Windows’ Free Disk Management Tool

I referred to Windows’ free Disk Management tool as a "hidden gem" in the current (free) Information article at http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=180207718 , and many of you agreed, as shown by letters like this:

  • Fred: Just read your latest on Disk Management. If I had been dressed when I read it it would have blown my socks off. That’s hard to do when barefooted though. Thanks for the heads-up to a "get-by for free" tool. —Gary

Windows’ little-known, built-in Disk Management tool lets you create, format or delete partitions or drives; change drive letter assignments and paths; set up disk mirroring and RAID; and so on. This free tool lets you do most of the basic tasks that many people buy third-party tools for — software like Partition Magic, BootitNG, and Acronis Disk Director. The Windows Disk Management tool even gives you one-click access to defrag and chkdsk for all the drives or partitions on your system, without having to use Windows Explorer to open each one in sequence.

And it’s available in all normal versions of XP (and a very similar tool is available in Win2K).

  • Hi Fred, I can usually understand most of the instructions you pass out, but …. I am using Win XP Home edition. Is it included there? I am using a German-language OS. Would they have left it out? I went to Control Panel (on my machine "Start/Settings/Control Panel") but there is nothing there that says "Performance" (in German or English).

    Any suggestions please? Sounds like a good deal but I have never seen it, yet! —John

Yes, The Disk Management tool is normally part of a full install of XP Home, and can be accessed from Admin-level accounts there. I can’t tell you the exact nomenclature in the German variants, though; I have no German-language copy to play with here. Also, some OEM custom distributions may not have all the system tools installed; I have no way of telling what you have from here. But again, the Disk Management tool is normally part of a full install of all versions of XP.

But to clarify how to access it, note that I often use a common shorthand when I describe a series of clicks. For example, by "click Start/Control Panel/Performance and Maintenance/Administrative Tools/Computer Management." I mean: click the Start button. Then click Control Panel. Then click "Performance and Maintenance," which in a default US-English setup is the lower-leftmost item; shown by a pie chart icon. Then click "Administrative Tools," labeled with an icon of a PC with a hammer and wrench alongside it. Then click "Computer Management," tagged with a PC/monitor icon. You’re there!

For step-by-step instructions on using the Disk Management Tool, illustrated with many screen-shots, click over to
http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=180207718 .

The free tool just may be able to take care of all your basic disk management needs! And remember— you’ve already paid for it! Check out the article at http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=180207718 for full details!



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Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.