the Partition Resizer FAQ

Please read this document before posting any questions. If you don't have the latest version of Partition Resizer (currently 1.3.4), please download it from here before you read any further.

Q: Why do I need Partition Resizer?

A: You don't. You can as well backup all your data, use FDISK to repartition your drive, and restore the backed up data in the new partition. But while this can take sometimes many hours, and this only if you have a tape streamer (don't even think about using floppy disks), Partition Resizer will do the job in 5-30 minutes in most cases.

Q: Where can I find the latest version of Partition Resizer?

A: Best way is to get it from this page, which has a new link now, http://zeleps.com (please update your bookmarks). Also, you can always find it in any SimTel mirror site, like oak.oakland.edu, or nic.funet.fi, in the directory SimTel/msdos/diskutil under the name presz???.zip. ??? is the current version number. Another  good way to locate the latest version is to perform a web or ftp search, using "presz" as the search string (ftp search can be performed at ftpsearch.ntnu.no).

Q: Why does Partition Resizer move all the data around my disk?

A: This is done for two reasons. Indeed, moving the data is not necessary for shrinking a partition. But leaving the data in it's original place, results in unused sectors in the partition's FAT, which is lost space. The second reason is that you cannot grow a partition without growing it's FAT, and in order to grow the FAT, you have to move the data. There is of course a much faster method, of moving only the files that reside in the beginning of the partition, in order to make space for the FAT, but it is a bit more complicated to implement, and I don't feel like spending time for it. Sorry!

Q: Resizing my partition is taking waaaaay too long (a couple of days). What has happened?

A: In the rare case your partition is large (>10GB) and you make a very small (even unnoticed change) to the size of the partition, the process will be very slow. Thus it might take days to complete. Also, the counter will reset itself after a while. These things do not affect the resizing process (which will finish successfully) but it might be dangerous to interrupt the program in such a long task (there is a known bug with the resumption scheme in large operations which is now fixed and will be published soon). So, if it takes too long, just leave it running.

Q: Why is it that the program shouldn't be run from the working partition?

A: When working, the program writes some data in a file. This file is overwritten and deleted when the work is over. But after the data moving, DOS doesn't know there are changes, so it tries to write the data back to the old position of the file. Worse, when the file is deleted, DOS changes the old sectors of FAT, which can be any sector in the disk. You understand of course, that these random writes on the disk can be a disaster to your data. Apart from that, the rescue file is not deleted properly, so the program will find it again the next time it runs, and will falsely ask you to continue an unfinished work. You don't want to know what will happen to your data if you do the same resizing process twice... Partition Resizer v.1.2.0 and later detects the partition it is running from, and does not allow any changes to be performed on it.

Q: Is Partition Resizer compatible with drive compression software (like DoubleSpace or Stacker)?

A: The program itself works fine with these, since it doesn't consider them as drives. Partition Resizer scans ONLY physical drives for partitions. But it shouldn't be run from a compressed drive that resides in a partition that will be resized or moved. If you're uncertain about that, just run Partition Resizer from a bootable floppy disk.

Q: Does Partition Resizer work well with Windows 95 long filenames?

A: Absolutely. Long filenames are not affected, since the program doesn't mess with directory and file descriptors. Of course, you cannot run Partition Resizer in a window or a DOS session. You'll have to restart your computer in MSDOS mode, lock the disks, and then run presizer.

Q: Does Partition Resizer work well with Windows 95 OSR2 / Windows 98?

A: Yes.

Q: And what about Windows Me?

A: Windows Me (Millennium Edition) do not directly support Real Mode Applications. Partition Resizer will work under Windows Me only if you boot your system from a Windows Me (or other version) bootable floppy. 

Q: Does Partition Resizer resize FAT32 partitions?

A: Yes, all types of FAT32 partitions.

Q: Does Partition Resizer resize NTFS partitions?

A: No, NTFS partitions are currently not supported by the resizing engine. They can only be moved but you cannot use Partition Resizer to change their size.

Q: Can Partition Resizer create or delete partitions?

A: No. Use FDISK for this job.

Q: Is Partition Resizer compatible with Windows NT / Windows 2000 / Windows XP?

A: Depends. It does not run under Windows NT/2000/XP, and it does not resize NTFS partitions, but it can move Windows NT/2000/XP partitions and it does not damage your Windows NT/2000/XP installation.

Q: How can I run Partition Resizer under Windows NT / Windows 2000 / Windows XP?

A: You have to boot from a bootable DOS floppy disk to run Partition Resizer under NT/2000/XP. In Windows XP you can create a bootable floppy disk from Windows Explorer by inserting the floppy in the drive, right-clicking the drive, selecting 'Format...' and checking the 'Create an MS-DOS startup disk' option. Then copy Partition Resizer in that disk and proceed as described in README.1ST. For other NTOSs (NT/2000) there's no way to create an MSDOS system disk from within the OS, thus you have to create a disk from a Win 95/98/Me Installation (or borrow one from a friend).

Q: I run Partition Resizer on my disk, but my XYZ operating systemô will no longer boot, and the boot manager doesn't work. What happened?

A: Partition Resizer changes the partition information stored in the disk. Most operating systems keep some information about the partition structure in order to boot themselves, but this information is not updated at boot time, it is stored when the boot manager or the system files are installed. Therefore, you should always reinstall boot managers and boot files after you've run Partition Resizer. This is true for OS/2 boot manager, Windows NT dual booter and Linux's LILO. Read TROUBLE.DOC for more information.

Q: After running Partition Resizer, I can no longer boot from my Hard Disk, although when I boot from a floppy I access my partitions normally.

A: Run "FDISK /mbr" from the DOS prompt and reboot.

Q: Why isn't there an undo option?

A: There's no need for that. All actions done by Partition Resizer can be undone easily by doing the opposite thing from what we want to undo, i.e. growing undoes shrinking.

Q: I have a FAT32 partition with cluster size larger than 4K In the resizing screen, I can shrink my partition but I cannot grow it, although there is empty space beyond the end of the partition.

A: This is due to a bug, which is fixed in version 1.3.3 and onwards.

Q: I press the left/right arrows repeatedly, but the partition refuses to change size. What should I do?

A: If you were trying to grow the partition, there isn't enough disk space available at the end of the drive. If you were trying to shrink the partition, there are some files residing at the end of the drive, which do not allow the partition to be shrunk. Even if you defragged the drive, there are still be some read-only or hidden files remaining at the end of the drive. Please read README.1ST for more information on defragmentation. This is the ONLY reason that prevents a partition from shrinking. If you think that you fully defragged the partition and the arrow keys are still not responding, you are wrong, because the partition is NOT YET FULLY DEFRAGGED If you're using the Windows 98 Defragmentation Tool, please make sure that the 'Rearrange files so that my programs run faster' is NOT checked. Please don't ask me to help you in this case, I CANNOT DEFRAG YOUR DRIVE MANUALLY FROM HERE!!! You just have to try harder...

Q: Partition Resizer shows 3 partitions in my disk, while I've got 2. Is the program going nuts, or is it me the one who needs therapy?

A: Neither. The third partition shown is an extended partition, a structure in the partition table that holds logical drives. Since one of your partitions is a logical drive, it needs an extended partition to contain it. For more information, check the 3rd section of PRESIZER.DOC file to see some detailed explanation of the partition structure.

Q: Is partition "hopping" possible? I mean, can I move a partition over the others?

A: Not directly. If you think about it, there's no need to do that: just create a new partition in the destination space, move all your data there, and delete the old partition.

Q: Why can't I shrink my extended partition?

A: It's pretty possible that you have made a common mistake: The extended partition is not a data partition. What you might want to resize is a logical drive inside the extended partition. Extended partitions are not DOS drives, they're just structures that hold logical drives inside them. If you want to make more space for a new drive, then you'll have to resize a logical drive and not the extended partition. You will only need to resize the extended partition if you want to create new partitions with FDISK, since Partition Resizer will resize it accordingly when you resize or move other partitions. Just read section 3 of PRESIZER.DOC for details.

Q: Can I change a partition's cluster size with Partition Resizer, and keep my data?

A: Yes. You have to make a little empty space in the drive by shrinking the original partition, and then create a small partition and start moving your data in it, while shrinking the old partition and growing the new one. When all the data is in the new partition, change the old partition's cluster size, and move the data back to the old partition using the same technique. This process might take a bit long, since there's a lot of moving and resizing in it. But the whole thing is much faster if you have enough empty space in the original partition. I am not planning to implement such functionality in Partition Resizer, since it is a complicated matter that requires a lot of time to implement.

Q: When I press "y" to start resizing / moving, I get the message: "Warning: Cannot create counter overdraught. Press any key...". Is this serious?

A: No it isn't. Ignore it. Completely.

Q: Windows does not recognize the file type of README.1ST. How can I read the file?

A: This is my bad, I should have changed the file name a long time ago. Anyway, use notepad to view the file (or any other text editor).

Q: Why doesn't Partition Resizer look a bit more fancy?

A: I really do not want to invest time in creating a fancy user interface, although it would simplify a few things both for me and the users. If I get bored enough, I'll probably do something about it.

Q: Nice site!

A: The new site was created by Stathis Sideris (http://www.satspeed.gr/~im), to whom I am eternally in debt for uplifting my sorry excuse for a site. My artistic nature is comparable to that of a colorblind hedgehog (in a bag).

Q: Why don't you make Partition Resizer a Win32 program?

A: This is an option I consider, although it would be a bit complicated. This is because all the changes that Partition Resizer does to a hard disk are extremely dangerous (although possible - beware!) to be done while under a multitasking environment. Therefore, even if the user makes all his selections under windows, the program core must be run in DOS mode. I am
considering the possibility of a Windows interface that will co-exist with the current DOS interface (probably in the same EXE file).

Q: Is the source code available?

A: Nope. Sorry, but I didn't want to give it away for many reasons. After all, the program isn't donated to the public domain, it's just freeware. You can use it for free, but that's all. So please, don't post any more messages requesting the source files.

Q: Why did you give it away for free? Are you stupid?

A: I really believe in the idea of free software. I had many second thoughts on this, but I finally decided that everyone has a right to use this software for free as long as he's not using it to get money from others. Postcards are coming more frequently now (3-4 per month), a million thanks to everyone for your moral support.

Q: How was your navy service?

A: Long.

Q: OK man, I sent half a thousand e-mails but you continue to ignore me. What's the deal here?

A: OK, I'm back from the navy, but my job doesn't allow me to respond to my e-mails regularly. Although I reply to most of the e-mails, I do not at all answer to those questions that are listed in this FAQ and I respond to real emergencies on priority. Please be patient though, since I'm only answering my e-mail once or twice a week.

Last update: May 14, 2002