Magic v3.0 - part two
Reviewed by: Jim
by: PowerQuest Corporation, go
to the web site
NT 4.0 Server with SP4 Installed; 486/DX-33, 16MB
RAM & 12MB of disk space
(Ed Note: Reviewed in 2000. The first part of this review
can be found here)
one detailed the NetWare side of ServerMagic. This part
is about the Windows NT Server side.
Magic allows you to do some nice things with NT and non-NT
partitions located on the same box. While NT
can't see Fat32, Linux Ext2 or HPFS partitions, Server Magic
can. You can manipulate these partitions with Server Magic
from within NT. There are some limitations when working with
NT partitions you should be aware of. For one thing, any
changes to a partition with open files requires that the
system reboot. The operation then finishes in what Powerquest
calls a boot mode. Similarly, any partition having the swap
file will necessitate a reboot to finish the operation. One
other point to keep in mind is that NT based software RAID
partitions are not supported. It will support hardware based
Installation is a breeze. The CD will run automatically
if NT is set to do so. If not, you just run the BROWSECD.EXE.
Along with installing Server Magic you can also create rescue
diskettes or read the online documentation.
The same precautions when running Server Magic for NetWare
apply to NT. PowerQuest recommends you back up your hard
disk, take the server offline and shut down all running applications.
In addition, it's recommended that you backup the boot.ini
file and create an NT boot disk.
The program's GUI interface is simple to use. It follows
the common Windows conventions for a menu bar, tool bar and
status bar. The partition information is located in an interior
window. The partition information window carries plenty of
useful information. At the top is a partition map. It shows
the partitions roughly to scale. The partition list is the
real hit. You get the volume name, the type of file system,
partition size and used and free space. It also shows the
partition's active status and whether the partition is a
primary or logical.
Server Magic allows you to resize, move, create, delete,
format and copy partitions. Note that PowerQuest states that
Server Magic does not support stripe sets, volume sets or
mirrors created with NT's Disk Administrator. You can resize
a mirror set, but you'll have to break the mirror, resize
the master partition and then recreate the mirror with Disk
One of the neatest options is Info. When selected, a dialog
box displays with four tabs. The first tab shows disk usage
both graphically, in pie form, and numerically. The disk
usage tab shows this information for FAT, FAT32, NTFS and
HPFS file systems. The Cluster Waste tab only shows FAT and
FAT32 file systems. The information is shown as data and
wasted space, as well as the file system's current cluster
size. The dialog also includes a bar graph showing the percentage
of wasted space to used space. The Partition Info tab shows
the partition type, serial number and physical sector information.
The fourth tab shown depends on the file system type. For
FAT and FAT32 systems there is a FAT Info screen. If the
partition is NTFS the tab displays NTFS Info and HPFS Info
The FAT Info dialog gives information including number
of sectors in each FAT and the number of FATs in the partition.
It shows the starting sector of the FAT and data sections
as well as the root directory capacity. It also shows such
information as number of bytes in use by file, the number
of files, and the number of hidden files. It also gives this
information for the directories in the partition. The bottom
of the page gives information on OS/2 Extended Attributes,
if any, and the bytes, files and directories with long file
The NTFS Info dialog includes the NTFS version, bytes per
physical sector, and cluster size. Since NTFS has a different
file system organization than FAT, the dialog gives the starting
cluster for the Master File Table (MFT) and size of the records
in the MFT.
The HPFS Info dialog shows the partition's status, being
either Active, Dirty, Corrupt or Not Active. It also includes
other information specific to HPFS file systems.
Another nice operation you can perform with Server Magic
is the conversion of file formats in a partition. FAT partitions
can be converted to FAT32, NTFS or HPFS. Conversion to NTFS
or HPFS is a one way move. Once there, they cannot be converted
back. A FAT32 partition can however, be converted to FAT
if there is appropriate unused disk space on the partition.
The Advanced operations of Server Magic allow you to change
a partition's drive letter (under NT only), retest bad sectors,
hide and unhide partitions, set an active partition, resize
the root directory and resize clusters.
Magic for NT is okay, but it doesn't excite me like the
NetWare version does. It provides gives good reporting
on partitions and makes moving and resizing partitions
The limitations on stripe sets and volumes sets is a problem
for me however. It's been my experience that NT admins tend
to use these options quite a lot. Whether this is budgetary
or poor planning isn't always apparent, but it would have
been a nice addition if Server Magic for NT Server could
deal with these.
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