For quite some time I have been thinking of creating a new partition on my laptop to dual boot Windows 7 on it. Well I wanted to only have Windows 7 on it but I kept Windows XP on it because Aventail VPN client software will not work on Windows 7. Well, that's a whole different story for some other time.
So this morning I decided to use one of the partition manager softwares to create a new partition from unused 150GB disk space I have on my 250GB disk on may Dell LATITUDE E6500 laptop. After searching around using Bing and Google I came across Partition Wizard and to my surprise they offer free edition for home and well as business use. I was kind of surprised but thrilled that there is some free utility available to repartition my disk. There is difference between spending $49 or $0.
I had to make judgement call. I reviewed files on my laptop and found that most of my critical data including emails are all backed up so I could take a leap of faith. So I went ahead and downloaded the home edition. It was nice that I only had to download 6.7MB file and not 130MB+ file like some other softwares have. Installation was quick and easy. And I did not have to reboot the system as well. So far so good.
I started the GUI for Partition Wizard. It looked well organized and intuitive. I choose my one and only partition and set to resize to create a new partition of 60GB. And then I hit Apply. As expected it asked for system restart. As a good user I said YES to restart.
When system restarted it gave the option that Partition Wizard is going to apply the changes and I have 5 seconds to opt out of it. Partition Wizard started its magic. It went through file system check. Now started resizing phase. It reached 77% of operation and then hit error and could not move forward. So it asked me to hit any key to continue. Machine restarted again and partition wizard launched again to resize the partition. Again it went up to resize phase and then stopped at 77%.
At this point, I did not want to try it again. I gave it two tries. I just could not risk Partition Wizard playing with my file system anymore. So on next reboot I skipped the process of partition resize and let machine boot with Windows XP. Immediately uninstalled Partition Wizard and rebooted the machine. One thing I was happy about Partition Wizard was that after removing the software it did not interfere with reboot process and things like that and my machine was clean again.
I will strongly recommend that you get opinion from users who have actually used Partition Wizard successfully before you try this free disk partition software on your machine. It did not work on two of my laptops. May be you will have better luck with it. But I would not risk it on machine that have mission critical data on it.