Ever need a quick and free tool for accessing a non-responsive computer? Have you wanted an easy way to partition multiple drives with a simple graphical tool? Do you like running Linux from RAM? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you’ll want to give this nifty tool a closer look.
Parted Magic has an extensive (but not exhaustive) collection of file system tools. The top features set on their website includes:
Format internal and external hard drives. Move, copy, create, delete, expand & shrink hard drive partitions. Clone your hard drive, to create a full backup. Test hard drives for impending failure. Test memory for bad sectors. Benchmark your computer for a performace rating. Securely erase your entire hard drive, wiping it clean from all data. Gives access to non-booting systems allowing you to rescue important data.
Parted Magic is available on Source Forge which is linked from their website Download Page.
This handy tool comes in several flavors and can be installed from a CD, USB drive, PXE, and as a Grub tool. We took the iso file and installed it on a Live CD. The filesize was ~72MB and downloaded very quickly (from Sourceforge).
Parted Magic booted without a hitch and almost instantly. The welcome screen offers several choices, including (our selected method) running the entire tool in RAM. The RAM load took about 20 seconds and the CD was ejected. Our Linux machine was now running in RAM and was super-de-duper fast. It felt like sitting in a Porsche. You know something good is going to happen.
The desktop is clean and spartan. There are no applications installed other than what you’ll need for file and disk management. The desktop does include a menu with quick access to all the available tools, and a terminal shell for command line queries.
We tested some disk management and format tasks, and even checked the installed memory on the host computer. Parted Magic was fast and worked flawlessly.
Parted Magic includes an assortment of tools to make your disk partitioning and file management go as painlessly as possible. Installed tools include the partitions editor, and a smart control utility that really takes out the guesswork in salvaging or partitioning drives. I liked the nice mounted devices display window for easy control of which drives should be mounted in any session. Check out the gallery of screenshots below for a recap of all the installed tools. The main menu includes these sub menu categories: graphics, internet, system tools, and accessories. Parted Magic also includes GPic View, for quick graphics and images viewing.
As we say for all our best distro reviews, unless you have the marketing muscle of RedHat or Novel, or the grass roots popularity of Ubuntu, if you want to stand out among the many dozens of available distros, you really need to have a niche. Parted Magic serves a niche, and it does it’s stated job marvelously. The installation and running of Parted Magic worked flawlessly, and super-fast. If you have disk formatting or testing tasks and you can’t accomplish them from your already installed OS, Parted Magic is the way to go.