Easeus' Partition Manager 3.0 Server Edition is an easy to use partition tool which can also be used on desktop systems. Although there were minor niggles, it has most of the functions required to deal with partition management.
Neat, PartitionMagic-like interface; supports all major Windows 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems for servers and desktops.
Can't directly convert partitions from one file format to another.
£ 90.60: single licence; unlimited: £303.20 + VAT
Launched on 28 November, version 3.0 now supports disks up to 1.5TB, and includes support for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2008.
Partition Manager has a very similar graphical user interface to PartitionMagic, which is no bad thing since it does speed navigation around the package.
In fact, we had a copy of the last version of PartitionMagic that PowerQuest released, version 8.0, installed on a test system, and it was instructive to see how good that package still is, compared with the upgraded Easeus version. However, Partition Manager does support all the newer Microsoft desktop and server operating systems.
We installed Partition Manager 3.0 on a variety of server operating systems, although users can choose to install it on desktop systems as well. All current Windows desktop systems supported by Microsoft can be used.
Our experience of managing partitions is that problems usually occur months or even years down the line, so making a bootable disk needs to be done each time partitions are manipulated, which takes only a few minutes.
Restarting the system and booting the disk we had just created brings up which video mode you require, followed by a couple of warning messages. The first is a recommendation not to move and resize Vista and Windows Server 2008 partitions from this bootable disk, and the second urges users not to create or delete any partitions in front of the system partitions on Windows 2000/XP and Server 2003 systems using the bootable disk.
Easeus recommends users wishing to perform such actions to do so running Partition Manager 3.0 from within Windows.
One minor niggle is that we couldn't expand the window showing the disk map representation on the system with Partition Manager installed. Creating a new partition involves resizing an existing partition and using the unallocated space to make a new partition. We also couldn't convert a partition with 32-bit File Allocation Table file formats directly to New Technology File System formats.
As an example, we could partition a disk into operating system and data partitions, and then use an imaging program like Ghost to copy an image of the system onto the data partition in case the operating system picks up a virus. Virus-infected operating systems can then be reimaged easily from the unaffected image on the data partition.
We could also use the tool from within VMware Workstation to partition virtual machines.
Easeus is a brand of Chinese firm Yiwo Tech Development Company.