Partition Magic vs. Disk Director Suite

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by herojig, Aug 11, 2005.

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  1. herojig

    herojig Registered Member

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    Hi all, I am a happy ATI user and was looking at Disk Director Suite as a replacement for my aging version of Partition Magic 8. As fara as I know, that company no longer exists and the product is dead (or assimulated by Norton). So has anyone done a comparision between these two products? I am very familiar with PQ product, and I am downloading the eval of Disk Director now. The first thing I noticed in the marketing stuff was that Disk Director won't convert FAT32 to NTFS yet...is this true? Well, a blow by blow comparison would be helpful for me...thanks!
    jigs
     
  2. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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  3. Greetings,

    Finally I found Acronis DDS after six months of frustration with various vendors of hard drive partitioning software. I was a long time customer of PowerQuest until Symantec bought them after PQ's PMagic 8.0. Symantec failed to make their named PMagic 8.0 handle over 196MB partitions in FAT32, just like PQ's PMagic 8.0, even though to this day their web promo info says it will handle 300GB partitions. I have been through a time wasteful effort trying to get Symantec's "India Inc." customer service to even understand the problem with their software.

    Next, based upon a tip from the Maxtor web site I found and tried Paragon's Partition Manager 6. That was six months ago. They have since released Partition Manager 7 and they still have not fixed their bugs such that I can do the most basic of all partition operations: Copy a partition to a new, larger hard drive and resize it to fill the drive. PM6+ messes up the cluster size and boot record and can not fix the problem it creates. It even corrupts the partition data that it copies until you change default "fast copy ON" settings that you should not have to change to copy partitions. And with that feature OFF it copies the fastest, and without corruption. In summary, due to cluster and boot record problems you can not get a valid FAT32 partition. Paragon's customer service is well run and they have long ago confirmed the problem, and the company will probably fix the bug before long. But I needed it fixed six months ago.

    On August 20, 2005, enter Acronis DDS 9.0 (build 549): I found Acronis by yet another Google search. I had found them before but didn't go further. Well, they said their software would do what I wanted, just as PQ, Symantec and Paragon had, except Acronis' software actually worked correctly. Finally!

    Not one problem with data integrity (I used freeware VData to check EVERY bit of copied partition data) and no problems with partition formating integrity. I have one complaint though - like Paragon's try-before-you-buy demo version, you can't actually get Acronis' DEMO software to actually DO ANYTHING. Thus until you BUY it you can't discover bugs. Luckily it worked, and the only reason I tried it is because of both Acronis' apparent strong intent to satisfy customers or else give them a refund, plus the credit card company's assistance for forcing it. It is a misuse of credit cards to use them to force a merchant to refund your money for defective or poorly performing products as opposed to undelivered products, but luckily most cc issuers will help you out when a company who sold you a product will not help you. Happily I had no problems at all with Acronis and their Disk Director Suite 9.0.

    Thank you, Acronis.
     
  4. Think(box)

    Think(box) Registered Member

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    The previous "New DDS9 customer" guest post was my reply, but now I've joined this forum and have a username: Think(box)

    Thanks again Acronis
     
  5. feddup

    feddup Registered Member

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    partition magic AND true image

    I hope this post isn't too far off topic but this thread is as close as I've ever seen to the question I want answered. I own True Image 8 and hold it in the highest regard. It did involve a fair amount of trouble to get all the features working perfectly. Acronis support deserves immense credit for their effort to work out the bugs which were all operator (me) error. I also own partition magic and believes it deserves respect. My PC knowledge is primitive at best but I believe both programs affect the boot files. I believe in treading carefully where the boot files are involved. Has anyone successfully installed and used both programs together without problems? I've been reluctant to try installing PM 8 for fear of screwing up everything. I value TI as my safety net and it's saved me many times but I'd like to utilize PM's various powerful functions as well. I'd buy disk director suite but the issues I repeatedly see have me a little apprehensive. Any feedback would be greatly appreciatted.
     
  6. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    Think(box)

    Welcome to Wilders! :)
     
  7. lklawrie

    lklawrie Registered Member

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    In July 2004, during a Partition Magic operation, I managed to trash my HD in my laptop. Trashed it so bad that I ended up buying a new HD and after much work, got things back up and running. The Laptop is my "work" machine and thus had very important stuff on it but fortunately, not a lot of personal software.

    Fast forward to now, I wanted to transform that HD into a backup drive -- connected to the laptop by USB. When I tried PartitionMagic on it, all I got was "bad" hard drive and it couldn't do anything with it. Various other "low-level" format techniques didn't work either, so I downloaded a trial version of Disk Director Suite. As it could at least pretend it was going to do something with that drive, I was able to recover most of the HD (so far). There is still an unallocated partition (that now PartitionMagic can also see), but as it is fairly small and marked as "primary", I think I will leave it alone.

    Thanks, Acronis!!!!!

    Linda
     
  8. nlandas

    nlandas Guest

    With Symantec buying PowerQuest I have totally vacated that camp. Symantec's support is non-existent. Well I should say you pay an arm and a leg to talk to someone with a screen that reads a FAQ to you and when you stump them they ask for a lot of data which you generate and then never hear back.

    But anyway, If you are looking to convert FAT32 to NTFS on a Windows XP machine there is a built in convert utility that I have about 25 times with good success. I am sure that Acronis will ad the feature later as well.
     
  9. karlmoll

    karlmoll Guest

    I couldn't agree more about Symantec. I used Roxio's GoBack for years and loved it. Then it was bought by Symantec and the problems began. I could'nt get any suport even though they touted how much they were going to support the Roxio product line they had purchased.

    Did you ever try to uninstall Symantec's antivirus. I worked at it for weeks and even months later I still kept finding things in my registry put there by Symantec.

    I'll never use another Symantec product again!
     
  10. tonyangelo

    tonyangelo Registered Member

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    I don't know about Acronis adding that ntfs=fat thing anytime soon. They've been promising for over a year that "it will surely be added soon."
     
  11. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    I have been useing partition magic 8 for quite a while and have hot partitioned and converted formats from NTFS to Fat32 and back many times without a hitch. It has always performed just excellent. I have never used Acronis disc partitioning software since partition magic has always worked just fine and have never felt the need to change.

    bigc.
     
  12. herojig

    herojig Registered Member

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    I agree. PQ 8.0 works flawlessly so until the OS changes, I guess I'll stay there. I noticed that Symnatec rebadged PQ into an 8.05 version with thier name on it, but I doubt they improved it much. thanks,
    jigs
    ps. Disk director looks like a non-starter for me.
     
  13. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    Disc director is more than likely an excellent product it is just that I have never had ocassion to use it. If I ever get the chance I will give it a try and see how it goes.
     
  14. Detox

    Detox Retired Moderator

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    I've moved this thread from the Acronis support forum to "software & services" where we keep the comparatives.
     
  15. Hi everyone,

    I used PartitionMagic 8 for about 3 years and I never had problems with it. Until recently wnen I decided to install Linux Fedora Core 2...
    First, I resized the last NTFS partition by some 3 GB to free some 3 GB for Linux and decided to create Linux swap and ext2 partitions using PartitionMagic - just in case, because I was afraid that Linux installer could screw up and damage my last partition. This was a fatal mistake (but continue reading)...
    When I sterted installing Fedora Core 2, it showed a warning that an extended partition was not peoperly aligned but that it still was safe to continue the installation (I don't remember well what I did at that moment - probably, I deleted both Linux partitions and created them again, but it did not solve the misalignment problem).
    So, I installed Linux. After that I booted Windows to find out that my last NTFS partition now had no file system (fortunately, I had several NTFS partitions on my drive, so I at least could boot my Windows XP)! I started PartitionMagic hoping that it would give me some hope. It immediately started complaining of multiple errors in a partition table and offered to "fix" them. I allowed it to do this. At the end, it said: "Error 117. Cannot continue" - and it shut down immediately. When I tried to start it again, it again displayed the error 117 message and shut down. I realized tha I am in a sort of trouble. I have just lost 12 GB of data! I started reading in the Internet about similar problems and found out that this was a bug in PartitionMagic since at least version 6. A lot of people lost their partitions due to it.
    I called my friend and asked him if he had a similar problem and whether he knew how to fix it. He said he did, but everything he suggested was to buy 2 liters of Vodka and get boozed (and format the partition is when I sober up because there was nothing I could do about it).
    But I could not afford losing my data and source codes and did not believe that a simple misalignment error would cause a loss of the entire partition's data. I believed (and I was right) that only a partition table was damaged, so I started looking for a freeware or shareware disk editor for NTFS. Dsik Director was in the first search results, so I downloaded its read-only version, installed it (both DiskEditor and OS Selector. During the installation, I was advised to make a resque disk, I followed the advice, and this saved me a lot of headache later - read on to find out why). So, I installed Disk Director, played with it for about half an hour trying to figure out if it were possible what the problem was and how I could fix it. As I found out (it was easy), the partition table entry (it only occupies one disk sector, 512 bytes) for the partition was spoiled...
    (I am now posting this message - I need a break)
     
  16. (continued)
    My next step was to obtain a full version of Disk Director. When I got and installed it (I installed only Disk Editor), it took me only 5 minutes to copy the contents of the first sector from another NTFS partition (in Hex view mode). It had the same cluster size and other field values (except of big total sectors number and the partition's serial number. I had to calculate the number of big total sectorsin the partition as a difference between last sector and first sector minus one and change the serial number - I did it in NTFS boot sector mode).
    So, I committed changes, and - a miracle - both Disk Director and Windows saw the partition and all its data!
    Of course, my Linux partitions now were damaged (they now had crazy sizes - some 500 GB and 800 GB instead of 500MB and 2.5 GB). And it was not all - when I restarted the computer, It would not boot because Linux installed its oen boot manager, and, as I understand it, the image of my Windows boot record was in the now damaged Linux partition. I was in trouble again. But, at least, I now could connect my HDD as a slave (or use a USB enclosure box) to read data from it...
    (to be continued)
     
  17. (colntinued)
    Well, too much to say... I will just add that I used DE to find and fix (more exactly, to "straiten" the damaged Linux partitions - at least, they now had correct sizes and the OS did not complain of them). Then I lost my partition once again, but I managed to restore the Windows XP boot record using the resque CD I made when I was installing a demo version of DD (I think OS selector remembered my boot record so later it was able to restore it). After that I again used DE to restore my NTFS partition, and finally all works just right.
    I am not a low-level OS guru, so I made several mistakes when doing all the above (first of all, I should have restored Windows XP boot record by removing the Linux' boot manager Grub or by using DD's OS selector before editing NTFS partition table). Yet, I spent less than 2 hours for all the above (porbably, half an hour of work and an hour and ahalf of thinking how I could do without an extra HDD or computer) recovering my lost partition.

    Thanks, Russian guys!

    Teddy_the_Pilot
    Montreal, Canada
     
  18. Reve_Etrange

    Reve_Etrange Registered Member

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    Any other opinion on partition managers?
    I got PM8 too, it's getting a bit old, and there's no way I will upgrade and install a symantec product on my machine. Acronis looked interesting, but I'm much leery of their recent TI9 mess. What are the serious alternative then?

    -RE
     
  19. herojig

    herojig Registered Member

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    Wow, this thread is still alive, and so am I. Nice. But the situation remains the same RE, I still have ATI and PM8. I recently migrated to a new desktop from a laptop, and having both of these fine tools saved me mucho time and headache. I wish the same could be said for Symantec, which was the only glitch in the migration path. Anyway, I don't think there is a better combo out there yet - although I thought I read that Disk Director 9 NOW does fat32 to NTFS conversions...but still, PM8 has never failed on me and I have had for years...
    jigs
     
  20. nod32.9

    nod32.9 Guest

    Have used PM5-PM8 for years. Relatively bug-free software. Highly recommended for novice users.

    Experienced users may want to check out Bootit NG. It incorporates a boot loader, partition manager, and imaging software in on tiny installation (about 2MB). With Bootit NG, one can create more than four primary active partitions. It is a very POWERFUL tool for the PC enthusiast.
     
  21. herojig

    herojig Registered Member

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    looks good, but too dos-like for me. i'm into style these days as well as good function. the price seems right, i think that's half of what norton is charging for rebadged PM. Not that I would give them a dime. thanks for the tip!
    jigs
     
  22. BartPE

    BartPE Guest

    Hi;

    First of all, I have Partition Magic 8 installed on my machines, and also Acronis Disk Expert. I love them both, and have to say that Acronis is very good and getting better, while PM is good and still at the top already.

    What the heck is "getting old" with Partition Magic? Is there anything it can't do? If so, let me know, I'll try and check by myself, since I love testing partitioning software.

    Never had any problem with PM on any kind of machine.

    Also, please remember that partitioning is a heavy operation, and before pointing finger on this or that product, make sure the error (if any) that happened has not been initiated by the user.

    Of course one may possibly encounter problems with any partitioning software if not used correctly, or if the operations are not launched/performed by the user in the adequate (and appropriate) order.
     
  23. BartFan

    BartFan Guest

    I also don't see the point of upgrading to a more recent version, unless 1/ the upgrade solves a bug or problem, or 2/ significantly improves performance or stability or ease of use, or 3/ adapts to new HD technologies.

    A good example of that necessity is in the browsers's area. For instance, Opera (yeah, I know, FFox does that too ;) ) is constantly upgraded as soon as a bug or flaw is discovered, or with the end in mind to adapt more correctly to internet standards and new technologies, or to offer more necessary options and better ease of use to surfers, and so on.

    Of course, there's a commercial necessity for companies to keep coming up with "new" products, but IMHO that's often more a question of market visibility than a true necessity from a user point of vue.

    Cheers
     
  24. Reve_Etrange

    Reve_Etrange Registered Member

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    Lol, don't bite my head off, I just said PM was released some years ago. Even if the product is still nice, the rest of the world evolves, and there may be new ways to deal with specific things, or new features, or better performance.... I don't know much really about disk partionning, I just don't want to keep my good ol' rusty tractor if there are much better ones out there. That's basically why I asked ;-)

    -RE
     
  25. BartFan

    BartFan Guest

    Hi Reve Etrange...
    Sorry if I may have sounded over excited - that's just my passionate way of expressing myself ;) Regards

    A propos, j'aime beaucoup ton pseudo, que je trouve à la fois original et élégant.... Canada francophone!?

    Salutations :)
     
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