[conspire] Resizing NTFS

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Oct 18 23:09:46 PDT 2002

Lots of people come to Linux events with their MS-Windows preloads,
wanting us to set up dual-boot.  Which we've been able to do, thanks to
resizer utilities like FIPS, GNU Parted, etc.  Recently, Microsoft has
thrown a curveball at us:  Recent preloads have tended to use NTFS
filesystems, rather than FAT.  Most resizing tools -- and all of the 
common open-source ones -- are FAT-only.  This is starting to become a
significant roadblock.

After much checking, I've found the following options:

-- four proprietary tools that are retail-only.
-- one proprietary tool that's lawfully redistributable and 30-day shareware.
-- one open-source tool.

They are detailed below.

1.  Retail-only, proprietary:

o  PowerQuest Corp.'s Partition Magic:  $80, retail / pay first
o  Paragon Software's Partition Manager:  $40, retail / pay first
o  Acronis OS Selector:  $45, trial version avail., but it's crippled.
o  V-Communications's System Commander 7:  $70, retail / pay first

2.  Redistributable (by individuals who don't charge), 30-day trial:

o  TeraByte Unlimited's BootIt Next Generation: $29.95 "shareware", 30 day trial
   http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/downloads/ .  Also reportedly on 
   Simtel sites.  Also on my machine, at http://linuxmafia.com/pub/hardware/ ,
   as bootit-ng-1.32a.zip .  Included is a diskette image.  You make the 
   image, then boot it.  (Decline its offer to "install".)

3.  Open source:

o  The ntfs-progs utilities collection from Anton Altaparmakov's 
   Linux NTFS Utilities effort, http://linux-ntfs.sourceforge.net/ 
   includes a prerelease "ntfsresize" utility, roughly similar to FIPS.

RECOMMENDATIONS:  ntfsresize may be dangerously buggy.  Beware!  I had
to pull down developer source code from http://linux-ntfs.bkbits.net/
(BitKeeper repository), then hand-hack a Makefile just to make
ntfsresize be included in the compile process.  That isn't reassuring.
http://linuxmafia.com/pub/hardware/ carries two versions of the source
tarball, with and without my i386 Linux binaries:  


I recommend that Linux activists keep copies of _both_ BootIt NG (the
shareware toolkit) and the open-source ntfs-progs tools around to use
on preloads.  I further urge that you give copies of BootIt NG to
end-users _only_ if they hand you a $29.95 cheque made out to TeraByte
Unlimited for the shareware fee.  

Why?  Because open source isn't about being too cheap to buy
proprietary software.  And it _certainly_ isn't about ripping 
off proprietary software authors.  If people object to paying, they can
try their luck with ntfsresize, or pony up $40 or more for one of the
boxed-set retail alternatives.

Cheers,                              "Azathoth need not be present to win."
Rick Moen                                       -- Charles O. Baucum, Jr.
rick at linuxmafia.com

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