MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional version 10.2.3 : A Review

Discussion in 'Reviews and Tests' started by jasonX, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. jasonX

    jasonX Giveaways Moderator Staff Member

    MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional version 10.2.3 : A Review

    INTRODUCTION

    An addition of a new hard drive/disk and partitioning sometimes goes awry when you do not have the right tools. Most inexperienced users tend to rely on the built-in Window's disk utility which if you are experienced enough can do the job but for inexperienced it is confusing. Even if you get a new hard drive/disk installed/partitioned properly and be able to use it without issues, managing your hard drive/disk later may prove to be a daunting task. I remember when I first started to do it on my own and not bother friends/family to help me out. I literally was in the dark and had to do some research. But with self-learning also comes the potential danger of "trial and error" and this again was a frustrating experience. Thus it is very important to have partitioning management software that is "not intimidating", user-friendly and of course comes with all the features the average individual will need at the same time making sure that the less experienced/average individual does not destroy his data by accident. That is what's important there. Help/guide the "less experienced/average individual/casual user" to not destroy his data by accident and safe-guard his partitions and important data.

    Over the years of computing I encountered/owned more than a few partitioning management software each of them having their own strong/negative points. MiniTool Partition Wizard was first introduced to me way back 2009 in another forum when I migrated to Windows 7 from Windows XP. The members their guided me in my first effort and it was a successful one. Since then I always had MiniTool Partition Wizard with me for my growing needs. As the years went I also encountered MiniTool's competitors and took advantage of the "need-for-learning" ache in my head availed of promotions here and there. With that came more learning which was satisfying. I have since then moved-on to the competition for I cannot purchase the new version of MiniTool Partition Wizard (just waited for the promo versions to come out) and just used my last professional version with the WinPE bootable media --version 7.0. With my "moving-on" I always thought about the question "What/How is the new version of MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro now?" "How will it fair to the ones that I am using now" etc. etc. Well today with the help of some sponsors I can answer those questions as I tinker with MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro version 10.2.3.

    This is a review of the most common features/functions of MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional version 10.2.3

    Let it be noted that in the course of the review I will refer to MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional version 10.2.3 also as "MPWP10.2.3". In the "OBSERVATIONS" I have used Aomei Partition Assistant Pro ver6.6 (will be referred to as "Aomei") and EaseUS Partition Master Pro ver11.9/12.5 (will be referred to as "EaseUS", "EPM12.5" or "EPM11.9") to verify some features compared.


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    MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional is a professional, easy-to-use partition manager software with comprehensive functions. It offers partition management for Windows server 2000/2003/2008/2008 R2/2012/2016 and Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10. MiniTool Partition Wizard fully supports the mainstream file systems, like exFAT, FAT12/16/32, NTFS, Ext2/3/4, and it also gives perfect support on GPT partitions. As a full-featured partition manager, MiniTool Partition Wizard has the capability to Resize and Move, Extend, Merge, Split, Create, Delete and Format, Copy, Convert, Explore, Recover, Hide and Unhide server and non-server partitions and much more.
    By MiniTool's own description/overview "developed aiming at Windows PC". For starters, it is a powerful tool for managing partitions on Windows PCs with ease, safe, effective and efficient.

    MiniTool Partition Wizard 10 YouTube Video




    PARTITIONING BASIC KNOWLEDGE

    Hard Disk/ Drive and Partitions
    A hard disk/drive is one of the most essential hardware/part of your computer responsible for long-term storage of data. In comparison to RAM hard disks stores data permanently even when the computer is shut-off (RAM loses the stored data when the computer shuts-off). Hard disks/drives have much more storage capabilities than RAM. Hard disk/drives is one of the main storage media of a computer system. It is composed of one or more discs, which are made of aluminum or glass, and the rapidly rotating magnetic disks (or platters). SSD, HDD and HHD are common kinds of hard disks/drives.

    When a logical partition is formatted, it is now referred to as a "volume". The process of formatting process requires the user to name the "partition". That "name" is called "volume label" which serves as identification of that volume on that hard drive/disk. A partition serves to define an area of the hard drive that an operating system (OS) like Windows for its installation and to install files for that operating system. Partitioning a single physical drive into a number of logical drives, each with its own "drive letter" and "volume label", enables the OS to cognitively process data more efficiently.

    If a user wants to run several OS s on a single hard drive to effectively define each of the OS's boundaries and run multi-operating systems installed on the same hard disk, partitioning is absolutely necessary. Through this the OS will view these partitions as separate drives meaning you can avoid to install multiple drives just to have an option of booting to different operating systems on a single pc system. Another use of partitioning is for detaching/separation of personal files from OS data files and backing up. Thus in the event of a major crash your personal files are safe and you can just reinstall the OS or recover it from a system image backup.


    Partition Types
    Generally (and as a rule) Primary Partitions is where the operating system is installed. A Logical Partition is meant to store data. Depending on the disk partitioning scheme the user chooses (MBR or GPT), MBR disk supports at most four primary partitions or three primary partitions and one extended partition while a GPT disk can support up to 128 partitions in Windows. An "extended partition" cannot hold data by itself but is dependent on partitions that actually hold data by itself. Simply put it is a "container" for logical partitions. Extended partition is used to make more than four (4) partitions on a hard drive/disk for the reason that an extended partition can contain multiple logical drives.


    File system
    File systems comprises structures that are essential for storage and handling data. These structures generally include an operating system boot record, directories, and files. File systems defines pattern/rules for naming files, which include what the maximum number of characters in a name is, which characters can be used, and, in some systems, how long the file name suffix can be. A file system also includes a format defining a path to a file through directories.

    Different operating systems use/employ different file systems. Depending on the specific operating system, one may only distinguish a singular file system while the other/s can discern several. The most common file systems are, (a) FAT (File allocation table), (b) FAT32 (File allocation table 32), (c) NTFS (New technology file system), (d) Linux ext2, and (e) Linux swap.


    Disk Formatting (Low-Level)
    Low-level formatting is the process of marking out cylinders and tracks for a blank hard disk, and then dividing tracks into multiple sectors. "Real formatting", as is often referred to, because it creates physical format defining locations where data is saved. Low-level formatting on hard disk will erase existing files making them "almost" impossible to recover. Performing low-level formats more often than needed shortens the hard disk life and service time.


    Disk Formatting (High-Level)
    High-level formatting is the process of writing a file system, cluster size, partition label, to a new partition or volume. High-level formatting clears data on hard disk, produces boot information, initializes FAT, and labels logical bad sectors when the partition has existed. This writing process does no harm to hard disk in general situations. High-level formatting can be achieved by using Windows built-in Disk Management tool or a trusted 3rd-party application.


    Partition Management Concept
    When you install a new hard disk/drive and install an operating system on it (or on a partition) that same partition which has the OS should be an "active partition" or the boot partition (active primary). If there are multiple operating systems installed, then you must set a primary partition from where the computer will boot from (active partition). Before setting a primary partition as "active" the user should be sure that it is "bootable" or else the computer will not boot. Bootable partitions are logically formatted partitions with essential OS files installed. Partitions without an OS installed cannot be booted upon.


    Basic Disk
    Basic disk is a hard disk configuration that is the most simplest to manage. It uses primary partitions, extended partitions, and logical drives to organize data. A formatted partition is also called a volume (the terms volume and partition are often used interchangeably). Partitions on a basic disk cannot share or split data with other partitions because each partition is a separate entity. Basic disks can be converted to dynamic disk without losing any data.


    Dynamic Disk/Volume
    A Dynamic disk is a physical disk with features that basic disks lacks, like support for volumes spanning multiple disks. Dynamic disks can store one or more volumes and one volume can fill more than one disk. Dynamic disks are more effective if a system has more than one hard disk/drive as it allows the user to create a large volume that occupies several disks as well as apply fault-tolerance mechanism to a user’s system/data via the use of mirror volume --where if one of the "mirror disk/s" fails no data will be lost as data is "mirrored" on duplicate disks.

    A "dynamic volume" are the volumes (formatted partitions) stored on dynamic disk. There are 5 types of Dynamic Volumes.

    • Simple (uses free space from a single disk),
    • Spanned (created from free disk space that is linked together from multiple disks),
    • Striped (a volume the data of which is interleaved across two or more physical disks),
    • Mirrored (a fault-tolerant volume the data of which is duplicated on two physical disks)
    • RAID-5 volumes (a fault-tolerant volume the data of which is striped across an array of three or more disks).

    Dynamic disks and Basic disks can exist together within a system but they cannot be mixed or exist on the same hard disk/drive. They should have their own separate hard disk/drives. See also "Dynamic Disk / Dynamic Volume".


    GPT and MBR Disks
    MBR
    (Master Boot Record) is a special type of loader code at the very beginning of computer's hard disk. MBR is the standard partitioning scheme that's been used on hard disks since the PC first came about. It contains an operating system bootloader and the storage device’s partition table. When DOS reads hard disk, MBR will help to check whether the partition is legal and locate the partition boot information.
    GPT (GUID Partitioning Table) disks are new, and are readable only by Windows Server 2003 SP1, Windows Vista (all versions), and Windows XP x64 Edition. GPT partitions supports at most 128 partitions in Windows, while MBR only supports 4 primary partitions or 3 primary partitions plus 1 extended partition. The largest disk capacity that can be managed by GPT mounts to 18EB, while the capacity limit of a MBR disk is only 2TB.




    The MiniTool Partition Wizard Main Interface
    MiniTool Partition Wizard has a user-friendly main interface, they are compose of six (6) parts (1) Menu Bar, (2) Toolbar, (3) Disk Map --shows preview of the partitions and unallocated space on disk, (4) Disk Partition Volume List --shows all the disks and partitions in computer as well as the detailed information about them, (4) Action Panel, and (5) Legend Bar --different kinds of legends are displayed here with various colors.


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    Selecting Operations
    In every operation that you will do it will all be listed in the "Operations Pending area" where you can check what is not yet applied. Any changes can be "undone" or "discarded".

    To select an operation users must first select a "partition" or "disk" to manage it. After selection of the target partition/disk, users can either go to the "Menu Bar” and click either "Partition" or "Disk" ("Dynamic Disk") and select the operation they need to do from the drop-down-list. At the left side of the interface is the "Action Panel" which is the most direct way to access all functions pertaining to what you need to do. Users must take note that operations are "only" effective when a partition/disk is selected. All operations/functions that can be performed/is-related the selected partition/disk will appear in the "Action Panel". Most of the time, users will need to click "Apply" in the Toolbar to execute/start the operations chosen/selected.

    For the most part of this review you will be shown in the images operations/functions selected from either the Menu Bar, Action Panel or the right-click function.

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    Pending Operations
    In every operation that you will do it will all be listed in the "Operations Pending area" where you can check what is not yet applied. Any changes can be "undone" or "discarded

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    APPLY Changes, and all changes will be listed in Operations Pending area, which provides users with a chance to check whether there are data-killing operations. The "Apply Changes" can also be accessed via short-cut key "Ctrl + A". Let it be noted that sometimes users will be asked to restart the computer after they are "sure" to apply all changes. That is because they are operating the device which is being used. Just do as told and MiniTool Partition Wizard will perform all unfinished operations in safe boot mode. After all operations have been completed, the computer will start normally.

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    The DISCARD feature, users can discard all previous changes to disks and partitions in one go rather than cancel the last one. The "Discard" can also be accessed via short-cut key "Ctrl + D.

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    With UNDO feature, users can cancel the last operation to a partition or disk without bringing any influence on data. The "Undo" or "Undo Last Changes" can also be accessed via short-cut key "Ctrl + Z".

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    PARTITION / REPARTITION HARD DISK


    Move/Resize Partition
    Sometimes in our everyday computing you get the "insufficient space" more often especially when you have added a lot more files to an existing predetermined size on your disk. That additional "new data" and that all the while "new data" keeps on piling up that you get "insufficient space" for another "new data". MiniTool Partition Wizard is capable of move/resize your existing partition safely. You can access "Move/Resize" by selecting the target partition and going to either, (a) Change Partition > Action Panel, (b) Menu Bar > Partition > Move/Resize, and (d) Right-click.


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    The "Move/Resize" partition operation gives you three (3) main operations which is to:

    Shrink partition
    With shrink partition you can either, (a) Shrink a large partition in Windows which does not contain "Extend Volume" and "Shrink Volume", or (b) Shrink a FAT partition in Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, etc.

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    Extend partition
    With extend partition you can either, (a) Enlarge a small partition in Windows which does not contain "Extend Volume" and "Shrink Volume", (b) Extend in Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, etc., (c) Extend a partition to the left contiguous unallocated free space, and (d) Extend a primary partition to contiguous free space.

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    The pop-up window will show details of the operation including the increase of the size of the partition you are extending and the decreased size of the partition you are extending it to.


    Move Partition
    With move partition you can either, (a) Move unallocated or free space to be contiguous to the partition we want to extend, and (b) Move a certain partition where bad sector exists to a safe place.


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    Merge Partition
    With "merge" partition operation/function you can merge two (2) adjacent NTFS partitions without losing your data. If you plan to merge partitions which are in the FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 formats it is advised to "convert" it first to NTFS. Also, conversion will keep your files intact.

    To merge a partition to an adjacent one, select target or "source" partition for the operation. Click Action Panel > "Merge partition", right-click on the source partition > "Merge", or go to Menu Bar > Partition >"Merge". Doing so will bring you to the "merge Partition window" where the source partition is shown as selected. Click "Next" to go to the where you will select the "adjacent partition" to be merged with the "source partition". Click "Finish" and click Tool Bar > "Apply" or use the short-cut key "Ctrl + A" to apply the merge operation.

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    Split Partition
    With "split" partition operation/function you can split one big partition to two smaller partitions without losing your data. To split a partition, select target or "source" partition for the operation. Click Action Panel > "Split partition", right-click on the source partition > "Split" or go to Menu Bar > Partition > "Split". Doing so will bring you to the "Split Partition window" there you will see that Partition Wizard has automatically split the target partition to two equal partitions. You can either accept this or you can "click-drag" the "split line" either left or right. Click "OK" then you will be taken to the Partition Wizard main window where it will show a preview of partition split that you did. Click "Finish" and click Tool Bar > "Apply" or use the short-cut key "Ctrl + A" to apply the merge operation.


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    Create Partition
    With "Create Partition” operation Partition Wizard enables you to create new (basic disk) volume with specified unallocated space. These days users are more learned to know how to separate important/personal data from the "system/OS" partition. Important/personal data is less likely to get corrupted or lost in the case of computer crash. Partitioning a hard drive into several partitions enables you to effectively manage data by category or according to your preference.

    To "create" a partition, select "target" unallocated space for the operation. Click Action Panel > "Create Partition", right-click on the "target" unallocated space > "Create" or go to Menu Bar > Partition > "Create".
    You can now set the parameters you prefer:

    (a) Partition Label, (b) Partition Type, (c) Drive Letter, (d) File System, (e) Cluster Size, (f) Partition Volume, and (g) Partition Location (on a whole basic disk with unallocated space, you can locate the partition you are creating to a location you prefer. This also can be used when you want to create/copy an existing partition due to hard drive error). Click "OK" to finish and at the Tool Bar > "Apply" or use the short-cut key "Ctrl + A" to apply the disk operation.

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    Delete Partition
    With "Delete Partition” operation Partition Wizard enables you to remove a specified partition and thus making it an "unallocated space". To "delete" a partition, select "target" partition to be deleted for the operation. Click Action Panel > "Delete Partition", right-click on the target partition to be deleted > "Delete" or go to Menu Bar > Partition > "Delete". Click "Apply" and click "Yes" button to proceed with the deleting operation

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    Delete All Partition
    With "Delete Partition” operation Partition Wizard enables you to remove multiple partitions at a time. To "delete all" partitions, select "target" disk for the operation. Click Action Panel > "Delete All Partition", right-click on the target disk to be deleted > "Delete All Partition" or go to Menu Bar > Disk > "Delete All Partition". Click "Yes" and click Toolbar > "Apply" button to proceed with the deleting operation.

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    Format Partition
    With "Format Partition” operation Partition Wizard enables you to clear partition data and then reconfigure parameters to your preference. Let it be noted that "formatting" will destroy all data in the target partition thus if the system partition is formatted, the current OS will fail to boot.

    To "format" partitions, select "target" disk for the operation. Click Action Panel > "Format Partition", right-click on the target partition to be formatted > "Format" or go to Menu Bar > Partition > "Format".
    Now set your preferred parameters: (a) partition label, (b) file system, and (c) cluster size for the selected partition and click "OK". In the Toolbar, click "Apply" to proceed with the formatting operation.


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    Align All Partitions
    With "Align All Partition" operation Partition Wizard enables you to align all hard drive partitions on an SSD disk or advanced format HD in just one step. Aligning partitions can speed up Solid State Drive’s (SSD) read/write speeds and can help improve overall system performance (especially when SSD is used as system drive).

    Aligning partitions are warranted if you:

    • Copy an advanced format HD or SSD to another advanced format HD or SSD.
    • Change size or move location of multiple partitions frequently.
    To "align all" partitions, select "target" disk for the operation. Click Action Panel > "Align All Partition", right-click on the target disk > "Align All Partition" or go to Menu Bar > Disk > "Align All Partition".
    If all partitions on the disk are already aligned, you will get a pop-up telling you that "The disk does not need to change alignment". All partitions are already aligned. Click "OK" to finish.

    However, if Partition Wizard detects misaligned partition(s), it will show how many partitions to align in total. "OK. MiniTool Partition needs to align n partitions". --"n" denotes the number of misaligned partition(s). Click "OK" to align and in the Toolbar, click "Apply" to proceed with the aligning operation.

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    Align Partitions
    With "Align Partition” operation Partition Wizard enables you to perform alignment to a single partition to obtain optimized read/write speeds that can help improve the partition's performance.

    Conditions when partition alignment is necessary are below:



    What is 4K Alignment?
    4K alignment refers to the alignment between 4K physical sector and cluster. For hard disks employing 4K sectors (including both Solid State Drive (SSD) and advanced formatted mechanical hard disk) it is necessary to perform 4K alignment to get efficient write speeds and not waste disk space.




    To "align" a partition, select "target" partition for the operation. Click Action Panel > "Align Partition", right-click on the target partition > "Align" or go to Menu Bar > Partition > "Align".
    If the target partition is already aligned, you will get a pop-up telling you that "The specified partition does not need to change partitions alignment. It is already aligned". Click "OK" to finish.

    However, if Partition Wizard detects it is misaligned, it will list the "align operation" as valid (can be seen in the "Operations Pending" awaiting user-input to proceed with the alignment. In the Toolbar, click "Apply" to proceed to align partition.

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    Change Cluster Size
    The "Change Cluster Size" is an operation that can be performed only in the professional version (full version) of MiniTool Partition Wizard. A "cluster" is the smallest logical amount of disk space that can be allocated to hold/manage a file in Windows OS. One cluster can only hold one file. One file can also take up multiple clusters. If large files are saved to a "small-cluster file system" data read/write speed is reduced. If small files are saved to a "large-cluster file system" then disk space is wasted. Thus it is reasonable for a change in cluster size to optimize disk space and improve read/write speeds.

    To "change cluster size", select "target" partition for the operation. Click Action Panel > "Change Cluster Size", right-click on the target partition > "Change Cluster Size" or go to Menu Bar > Partition > "Change Cluster Size". A pop-up will appear asking you if you are "sure" you want to change cluster size for the partition. A cluster size drop-down box is also seen where you can select what cluster you want set (cluster sizes are either 1,2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, or 128). Click "Yes" after setting your preference and in the Toolbar, click "Apply" to proceed to change cluster size.



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  3. jasonX

    jasonX Giveaways Moderator Staff Member

    DISK / PARTITION CONVERSION

    Dynamic Disk / Dynamic Volume
    A Dynamic disk is a physical disk with features that basic disks lacks, like support for volumes spanning multiple disks. Dynamic disks can store one or more volumes and one volume can fill more than one disk. Dynamic disks are more effective if a system has more than one hard disk/drive as it allows the user to create a large volume that occupies several disks as well as apply fault-tolerance mechanism to a user’s system/data via the use of mirror volume --where if one of the "mirror disk/s" fails no data will be lost as data is "mirrored" on duplicate disks.

    A "dynamic volume" are the volumes (formatted partitions) stored on dynamic disk. There are 5 types of Dynamic Volumes.

    Simple Volume
    • A spanned volume consists of disk space on more than one physical disk (from two or >2 dynamic disks --all volume slices need not be equal in size).
    • Extend a simple volume to another disk and it makes it a "spanned volume".
    • Add a mirror to a simple volume and it becomes a mirrored volume.
    • Simple volumes are not fault-tolerant unlike "Mirrored volumes".
    • Simple volumes do not provide improved disk I/O performance.

    Spanned Volume
    • A spanned volume consists of disk space (All volume slices need not be equal in size).
    • A spanned volume can be extended as long as there is an "unallocated space" present in dynamic disks.
    • A spanned volume cannot be mirrored.
    • Spanned volumes are not fault-tolerant unlike "Mirrored volumes".
    • Spanned volumes do not provide improved disk I/O performance.

    Striped Volume (Raid 0)
    • A striped volume stores data in stripes on two or more physical disks (two or >2 dynamic disks). Data is evenly distributed across disk space with "equal sizes" on each disk.
    • Striped volumes provides faster data access than the other types of dynamic volumes.
    • Striped volumes cannot be mirrored or extended and are not fault-tolerant unlike "Mirrored volumes".
    • A striped volume is also called a "RAID 0" volume.

    Mirrored Volume (Raid 1)
    • A mirrored volume is a fault-tolerant volume. Data is duplicated (identical twin) on two dynamic disks. Data written to the mirrored volume is written to both volumes, which results in disk capacity of only 50 percent.
    • Mirrored volumes provide data redundancy. When one of the disks fails, the data can still be accessed from the remaining disk.
    • Mirrored volumes cannot be extended and do not provide improved disk I/O performance.
    • A mirrored volume is also called "RAID 1" volume.

    Raid-5
    • A RAID-5 volume is a fault-tolerant volume. Data and parity are striped across arrays of 3 or >3 dynamic disks (can be IDE, SCSI or mixed structure, are utilized).
    • Parity is a calculated value that can be used to reconstruct data after a failure.
    • When a dynamic disk fails, the portion of the RAID-5 volume can be re-created from the remaining data and the parity.
    • RAID-5 volumes cannot be mirrored or extended "but" provide improved disk I/O performance and enhanced data reliability.
    • A RAID-5 volume van only be used on systems running Windows Server Operating Systems.
    • RAID-5 volume must be dynamic disks and operating system boot files and system files must be stored on another volume.

    Dynamic disks and Basic disks can exist together within a system but they cannot be mixed or exist on the same hard disk/drive. They should have their own separate hard disk/drives.





    Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk
    Personally I do not have the need or the inkling to consider to change my "Basic Disk" to a "Dynamic Disk" or vice versa. I have read about the benefits and it seems for users who have multiple drives/partitions, dynamic disks is the way to go. But I am still not convinced and frankly am "wary" that I may bork something as the saying goes..."If it isn’t broken why fix it". Thus I have not taken the plunge but I am considering.

    Dynamic disk is very different from basic disk. Several independent dynamic disks can merge together to form a Spanned Volume in some versions of Windows. Data can be saved to different hard disks to form Striped Volume. Simple volume, mirrored volume and RAID-5 volume can also be seen in a dynamic disk. In this way, the performance of computer will be greatly improved. See "Dynamic Disk / Dynamic Volume > 5 types of Dynamic Volumes".

    To use "Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk" select the target drive/partition, click Action Panel > "Convert Disk", right-click on the target disk and click "Surface Test" or go to Menu Bar > Disk/Partition > "Convert Disk" (or in the case of partition test, Menu Bar > Dynamic Disk > "Covert Dynamic Disk to Basic". In the Action Panel and then click "Apply". A confirmation pop-up will appear asking you to confirm your command. Click "Yes" to proceed/apply changes. Click "OK" to end task. If Dynamic Disk to be converted is "in use", click "Restart Now" then let Partition Wizard finish the conversion during restarting.

    Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk Video




    Convert FAT to NTFS
    Nowadays most of the user's convert their FAT file systems to NTFS for better stability, higher security and lesser defragmentation speed. One significant reason is that NTFS file system can handle files over 4GB.

    To use "Convert FAT to NTFS" select the target disk for conversion. Click Action Panel > "Convert FAT to NTFS", or go to Menu Bar > Partition > "Convert FAT to NTFS". You can also right-click on the target disk and click "Convert FAT to NTFS". A convert file system pop-up will appear, Click "Start" to start the conversion. Another pop-up will show that file system has been converted. Click "Close" to finish.

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    Convert NTFS to FAT (New Feature)
    When a user needs to use FAT file system, Partition Wizard can convert NTFS file system to FAT at no trouble at all. There are some cases that the target disk or program only supports FAT file system thus the conversion is warranted. Partition Wizard will convert a NTFS partition to a FAT 12 partition, a FAT 16 partition or a FAT 32 partition according to actual partition size in the process of converting all without damage of data.

    To use "Convert NTFS to FAT" select the target disk for conversion. Click Action Panel > "Convert NTFS to FAT", or go to Menu Bar > Partition > "Convert NTFS to FAT". You can also right-click on the target disk and click "Convert NTFS to FAT". A convert file system pop-up will appear, Click "Start" to start the conversion. Another pop-up will show that file system has been converted. Click "Close" to finish.

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    Convert MBR Disk to GPT Disk (New Feature)
    Master Boot Record (MBR) and GUID Partitioning Table (GPT) are two very different ways of disk partitioning or disk slicing. Even though they achieve the mutual goal of separating the information for the operating system, they are very different from one another.


    Difference between MBR disk and GPT disk

    Number of partitions
    MBR disk supports at most four primary partitions or three primary partitions and one extended partition while a GPT disk can support up to 128 partitions in Windows.

    Size of partition
    The size of a single partition in MBR disk can only amount to 2 TB while the largest partition supported by GPT disk is 18 EB.

    Scenarios where you need conversion:

    • MBR disk could only support using up to 2TB disk size, if you have a disk larger than 2TB size, the rest of the disk space could not be used unless you convert it to GPT style.
    • When a user encounters “GPT protective partition” that could not be accessed by XP 32-bit Version or other low-level OS, you could convert to MBR disk.
    One thing that should be pointed out as an advantage of GPT disks over MBR disks is that GPT disk offers the ability to store multiple copies of the data within the operating system. If the data is overwritten or corrupted, the GPT disk can recover the data, thus the OS will function again. In contrast, the MBR disk does not have this feature and thus unable to easily recover corrupt or overwritten data thus the dependency on backup is needed.

    To use "Convert MBR Disk to GPT Disk", select the target disk for conversion. Click Action Panel > "Convert MBR Disk to GPT Disk", or go to Menu Bar > Disk > "Convert MBR Disk to GPT Disk". You can also right-click on the target disk and click "Convert MBR Disk to GPT Disk". Check the "Operations Pending" in the Action Panel to see all pending conversion operations. Click "OK" and in the Toolbar > Apply or use the short-cut key "Ctrl + A" to execute the conversion.

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    Convert GPT Disk to MBR Disk (New Feature)
    GUID Partition Table or GPT is the standard BIOS partition table on a physical hard disk. In older systems MBR is still used but GPT disk partitioning is becoming the most popular disk partitioning because plainly GPT is better than MBR in many aspects. GPT disk supports at most 128 partitions in Windows while MBR disk supports only 4 primary partitions (or 3 primary partitions and 1 extended partition). Though it is more than stated that GPT has more advantages than MBR, it is the user who will still be "king" in his preference.

    To use "Convert GPT Disk to MBR Disk" select the target disk for conversion. Click Action Panel > "Convert GPT Disk to MBR Disk", or go to Menu Bar > Disk > "Convert GPT Disk to MBR Disk". You can also right-click on the target disk and click "Convert GPT Disk to MBR Disk". Check the "Operations Pending" in the Action Panel to see all pending conversion operations. Click "OK" and in the Toolbar > Apply or use the short-cut key "Ctrl + A" to execute the conversion.

    [​IMG]




    Initialize to GPT Disk
    When a user add hard disks to their system there is a need to "initialize" it either to GPT/MBR in order to use it for data storage.

    Advantage of GPT partitions

    • GPT supports at most 128 partitions in Windows, while MBR only supports 4 primary partitions or 3 primary partitions plus 1 extended partition.
    • The largest disk capacity that can be managed by GPT mounts to 18EB, while the capacity limit of a MBR disk is only 2TB.
    To use "Initialize to GPT Disk" select the target disk for conversion. Click Action Panel > "Initialize to GPT Disk", or right-click on the target disk and click "Initialize to GPT Disk". Check "Operations Pending" in the Action Panel and then click "Apply". A confirmation pop-up will appear asking you if you are sure and that it is "strongly recommended to close all other applications" prior execution of the task. Click "Yes" to proceed.

    [​IMG]




    Initialize to MBR Disk
    Initializing to MBR Disk is done in cases where users need to mount a second operating system to the GPT disk, due to the fact that common BIOS system doesn’t support booting from GPT disk. Thus the need initialize to MBR disk is needed to keep both operating systems.

    To use "Initialize to MBR Disk" select the target disk for conversion. Click Action Panel > "Initialize to MBR Disk", or right-click on the target disk and click "Initialize to MBR Disk". Check "Operations Pending" in the Action Panel and then click "Apply". A confirmation pop-up will appear asking you if you are sure and that it is "strongly recommended to close all other applications" prior execution of the task. Click "Yes" to proceed.

    [​IMG]





    Set Active/Inactive
    As users install OS on a hard drive all the boot files will be saved together into the active partition, so boot partition and active partition is often the same partition. But sometimes if you choose to set the original boot partition inactive and then set a different partition as "active", you may be not able to enter system successfully the next time when your start your computer. Under normal circumstances, Partition Wizard advises not to change the active partition and just keep it in default. If users add a new system disk to the computer there is a need to set boot partition on the new disk as active and then set it to be the first boot device in the BIOS in order to make computer boot from it successfully.

    Note:
    If you are running a MBR disk, only the primary partitions on it can be set active. In GPT disks, there is no limit as one disk can hold at most 1 active partition. If you set the wrong partition as active and change the original active partition into inactive non-boot will occur.

    To use "Set Active" select the target partition, click Action Panel > "Set Active", right-click on the target disk and click "Set Active" or go to Menu Bar > Partition > Modify > "Set Active". Check "Operations Pending" in the Action Panel and then click "Apply". A confirmation pop-up will appear asking you to confirm your command. Click "Yes" to proceed/apply changes. Click "OK" to end task.

    [​IMG]


    To use "Set Inactive" select the target partition, click Action Panel > "Set Inactive", right-click on the target disk and click "Set Inactive" or go to Menu Bar > Partition > Modify > "Set Inactive". Check "Operations Pending" in the Action Panel and then click "Apply". A confirmation pop-up will appear asking you to confirm your command. Click "Yes" to proceed/apply changes. Click "OK" to end task.

    [​IMG]


    Set Partition as Primary
    MBR disk can be divided into two types: primary partition and extended partition and the latter can be subdivided into several logical partitions. The main reason for setting partition as primary is that if a user wants to install a second operating system to computer but have no more primary partitions, he has to set a logical partition as primary. The rationality is all the system files and boot files of an operating system must always be saved to a primary partition and this partition shouldn't be the partition that saves the files of the original operating system.

    Limitations in setting partition as primary on MBR disk

    • MBR allows does not allow >3 primary partitions and more than one logical partition on the disk (since a MBR disk can support at most 4 primary partitions or 3 primary partitions and 1 extended partition).
    • A logical partition as primary if the partition on the right side and left side of this logical partition are both logical partitions (since MBR disk can support at most one extended partition)

    To use "Set Partition as Primary" select the target partition, click Action Panel > "Set Partition as Primary", right-click on the target disk and click "Set Partition as Primary" or go to Menu Bar > Partition > "Set Partition as Primary". Check "Operations Pending" in the Action Panel and then click "Apply". A confirmation pop-up will appear asking you to confirm your command. Click "Yes" to proceed/apply changes. Click "OK" to end task.

    [​IMG]



    Set Partition as Logical
    If a user has four (4) primary partitions on a disk, he will unable to create other new partitions. Thus it is needed to convert one of them to logical partition. Partition Wizard supports convert between logical partition and primary partition. MBR disk can only support up to 4 primary partitions (or 3 primary partitions plus 1 extended partition).


    To use "Set Partition as Logical" select the target partition (except for the one that includes system files), click Action Panel > "Set Partition as Logical", right-click on the target disk and click "Set Partition as Logical" or go to Menu Bar > Partition > Modify > "Set Partition as Logical". Check "Operations Pending" in the Action Panel and then click "Apply". A confirmation pop-up will appear asking you to confirm your command. Click "Yes" to proceed/apply changes. Click "OK" to end task.


    [​IMG]
     
    revC0de, Ultimo, wwd and 3 others like this.
  4. jasonX

    jasonX Giveaways Moderator Staff Member

    MISCELLANEOUS FUNCTIONS


    Copy Disk
    With "Copy Disk" operation you can copy all partitions/data from one disk to another provided that the target disk is large enough to hold/carry all data from the source disk. It even can copy an MBR disk using GUID Partition Table for target disk, which makes it possible to use all space of disks larger than 2TB.


    This is a time-saving feature and very useful during:

    • Upgrade smaller sized disk to larger one but do not want to lose anything.
    • Replace damaged disk with a new one
    • Make a copy of an important disk as backup disk in case of unfortunate events.

    To copy a disk, select "source" disk for the operation. Click Action Panel > "Copy Disk", right-click on the source partition > "Copy" or go to Menu Bar > Partition > "Copy Disk". Select the "target disk" that will save all contents of the "source disk" and then click "Next>". Again take note that the target needs to be larger or just enough to hold/carry all data from the source disk.

    Set the copy option (either "Fit partitions to entire disk" or, "Copy partitions without resize") and set the layout of target disk, (you can manually change partition size and location by changing the length and location of partition handle). Then, click "Next>" to get a boot note. Set "boot options" via your system BIOS and click "Finish". Click "Finish" and click Tool Bar > "Apply" or use the short-cut key "Ctrl + A" to apply the copy disk operation.

    [​IMG]



    Partition Wizard will ask you to restart your computer (especially when copying a system disk). Click "Restart Now" button, and copy disk operations will commence at boot mode. When all operations are completed, the computer will restart automatically.


    In this regard I have simulated a "Copy Disk" function on a "mutliboot drive" to check the effectivity of this function. The simulation involved using two (2) popular partition software competitors. Kindly see "OBSERVATIONS" at the end part of this review.


    Copy Partition
    With "Copy Partition" operation Partition Wizard copies all data information from one partition to another without any data loss and in simple operations. As compared with copying all the partition files directly to a target partition, "Copy Partition" helps you save much time.

    To copy a partition, select "source" partition for the operation. Click Action Panel > "Copy Partition", right-click on the source partition > "Copy" or go to Menu Bar > Partition > "Copy". Select the "target partition" and then click "Next>". Take note that the target partition needs to be an "unallocated space" from the partition list and that the unallocated space should be large enough to hold all data on the source partition. Set the desired size of the target partition by dragging the handles either left or right. (Alternatively, you can type exact partition size in MB). Set partition type either "primary or logical" and then click "Finish". Click Tool Bar > "Apply" or use the short-cut key "Ctrl + A" to apply the copy disk operation.




    [​IMG]




    In this regard I have simulated a "Copy Partition" function on a "mutliboot partition" to check the effectivity of this function. The simulation involved using two (2) popular partition software competitors. Kindly see "OBSERVATIONS" at the end part of this review.


    Migrate OS to SSD/HD
    The "Migrate OS to SSD/HD" operation Partition Wizard enables you to migrate an existing system drive to a new drive or migrate just the OS to the new drive. This option in Partition Wizard provides users who may not want to reinstall Windows and programs or don’t want to lose anything. Migrating operating systems (OS) from old hard drive to new SSD or HDD to solve disk space insufficiency do not need a reinstall of the OS and any other registered applications. Two options are given:

    Replace system disk drive with a new hard drive (migrate OS and contents to a new hard drive).

    To start, select "source disk" for the operation. In the Toolbar, click "Migrate OS to SSD/HD", or via the Menu Bar > Wizard > "Migrate OS to SSD/HD". Select a "target destination disk"
    and then click "Next>". Take note that the target needs to be larger or just enough to hold/carry all data from the source disk.

    Set your preferences (either "Fit partitions to entire disk" or, "Copy partitions without resize" -- a checkbox is provided so you can set the partitions to be aligned to 1 MB. This can help improve performance for SSD's) and set the layout of target disk, (you can manually change partition size and location by changing the length and location of partition handle). Then, click "Next>" to get a boot note. Set "boot options" via your system BIOS and click "Finish". Click "Finish" and click Tool Bar > "Apply" or use the short-cut key "Ctrl + A" to start the migrate operation. Click "Yes" to prompt.

    [​IMG]


    Migrate OS only (and keep the original hard disk in my computer).
    To start, select "source disk" for the operation. In the Toolbar, click "Migrate OS to SSD/HD", or via the Menu Bar > Wizard > "Migrate OS to SSD/HD". Select a "target destination disk" and then click "Next>".

    Set your preferences (either "Fit partitions to entire disk" or, "Copy partitions without resize") and set the layout of target disk, (you can manually change partition size and location by changing the length and location of partition handle). Then, click "Next>" to get a boot note. Set "boot options" via your system BIOS and click "Finish". Click "Finish" and click Tool Bar > "Apply" or use the short-cut key "Ctrl + A" to start the migrate operation. Click "Yes" to prompt.

    [​IMG]


    Partition Recovery
    The "Partition Recovery" operation Partition Wizard enables you to recover partitions that are lost or "disappeared" due to one of these factors: mistaken deletion, virus attack, wrong ghost, sudden power outage, incorrect partitioning, and so on. MiniTool Partition Wizard Partition Recovery can recover lost data as long as new partition hasn’t been created over it.
    To use "Partition Recovery", select the disk where you have lost a partition or a partition "disappeared" and click Action Panel > "Partition Recovery", or go to Toolbar > "Partition Recovery". You can also select the target disk for the lost partition and click Disk > "Partition Recovery". A welcome screen will pop-up. Click "Next" so you can go to "Scanning Range settings". Here you can set you scan parameters for the disk and clicking "Next" will let you set scanning methods (either "quick scan" or, "full scan").

    The "Choose Searched partitions" window will appear and this is important that you set/check all partitions, both "lost" and "existing". Take note that "all" partitions need to be checked because if there will be any left "unchecked" it will be deleted once the operation starts. Click "Finish" and assign a new drive letter to the recovered partitions. Click Tool Bar > "Apply" or use the short-cut key "Ctrl + A" to start the recovery operation.

    [​IMG]




    MiniTool Power Data Recovery Online Manual HERE

    MiniTool Power Data Recovery Home Page HERE



    Rebuild MBR
    In "Rebuild MBR" operation, Partition Wizard enables you to rebuild MBR in quite simple operations even if Windows cannot boot via the Partition Wizard Bootable Media.

    Master Boot Record
    MBR (Master Boot Record) is a special type of loader code at the very beginning of computers' hard disk. It contains an operating system bootloader and the storage device’s partition table. When DOS reads hard disk, MBR will help to check whether the partition is legal and locate the partition boot information. The MBR loader code is variable. Thus, users can boot MBR from multiple operating systems. It can be found in FDISK program. MBR will pass the control over to the certain operating system which has been registered in the partition table.

    To create the "Bootable Media Builder" users have to click the Toolbar > "Bootable Media".

    How to Build Boot CDDVD Discs and Boot Flash Drive with Bootable Media Builder HERE

    How to Boot from Burned MiniTool Bootable CD/DVD Discs or USB Flash Drive HERE



    Hide/Unhide Partition
    In "Hide/Unhide Partition" feature, Partition Wizard enables you to hide partitions that you deem personal/confidential or plainly partitions containing files that you do not want others to see or have access to(with/without permission). This is a feature that helps you be guarded against malicious people with malicious intent.

    MiniTool states some conditions where you may want to consider to use the "hide/unhide feature.

    Common situations where users need to hide/unhide partition:

    1. If users have installed multiple operating systems on the same computer, they’d better hide system partition for the sake of file security.
    2. Users might want to hide the disk partition which includes recovery tools or other kinds of significant files.
    3. In order to manage or use files in hide partition, users need to unhide the partition at first.
    4. If users want to share the files in a hidden partition with families or friends, they should unhide it.


    To use "Hide/Unhide Partition" feature, select the partition you want to hide. Click Action Panel > "Hide Partition", or go to Toolbar > Partition > Modify > "Hide Partition" or right-click on the target partition to hide > "Hide Partition".

    After selecting "Hide Partition" you will notice that the drive letter for the intended partition to be hidden disappears. Click Toolbar > "Apply" or use the short-cut key "Ctrl + A" to apply the hide partition.

    [​IMG]


    To "Unhide Partition" select the "hidden partition" and click "Unhide Partition" in the Action Panel or right-click on the hidden partition to click > "Unhide Partition".
    You will be prompted to specify a "drive letter" for the partition to be unhidden. (You will recall that when you had hidden a partition, the drive letter "disappears").
    Click Toolbar > "Apply" or use the short-cut key "Ctrl + A" to unhide the hidden partition.

    [​IMG]



    Storage Spaces
    Storage Spaces is a new feature that came out with Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2. and Partition Wizard can help you manage this.



    Create a Storage Space.
    To create a "Storage Space", go to Control Panel > Storage Spaces. The "Manage Storage Spaces" window will appear and click “Create a new pool and storage space". A new window will appear where you will be asked to select drive/s where to create a storage pool. You will be prompted to enter the parameters for your storage space in the next window (a. Name/drive letter, b. Resiliency, c. Size). After this you will see the newly created storage space in explorer.

    As the newly created Storage Space shows in explorer, you will be able to manage it also in Partition Wizard. The options/functions/features/operations that you can do with the newly created Storage Space will be in the Action Panel.

    [​IMG]


    Wipe Disk
    For security reasons we all should be in-the-know that personal data/files, etc. can be stolen. Partition Wizard's "Wipe Disk" is a function that can ensure the security of users’ private data, and prevent someone from recovering those data. It can destroy all information in users’ chosen disks safely and permanently. If one executes the "Wipe Disk" operation (especially "DoD 5220.28-STD" wipe method), Partition Wizard will delete all partitions and erase the data completely. Data will not be recovered by any data recovery software. Through this any "undesired recovery" of your data will be prevented.

    To use "Wipe Disk", select the target disk for wiping. Click Action Panel > "Wipe Disk", or go to Menu Bar > Disk > "Wipe Disk". You can also right-click on the target disk and click "Wipe Disk".

    A pop-up window will appear with 5 wiping methods:

    • Fill Sectors with Zero (Quick)
    • Fill Sectors with One (Quick)
    • Fill Sectors with Zero and One (Slow)
    • DoD 5220.22-M (3 passes) (Very Slow)
    • DoD 5220.28-STD (7 passes) (Very Slow)
    Upon selection of your choice the target disk will show that it is an "Unallocated" space. Click "OK" and in the Toolbar > Apply or use the short-cut key "Ctrl + A" to execute the wiping of the disk.

    [​IMG]


    Wipe Partition
    The "Wipe Partition" feature/operation in Partition Wizard can erase all data on the specified partition permanently, and the erased data can't be recovered by any data recovery solution. Any existing partition can be erased permanently ensuring the partition data cannot be recovered by any data recovery solution to prevent undesired recovery of your deleted data. Wiping a partition is a quite good way to prevent private or confidential information from being leaked.

    To use "Wipe Partition", select the target partition for wiping. Click Action Panel > "Wipe Partition", or go to Menu Bar > Partition > "Wipe Partition". You can also right-click on the target disk and click "Wipe Partition".

    A pop-up window will appear with 5 wiping methods:

    • Fill Sectors with Zero (Quick)
    • Fill Sectors with One (Quick)
    • Fill Sectors with Zero and One (Slow)
    • DoD 5220.22-M (3 passes) (Very Slow)
    • DoD 5220.28-STD (7 passes) (Very Slow)

    Upon selection of your choice the target partition will show that it is in "Unformatted" state. Click "OK" and in the Toolbar > Apply or use the short-cut key "Ctrl + A" to execute the wiping of the disk.

    In this regard I have simulated a "Wipe Partition" function on a "multiboot drive" to check the effectivity of this function. The simulation involved using two (2) popular partition software competitors. Kindly see "OBSERVATIONS" at the end part of this review.


    [​IMG]




    Change Drive Letter
    With Partition Wizard you can easily change drive letter for partitions. To use "Change Drive Letter" select the target drive, click Action Panel > "Change Drive Letter", right-click on the target disk and click "Change Letter" or go to Menu Bar > Partition > Modify > "Change Letter". A pop-up window will appear and you must click the drop-down arrow to select available drive letters. Click "OK" and then click "Apply".

    [​IMG]


    Explore Partition
    With Partition Wizard you can easily explore a partition to ensure that it is the one you want to modify (supports the exploration of FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS file systems). When managing partitions under boot mode it is difficult to identify each partition because no drive letter is given thus we need a tool to help us go about this task. To use "Explore Partition" select the target drive, click Action Panel > "Explore Partition", right-click on the target disk and click "Explore" or go to Menu Bar > Partition > "Explore". A window will appear enumerating the contents of the partition including file details. Click "Close" to exit.

    [​IMG]


    Disk Surface Test/Partition Surface Test
    This feature can be very useful when you suspect something wrong with your hard drive. Some problems related to running slow or disk ticking can be attributed to "bad sectors" on the hard disk. With constant/rigorous usage over time bad sectors may usually develop especially when the manufacturing is in question. If data stored in these area it could be corrupt or lost, thus the need to check for bad sector. Partition Wizard can help check the surface of the hard disk and confirm if there are bad sectors present but is not advisable to repair bad sectors with it. To repair bad sectors you will need to use a 3rd party application like HDD Regenerator or others out there in the market.

    Disk Surface Test function scans each drive sector status by reading data in it. After scanning, disk block without reading error will be marked with green color, and disk block with reading error will be marked with red. This feature could find out the bad sectors (similarly with the use of CHKDSK/ScanDisk), but to repair the errors you need use specific hard disk tools in the market/3rd-party special software.

    To use "Surface Test" select the target drive/partition, click Action Panel > "Surface Test", right-click on the target disk and click "Surface Test" or go to Menu Bar > Disk > "Surface Test" (or in the case of partition test, Menu Bar > Partition > "Surface Test"). A window will appear which is a preview for your hard disk/partition to be tested. Click "Start Now" to execute surface testing. A presence of a "red-colored" block signifies a bad sector while a "green-colored block" signifies that there is no error on that block.

    [​IMG]


    Check File System
    Partition Wizard can help you test damage files system and aid in its repair. To use "Check File System" select the target partition, click Action Panel > "Check File System", right-click on the target disk and click "Check File System" or go to Menu Bar > Partition > "Check File System".

    [​IMG]





    Change Partition Serial Number
    A partition's serial number is a unique number assigned to hard drive during the creation of file system. FAT and NTFS file systems partition serial number is used to determine if the disk is present in a drive, and to detect if it was exchanged with another one. The serial number is a 32-bit number determined by the data and time on the real-time clock on the current computer at the time of a disk’s formatting. If you find the serial number is discrete, you can change it with Partition Wizard.

    [​IMG]


    Label Partition
    Partition label is an optional name assigned to a partition for easier recognition. Though not required it makes it easier to keep track of what data is stored on each partition, especially when there are more than a few partitions in use. Partition labels are shown in the Explorer disk and folder tree (System, (C:\), (D:\), etc.). FAT/FAT32/exFAT partition, the label can be set up to 11 characters, but in NTFS, the partition label is up to 32 characters.

    [​IMG]


    Change Partition Type ID
    MBR partitions has one partition type ID, so the system can determine the type of partitions by the ID. GPT hard drive has EFI system partition or Microsoft reserved partition. When there is a special need (only when there is a special need), Partition Wizard can help you change the partition type ID. Changing partition type to any other type may cause the operating system to not work with these partitions. Extreme caution to perform this operation is therefore advised.


    Partition Properties
    Partition Wizard can help you check in detail information or properties of a partition. This function will show partition properties including detailed file system parameters, such as Serial Number, Sectors per cluster, the Sectors per file record, sectors per index record of the NTFS file system, Logical Cluster Number of the $MFT, Logical Cluster Number of $MFTMirr, the number of FAT partitions, the number of kept sectors, sectors per FAT, root directory, Cluster Number and so on. Partition Wizard will also provide a pie chart of the partitions so you can gauge your present space status.

    [​IMG]


    So at this point I will go no further. You may see that I have not reviewed the Dynamic Disk function lengthily for the main reason that I do not use "Dynamic Disks". Also you will see that the test bed desktop is all in MBR (not GPT) and FAT/NTFS file systems but the comparisons that have been stated in the review are sufficient enough for the readers/users (beginner/casual and intermediate). The most common functions/features have been shown tinkered-with/tested to show the casual user how to avail of it and execute it safely. Some advanced functions/features/operations are shown also for the intermediate/advanced users.

    Pertinent YouTube video links from by MiniTool are attached so as to aid the reader/members. "Notes/Quotes" directly from MiniTool Support are lifted (from support email correspondence) and posted for additional data/info.

    Along the course of the review I have compared MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro's functions/operations/features versus two (2) of the popular partition software out in the market (and used by readers/members) -- Aomei Partition Assistant Pro and EaseUS Partition Master Pro.


    Let me point out that this comparison is not meant to be a "side-by-side-in-depth" comparison but only a "features comparison" of MiniTool Partition Wizard "selected features" versus the competition. The decision for this "features comparison" was due to issues encountered in the course of this review. Thus I wanted to see if those issues I encountered will also be present when I used the competition. What happens if I use "A's" counterpart function? What happens if I use "B's"..? See pertinent details in "OBSERVATIONS".
     
    revC0de, Ultimo, wwd and 2 others like this.
  5. jasonX

    jasonX Giveaways Moderator Staff Member

    OBSERVATIONS


    Installation / Activation
    Installation was swift and there wasn't any hitch to the activation as well. MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro 10.2.3 provides offline activation so when you have shit internet like me you can just save the data (License Information) generated from your license and go to their offline activation URLs,



    [​IMG]


    There just paste the "License Info" in the provided box and click "Activate" to get the corresponding "Activation Code". You can apply (copy/paste) that generated "Activation Code" to your MPWP10.2.3 installation to activate it. If in the future you will need to re-install MPWP10.2.3 then this pertinent data is helpful so do save it in a safe place. My Aomei Partition Assistant Pro ver6.6 need not go online to get activated I guess the license is already hard-coded to the installer version. EaseUS Partition Master Pro 11.9/12.5 is the same as MiniTool's and offers offline activation as well.


    Interface and Usage Experience
    MPWP10.2.3 is user friendly and intuitive enough. The color of the interface is soft to eyes (though looking cluttered at times). So if you stare at it for a long period of time (as what I did when doing the review) your eyes won't hurt. Aomei's is not that nice and is full of "white" and I am sure it'll make you squint more often than not when you stare at it during long use. EaseUS's is just about right although it is also "whitish" in color. The functions and operations are well placed/located and there are additional ways to utilize them either via the Menu Bar / Action Panel or the indispensable right-click. When you get the hang of it you will find that is in fact "easy to use" for the most basic common tasks of partitioning. To safe-guard the user from "mistakes" the program "never" automatically applies an operation/function. All operations to be executed are queued in the Action Panel > "Operations pending". User input/confirmation is needed for every operation/function prior execution.

    The Toolbar provides that confirmation and if needed, operations done can be "undone" or if you find out or decided that you do not need to go through with an operation that is queued you can discard it. This is the same as that of the competition. All three (3) partitioning software applications are very similar and user friendly. Most simple functions took only seconds to apply successfully (but that is also the same as that of the competition).

    One strong point for MPWP10.2.3 is that it supports Dynamic Disks and right then and there (if needed) you can convert and most especially manage your dynamic disks. Aomei only supports conversion to dynamic disk (it has a separate program for this purpose --AOMEI Dynamic Disk Manager). EaseUS Partition Master Pro ver12.5 (EPM12.5) on the other hand allows you to resize/convert dynamic disks/volume.

    Along the course of this comparison I chanced upon a "Set Password" function in EPM12.5. To my surprise it will let you set a password for all your drives (or selected drives) to safe-guard from unauthorized access. Now that's a new one! Never encountered that in any partitioning software application before as this are only common for system image/backup and recovery software applications. Also EPM12.5 comes with "Cleanup and Optimization" again an "uncommon" feature but is a welcome addition. Both MPWP10.2.3 and Aomei does not have this "bonus" feature but as mentioned it is uncommon for a partitioning software application to have it but then again if you pay for your software "it is" a welcome addition.
    All MPWP10.2.3 functions/operations performed were okay(all successful without any errors encountered) as compared the competition with just very minor discrepancies in speed of execution but it's a ± 3 seconds (or ± 2 minutes in the case of Wipe and Copy operations) nothing to fret about there.


    Help File / User Manual
    I have always made it a point when I make a review to consult the "Help" file because I for one always need to verify stuff before trying it out. Along the course of this review I have made it a point to check out the built-in help file of MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro 10.2.3 on some features/operations that I am not familiar or have not used. The "Help" file is limited and does not have the explanations that I needed thus I had to research the net for some terminologies and stuff. There isn't much to see there but I appreciate very the images in the contents.

    In MPWP10.2.3 interface at the upper-right-corner next to "FAQ" and "Contact Us" is "Manual". The "Help" file and "Manual" is one and the same. I learned from further inquiries to MiniTool support that there is no PDF user guide/manual available and they are considering to make one in the next version release.

    I installed a later version of MiniTool Partition Wizard ver9 to check if the "Help" file is the same and it isn't. Version 9's "Help" file has more content and better explanations as compared to the "Help" file of MPWP10.2.3.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro 10.2.3 Contents Preview
    [​IMG]



    MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro 9 Contents Preview
    [​IMG]


    Comparing MPWP10.2.3 Help file to the competition, Aomei's "help" file is a user guide and manual in itself with its 38 pages and pertinent links. The only downside to Aomei's is that there is no image in their user guide/manual which came as a surprise. Yes, ladies you heard it right! No images! I mean not even one (1) single piece of image to guide you is present! Not even their logo!

    [​IMG]


    In contrast, EaseUS's "Help" file is feature rich and is also a user guide/manual in itself complete with the pertinent images and links. But it is now gone and all are now "online" in EaseUS Partition Master Pro version 12.5 and perhaps it is still like that in EaseUS Partition Master Pro version 12.8 which is the latest. I mean how can a new user understand a partitioning software if you leave them no "Help" file at the very least. EaseUS has a downloadable manual in PDF to compensate this.

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    Better information and guidance is always a "must" for the new/casual user (and perhaps with the intermediate too) so he will not destroy his partitions and important data by accident. Any untoward accident will make him shy away from "any" software and will make him wary to use another.



    Conflict with other programs /or of the same nature
    During the course of the review I have not seen or experienced any untoward issues with having one or two the similar software applications present in the test bed pc. The same observation is the same even when all three (3) are open. The only warning came from my Emsisoft Anti-malware popping up to warn me that MPWP 10.2.3 was trying to access disk sectors. No issues at all there.



    WinPE Bootable Media Creation
    The Bootable Media is a most important tool because if by chance your operating system fails to boot or be in an "unbootable" state a user can use the bootable media/device to manage/repair hard drive problems. Most programs now can create their own bootable media from their program itself or have their own way of creating their WinPE/Bootable Media without dependency on the WADK/WAIK of Microsoft. In MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro ver 10.2.3 you will need WADK/WAIK. What if I have already the WADK/WAIK in my system? Now that was my question to MiniTool support because it will be redundant for me to download it again. The workaround was and I quote,




    Checking my Windows 7 Ultimate partition C:\Boot folder I see that I already have winpe_3_64 > winre.wim file. My test bed Windows 8.1 Pro C:\Boot also has the winpe_5_64 folder also. So assuming that MPWP 10.2.3's "MTMediaBuilder.exe" will use the existing wim file I proceeded. Wham! I get an error! As of the moment I am still waiting on MiniTool support on the matter. Alternatively I managed a workaround on my own and I got to include MPWP 10.2.3 in a PE-ISO via an old thread at sevenforums.com. In contrast the competition did not give me issues at all. Both Aomei and EPM12.5 did not need to download the WADK/WAIK and created the WinPE Bootable Media successfully. EaseUS created it with <3 seconds at 378048 KB bigger than Aomei's (295552 KB) at around 3.5 minutes. See images below.

    [​IMG]

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    The above was done on an x64 desktop Windows 8.1 Pro. I fired-up my very old laptop which was an Acer x32 with Windows 7 Ultimate which has WAIK on it. The WAIK I used that to create the Rescue Media of Macrium Reflect ver 6 way back and Acronis True Image 2012. I was dumbfounded that the "fix" that MiniTool stated worked there and I was able to create the WinPE Bootable Media right then and there. See images below. Beyond that the question remains and more so, the "fix" worked in an x32 system then why did it "not" work in an x64 system? I have successfully made the "Rescue Media" of Macrium Reflect / WinPE of Acronis 2012 from the very same WADK/WAIK I have in that x64 system. How come it did not work there (but again worked in an x32 system)..?

    MiniTool support has replied and I will try out the suggested fix in the next few days.

    [​IMG]

    Incidentally I managed to create the WinPE Bootable media in Windows 10 Pro Build 1703 RS2 without fuss and as MiniTool support advised I just renamed the winpe_10_64 content to "winre.wim". Strange..trying out the "boot.wim" of Macrium Reflect also made me create the MPWP 10.2.3 boot media. A little difference on the size but both working fine and dandy.

    [​IMG]


    In addition below are some examples of software applications that are not dependent on Microsoft's WADK/WAIK to create their own bootable media. O&O DiskImage Pro has options to use the Windows Installation media in addition to WADK/WAIK. Paragon Backup & Restore 15 Compact gives the user to choose whether to use WADK/WAIK or create a bootable media in Linux CD format. Also Paragon has its own BootMedia Builder that can create the boot media independent of WADK/WAIK. Acronis True Image 2014 can create it's own Linux based boot media and gives the user the option to make it's WinPE via its WinPE Media Builder.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    So again most software application these days gives the user further options to pursue. I have relayed this to MiniTool support and they are considering it. They do have a Linux based boot media available but it is as of now "upon request" via MiniTool support "if" there are issues with the creation of the WinPE bootable media. Of course more talented individuals will work something out and not wait on the Linux boot media from MiniTool support. MiniTool support has issued this and I quote,



    Copy Partition
    If there was one thing that I needed in this endeavor it is a "spare HDD" to further tinker with MPWP 10.2.3's functions and capabilities. But I am in a fix and could not spare my lone spare HDD thus I had to make do with spare-empty partitions, external drives and flash drives. An idea sprung to my mind to simulate a bootable partition copy and a bootable external drive copy. Test it "if" MPWP 10.2.3's copied partition will boot or not. I chose my "U:\Multiboot USB" -- created via Yumi Multi USB Creator, which had all the tools I need to perform repair/backup/restore and some other stuff outside the OS environment. So I fired-up MPWP 10.2.3 and (as mentioned) chose the "U:\ Multiboot USB" as source partition and an unallocated 15GB flash drive as target partition. Execution went well so time to test it if the copied partition, "J:\Multiboot" will boot. Set the J:\Multiboot (Generic Flash Disk 8.07 in the BIOS) as first boot device and then rebooted. It did not boot to the copied partition (J:\Multiboot USB) but to the second boot device which was my hard disk housing my test bed partition. No warnings whatsoever. So I check the J:\Mutliboot USB via MPWP 10.2.3 and found out that it is not marked "Active" unlike the source partition "U:\Mutliboot -- Primary/Active. So I manually set it to "Active" and then tested again. I got a "Boot Error". Images are shown below.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    To check if my idea was feasible I did the same thing using Aomei partition Assistant Pro ver6.6's "Copy Partition". Same conditions were applied, source partition is "U:\ Multiboot USB” and target/destination partition is the "unallocated space" from the 15GB flash drive. The one thing I have noticed when the "Copy Partition" finished is that Aomei marked the copied partition as "J: Copy of U” and that it was instantly set as Primary/Active. In MPWP 10.2.3 you only have the setting to set it to Primary in the Copy Partition > Edit Partition > Create as "Primary". You will need to set it manually to "Set Active". So same conditions and same hardware. Set the "J: Copy of U" (Generic Flash Disk 8.07 in the BIOS) as first boot device and then rebooted. Lo and behold! "J: Copy of U" booted to my Yumi Multiboot USB! See images below.


    [​IMG]


    I fired-up EaseUS Partition Master Pro 12.5 and under the same conditions again used its own "Clone Partition" (ver11.9 is still "Copy Partition"). Source partition is "U:\ Multiboot USB” and target/destination partition is the "unallocated space" from the 15GB flash drive. EaseUS marked the copied partition as "J: Copy of U” -- "Primary" but it was not set as "Active". So I just let it be and set EaseUS ("Cloned Partition) "J: Copy of U" (Generic Flash Disk 8.07 in the BIOS) as first boot device and then rebooted. It did not boot to the Yumi Multiboot USB but went straight to the second boot device...my Win 8.1 Pro test partition. So I set the ("Cloned Partition) "J: Copy of U" to Active via EaseUS Partition Master Pro 12.5 and rebooted again. Again it did not boot to the Yumi Multiboot USB but "again" went straight to the second boot device (my Win 8.1 Pro test partition).
    Both MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro 10.2.3 "Copy Partition" and EaseUS Partition Master Pro 12.5 "Cloned Partition" did not boot.

    With MPWP 102.3 showing "Boot Error" while EPM12.5 no warnings whatsoever and went straight to boot to the second boot device. The simulated idea is feasible but may differ in real-world trials using a live primary/active partition (HDD) as source partition and spare HDD as target partition (destination HDD) for the "Copy Partition" operation but the theory there is sound. It is a question how the software will copy the bootable partition effectively and boot it successfully. Aomei's copied-bootable partition booted successfully.


    [​IMG]




    Copy Disk
    Based on the simulated idea of "Copy Partition", I tried the same conditions with "Copy Disk". I chose again "U:\ Multiboot USB" as source disk and an unallocated 15GB flash drive as target disk.

    Execution went well but as I checked the window "Applying Pending Operation(s)", I saw there that the window shows "Copy Partition" not "Copy Disk" but not wanting to bork anything I just let it be and just repeat all of it. There it was again, the same "Copy Partition" text and not "Copy Disk". I was correct all along and it may be just a "wording text error" in the "Applying Pending Operation(s) window.

    After successful completion I check and MPWP10.2.3 marked the target-destination disk as "J:\Mutliboot USB -- "Primary/Active". No need to manually set it to "Active". I proceeded to test if the "Copied Disk" will boot. It did not boot and it went straight to the second boot device which was my Win 8.1 Pro test partition. No Boot Error. It just went straight to the second boot device as if it was not there.

    [​IMG]


    I fired-up Aomei partition Assistant Pro ver6.6's used its "Copy Disk". Applied same conditions like I did in MPWP10.2.3. Copied Disk was marked the same "J: Mutliboot" and set it as the first boot device and then rebooted. Wham! "J: Multiboot" booted to my Yumi Multiboot USB! See images below.

    [​IMG]


    I fired-up EaseUS Partition Master Pro 12.5 "Clone Disk". Applied same conditions like I did in MPWP10.2.3. Copied Disk was marked the same "J: Mutliboot" and set it as the first boot device and then rebooted. Wham! "J: Multiboot" did not boot to my Yumi Multiboot USB!

    [​IMG]


    Both MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro 10.2.3 "Copy Disk" and EaseUS Partition Master Pro 12.5 "Cloned Disk" did not boot and in contrast Aomei's copied-disk booted successfully. Thus it made me think (scratch my head) the end result was/is the same as that of Copy Partition test. I wonder how it will be when users try it out in live HDD. Checking the net I already found some errors of non-boot being asked for help. So again it is a question how effective the software will copy the bootable disk (primary/active) and boot it successfully.



    Wipe Partition
    Tinkering further checked-out this ""Wipe Partition" feature/operation by wiping an existing small NTFS partition (15 GB in size). Wipe method was only "Fill Sectors with Zero (Quick -- lasted 44 minutes)" and "Fill Sectors with One (Quick -- lasted 45 minutes)". After the "wipe" I fired-up MiniTool Power Data Recovery ver7 "full scan" and tried to see if the "wiped partition" data will be recovered via (a) Digital Media Recovery (full scan time - 15 minutes), (b) Digital Partition Recovery (full scan time - 17 minutes), and (c) Lost Partition Recovery (full scan time - 16 minutes). No data was recovered. The same result (no data recovered) I got for using both Aomei (Aomei Partition Assistant Pro ver6.6) and EPM12.5 (EaseUS Partition Master Pro 12.5) with speeds at 14 minutes (± 2 minutes). No issues at all. I have EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro but decided not to anymore go further because I may just have the same result. So we can assume that a 1TB drive will be finished at around 12 hours (± 2hours).


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    Just to add that I wiped my 1TB Seagate BUP Slim external drive (Fill Sectors with Zero (Quick) --with 600GB of backup files) and it took 7 hrs and 30 minutes to finish. That's 2+hr much faster than my assumption and that's an external (no files recovered too via Power Data Recovery)!


    [​IMG]


    Promotional Freeware of MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro version 10.2.3
    Recently there has been a free giveaway promo at GOTD site for MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro 10.2.3 so as I was still arranging a test license for this endeavor I naturally availed of it. Lo and behold! It seems to be a watered down version of the Pro version (but not the same as the free version). One thing that made me frustrated was that there was no WinPE Bootable Media Included! Not even a Linux Bootable Media. Surprise? Well "shocked" is the right word for it. If I will look at the promotional freeware of Aomei Partition Assistant Pro and EaseUS Partition Master Pro both are actually full-pro version minus the upgrade and tech support. But they are full functioning pro versions with the inclusion of the WinPE Bootable Media (plus the creation of the Bootable Media is a no-fuss-sweet-and-simple-thing!).

    Now I sent this bit of information to MiniTool Support and they stated that they will consider the inclusion of the MiniTool Bootable Media in the next promotional giveaway. So I will check in the future if they really did include it.

    [​IMG]


    This how-to article will be released in few days. In addition, MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro contains 3 versions, including Standard, Lifetime Upgrade Service, and Ultimate. The former 2 can only be used on one and the same computer while the last one supports 3 computers.


    Pricing Comparison
    As of this writing, MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional (Standard Edition) is priced at $39.00 good for 1 PC only and 1 Year FREE Upgrade Service. Their Pro Edition package which entails a Lifetime Upgrade Service is priced at $59.00 for 1 PC and their Pro Ultimate priced at $99.00 is good for 3 PCs and a Lifetime Upgrade Service.
    All editions are with the WinPE Bootable Media Builder. Their Server Edition is priced at $159, Enterprise Edition $399 and Technician Edition $699.

    In contrast, Aomei partition Assistant Professional is priced at $49.95 with Lifetime FREE upgrades and is good for 2 PCs. Their Partition Assistant Server Edition is priced at $169 with Lifetime FREE upgrades and is good for 2 Servers. The Partition Assistant Unlimited Edition is priced at $419 with Lifetime FREE upgrades and unlimited PCs/Servers. The Partition Assistant Technician Edition is priced at $699 with Lifetime FREE upgrades and unlimited PCs/Servers.

    EaseUS Partition Master Pro for single license PC is priced at $39.95. EaseUS Partition Master Server is priced at $159 single license for 1 Server and the EaseUS Partition Master "Unlimited" which carries an "unlimited license for unlimited PCs/Servers is priced at $399.


    MiniTool Partition Wizard Pricing HERE

    Aomei Partition Assistant Pricing HERE

    EaseUS Partition Master Pricing HERE
     
    revC0de, Ultimo, wwd and 3 others like this.
  6. jasonX

    jasonX Giveaways Moderator Staff Member

    PERTINENT LINKS

    MiniTool YouTube Videos



    MiniTool Home Page HERE

    MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional Product Page HERE

    MiniTool Partition Wizard Support HERE

    MiniTool Partition Wizard Compare Editions HERE

    MiniTool Partition Wizard User Guide HERE

    MiniTool Partition Wizard FAQ HERE

    MiniTool Partition Wizard ver 10 What's New HERE

    MiniTool Partition Wizard DEMO Download HERE

    MiniTool Partition Wizard Product Revision History HERE

    MiniTool Power Data Recovery Home Page HERE

    Facebook Page

    Twitter Page

    YouTube Channel

    MiniTool Technical Support Email
    [email protected]






    ALTERNATIVES TO MINITOOL PARTITION WIZARD PRO


    Aomei Partition Assistant Professional

    EaseUS Partition Master Professional

    QILING Disk Master Professional

    Macrorit Disk Partition Manager Professional

    Paragon Partition Manager Professional




    BOTTOM LINE



    MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro ver10.2.3 is a comprehensive and versatile tool for managing your partitions/hard disk drives on aimed Windows PC. It can take care/perform "all" of your basic actions (and some advanced ones such as migration and conversion). Along the course of this review it did what is expected from it but to my surprise with some issues encountered (as mentioned in the "OBSERVATIONS").

    The safe-guard feature of user-confirmation prior execution of all "intended operations" is very good for the new/casual user who is not familiar with all features or at ease with a new function he has never used before in a partitioning software application. The "Operations Pending" list in the Action Panel is very much appreciated as it offers you to review all of them that are pending. The "Undo" / "Discard" action buttons in the toolbar are very well placed as these is where the user will decide, "to execute or not to execute"(that is the question there!) For the average user, most functions/features/operations are hands-down straightforward but from time to time a peak at the "Help" file is needed especially when attempting something "new". Just like what happened to me when I read "Change Cluster Size". It was tempting to try it out as the explanation is good but the skeptic in me made me search for more information. If the "Help" file doesn't help you then the alternative is MiniTool's online "Help" or tech support (as what I did).

    The online "Help" of MiniTool is good and filled with detailed tutorials/explanations. This is okay if you live online and have unlimited or free-internet coverage. But if not (like me who uses a shit internet) it is the built-in "Help file" that you will rely on and an offline PDF user guide/manual. MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro ver10.2.3's built-in "Help" file needs some refurbishing. No index/search plus the contents are few and basic as compared to its older version 9. I never did attempted to execute the tempting "Change Cluster Size" for fear of running into issues. I will just wait till I can buy a new HDD to clone my partition and then try it out.


    The issue with the creation of the "Bootable Media" although very well explained in the online help isn't helpful at all. As mentioned and pointed out, most software application/programs these days can now create their own bootable media within their program itself or have their own way of building their Bootable Media "without" dependency on the Microsoft WADK/WAIK.

    Some give you the option to either create a Linux based boot media if you do not have WADK/WAIK or lets you use your Windows installation CD. Those options are very welcome to any user because he will not have to wait for a download or tech support. Those options are "convenience" to any user! Perhaps MiniTool should "also" consider that. But if you don't mind going online (because you have unlimited/free-internet coverage) and downloading that entire "WADK/WAIK" file from MS servers just to make the bootable media (even if you have WADK/WAIK already) then the issue is resolved for you. Well to me the issue still needs resolution..and it's been too long waiting on them too. I hope MiniTool will consider the options stated/shown here from other software application.


    Most complex actions provided MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro (and by the two competitors used for the selected feature comparison) won't actually be needed often by casual users (like changing partition type ID or changing partition serial numbers...I mean who does that often?).

    All-in-all MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro ver10.2.3 covers pretty much everything you will need for partition/hard disk management with added bonus for complex actions like dynamic disk management. It can be as basic and at the same time versatile for new/average/casual users but if needed, offers more features/functions for the experienced user.

    But it cannot be just waived-off that there are issues still hounding this build.
    MiniTool should check them out and exert effort to take the "user" in mind rather than marketing. Even the way they market their "free software giveaway" isn't up to par with the likes of Aomei and EaseUS. Would I want it in my system? My answer is...hmmm...sure, why not. But if you have a better competitor then it's on you can have it as an alternative.




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  7. RGiskardR

    RGiskardR Malware Tester Silver Member

    Woooow! so complete and detailed review! :read::ohno::thanx::win::congrats::clap:
     
  8. wwd

    wwd Illustrator Silver Member

    Excellent review @jasonX
    Thanks for You great work :thanx:
     
  9. jasonX

    jasonX Giveaways Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks guys! This is all for the members and more exposure here! I hope more will extend us their help here :) More reviews will come for this year!
     
    revC0de, wwd, silversurfer and 2 others like this.
  10. jasonX

    jasonX Giveaways Moderator Staff Member

    Added some images from VirtualBox and additional comments on WinPE creation issue.
     
  11. revC0de

    revC0de MTAC Moderator Staff Member

    Awesome review and fantastic work @jasonX!!

    :congrats::thanx:
     
    silversurfer, wwd and RGiskardR like this.

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