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Toolkit Item: MiniTool Partition Wizard (MTPW) Free

Wit this story on the MiniTool Partition Wizard (aka MTPW), this makes the tenth installment in the Admin Toolkit series here at Win10.Guru (find links to all the other series elements in the series introduction). Though we have another MiniTool in the series already — namely, the Windows Update MiniTool (WUMT) — this one comes from a different maker. But like that near-counterpart this tool also can replace or provide an alternative to a different built-in Windows 10 utility. MTPW can stand in for the Win10 Disk Management console. And in addition to doing everything that diskmgmt.msc does, MTPW can also move partitions around and resize them,  and even let you inspect their contents. In this review, I will concentrate my efforts on the free version of MTPW. But in the next section, I’ll lay out your entire portfolio of product options for the various forms in which MTPW is available.

The Many Flavors of MTPW

In addition to the free version (which has always been adequate for my needs), there are four other flavors of MTPW available: Professional, Server, Enterprise, and Technician. If you check the product comparison page on the Partition Wizard website you’ll find the complete info I’m about to summarize here. All versions come with the following capabilities, presented in tabular form.

MiniTool Partition Wizard Features
Features: All versions
Create/delete/formatBP Resize/Move BP Merge/split BP Set partition primary/logical
Set partition active/inactive Hide/unhide partition Change drive letter Set drive label
Align partition/disk Rebuild MBR Convert FAT32 to NTFS Show disk/partition properties
Scan lost/deleted partition Convert Data disk to MBR/GPT disk Migrate OS from MBR to MBR Disk Migrate OS from GPT to GPT disk
Copy OS from MBR to MBR disk Copy OS from GPT to GPT disk Change Partition Type ID
Features: all versions except Free
Convert NTFS to FAT32 Recover lost/deleted partition Change Cluster Size Convert OS Disk to GPT disk
Migrate OS from MBR to GTP disk Copy OS from MBR to GPT disk Change Partition Serial # Manage dynamic volume
Convert dynamic disk to basic Win-PE based boot media

The differences between the for cost versions are reasonably clear from their names:

  • Professional covers a single PC, and costs US$39 for a license that includes 1 year of free upgrades. Bump up to US$59 to get free lifetime upgrades. Bump up again to US$99 to cover 3 PCs with free lifetime upgrades.
  • Server covers a single PC or Server, and costs US$159 for a license plus 1 year of free upgrades. Bump up to US$259 to get free lifetime upgrades.
  • Enterprise provides a site license for a single company and costs US$399. Add US$100 (US$499 total) for free lifetime upgrades. Add US$300 (US$699 total) for a technician license, usable on any machine the technician accesses.
Introducing MiniTool Partition Wizard (MTPW) Free

The best way to see what the program can do is to download and play with a copy. Though it’s never caused me any problems, if you’re going to mess around with moving, resizing, and otherwise operating on disk partitions, back them up before play commences. That way, if you shoot yourself in the foot somehow, you’ll only be inconvenienced temporarily thereby.

Assuming that most readers understand how and why they should move, delete and resize partitions let me gloss over that essential part of MTPW’s capabilities by saying: This all works. It’s easy to use and pretty straightforward. When messing with OS disks, be aware that moving the 16 MB MSR partition is difficult to impossible, depending on how far you want to contort yourself to make things happen. In other words, if I really, really want to rework the partition structure of my OS disk, I myself wait until my next clean install so that I can set it up in advance just the way I want it. MTPW will let you move the OS, Recovery, EFI and other partitions around very easily, but that MSR partition prevents you from wholesale reorganizations at the drop of a hat. You’ve been warned!

Here’s a screen-cap of a feature I like very much. You can right-click on a partition in MTPW, then select Explore from the resulting pop-up menu. This will let you inspect various partitions to see what’s on them. Thus, for example, by looking at the file dates on the number 1 partition on my Lenovo T520’s system/boot disk I can tell that it dates back to Windows 10 Version 1603 based on the creation time information about the files and folders therein. (Note: a quick run of reagentc /info in an admin command prompt window also tells me that partition 5 — not this one — is my currently active recovery partition.)

MiniTool Partition Wizard (MTPW).PartExp

You can click down through the file hierarchy, and see all files in this partition, if you’re so inclined. Great tool!
[Click image for full-sized view.]

The general interface is busy, but workable, as this screen shot attests. (Note: even the Free version lists features it doesn’t support. If you click on one of them — say, Bootable Media — you’ll get a pop-up that informs you the feature is available in the Professional edition but not here.)

The best way to learn the program is play around with it until the controls make sense. Be sure to make a backup before messing around!
[Click image for full-sized view.]

This program also comes highly recommended from the other Gurus, Moderators, and Team members at TenForums.com. It’s free anyway, so if you decide you don’t like it, it won’t cost you to figure that out for yourself.

Author: Ed Tittel

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.

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