3.x, Linux, Windows 2000, Windows 9.x, Windows Me, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7
  • CD drive
  • UNIX, Windows NT, Windows 3.x, Linux, Windows 2000, Windows 9.x, Windows Me, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7
  • CD drive

OUR VERDICT

GParted Live is easy to use, but you need to understand partitioning to use it effectively. Back up your hard drive and read up on the task before you use it. GParted Live is a large download (though 40MB smaller than Parted Magic), but it's a good practice to keep several boot discs, both Linux- and Windows PE-based on hand. This should be one of them.

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