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Is there any free program out there that lets you manually edit partition table(s) (including the extended partitions -- not just primary)?

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    gparted, parted, every Linux live-cd in existence... for a trio of disk tools, look at gparted, clonezilla, and test disk. – Joe Internet Aug 21 '11 at 19:11
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    Sure. It's called a hex editor. – Hello71 Aug 21 '11 at 19:16
  • @Hello71: I have no idea what the partition table format on the disk is, so a hex editor is useless. (I think you already knew that, though. -__- ) – user541686 Aug 21 '11 at 19:21
  • Boot off just about any Linux CD, run fdisk – Chad Feller Aug 21 '11 at 21:09
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It seems that PTEdit is able to edit the MBR information.

  • Does it handle extended partitions? – user541686 Aug 21 '11 at 19:22
  • Well, the screenshot does have a "Go to EPBR" button. (I haven't actually tested the software myself, though. Using GPT here.) – user1686 Aug 21 '11 at 19:23
  • oooo that looks interesting, I'd missed that; I'll give it a try. +1 – user541686 Aug 21 '11 at 19:23
  • Oh dear... I'm reading the information and it looks like the logical partitions (as compared to primary ones) are much more complicated than I imagined. Wish I could +1 again, that is such a useful page... – user541686 Aug 21 '11 at 19:50
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    The tool links are dead now. – ivan_pozdeev Mar 1 '16 at 14:02
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GNU Parted, and gparted are quite good tools. You can find them on the parted magic cd.

  • Really? They let you manually play around with the partition table? So e.g. I can use it to re-order my EPBR entries to my liking? I didn't know that.. – user541686 Aug 21 '11 at 19:14
  • @Mehrdad no, that wasn't part of your question. – psusi Aug 21 '11 at 19:17
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    Perhaps I'm misreading but my question literally stated "manually edit partition table". – user541686 Aug 21 '11 at 19:20
  • @Mehrdad: "re-order my EPBR entries to my liking"? Just...why? – user1686 Aug 21 '11 at 19:21
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    @psusi: I think you missed the point of my question then. :\ – user541686 Aug 21 '11 at 19:27
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EDIT: In the interest of improving the results for people that may end up here wrongly, I have learned today that there is a difference between partitions and partition tables. This wikipedia entry on partition tables begins to explain the difference; that article leads to this one on the Master Boot Record, which is the term I'm more familiar with.

Original Answer: Easeus has a partition tool that is free. It works great, and can do a lot of things that the pay-for tools can do. I've used it a lot, many people like it.

You can adjust the primary and logical partitions, choose how much to leave in the existing partition before making a new one, and can even set it up in your main OS and have it configure it on reboot. Super handy tool.

  • Are you sure it's a partition table editor and not just a partition manager? – user541686 Aug 21 '11 at 19:14
  • It does edit the partition table, just not the way old diskprobe tools allowed you to do it manually, it is an automated edit depending on what you choose to do in the Easeus software. Aggie proof in most cases. – Moab Aug 22 '11 at 5:43
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I just downloaded Active@ Disk Editor from /www.disk-editor.org

  • Free as in beer.
  • Works on Win8.1 x86, claimed support for all modern Windows
  • Provided Linux application too, did not tried
  • Has both modes for MBR editing - PTEdit-like "table with cells", and Hex Editor with templates tree in left panel.

At the same time,

  • Somewhat heavy on UI, i wonder if it uses HTML inside, like it is trendy today.
  • In Hex mode sync'ing between hex dump main panel and templated view on the left is broken, or counter-intuitive at least.

I wanted to change order of two partitions, without actually moving any data.

I ended with manually selected data blobs in "hex dump" panel.
The user selection is not visible, so was feeling very flaky!

The tree on the left handily shows "partition entry" structures, and highlight them in the panel, but does NOT provide for "select this block entirely", only manual mouse selection.

So i did the swap, copied part1 into part3, then part2 into part1, then part3 into part2, then zeroed part 3.

After those copy-pastes in HEX dump - the data in the left tree DID NOT update itself. Very confusing.

Yet some time later as i went on with my actions - it suddenly caught up and updated itself.

I failed to find any pattern in this, i wished to trigger the syncronization of panels, but could not.

However While GUI problems this tool seems to work.

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