gparted live-cd :: solve partitioning / formatting problems
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If you're like me, you've tried many distros, and found many of them simply fail to partition the hard drive correctly during the install, and often afterwords if you use the gui partitioning tools. Avoid problems like this by grabbing the new gparted live cd. This has to be one of the better tools out there, it's a very basic linux kernel that runs one application on boot. At 33 mB, this thing is just what I was looking for.

As an added bonus, the gparted site features a fairly in-depth large disk information section that should satisfy the geeks out there. Not to mention a pretty interesting discussion on the problems of what it takes to securely delete data from magnetic storage mediums like hard and floppy disks. For people who need to know that 's a must read.

I immediately was able to create partitions, and format them with any file system I wanted, from fat to reiser4, and everything in between.

Here's to single applications that do their job well. Why qtparted can't get this part down is beyond me, I can only speculate, so I won't guess.

Anyway, just download the iso, heck, it's even small enough for dialup users with some patience to get it, burn it, boot it up, partition and format your drive for your new linux or whatever, then boot up into the install cd for your distro, and you're ready to go. No worrying about whether your distro's partitioning tools will work or not, this one seems really solid.

I haven't done any tests on maintaining data integrity on disk partitions that are being shrunk or expanded though, especially with ntfs. it would be good to know if that works, but that requires a test on a non-critical system that can fail with no problems. As always with resizing, with windows it's probably a good idea to defrag the drives before resizing them no matter what. If you've tried it, I'd like to hear your experiences, which file system, details etc.

This is jumping into my system admin toolbox immediately though, this is a well thought out product, which remains totally true to the unix ideal of 'do one thing and do it well'. Now if qtparted would just start working....
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