GParted short for the Gnome Partition Manager is my savior application of the week. Before your thoughts drift to garden gnomes like Squatsie or the one from Amelie or even the strange world of Linux, GParted works on Windows for a very important task.

GParted main screenshot from GParted site

It will edit your partitions without trashing Windows. This weekend, I imaged my laptop at home in order to replace hard drives. Because I’m a geek, I imaged it to an external hard drive then swapped drives and sent the image back down to the PC so it would be exactly as I left it.

However, this left me with a problem. The image only used 150GB of the 250GB drive since that’s all it had before. So instead od my glorious free space, I was stuck with nearly nothing left.

I popped in my USB key with GParted. I booted it up. I dragged and resized the partitions on my drive and hit apply. Fifteen minutes and a reboot later I was staring at a perfectly usable 250GB hard drive.

GParted has become an essential part of my toolkit. There are instructions for booting off a CD or USB key. I’ve tried a lot of tools for Windows partition management and at best they are expensive and at worse, they trash your partitions. GParted is free, reliable and does the job right every time. It supports FAT and NTFS partitions perfectly.