Oh, Oh, Itís Magic...
A little bit ago, someone I knew bought a new machine and had an extra Pentium 233 with 64 meg and a 6 gig hard drive to spare. They decided to donate it to someone who was an intern at their company, as they had no computer of their own to use for term papers, etc. After I had formatted the machine into a single FAT-32 partition and spent some 8 hours loading up all of the software, I was finished and happy with the performance of the installation. However, when it became clear that the person would need a recovery image because they did not have familiarity with reloading an operating system and software should something go wrong, I smirked a bit because I could not image the machine with Norton Ghost because the system had no second drive and no CD burner. After the painful image of reloading flashed in my mind, I got smart and turned quickly to Partition Magic.
While it can resize partitions in Windows, I did not want to go to all the trouble of messing up my nice clean install with a program I would be removing anyway. Luckily, Partition Magic allows you to create a Boot Disk set that contains the DOS version of the software. Though the DOS version is not as fully functional as its Windows cousin, it can certainly handle a simple resize. So, I just booted up on the first floppy, ran Partition Magic for DOS from the second disk and resized the 6 gig partition to a 5 gig partition. I then took the remaining 1 gig and made an extended partition out of it. When I booted back into Windows, it saw the second partition as Drive D:, and I was able to copy the small GHOSTPE.EXE file over to the new D: drive, drop back to DOS and create a quick image of the C: partition to a ghost file. I made the image file Read-Only just to be safe, and I was done.
The DOS version included with Partition Magic 7 makes it simple to resize partitions and create new ones without a trace of interference in the Windows registry. If you work on systems that have no secondary disks but need to be ghosted, and you donít have a compatible network card or CD burner you can lay your hands on, try using the DOS version of Partition Magic 7 to make some room for that image.
I Have The Power!
There are very few killer utilities out there, but when you get your hands on one, you just have to share it with the crowd. There is this awesome program out there called PowerDesk, and it puts Windows file management to shame. The best part is, it is 100% free for the basic version.
Dual Pane Vertical View
Built In File Viewer / Player
Built In Archive Suppor
This thing has it all. You can view panes side by side, as the image above-left shows, or top to bottom if you prefer. You can show the directory tree or not, show hidden and system files or not, and a whole lot more. The program comes with a built in file viewer that not only views static bitmap and vector images, but plays audio sounds and animations, like the one shown above-center. It also has full support for ZIP archiving and can extract files from most major formats. While you get most of the big stuff in the free version, if you pay the $19.95 for the Pro version, you get built in FTP, the ability to view over 200 additional file formats, convert graphics from one format to another, and some other cool features. It is a must for managing screen shots, graphics, copying files to your web space, listening to libraries of sounds or managing your archives. I donít think I would like using Windows nearly as much without it. Get the free version at Ontrack.com