Why would you want a tool such as Paragon Partition Manager 12 Home? There are several reasons for wanting to adjust the number- or size of partitions on a hard drive. For example, you may also need to reallocate space from one to another, as your needs change.

Microsoft Windows has a habit of wiping the data on a partition when you change it, but Paragon Partition Manager 12 Home can achieve most changes without disturbing resident data. It can now even split an existing partition into two, distributing files from the old partition between the new ones in whatever combination you choose. See all software downloads.

Partition splitting is new to this version and the feature's absence is something the product has been criticised for in the past. Paragon Partition Manager 12 Home offers a specialised Wizard to achieve the split, just one of many easy-to-use Wizards that run alongside the main program.

To split a partition, you specify the target one and are then shown a list of folders, so you can select which you want in the new one. The software then splits the partition and distributes the files and folders accordingly. Very easy. The split utility doesn’t work with Windows Vista/7 Dynamic partitions, though it works fine with Basic ones. There’s also no converter from Dynamic to Basic, although there is in the Pro version of the product.

Paragon claims a complete new partitioning engine in version 12, so we split a 320GB SATA disk into two partitions and then merged them again to check performance. It took 18 minutes 48 seconds to split and a further 18 min 37 sec to put them together again. These kinds of tasks could easily run in a lunch hour. See also:Does pc speed boost software work?

Paragon Partition Manager 12 Home: Features

The main Partition Manager 12 Home screen will be familiar to anybody who has used earlier versions of the program. The top panel shows details of the currently selected partition, including a pie chart of its usage, while two shuttered panels can be slid up and down to show a partition list and a disk map.

The partition list shows the partitions on each drive and their positions on its surface. The disk map shows each disk graphically, with partitions and their usage. The program works with FAT, NTFS, Apple HFS and several versions of the Linux EXT file system.

The main interface offers all the things you would expect of a partition manager: creation and deletion of partitions, formatting and labelling. It can merge two partitions together, though they must be adjacent on the same disk.

Extras in the program’s initial menu include simple backup, which enables you to select files and folders and back them up to another partition, and a boot manager, helping to set drives up, so you can boot any of several operating systems.

As well as a $40 single-PC licence, which runs for a year, there’s a 10-day licence, for $10. This may seem a little batty, but makes a lot of sense, if you just want to set up a new PC with specific partitions. You probably won’t need to use the product again, so an annual licence could be extravagant.

Paragon Partition Manager 12 Home: Specs

  • Windows 2000 SP4 32-bit/XP SP2/Vista/7
  • 256MB RAM
  • 1GB drive space
  • Windows 2000 SP4 32-bit/XP SP2/Vista/7
  • 256MB RAM
  • 1GB drive space

OUR VERDICT

Paragon Partition Manager 12 Home is a good incremental release of the product. Now including the facility to split an existing partition in two, it can also perform more basic partition functions, many without restarting and most without any data loss. The versatile pricing structure helps get around infrequent use of what is a valuable resource, when you need it.

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