• Why can’t Windows provide their own drive partition tool?

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    #2504294

    Tonight I will ask the pondering question of why…. why can’t Microsoft/Windows provide a native tool that properly partitions drives? If you want to
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    Susan Bradley Patch Lady

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    • #2504299

      Pardon the ignorance, but I thought that the types of things described are exactly what the Disk Management snap-in (GUI-based) and the diskpart.exe command line tool were for.

      I guess they must just be underpowered for really heavy lifting.  🙁

      • #2504300

        If there is an OEM partition in the way it won’t expand the partition.  If there is nothing to the right to the space where you want to expand, native tools will work.  Otherwise, you will need a third party tool.  Just hit this like two weeks ago at the office.

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

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        • #2504330

          And that brings up another annoyance: some of my computers have a “recovery partition” (with no drive letter) to the right of the Windows (C:) partition. Why the heck would they do this? All it does is get in the way if you want to upgrade to a bigger drive.

          Yes, I know, you can create a new letter drive with the unassigned space to the right, but why should this be made necessary? OEM, just put the bloody “recovery partition” to the left of the Windows drive, and then there are no complications at upgrade time.

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    • #2504305

      For my VMware Windows virtual machines using the NTFS file system, as I don’t use virtual disk images of preallocated sizes, as they are used the space consumed by the virtual disks slowly expands, sometimes to a point which the space occupied on the disk by the virtual disk is much larger than the amount of actual data in the virtual disk.

      I have found that using a bootable iso image containing Acronis True Image (I made the iso image quite some time ago and have since removed the program from Windows.) to boot the virtual machine, I can clone the data using True Image to a same size or larger virtual disk, that allows for “replacing” the original virtual disk with another of the same or larger size. It also serves the additional purpose of “compressing” the virtual disk so that the space occupied by the new virtual disk becomes smaller, comparable to the actual data it contains (until the next time when it expands again).

      For partition purposes I use Acronis Disk Director, also from the bootable iso image (or CD / USB stick) and it works well.

      As you said, the partition tools provided by Windows are simply not good enough. I use them only when I install a new disk and need to partition it to a single partition occupying the whole (or almost the whole) disk.

      Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

    • #2504308

      Microsoft could provide such a tool if they wanted to, of course. I guess they don’t because they don’t have to… the aftermarket has it covered, and it would cost money for MS to develop their own program that would not really do anything more than what the aftermarket ones do.

      There are a lot of different categories of important utility programs that are not provided by MS. It never really bothered me in my Windows days as long as I could get the job done without having to pay extra for something that would otherwise be thought to be something that should be part of the OS.

      Now that I use Linux with a KDE desktop environment, there’s KDE Partition Manager, and there’s also Gnome Partition Editor (GPartEd). Either will work on any Linux setup, but KDE Partition Manager will visually integrate with KDE setups seamlessly, while GPartEd will integrate well with any GTK-based desktop (GNOME, Cinnamon, Xfce, MATE, and more). One or the other of these is usually preinstalled on any live session ISO, and you can even use them to create, move, and resize Microsoft NTFS partitions from that live session.

      Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
      XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed

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    • #2504311

      Agree with Susan absolutely. I have an older HP laptop that came with WIN 8. I upgraded it to WIN 10 and am left with an OEM partition (with the WIN 8 backup) that I emptied out but which prevents me from expanding my C: partition.  Microsoft should have provided a mechanism for recycling the OEM partition in conjuction with the upgrading process. (I have newer hardware, as well, that came equipped with WIN 10, but the older one is preferred on trips as it would be no great loss if swiped or worse.)

    • #2504319

      Microsoft could provide such a tool if they wanted to,

      Don’t agree.

      All Microsoft’s Windows build-in tools are a joke.

      There are better 3rd party partition tools, backup tools, file copy tools, uninstall tools, Windows update tools, file explorer tools, disk cleanup tools, A/V tools…then Microsoft is able to develop. Were they able they would have.

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      • #2505208

        They wrote the entire OS. Of course they can write a decent partitioning tool if they wanted to, or any other of the tools that you refer to. They just choose not to. They give you the bare minimum to get by and leave the rest up to you.

        What benefit would it be to Microsoft to offer more fully-featured utilities? To do that would require more developers and more expense, but it wouldn’t bring in any more revenue. No one moves away from Windows, or avoids it in the first place, because there is no decent MS disk partitioning tool. Nor would MS be able to charge more for Windows if it had one, and no one would be willing to pay for a tool that arguably should have been included with Windows, and for which free alternatives exist.

         

        Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
        XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/16GB & GTX1660ti, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed

    • #2504375

      Used MiniTool Partition Wizard the one time I needed to mess around with the partitions on my disk and it worked perfectly for me. Also used it for migrating the OS from a mechanical disk to an SSD and that went without an issue as well.

      I have mixed feelings about MS providing their own drive partition tool. It would certainly be handy to have such a tool added as an integral feature of Windows. However, third party tools like MiniTool seem to work just fine and I would not be too surprised if what MS could come up with turns out to be limited in the type of actions it can perform or, even worse, buggy (considering the quality of updates, I have some reservations about new features as well…).

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    • #2504313

      I agree that Windows should have a full featured disk partitioning tool built in. I have used GpartEd for at least 15 years. Prior to that I used Partition Magic. I am sure that other third party tools work as well.

      I have used these tools to remove OEM partitions from drives when I upgraded to a larger capacity drive.

      At 37 years of age MS should just provide a modern partitioning tool natively.

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    • #2504387

      Nothing unusual about that! The pattern I see is: When a new Windows version appears, you start with 1/2 or less of previous version benefits and features and then have to live with slowly improving beta software for about 5 years. Next you have a fairly well working system for about 2 years until the next new Windows version installs and then the cycle repeats. There seems to be no end to this pattern. Why expect more?

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    • #2504847

      If Microsoft were to develop a partition tool:

      • Microsoft would have to maintain the partition tool.
      • Eventually Microsoft’s partition tool would become “legacyware” similar to Microsoft’s backup software (where third-party backup tool is now recommended).
      Carpe Diem {with backup and coffee}
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    • #2504862

      If all third party mentioned partitioning utilities ‘work well’, so be it, use them. Haven’t MSFT got enough on their plate trying to fix what is not broken, or is, for that matter.?

      Although I would suspect that MSFT are more than likely to provide something (paid) in the MSFT Store as an option first whilst integrating a neutered version into Windows 12?

      As per NOW, I much prefer 3rd party utilities and MSFT ain’t gonna change that. Simply don’t need nor want any more infrequently used BLOAT in the OS by default when attaching a usb flash or cd-rom can equip infrequent needs for our or other’s devices.

      WaaS = Windows as a Syphon...suckers!

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    • #2505104

      Tonight I will ask the pondering question of why…. why can’t Microsoft/Windows provide a native tool that properly partitions drives?

      Windows partition/folder/file protection gets in the way, and Windows own backup scheme are the short answer.  Diskpart can be used to partition a drive from the Windows Recovery Environment, but the drive must first be empty/cleaned.  Partitions can be sized to suit, but then the contents must be restored to the new sizes.  Third party drive imaging can do that, but Windows backup does not have the granularity, and MS isn’t actively improving that.

      A Microsoft Reserved partition can’t be touched, but it can be removed using diskpart from within the Windows RE.  OEM recovery partitions use the same protections, and so they also get in the way.

      As to “why”, one must be well versed in the issues and hazards of using the diskpart command line and familiar with the file system overhead in order to get the partition sizes to suit.  Since Microsoft and OEMs have moved away from installation discs, some useful tools must be created on disc/USB stick using Windows utilities.  How many of the billion+ users have the knowledge, experience and courage to do all that?

      Microsoft has no incentive to create tools that will only be used by a very tiny, tiny portion of their installed user base.

      Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
      We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do. We don't all have to do the same things.

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    • #2505536

      Eh, it’s par for the course.

      These days, I’d just like them to focus on testing patches/updates before release so that basic services, like ODBC, are not magically broken.

      Win7 still feels like the pinnacle from my perspective :-/

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    • #2505880

      I haven’t given this topic much thought for , oh, 30+ years.  From the OS/2 days and Partition Magic and all its subsequent incarnations up through EaseUS and MiniTool (which I use now), it’s always been a no-brainer — MS as a LAST resort.  I do use the MS disk utility for a quick assignment of drive letters but that’s it.

    • #2505946

      I think microsoft needs a real logical volume manager.

      I thought creating a dynamic volume or GPT would solve this, but it doesn’t. Those allow other things.

      I think for microsoft, it’s a liability issue. Plus they have to play nice with OEMs (insert snicker here, see the antitrust trial).

    • #2507232

      There is DISKPART…

      https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/administration/windows-commands/diskpart

      It just doesn’t have a nice GUI interface.

       

       

       

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    • #2507289

      There is DISKPART…

      Not even close to 3rd party partition apps like MiniTool..

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