Parted Magic: A Complete Hard Drive Toolbox On One Live CD

Justin Pot 03-10-2012

one live cdTake control of your hard drives. Whether you want to edit your partitions, clone an entire drive, check SMART data or otherwise manage the way your computer’s data is organized, Parted Magic is the tool you’ve been looking for. It’s a live CD with lots of tools baked in.


Parted Magic’s name is an obvious nod to Partition Magic – a once-great product that met its demise shortly after being acquired by Symantec. Don’t be fooled by the reference, though. While Parted Magic is a fantastic tool for partitioning hard drives it can do a whole lot more. This Linux-based live CD includes tools for everything from data recover to drive cloning, and thanks to Firefox being built in you can even browse the web while the tools do their job.

Whether you’re an IT professional constantly in need of ways to manage machines or just some guy looking for a simple way to re-partition a hard drive, Parted Magic is simple to use and heavy on features.

Using Parted Magic

Boot Parted Magic and the first thing you’ll see is this list of options:

one live cd

The default option should work on most computers; if not try another. Like most live CDs booting may take a while, so be patient. When everything does boot you’ll see a Windows-esque desktop:


hard drive tool kit

There are a variety of tools right on the desktop. The file browser is perfect for backing up files from drives you’re about to edit, and you can quickly check the health of your disks using the disk health tool.

If partitioning is what you’re after – and it probably is – you’ll find the gParted icon right on the desktop; it’s called “Partition Editor” for the sake of simplicity. Click it to get started.

hard drive tool kit


We’ve reviewed gParted in the past GParted - The Ultimate In Partitioning Software Read More ; and it’s very easy to use. Figure out how you’d like to set up your drive, then click “Apply” if you’re ready.

Windows and Linux partition types are all supported, but the default file format used by OS X is not. As such, gParted isn’t incredibly useful for Mac users.

Clonezilla, Built In

Partitioning is cool, but sometimes you want to move all data from one drive to another – or back an entire drive up before partitioning things. For this reason Want to clone the entirety of one drive to another, or back up a failing drive to an image for safe keeping?

hard drive tool kit


Check out our previous review of Clonezilla How to Use Clonezilla to Clone Your Windows Hard Drive Here's all you need to know about how to use Clonezilla to clone your hard drive in the easiest way. Read More to learn more about using this powerful tool, and be careful: if you don’t know what you’re doing you could easily overwrite an entire hard drive worth of data.

Other Tools

Of course partitioning and cloning aren’t the only tools offered by this drive. There’s a lot to find in the menu:

one live cd

I couldn’t hope to summarize what all of these tools do, so check out PartedMagic’s complete list for more information. You’ll be amazed at how much this little CD can do the more you dig into it.


Get Parted Magic

You’ll find the Parted Magic ISO file at PartedMagic. Most operating systems come with build-in tools for burning ISOs to disks, including Windows 7, OS X and basically every version of Windows. Just right-click the file and click something along the lines of “Burn image to disk“.

If you’re on Windows and can’t find a built-in tool for the job check out IMG Burn ImgBurn - Easy & Free CD and DVD Burner App Read More . If you’d rather use a flash drive than a CD, no problem: use uNetBootin How To Install Linux With Ease Using UNetbootin We've already talked about Linux and why you should try it, but probably the hardest part of getting used to Linux is getting it in the first place. For Windows users, the simplest way is... Read More to write the ISO to the flash drive of your choice.

Booting from a CD or flash drive might take a few extra steps, depending on your computer. When you first turn your machine you probably see instructiosn for entering the boot menu – on an ASUS, for example, it says to press ESC. Do whatever you’re told, and if no instructions show up consult your computer’s documentation.


Parted Magic isn’t just a live CD: it’s an entire toolbox. It’s worth having around just in case, so take note.

What kind of live CDs do you keep around in case things go wrong? Let me know in the comments below, along with anything about Parted Magic you think I’ve missed.

Related topics: Computer Maintenance, Disk Partition, Live CD.

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  1. ae
    January 22, 2019 at 1:25 am

    partedlive is great because of how many different things you get from one bootable drive, as opposed to having a dozen 2gb usb drives (becuse you can't rely on cd drives existing anymore).
    I keep the following bootable/live usbs on hand:
    Windows Install Media
    Memtest64 (parted magic has memtester, but memtest64 seems to be better maintained and have more usage, and i've used it in the past)
    Parted Magic ( has gprarted, clonezilla, testdisk and a bunch of other useful linux tools)

  2. Adrian
    August 14, 2016 at 6:16 am

    Why do geeks leave out the first sentence of every paragraph, the first paragraph of every chapter, and the first chapter of every book EVER written on IT?

    Some guidance on HOW to download it, and WHAT TO DO with it after downloading, would be nice. My first attempt to download got me a .iso.part file. When I clicked on it, an error box came up telling me windows couldn't do anything with it. I deleted it and tried again. This time I got a .iso.part file AND a .iso file. Progress!

    So then I double-clicked the .iso file and got a message box apparently to start a disc burn.
    I closed the message box and put a CD into my disc drive, which is mounted vertically in my computer box (so I'm not sure if I put it in right way up or upside-down).

    I double-clicked the .iso file for a second time and the message box came back again. Crossing my fingers I clicked "BURN"... and waited. And waited. Something appeared to be downloading from Firefox but then the download stopped. Then the message box popped up a message which said something about an "invalid file type".

    Meanwhile, the CD player/burner hasn't moved. :\

    So what HAVEN'T I DONE??? What am I supposed to be doing? Where's the first paragraph, or chapter?

    Help, anyone?


  3. chris
    December 30, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Hello everyone

    Can someone please help?My HDD became RAW and I'm using a USB stick to boot Parted Magic and I'm able to see all my documents on my drive,using it's built in file manager.

    So how can I copy - transfer all my files (which as I mentioned before I'm looking at them right now and I can access them) to an external HDD? I've been trying for over 2 days now!!! I have absolutely no idea what and how to save my files to an external drive.I don't care if I save the RAW HDD or not.I have an external HDD (1 TB).Do I plug it in and transfer the files,from Parted Magic to my external HDD?Is there a tutorial somewhere?

    Thank you all for your time and Happy Holidays

    Chris - Greece

    • Justin Pot
      December 31, 2012 at 2:32 am


      I'm sorry to hear about your frustrations! It should be as simple as plugging in your external drive, then clicking-and-dragging from the internal to the external drive using the file manager. Is that not the case for you?

  4. Efi Dreyshner
    October 19, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I am using it for about 5 month,
    and its AWESOME!
    Everything that I need...

  5. Anonymous
    October 19, 2012 at 10:13 am

    The testdisk program in it has saved me a lot of times. Thanks to that program I still have my information. It is necessecity for everyone with computer. :)

  6. Calvin Venn
    October 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    will definitely try in need.

  7. UbuntuGuy
    October 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I've been using the Parted Magic CD for a long time. I use it to test old Windows hard drives (SMART read/write test) and transfer data off of those old drives to people's new pcs. It's also a good way to boot up a virus infested Windows computer and delete the evil files. Great tool.

  8. druv vb
    October 4, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I've been using Knoppix Live CDs with QTParted to create partitions and fixing drives. Now that I've discovered Puppy Linux running GParted, it does the job perfectly well. And the plus side, the OS runs from a flash drive, occupying only 300MB! Light and fast, perfect for notebooks and laptops with broken CD/DVD drives.
    But still Parted Magic comes with a pool of hard drive tools. I will surely try that...
    Nice review of the OS.

  9. Ahmed Khalil
    October 4, 2012 at 9:30 am

    it is only for linux as i understand,

    • elhaj
      October 5, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      no, Parted Magic don't require anything installed on the system to run, Parted Magic has its own system, and yes the system used by Parted Magic is Linux

    • Justin Pot
      October 8, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      It is based on Linux, but Windows users can easily try this out. Just burn the CD and boot from it.

  10. Patrick Saunders
    October 4, 2012 at 7:20 am

    About 50 different flavours of Linux Live CDs.

    • Justin Pot
      October 8, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      Try thousands.

  11. pakku adnan
    October 4, 2012 at 6:38 am

    thanks for the usefull info

  12. Igor Rizvi?
    October 3, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Thanks for the news,Im gonna try it out and see how it looks

  13. Jeff Hamilton
    October 3, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    I've used Hiren’s Boot CD with some measure of success. I'm gonna give this a shot to see if I feel less like a noob while using it.

    • Justin Pot
      October 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      You might find this more straight-forward, but please: let us know what you end up figuring out.

  14. Félix S. De Jesús
    October 3, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    I will try it... because I use Hiren's Boot CD... and I never used this...

    • Justin Pot
      October 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Let us know how this compares. Having more tools around is always a good thing, right?

  15. Deekshith Allamaneni
    October 3, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I used to have my custom build of Ubuntu created with "Ubuntu Customization Toolkit" (UCK) with all the software packages that I need in bad times. Thanks for this article. I need to ckeck Parted Magic specifications and update my distro with if I find any other important software.