View Full Version : Partitioning without data loss?

06-03-2004, 05:06 PM
I know Partition Magic can do it, but I can't afford it.

I just read something recently that kind of hinted towards knoppix being able to do that. It wasn't too clear, it said it could partition, and was comparing it to PM, but didn't actually say that you lose all your data, or if it shifts it over for you.

Does anyone know if there is a tool on knoppix that allows you to partition without loosing your data?

Or any other free, or below $20 program that you can do this with?

06-03-2004, 05:45 PM
ranish can do it however you need to make sure all data is on the first partition.

06-03-2004, 06:00 PM
As far as I am aware Ranish Partiton Manager is the only free tool that will resize at this stage (but is is command line).

There is a Linux tool that has great potential for resizing partitions but it is in the early days of development:


Also see:


06-03-2004, 08:10 PM
So, has anyone tried ranish? Is it any good, and ok to use?

06-03-2004, 08:16 PM
What about FIPS?

Terry Porritt
06-03-2004, 08:22 PM
I used FIPS years ago with DOS/Win95, it was OK, but you would need to check carefully to see if it has been updated to handle larger drives and file systems other than FAT16.

All these programs have a risk factor, so it is really best to totally back up your hard drive first.

06-03-2004, 08:22 PM
I haven't used either myself but they are both good tools if you follow the instructions carefully! Seeing they use the command shell it pays to do a bit of reading first. But I don't think either support resizing NTFS?? - only FAT I think.

Rod J
06-03-2004, 08:28 PM

I've had a look at Ranish and it's pretty good. But I haven't been game to actually alter my partitions with it (I only trust Partition Magic to do that so far ;)) It does require a little knowledge to use, but I found the program's help information quite good and the interface is a character based gui (not too hard to use, better than issuing arcane command line arguments). Have a look here (http://www.ranish.com/part/) and there are many other links there too.

Rod J

06-03-2004, 08:34 PM
I want an NTFS partition.

Could I just creat to FAT ones, and when I install XP on one of them, make it change it to NTFS?

06-03-2004, 09:25 PM
How would Paragon Partition Manager 5.5 (http://www.partition-manager.com) worj for you? Tad cheaper than PM.

06-03-2004, 09:40 PM
Ive used Knoppix and qtparted several times. No worries about where the data is on the HDD. Works a treat!


06-03-2004, 11:01 PM
I heard about this thing once called p2p....

if you use the program once, discard it... who gonna know?]:)

07-03-2004, 12:41 AM
Well, technically even once a file has been erased it can be recovered, with the right tools and know-how.

Aside from that, there are moral and legal boundries you must be careful of....

Why pirate software when you can get something that'll do all you want for free?


07-03-2004, 12:05 PM
> Ive used Knoppix and qtparted several times. No
> worries about where the data is on the HDD. Works a
> treat!

So it works without data loss, and is it on knoppix 3.2?
Can you tell me how to do it please?

Graham L
07-03-2004, 01:36 PM
All "no loss" processes rely on no "accidents". Before doing any partitioning, do a defrag, and scan the disk so you know all data is pushed the bottom end, and there are no inconsistencies in the allocation tables.

And do a backup. :D

07-03-2004, 08:26 PM
Yep, will do all that. I was going to back up everything to my old computer, with a 20gb hard drive, but the screen just died, so now I dunno what to do, because I am not buying a new screen. Hmmm.

Graham L
08-03-2004, 12:49 PM
That's no problem. You don't need a screen on the machine you are copying from. :D

08-03-2004, 03:25 PM
Yeah, I guess I could do it. Might be a few problems at start up, because I turned it straight off, so it will to that scan thing. I will give it a shot.

08-03-2004, 03:48 PM
Paragon Partition Manager came free on one of the Aussie PC magazines a couple of months ago - APC, I think.

08-03-2004, 04:56 PM
Argh, anyone here have it?

08-03-2004, 06:45 PM
I checked when I got home and Paragon Partition Manager 2002 was on APC January 2004 - full version. Perhaps you can back order it from your news agent.

08-03-2004, 08:43 PM
Paragon Partition Manager 2002 works fine with NTFS & Win2k but not XP (or at least I couldn't get it to work in XP - works in GUI for 2k but command prompt for XP - followed the instructions but no luck). Which OS are you dealing with?

08-03-2004, 09:06 PM
XP Pro :-)

Managed to backup too now.

08-03-2004, 09:12 PM
Paragon partiotion manager is still too much. If I was going to spend that much money, I would rather go for PM8

08-03-2004, 09:15 PM
It costs thr price of a magazine - how is that too much?

08-03-2004, 09:25 PM
Apparantly, that version will not work with XP, so I will have to buy the latest one.

08-03-2004, 09:38 PM
It creates a bootable floppy which works fine on XP for me.

08-03-2004, 09:43 PM
Well having read all the posts below this I still don't know if you want two partitions or only one. I think you have one NTFS partition at the moment and run WinXP as the O/s or maybe one Fat32 partition.

If you have one Fat32 partition at the moment and want to change this to NTFS without losing data then you can convert the current Fat32 to NTFS using the convert command in WinXP.

If you have all the data you want to save backed up on CDRom or wherever then why not boot off the WinXP CD and repartition?

If you have one NTFS partition at the moment and want to add another partition then Ranish will work.

For me I use Partition Magic version 8 but had the whole hard drive scrambled just once while I was resizing a partition. Fortunately I have two 120 Gig hard drives and copy one to the other on about a weekly basis using Norton Ghost.

Just remember there is nothing like a good well tested backup before playing with re-partitioning a drive.

I use Fat32 partitions on each of my two drives. The reason is that I can access all partitions using a win98 boot disk in case WinXP dies. I also have a specialised CDRom boot disk with quite a few tools on it. I don't need the extra security an NTFS partition would give me. I'm the first to admit that the NTFS file system gives you some advantages the FAT32 won't.

09-03-2004, 05:49 PM

I have one big FAT32 partition with XP Pro on.
I am wanting to partition, so I can have linux on too, and maybe another partition for other stuff.

I have backed up, but I don't know how good I have backed up. I have never done this before, so I do not know what to back up. I have backed up my important data from the folders, but do I need to back up the actual settings of windows, and setting of programs?

I would prefer to keep everything there, but I am trying to do a full backup, just in case somthing dies.

I am just waiting for XP SP2 to come out, then I will go for it.

Is that paragan partition program better that the free ones? And if I boot from the floppy, will it still partition without data loss?

09-03-2004, 06:18 PM
I don't know how you would determine "better". I tried Ranish and found it better suited to an expert, Paragon if fairly graphical and re-partioned for me without data loss. The mag costs about $10 and for that you get the commercial offering... and TweakXP Pro 2 full version too! I'd say that's a good deal.

09-03-2004, 06:23 PM
Gotta find that magazine somewhere

09-03-2004, 06:25 PM
Anyone know what month?

09-03-2004, 06:38 PM
From memory it did not handle NTFS.

Old version.

About Oct 03, Nov 03 or so.

09-03-2004, 06:56 PM
Jan 2004 APC

09-03-2004, 07:12 PM
> I have backed up, but I don't know how good I have
> backed up. I have never done this before, so I do not
> know what to back up. I have backed up my important
> data from the folders, but do I need to back up the
> actual settings of windows, and setting of programs?
Backing up consists mainly of saving things that you would not wish to lose, cannot replace or would be time consuming replacing. Therefore only you can decide to what extent you wish to go to in backing up. If it is important to you to be able to restore your Windows settings should you lose them it would be wise to back them up. Likewise with program settings, eg ICQ, etc. Programs that have been downloaded should be included with your data backups. It is up to you to decide how much time you wish to spend backing up "just in case" versus reinstalling your settings if that became necessary.

> I would prefer to keep everything there, but I am
> trying to do a full backup, just in case somthing
> dies.
The easiest way to do this would be to buy a drive image program such as Ghost and backup your entire partition to CDs. Nero will also create a backup of your partition but it will not compress the image and therefore will need many more CDs than Ghost which does compress images.

10-03-2004, 06:42 PM
I believe the keyword there is "buy"

I am trying not to spend money on this little excercise.

I am backing up to a hard drive across the network, and have plenty of room. But I just dont want it all my stuff going away. I dont mind if I have to use the backup, but I would like to avoid it, therefore, partition without data loss.

Also, I want everything now, to be on the second partition. I think one of my mates is going to let me borrow partition magic 8. I think it is an OEM, so I hope i am not disadvataged by that.

10-03-2004, 08:53 PM
Try Knoppix then with QTParted :-)


10-03-2004, 10:50 PM
Cripes there is no decent, cheap, legal solution except from getting that mag.

I don't know about anyone else but when it comes to partitioning with my data at stake I don't want a command line interface. *shudders*.

Partition Magic is the leading solution, wouldn't trust anything else atpit.

13-03-2004, 10:20 AM
Right, I just had a look at knoppix. I opened up a command interface thing, and typed in qtparted. It said that it could not find any drives, most likely because I wasnt logged on as root.

So I went, su - and it went to root, then i did qtparted again.
This time it said, "cannot find x interface", or maybe "cannot find x server", or something like that.

13-03-2004, 11:39 AM
Ah, I used an actual "root shell" and that worked.

13-03-2004, 11:45 AM
Right, before I do this, I just want to check a few things.

1. With qtparted, can I move the data onto a second partition? It has been said that Ranish can not, so it might apply to this.

2. How does it work? I thought that it moved info from harddrive, to memory to harddrive to shift it all around, but if I am using knoppix, which boots from CD into memory (?) then how is it going to use the memory?

Anything else you want to tell me before I do it?

13-03-2004, 11:47 AM
Oh, and I just noticed. In the root shell window, after I started qtparted, it says "Error: MSDOS Disk labels do not support partition names.

What exactly does that mean, any concern to me?

13-03-2004, 11:49 AM
And how long will this partitioning take, approximately?

Is it so long that I should do it overnight, like when you defrag your drive?

13-03-2004, 09:01 PM
maybe around 3 hours?

13-03-2004, 09:36 PM
Post padding wont get you anywhere. Take a moment to think about all your questions rather, coz its a pain to have to read so many posts.

Try this:
sudo bash

export DISPLAY=0:0 && qtparted

Im not sure how long it'll take, leave it going overnight.

This is a good, free alternative isnt it?


13-03-2004, 10:18 PM
Have a look at this, for a nice, Gui, Command-line-less screenshot:

I'll make a Knoppix remaster within the week for this purpose, I can see it being popular....


18-03-2004, 11:52 PM
Ok, I done it.

Cool. I downloaded System Rescue CD, which had a newer version of qtparted.

Worked fine.

19-03-2004, 02:04 AM
Ahh doesn't look too bad there Chill ;)

But can it resize partitions? I do that a lot.

19-03-2004, 08:51 AM
No, it cant. They didnt want to add any functionality, keeping in line with the rest of Linux.

Of course you can. Ive resized Ntfs, Fat32/vfat, ReiserFS, Ext3.... I cant see you doing more than that... ;-)


The ResinMaster
19-03-2004, 11:09 PM
http://www.majorgeeks.com, then go to drive utilities, I use "BootIt Next Generation" and works very well