Paragon Partition Manager 9.0 is a powerful tool to allow the creation and management of separate partitions on a single volume such as a hard disk drive. It's available in three flavours, a Personal edition at £23.95 which provides the majority of features included in the £39.95 Professional release, and a Server version (£199) that can work with Windows 2003 Server and (for an extra fee) additional desktop PCs.
As its name suggests, creating, resizing and moving partitions on hard drives is core to Paragon Partition Manager Professional 9.0. It works with hard drives up to 1TB (terabyte) capacity, and is extremely easy to use. Upon launching the program, a simple interface is presented for the most commonly used applications, such as backing up, copying or partitioning a drive, with the option to go for the advanced interface if you want more control over such things as labelling and specifying file formats.
It is the extra features that make Paragon shine over a competing partition manager package from Easus. A built-in backup utility (new with release 9.0) allows you to make a snapshot of your system before you create or work with partitions, while the Copy Hard Disk wizard is effectively a clone tool that also allows you to resize a partition during the process.
There is also a Boot Manager that can be used to install and load multiple operating systems on your PC. The majority of these features are available in the Personal edition as well, with a few extras in the Professional release, such as incremental copying.
This does raise one question about the Professional version, however. Because the core features are included in the Personal release which costs around half the price, the extras such as a file transfer wizard and the ability to change boot partition sizes are rather esoteric for the majority of users.