First of all, I suggest this version only to the EXPERIENCED users.
Version (2.40) is the same as version 2.38 beta 1.91. I simply had renamed the program since it was working without any problems or bugs for almost a year and appears to be very stable.
This version is the latest version of Partition Manager. There is no other "full" version in exsistance (I wish there was). This version is a fully functional shareware. Even if you don't register it you still get all the functionality of the program. However, if you have found part.exe to be a handy tool and would like to register, please, send me a postcard of your town (or even better - your college, if you are a student).
This version supports disks of any size and up to 4 primary partitions. Unfortunately, it does not support 30 primary partitions as it was in the previous version. You can download 16-bit version 2.37 from my web site, but it works only on the first 8G of your disk. I am planning to add support for more than 4 primary partitions in the 32-bit version, but it is taking longer than I hoped.
If you need a better boot manager than one that comes with part.exe, please, check out XOSL at http://www.xosl.org. If you haven't seen it before you will be impressed when you do.
If you have any questions regarding disk partitioning and installing various operating system, please, post them to the partition manager mailing list: http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/partman-discussion
or to the newsgroup for the appropriate operating system
Only if you have confirmed bug reports concerning part.exe program itself, send the to me, othervise I urge you to seek help at one of the newsgroups or partition manager mailing list. I couldn't possibly answer everybody who needs help with partitioning. Your messages would pile up for months until I could get to them them. Therefore, please,
- Read Partition Manager Primer, Help and FAQs and this README file !!! -
The newest version of the program and its documentation could be found at:
------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Note: If you are using a memory manager (like emm386.exe or qemm386.sys) and you don't have any DPMI host running (for instance Windows 3.x or Win95 provide DPMI services, or 32rtm.exe that comes with Borland is a DPMI host) then upon running Partition Manager you will get the following message:
"CPU is running in protected mode, but DPMI is not available."
In this case you will need to run CWSDPMI.EXE before the Partition Manager. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
II. KEYS AND FUNCTIONS REFERENCE
Run "part" without options to start GUI. Run "part -p" to print partition table. Run "part -p -r" to print detailed information about all partitions. Run "part -d 2 -p" to print information about the second hard drive.
When you get into the GUI the following keys are functional now:
Use Arrow keys, End, Home, PgUp, PgDn, and Tab to move around the table.
B - toggles Boot flag on/off - selects active partition (marked with '>')
H - Hide / Unhide - changes file system type for FAT partitions and NTFS.
C - Copy partition
D - Duplicate entire disk
S and L - Save and Load MBR - do not work yet. To save information about partitions, please, run "part -p -r" and then print the output.
INS - Changes file system type. When you press it the list of all known partitions appears. You can use first characters of file system name for quich search or hit INS again to enter hexadecimal code of the file system.
To create a new partition you simply have to move the cursor to the unused space, press INS and select partition type (i.e. FAT-32). Then, if you don't want to give it all free space, you may change its starting and ending cylinders. You don't have to worry about heads and sectors, because partition manager will take care of it.
After you created a new partition you will have to save partition table (F2), format this partition and then reboot computer from a setup floppy to install a new OS, or use command sys.com to install system files manually.
DEL - Clears record in the table, but doesn't delete partition on the disk. All changes that you are doing are in memory and will not be saved to the disk until you press F2.
F2 - Saves partition table to the disk. By writing new partition information to MBR and all Extended partition records (EMBRs). If some of the records are invalid additional dialog box will popup and warn you. You can press ESC and fix all errors before saving.
F3 - Undo. This key simply rereads all partition information from the disk.
F4 - Change display modes between Cylinder Head Sector (CHS) mode and Logical Block Addressing (LBA) mode.
F5 - Switches to the next disk. Alternatively, you can start program with the option "-d 2" then it will go directly to the second disk.
V - Verifies partition or unused space for bad sectors. If there are bad sectors on the partition the function will display list of the first nine bad sectors and exit. If you verified entire disk and there is no bad sectors you can use Quick Format option when you format partitions, which will save you a lot of time.
F - Formats FAT-16 and FAT-32 partitions. Currently there are no options for this function, but I will add more in the future ( volume_label, fat_size, root_size, cluster_size, etc... )
X - Toggles Primary/Logical flag on the partition
A - Install Partition Manager on floppy such that you could boot it without any operating system and go directly into Partition Manager. Optionally, you could have DOS/Windows installed on a floppy and boot it by default, and load Partition Manager (bypassing OS) only if 'Ctrl' key is pressed.
For instance, I put Partition Manager on the first NT 4.0 setup floppy, so that by default it boots NT Setup, and if I press and hold 'Ctrl' while booting it goes directly to Partition Manager screen.
(Note that if you use this feature you should not compress PART.EXE by any executable file compressor, such as PKLITE).
ENTER - invokes specific setup functions for each file system. Currently there are two setup modules. One for Initial Program Loader (IPL), which resides in MBR, and the other for FAT-16 and FAT-32 file systems.
Setup options for IPL (Initial Program Loader - executable code in the MBR)
First option tells which IPL currently resides in MBR. The choices are:
- Standard IPL - this one comes with MS-DOS 6.22 fdisk.exe, selecting this IPL is equivalent to running "fdisk /mbr"
- Unknown IPL - your current IPL, which Partition Manager cannot recognize. It could be IPL that comes with Win95, LILO that comes with Linux, or even some older version of one that comes with Partition Manager.
- Boot Manager - once Boot Manager is selected you have to set which of the interfaces you want to use:
- Compact - this choice will install only IPL: Initial Program Loader - executable code that resides in MBR along with the partition table. This little program (446 bytes) that is smaller than one sector (512 bytes) fits into MBR. It doesn't have as much functions as the GUI version of Boot Manager, but it still has more of them than some of the existing boot managers (see description below).
- Text 25x80 - this version of boot manager has text mode menu driven interface. It doesn't have mouse support and cool video effects, but it has all advanced functinality of the boot manager. And it is definitely faster than the GUI version.
- GUI 640x480 - same as previous one, but it has graphics and mouse support and takes several seconds to load. (this one is not finished yet)
If you want to use "Text 25x80" or "GUI" boot menu you have to create a small (couple of megs) partition for the Boot Manager (type 0xF0).
That partition could be located anywhere on the disk and could be either primary partition or a logical disk inside extended partition.
Check for boot viruses - when enabled it instructs boot manager to check interrupt vectors 0 to 1Ch (Keyboard, Timer, Disk, ... ) and 4Ah and 70h (Alarm and Real-Time Clock) for the valid adddress pinting to BIOS. If any of them point below BIOS memory to the conventional RAM the IPL will show warning
" Virus! _"
and wait until you press Enter. This gives you a chance to turn off the computer and run antivirus program from a clean floppy disk. However, not only viruses hook onto the interrupt vectors. For example, some old SCSI adapters place their code on top of conventional memory and point disk interrupt vector to it. In this case you have to disable virus check.
Boot Manager's timeout - this option specifies how much time boot manager will wait before it gives control to operating system. When BIOS loads boot manager from the first sector on disk (MBR) and gives control to it, boot manager displays the prompt similar to this:
"Booting HD1/3 ..."
It means that boot manager is about to load operating system from Partition 3 on Hard Disk 1. At this prompt you can either wait timeout's second or press ESC to load OS immediately. If you hit keys '1-4' or 'A', instead of booting Partition 3 it will boot from another partition or from the 'A' drive.
After you make your choice boot manager will save your selection back to MBR, so that it will use it next time. However it will not save it if you choose 'A'.
Note that if you install boot manager's IPL you can change boot sequence in BIOS to "C:,A:" so that your computer will always start to boot from C: and it will not start from the infected floppy by accident. If YOU want to boot from floppy you would simply press 'A' at the boot manager's prompt.
If your BIOS has boot sector write protection it might give you warning, that somebody is trying to write to MBR. Obviously if you want to use boot manager you have to disable that write protection.
Also, you can press TAB to boot from the second hard drive or SPACE to stop and wait for your choice.
All other keys will cause boot manager to load OS and let it interpret that key. For example, you can press F8 or F4 when booting Windows 95 to have it display its boot menu (F8) or load previous version of MS-DOS (F4).
If you pressed SPACE or there was an error loading boot sector for some OS boot manager will stop with the following prompt and wait for your input:
The choices you make here are similar to those on the running dots' prompt: 1-4 - boot from another partition A - boot from the floppy drive A: TAB - boot from the next hard drive
However, if you keep entering wrong keys for 1960 times at a row IPL will get tired of you and will boot last valid choice. Just kidding, it won't get tired, but it will boot your system even if a book lies on the keyboard and nobody is in the office to take it off. Very usefull thing for the servers, and delay is only a minute.
Default boot choice - this option lets you specify the partition that you want boot manager to boot by default no matter what the user have selected last time. For example, if your kids play on your computer you may set it to Windows 95, then if you are not home it will always boot Windows 95, even though last time you chose to boot from the Linux partition.
If you choose "Text 25x80" boot manager interface then you could use the following keys: Space - stop and wait for the user's input ESC - boot highlighted choice without delay A - boot from the floppy disk 0 - run partition manager 1-9 - select another menu choice Enter - boot highlighted choice without delay
Settings for FAT file systems. There are three values that you can set in FAT-16/FAT-32 boot sector.
Starting sector - its value should correspond to starting sector (hit F4) of the partition for the primary partitions and is 63 for logical drives. If you want to turn logical drive into a bootable primary partition among other things you will need to change this value.
Drive number - you need to edit this option if you want to boot DOS or Windows from the second hard drive. This number must be set to 128 (80h) for the first hard drive and 129 (81h) for the second. Also, note that you have to hide all primary FAT partitions on the first hard drive in order to boot DOS or Windows 95 from the second.
Partition size - this one is the most interesting number for us. It tells us how many sectors there is in the partition. If we make it smaller DOS (or Windows 95) will think that the partition is smaller, thus we can shrink partitions (see below).
Hint: if you press 'X' all three, starting sector, drive number, and the partition size, will be set to their expected values.
The final FAT-16 option is a patch for DOS boot sector - it resolves the problem when DOS cannot boot from the partitions over 2G from the beginning of the disk. In addition to this, it allows you to dual boot MS-DOS and OSR2, which was not possible before, since OSR2's FAT-16 boot sector has bugs. Press "F6" to install the patch, then choose OS that you wish to run and press F2 to save changes to the boot sector.
The patch was tested with MS-DOS 6.22, PC-DOS 7.00, DR-DOS 7.02 Windows 95 OSR2, Windows 98 (Aug98), and Windows NT 4.0 (SP0-5).
Installing NT to partitions above 2G from the beginning of disk.
1. Prepare empty space or primary FAT-16 partition for NT. 2. Hide any other primary FAT-12 / FAT-16 partitions. 3. Boot from the NT Setup Floppy Disk #1 4. When NT asks whether you want FAT or NTFS file system choose FAT. 5. Let NT copy all the files from the CD-ROM.
6. Upon the reboot run Partition Manager and install special patch for Windows NT into FAT-16's boot sector. To do that first select NT's partition and press Enter, then press F6 to install patch, then, in the dialog box choose "Windows NT" and finally press F2 to save changes to the boot sector.
7. For the first time reboot from NT partition while holding down 'Ctrl' key. (This will load alternative NT loader "$LDR$"). Let NT finish the setup procedure and ask you to reboot.
8. Reboot computer. Everything should work now.
If you need to install NT 4.0 above 4G then you must either have SP5 or get at least files "NTDETECT.COM" and "NTLDR" from SP5 and update them on the hard drive after the first reboot.
In order to RESIZE (shrink) FAT partition you have to do the following steps:
1. Defragment the partition. This will bring all the files to the beginning of partition. If you use DEFRAG.EXE under Windows 95 you have to select option "Advanced / Consolidate free space." Under Windows 98 uncheck "Settings / Rearrange files ... "
2. You have to change partition size in TWO places: in the partition table on top and in the boot sector on the bottom. (In the later versions resize will be, obviously, done automatically). Anyhow, first you have to change partition size in the partition table. Then press ENTER to go into boot sector screen. Change the size, but make sure it does not drop below the minimum partition size.
There are several other numbers. Green number is the total space occupied by files in the partition. Minumum size calculated from the location of the last cluster on the disk - you may not make partition smaller than this number, because if you do that file is going to be outside of the partition and windows is going to crush. The third number, maximum partition size, is calculated from the size of FAT tables - the larger is FAT the more clusters you can have on the disk. Since we cannot change size of the FAT nor cluster size with this version of the program, we have to accept that limitation. However, there is an option to format which lets you create large FAT in advance so that you can enlarge the partition later.
3. Save all the changes you've made and reboot computer. Then run some sort of diagnistic utility, such as SCANDISK or NDD to check that everything is ok before it is too late :). On FAT-32 it will always report incorrect amount of free space, but this is normal, since we did change that number.
That's all. I hope to get the real resize procedure soon - then it will be much easier to do this sort of things.
III. WARRANTY, COPYRIGHTS, AND SHAREWARE REGISTRATION
WARRANTY: There is absolutely NO WARRANTY attached to this program. You should use it only at your own risk. However, there is an open source code that is available on my home page, so you can look at it to know what it does and compile it yourself if you don't trust the executable.
DISTRIBUTION: You can redistribute this program free of charge as long as you do not modify any of the files included in the package, and do not charge additional fees, other than to cover costs of physical distribution. You may use parts of the source code free of charge in the other open source or non-commercial project, with the condition that you clearly indicate from where it was taken. If you want to use whole program or its parts in the commercial product you must get my permission for that.
REGISTRATION: Ranish Partition Manager version 2.38 is distributed as the shareware. You may evaluate the program for the period of time and then you pay for it if you like it.
Private users, educational and non-profit organizations may evaluate the program for the period of 10 years, then they must pay registration fee of $10 per household/classroom/department or stop using the program. If you cannot afford $10, you may send me a postcard with a nice view of your city, and I will count you as a registered user. If you are a poor student, than the postcard with a view of your university is definetely the best way to register the program.
Commercial organizations, governments, and military units may evaluate the program for 30 days. Then they must pay registration fee of $20 per each department or technical unit, that uses it, or stop using the program. If Boot Manager, that comes with this program, is installed on more than three workstations then $3 must be added for the workstations 1-20, $2 - for workstations 31-60, $1 - for 61-90, and 10 cents for each one over 90.
Once the program is registerd the registation is valid for all subsequent versions of the program.
If, for some reason, you cannot use version 2.38 - the last freeware version 2.37 will remain available for download at my home page, with the source code in the Public Domain.
To register Partition Manager send US checks, money orders, or postcards to
Mikhail Ranish P.O.Box 140404 Brooklyn, NY 11214 USA
Partition Manager Home Page: http://www.ranish.com/part/ Partition Manager User Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/partman/