Here’s a tool for maximising your computer’s disk space – something previously the realm of the tech-savvy only – in the most user-friendly manner possible. Acronis Disk Director 11 essentially allows easy facilitation of your hard drive and its partitions.
My personal situation provided an ideal test run for Disk Director 11: my hard drive was roughly partitioned in half (C: and D: drives), and the C: drive was very nearly full. Since most programs and otherwise saved to the C: drive by default, I wanted to merge the C: and D: drives to make use of the extra space. Provided the partitions are on the same physical disk volume, this is indeed possible without reformatting your hard drive, thanks to Acronis Disk Director 11. The interface is basic and very easy to understand – I was able to begin the process of merging the drives in a few mouse clicks and was never unsure if I was doing the right thing. The program will prompt you to create a Bootable Disc before going ahead with the merge (essentially a CD that will allow you to restore your computer to its previous settings if something goes wrong during the merge), and this is also conducted rather effortlessly with the bundled backup program. A restart later, Disk Director merged the two drives before booting up Windows. The entire process took about 20 minutes, and afterwards it was as if a partition never existed. My computer ran noticeably faster and my space issues were gone. Too easy. Of course, my situation was only one of many uses for Disk Director, which allows you to create, format, copy, split and merge partitions among a host of other operations. There are limitations to what can be done with this program, however; for instance, partitions must be on the same physical volume in order for the user to merge them.
PROS: Intuitive and very user-friendly. More comprehensive and powerful than built-in disk-management tools. Takes the intimidation out of bootable-media backup.
CONS: I’m sceptical as to how frequently one might actually use such a specific program. Many of the operations could realistically be done without such a program (but with a lot more hassle).
VERDICT: Acronis Disk Director 11 does its thing exceptionally well; the question is whether you’ll personally get enough use out of it to justify the purchase. For manic disk managers, however, it’s well worth it.