The Partition Resizer FAQ
Well, after many requests, PRESIZER.FAQ is finally here! I don't have many Q&A for the moment, but there will be more soon...
Q: Why do I need Partition Resizer?
A: You don't. You can as well backup all your data, use FDISK to repartition your drive, and restore the backuped data in the new partition. But while this can take sometimes more than an hour, and this only if you have a tape streamer (don't even think about using floppy disks), Partition Resizer will do the job in 5-10 minutes in most cases.
Q: Where can I find the latest version of Partition Resizer?
A: It can always be found in any SimTel mirror site, like oak.oakland.edu, or nic.funet.fi, in the directory SimTel/msdos/diskutil under the name presz???.zip. ??? is the current version number.
Q: Why does Partition Resizer move all the data around my disk?
A: This is done for two reasons. Indeed, moving the data is not necessary for shrinking a partition. But leaving the data in it's original place, results in unused sectors in the partition's FAT, which is lost space. The second reason is that you cannot grow a partition without growing it's FAT, and in order to grow the FAT, you have to move the data.
Q: Why is it that the program shouldn't be run from the working partition, and why the hell doesn't your program check this?
A: When working, the program writes some data in a file. This file is overwritten and deleted when the work is over. But after the data moving, DOS doesn't know there are changes, so it tries to write the data back to the old position of the file. Worse, when the file is deleted, DOS changes the old sectors of FAT, which can be any sector in the disk. You understand of course, that these random writes on the disk can be a disaster to your data. Apart from that, the rescue file is not deleted properly, so the program will find it again the next time it runs, and will falsely ask you to continue an unfinished work. You don't want to know what will happen to your data if you do the same resizing process twice... As for checking the drive from which the program is running, it's fairly impossible, since it could be run from a compressed drive that resides in the working partition, which has the same results.
Q: Is Partition Resizer compatible with drive compression software (like Doublespace or Stacker)?
A: The program itself works fine with these, since it doesn't consider them as drives. Partition Resizer scans ONLY physical drives for partitions. But it shouldn't be run from a compressed drive that resides in a partition that will be resized or moved. If you're uncertain about that, just run Partition Resizer from a bootable floppy disk.
Q: Why isn't there an undo option?
A: There's no need for that. All actions done by Partition Resizer can be undone easily by doing the opposite thing from what we want to undo, p.e. growing undoes shrinking.
Q: Partition Resizer shows 3 partitions in my disk, while I've got 2. Is the program going nuts, or is it me the one who needs therapy?
A: Neither. The third partition shown is an extended partition, a structure in the partition table that holds logical drives. Since one of your partitions is a logical drive, it needs an extended partition to contain it. For more information, check the 3rd section of PRESIZER.DOC file to see some detailed explanation of the partition structure.
Q: Why can't I shrink my extended partition?
A: It's pretty possible that you have made a common mistake: The extended partition is not a data partition. What you might want to resize is a logical drive inside the extended partition. Extended partitions are not DOS drives, they're just structures that hold logical drives inside them. If you want to make more space for a new drive, then you'll have to resize a logical drive and not the extended partition. You will only need to resize the extended partition if you have resized or deleted a primary partition, and you want to use this space inside the extended partition, or if you just shrunk or deleted a logical drive, and you want to use the space created for growing or creating a primary partition. Just read section 3 of PRESIZER.DOC for details.
Q: Can I change a partition's cluster size with Partition Resizer, and keep my data?
A: Yes. You have to make a little empty space in the drive by shrinking the original partition, and then create a small partition and start moving your data in it, while shrinking the old partition and growing the new one. When all the data is in the new partition, change the old partition's cluster size, and move the data back to the old partition using the same technique. This process might take a bit long, since there's a lot of moving and resizing in it. But the whole thing is much faster if you have enough empty space in the original partition. I haven't heard of a cluster changing program yet, and I'm not planning to write one in the near future. So, you'll have to put up with this solution, since there's no other known way of changing a partition's cluster size without loosing the data in it.
Q: Why doesn't Partition Resizer look a bit more fancy?
A: Partition Resizer is designed to run in ANY PC, including the old XTs and monochrome PCs. Using graphics would make it difficult, and sometimes impossible to run on such systems. There are many people who still have such machines, and I have received messages from some of them who used Partition Resizer. I'm thinking of adding some text windows and colors to the program, but there are more important things to do first.
Q: Is there life after death?
A: I don't know that for sure, but I've got a strong hint there isn't...