Every once in a while, after doing a clean install of Windows, I find the need to partition one of my drives and install Linux. Occasionally, I’ve had to “nuke” my drive, because Windows simply wouldn’t boot.
While that sounds all fine and not that complicated to do, there’s a couple of handy tools I’ve used time and time again to do all this. Partitioning Windows active drives is a bit of a pain, too. Here are a few free tools that might help you out.
Nuke your HDD from USB: DBan
Direct Download: http://sourceforge.net/projects/dban/files/dban/dban-2.3.0/dban-2.3.0_i586.iso/download
From the site’s homepage:
DBAN is free erasure software designed for the home user. It automatically deletes the contents of any hard disk that it can detect. This method prevents identity theft before recycling a computer. DBAN is also a commonly used solution to remove viruses and spyware from Microsoft Windows installations.
From what I’ve read, DBan has been around for a few years. It was recently acquired by a paid competitor, but DBan itself is still free.
You’ll have to install it to a flash drive and then boot via USB from your BIOS.
Create a bootable Linux USB Drive (from Windows): LiLi USB Creator
Direct download: http://www.linuxliveusb.com/downloads/?stable
LiLi stands for Linux Live. This is a Windows tool that will install any .iso file with a Linux kernel onto your USB drive.
I’ve found it to be the easiest to use, although there are many alternatives.
Partitioning Windows (from Windows): MiniTool Partition Wizard Free
Direct download: http://download.cnet.com/MiniTool-Partition-Wizard-Free/3001-2094_4-10962200.html?hlndr=1
I’ve used EaseUs Partition Master (free edition) in the past, and I’ve found it to be a little too bulky to my liking. More recently, I tried this software alternative, and it worked flawlessly. Just install and the rest is pretty straightforward.