If you have to add fresh partitions to your already partitioned disks, then you have to use partition-manager software. A typical situation where you would need to do this is if you want to install an additional OS, say Linux, without removing an existing one, say Windows. There are many partition managers that can do the job for you. Partition Magic is the most popular example. FIPS, which comes with most Linux distributions, is another. FIPS is free, but can handle only FAT32 partitions (ie, it cannot add partitions to a system running WinXP or Win2000 with NTFS). Partition Magic ($69.95) is costly, and difficult to purchase in India.
This is where Bootit NG comes into the picture. At $ 34.95, it comes at half the price of Partition Magic, is shareware, and is only 468 kb in size. You will find the software on this month’s third CD in the Hot Utils section.
Before you start, ensure that you have a good floppy disk and that your floppy drive is in working order. If you do not have a floppy drive, you can use a CD-R for Bootit NG. Unzip the single file into a folder on your hard disk and run the Bootit NG executable. You can choose to create a bootable floppy or a CD-R. Once the bootable media has been created, shut down the machine, and boot from the disk you have created. You may need to change the settings from your BIOS to allow booting from the floppy or the CD.
Once you boot up, the application opens with a GUI. The first step from here is to install it on to the hard disk. If you have more than four primary partitions, then Bootit NG will be used to manage the partitions. Unless you are one of those rare geeks who already has four
OSs installed on one PC and are going to install a fifth, say No here.
Now, you can manually choose the installation partition or have Bootit NG select it for you. Select Manual. You will now be presented with a listing of available partitions. Select the one you want to resize (normally, the one with the MBR 0 entry if you have only one partition) and select Resize. An error check is done on the drive, and you are prompted to set the new size of the partition. Once you have done that, resizing starts after a warning telling you to back up your data. Resizing takes a bit of time. Once it is through and after you’ve closed the window, you are on to the Bootit NG maintenance. From here, amongst other things, you can back up a partition. Before you close the window, though, remember to click on the Remove EMBR button, and remove the Bootit NG partition if one has been created.
Warning If you choose to have more than four primary partitions or if you install Bootit NG on to the hard disk, your PC will refuse to boot up after the 30-day trial period is over, if you do not purchase the software. And, yes, it is highly advisable to backup your data before attempting to change your partition sizes.