Active@ Partition Manager v5.0

A Full Review of Active@ Partition Manager, a Free Disk Partitioning Tool

Screenshot of Active@ Partition Manager v5 in Windows 7
Active@ Partition Manager v5. © LSoft Technologies Inc.

Active@ Partition Manager is a free disk partitioning tool for Windows that supports all the partition management features you'd expect from a program like this.

With it, you can format drives, create, resize, and delete partitions, and lots more.

Active@ Partition Manager also acts as a simple backup tool in that it can create a mirror image backup of any hard drive or partition.

Download Active@ Partition Manager v5.0
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Active@ Partition Manager Pros & Cons

Active@ Partition Manager is one of my favorite disk partitioning tools:

Pros:

  • Super simple to use
  • Supports common partitioning functions
  • Lets you restore some changes via backups
  • Includes other useful drive management features

Cons:

  • Can't downsize locked volumes (e.g. the system volume)
  • Will crash when extending a locked volume
  • Unable to copy partitions

More Information on Active@ Partition Manager

  • Windows 8, 7, and XP, plus Windows Server 2012, 2008, and 2003, are all supported by Active@ Partition Manager
  • Active@ Partition Manager consists of two main screens: the first lets you view a wizard to quickly build a new partition from one of the hard drives, and the other is called Partition Manager, which opens all the other options that Active@ Partition Manager has
  • The Disk Image Management page includes the option to create an image backup of a disk, open an already built image, and verify that a disk image is consistent and working properly
  • Partitions can be formatted in the NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT file system
  • File systems that are recognized include FAT, NTFS, EFS, MacOS, HFS+, Linux Ext2/Ext3/Ext4, Unix UFS, and BtrFS
  • You can rename the volume label and change the drive letter for any partition, as well as edit the drive's boot sector
  • Backups can be made for the physical disks so you can rollback layout changes if you've deleted, created, or formatted a partition
  • New disks can be initialized as MBR or GPT
  • FAT32 partitions can be created up to 1 TB in size
  • Resizing a partition can be accomplished with a visual slider or text entry
  • Partition and hard drive properties that can be viewed include the GUID name, total number of sectors, date that it was last formatted, maximum supported file size, and volume integrity information
  • You can mark partitions as active
  • The hardware information of a drive can be saved to an XML file, which includes things like the BIOS version, total size of the drive, file system, serial number, volume label, and lots more

My Thoughts on Active@ Partition Manager

The biggest issue I have with Active@ Partition Manger, without question, is that you can't downsize locked volumes. This means that the drive that has Windows installed to it, which is always locked while Windows is running, can't be made any smaller.

This isn't an issue with most disk partitioning tools because most support rebooting the computer and running the resize operation before the operating system starts up and locks the drive. Unfortunately, such a feature isn't included with Active@ Partition Manager.

However, while you can't downsize the active partition, you are able to extend it to make it larger.

Unfortunately, every time I try this, the software crashes and I get that infamous BSOD. Interestingly enough, the system partition does, in fact, get larger, just as I intend, but that unexpected reboot during the process makes me pretty uncomfortable.

So, if you're planning on enlarging the system partition, I recommend either AOMEI Partition Assistant SE or MiniTool Partition Wizard, both of which have better support for this particular partition management feature and don't seem to cause any system trouble.

Most disk partitioning tools will not apply changes until you've done all the tasks you want performed.

For example, they'll let you delete a partition, then format it, resize it, change the drive letter, and then format it again, all in one action so that you don't have to wait for each one to take place before you can do the next. The results are shown virtually so you can see what will happen when you commit to them, but they don't actually happen until you've saved the changes.

Active@ Partition Manager has this feature (sort of), but it's not as extensive. For example, after taking the appropriate steps to resize a partition, the action will apply immediately, without giving you the option to format it afterward or to change the drive letter, etc. Those operations must be performed manually, only after the resizing has completed.

On the other hand, when you're doing something more simple, like creating a new partition, you are given the option to format it, change the volume label, resize it, etc. Honestly, though, for most people, this won't be a big inconvenience. It's just a unique way that Active@ Partition Manager handles this.

Something I like about Active@ Partition Manager is that when you're building a new partition, the very bottom of the wizard writes out what it is that will happen when you save the changes. This makes it easy to understand what will happen once you click Create.

For example, here's something you might see: "The Primary Partition will be created starting from 2048 sectors with size 10 GB; Drive letter will be assigned and partition will be set as Active; Volume will be formatted as NTFS with Default unit size." 

Download Active@ Partition Manager v5.0
[LSoft.net | Download & Install Tips]