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  • R-Drive Image as a free powerful partition manager

Starting from Version 7, R-Drive Image offers its customers another set of very useful disk utilities: a partition manager. It allows its user to create, resize, delete, and perform other manipulations with partitions (logical disks in Windows) in a clear and convenient way. Moreover, such disk manipulations can be combined with other common disk actions, for example: while an entire hard drive is being copied to another drive, its partitions can be extended and moved to another place on the drive, as it will be shown below in this article.

Moreover, the startup version of R-Drive Image has almost the same features as its Windows counterpart. The only exception is the lack of the built-in scheduler, tasks, scripts, and connecting images as virtual disks, although copying individual files from opened images is a good substitution for the latter. The other features useful for non-Windows computers like support for various Apple and Linux volume managers are fully intact.

There's another great feature of this partition manager: being a part of R-Drive Image software, it works in its trial version without the usual restrictions typically imposed on demo/trial versions. The free trial period for R-Drive Image is one month.

Below, we'll discuss three examples of the work of the partition manager in R-Drive Image to show how easy it is to use the manager to perform the most common partition tasks. First, as a simple task, we'll create a partition on a completely blank hard drive, which even has not been initialized in Windows. Second, as a more complex task, we'll create another partition on the same drive, move it to the end of the drive, and extend the first partition. Finally, as the most critical task, we'll copy an entire hard drive with a working Windows installation to another and larger drive in a way that the new installation will occupy the entire new had drive. We'll perform this in a virtual machine environment to demonstrate that R-Drive Image startup version can work in virtual machines.

Simple task: creating a partition on a blank uninitialized hard drive
Test setup: a physical hard drive is connected to a real Windows machine where R-Drive Image is installed. The hard drive is purely blank and uninitialized.

To create a new partition on such hard drive, after R-Drive Image has been started, do the following:

1. Click Partition Manager on the Action Selection panel of R-Drive Image.
Action Selection panel
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R-Drive Image will show the hard drive and partition configuration on the computer.
Computer disk configuration
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2. Select the necessary hard drive and click the Create button.

3. Specify the necessary parameters of the newly created partition.
Parameters of the newly created partition
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You may read more about these parameters in "R-Drive Image online help".

A new partition appears in the disk configuration in R-Drive Image. (Not on the hard drive yet - R-Drive Image never alters anything on a hard drive until it's specifically commanded to do so.)

New partition in the disk configuration
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4. Click the Next button, and the Total operations list panel will appear.
Total operations list panel
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You may make a final review of the operations to be performed and change anything if necessary.

5. Click the Start button and wait for R-Drive Image to complete the operation.
Partition creation: operation completed
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The task is over and a new partition appears on the disk. You may see it on the Computer Management panel.
The new partition in the Computer Management panel
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Complex task consisting of several partition operations: creating partitions, moving partitions, extending partitions
In this action, we'll create a new partition on the same hard drive, move it to the end of the drive, and extend the old partition, and we'll do it through one and single disk action.

To do so:

1. Right-click the empty space on the drive and select Create partition on the shortcut menu.
Creating a new partition
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2. Specify the necessary parameters of the newly created partition.
Parameters of the newly created partition
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You may read more about these parameters in "R-Drive Image online help".

A new partition (Test_Part1) appears in the disk configuration in R-Drive Image, but not on the hard drive.
New partition in the disk configuration
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3. Click and hold the new partition (Test_Part1) and move it to the rightmost place on the hard drive layout.
Moving the new partition to the rightmost place
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4. Release the partition and it will stay on the right site on the drive diagram.
New partition (Test_Part1) on the right sight of the drive diagram
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5. Click and hold the right side of Partition Test_Part0 and extend it to the rightmost position until it is adjacent to Partition Test_Part1.
Extending Partition Test_Part0
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6. Release Partition Test_Part0 and the final partition layout will remain in the drive configuration in R-Drive Image. (Not on the hard drive just yet!)
Final partition configuration
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7. Click the Next button, and the Total operations list panel will appear.
Total operations list panel
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You may make final review of the operations to be performed and change anything if necessary.

8. Click the Start button and wait for R-Drive Image to complete this set of operations. When they're through, you may see the new partition layout on the Computer Management panel.
New partition layout
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Most critical task: copying a system hard drive to another drive with larger capacity and extending its system partition.
In this task, we'll copy a working Windows installation to another, and larger, hard drive. In addition to copying all data to the new drive, we'll need to move a specific partition (Recovery) to the end of the drive and extend the main (System) partition in a way such that it'll occupy all the free space of the drive.

This task will also show how to perform these partition manipulations while performing other hard drive actions.

The safest way of performing such manipulations with system partitions is to use the startup version of R-Drive Image. R-Drive Image can create a fully working startup disk even in its Demo mode.

In addition, we'll do that in a virtual machine environment (Oracle's(™) VMBox) to test the operation of R-Drive Image startup version under such conditions.

"R-Drive Image on-line help" explains how to create a startup version of R-Drive Image and how to start a computer with it. You may also consult Oracle's(™) VMBox to learn how to work with its software.

To perform this task:
1. Start the startup version and select Copy Disk on the on the Action Selection panel.
Action Selection panel
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R-Drive Image will show you the drive configuration of the virtual computer.
Computer disk configuration
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As the disk configuration shows, we need to move the Recovery partition (D:) to the end of the hard drive to able to extend the system disk.

2. Drag the old hard drive with the Windows system to the new drive.
Copy options dialog message
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Copy options dialog message will appear. Select the Copy all partitions onto original places option and click the OK button.

You may read more about these options in "R-Drive Image on-line help".

The new partition configuration will appear in R-Drive Image (not on the new hard drive just yet!).
New partition configuration
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3. Drag the Recovery partition and move it to the rightmost place on the hard drive diagram.
Moving the Recovery partition
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The next new partition configuration will appear in R-Drive Image.
Next new partition configuration
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4. Click and drag the right side of the System partition to the rightmost position until it is adjacent to the Recovery partition.
Extending the System partition
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5. Release the system partition and the final partition layout will remain in the disk configuration in R-Drive Image. (Not on the hard drive just yet!)
The final partition configuration
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6. Click the Next button, and the Total operations list panel will appear.
Total operations list panel
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You may make final review of the operations to be performed and change anything if necessary.

7. Click the Start button and wait for R-Drive Image to complete this set of operations.

8. Disconnect the old hard drive and start the computer.
After some internal work for app.3 min Windows starts:
New Windows system
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The task is completed successfully!

Conclusions As shown in the above article, the partition manager in R-Drive Image can perform quite complex partition manipulation tasks, even in the virtual machine environment. Its comprehensible graphic interface makes it easy for even inexperienced users, and it's free during R-Drive Image trial period.

Drive Image Feedback
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R-Drive Image is an awesome product that works flawlessly, every time.
Thanks
tried many backup products all failed and crashed. this backup made it easy and trouble free highly recomend it for simple easy use
Hi, we own r-drive image.
Clonning a hard disk feature works great. but is it possible to schecule the clone option? will be great improvement and ease and fast option to restore a computer.
I`ve just about used them all. I recently ditched Acronis. Most have failed me when I needed them to work. Only R-Drive Image has been consistently dependable.
Leon
I Have been using R-Drive for more than eight years. I had my file server wiped out two times in the past 2 weeks due to ZEPTO virus. (Both came from an email attachment). I do an R-drive full image backup each night. Both images rebuilt the hard drive perfectly. I have rebuilt several times over the years but I was in a real situation here and R-drive saved the day.