Partition Resizer


Partition Resizer v. 1.3.4


(c) Zeleps 1994-2000


Program's Manual and Technical Information

1- What is Partition Resizer

1.1 Why you need Partition Resizer

1.2 How does it work?

1.3 Is it safe?


1- What is Partition Resizer

1.1 Why you need Partition Resizer

OK, this is simple: if you have a disk partition (or more), and you want to  change its size or position for any particular reason whatsoever, you have 3 options:

a) Backup everything, use FDISK to delete the partition, re-create the partition and restore the data.

b) Pay $60 to buy a program that you will use 3 times in your life ($20 per use)

c) Use Partition Resizer Always remember: This program does not intend to replace FDISK. It's rather complementary to it. You will still need FDISK if you want to create and delete partitions. Partition Resizer processes only existing partitions.

Also, Partition Resizer does not convert FAT16 (older DOS partitions) into
FAT32. Windows 98 provides a tool that does this conversion. 

1.2 How does it work?

Well, this is the tricky part. The details are described in section 3, but I'll try to make a start from here. I assume that everybody understands the importance of partitioning. I also assume that most of you understand how partitioning is achieved. For those who don't, here it is:

Partitioning is just a marking of territories on the physical disk's surface.

At the first sector of the disk (sector 1, head 0, cylinder 0) resides an executable code block, which looks for the bootable partition, and runs it's boot sector code. That sector contains the information needed to divide the disk space into partitions. Later on, the boot sector (which is created by the OS's format utility) loads the OS Kernel (in DOS's case it loads the IO.SYS and the MSDOS.SYS), which continues the job by loading the information of all the partition structure into memory.

Partition Resizer does two things: When moving, apart from moving the data, it changes the information contained in the partition structure. When resizing, it changes the file system's data, which is contained in the boot sector and the FAT area. Both partition and FAT FS structures are explained at section 3.

1.3 Is it safe?

A great deal of changes has been done to the resizing engine for version 1.3.0. The program has been known to work fine in most cases, but I've had two e-mails reporting data loss. Both cases were caused by a bug that is now corrected. Of course there has been lots of testing from my part, and from many users that used the program in their systems, so the probability for more critical bugs is highly unlikely. In case you find a problem, please inform me ASAP. In order to avoid trouble, you should backup the most valuable data in your disk, those that cannot be replaced. If something happens, you'll only have to reinstall what's lost.

Most of the partition combinations this program has been tested with are combinations created with DOS's (or Windows') FDISK, or compliant to it. If you have created a partition structure which is not compatible with DOS, the program will most probably encounter problems and refuse to work with the offending disk in order to protect your data. The typical DOS partition structure is described later on in this document (section 3).

The program utilises a special recovery mechanism that allows resumption of the resizing or moving process even if it is interrupted by a reboot (most probably due to power failure). Without this recovery mechanism, if the program was interrupted during the resizing or moving process, it would be impossible to access the partition's data again. This program stores every single step, so it always knows what the last action was. For speed and safety reasons I use the CMOS's bytes 1,3 and 5 (the alarm bytes) to store the step counter number. Because the contents of the CMOS are preserved even when the power is off, the program can always find the last step and continue its work like nothing happened. If you don't believe it, test it. 

There is one problem I do not prevent: Bad sectors. In case your disk has bad sectors, the program will not run, in order to protect your data. It will make a surface scan before it starts, but if you are certain that your disk is free of defects, you may skip it. It would be better if you had your disk surface scanned with a commercial program (like Norton Disk Doctor or Windows' ScanDisk) before you run Partition Resizer. 

And note this: The program can be *really* dangerous, if you don't follow ALL precautions described in the README.1ST file. Please read it carefully 

Since the e-mail flow concerning the program is always increasing, and reached
a peak of several messages per day that had to be answered in detail, I would kindly request that you think twice before asking for advice or information.

So, please, before sending the message, take a look at PRESIZER.FAQ to see if the answer to your questions (or your prayers) is in there. Please try to find some different passive sources (web pages, documentation, books etc.) that might help solving your problem. If all else fails, try contacting me at the address:

Commentary e-mail is welcome, but it will probably not be answered.

The official home page of Partition Resizer is currently (31/12/00) located at:

If you cannot find the page at this location for any reason, you can perform a Web search with the keywords "Partition Resizer Zeleps" to locate it. 

Thank you again for reading this document and for using Partition Resizer!


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