Disk Management and DiskPart are Windows built-in disk/partition management tools. But you may be not very clear about their differences. This post from MiniTool introduces DiskPart vs Disk Management to you from the aspect of features.

What Is Disk Management?

Disk Management (DM) is a system utility that applies to Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2012.

You can press “Windows + R”, type “diskmgmt.msc”, and press Enter to open this tool. With this tool, you can perform advanced storage tasks. For example:

  • Initialize a new disk.
  • Convert an empty disk to MBR/GPT. Click MBR vs GPT to know more.
  • Convert a basic disk to a dynamic disk, and convert a dynamic disk to a basic disk by deleting all dynamic volumes. Click basic & dynamic disks to know more.
  • Create and delete a basic partition or a dynamic volume like simple volume, spanned volume, stripped volume, mirrored volume, and RAID-5 volume.
  • Extend/shrink a basic partition or a simple volume/spanned volume (the file system should be NTFS).
  • Format a basic partition or a dynamic volume to NTFS, FAT32/FAT, or exFAT.
  • Add, change, and delete the drive letter.
  • Mark a partition as Active or Inactive.
  • Break mirrored volume as well as add/remove mirror.
  • Create, attach, and detach a VHD (Virtual Hard Disk).
  • It also offers other small features like Open, Explorer, and the Disk Clean feature under File > Options.

Disk Management

Solved: Disk Management Unable to Connect to Virtual Disk Service

What Is DiskPart?

DiskPart is a text-mode command interpreter applying to Windows Server 2022, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2008.

This tool allows you to manage disks, partitions, volumes, or virtual hard disks by using scripts or direct input at a command prompt. To open this tool, you just need to press “Windows + R”, type “diskpart”, and press Enter.

With this tool, you can do the following things:

  • Convert an empty basic disk to MBR/GPT (disk initialization uses the same command).
  • Convert a basic disk to a dynamic disk, and convert an empty dynamic disk to a basic disk.
  • Convert a partition from FAT32 to NTFS without data loss.
  • Create a primary/extended/logical/EFI/MSR partition or a dynamic volume like simple volume, spanned volume, stripped volume, mirrored volume, and RAID-5 volume.
  • Extend/shrink a basic partition or a simple/spanned dynamic volume (the file system should be NTFS). 
  • Format a partition or a dynamic volume to FAT, FAT32, NTFS, exFAT, ReFS, or UDF.
  • Delete a single disk/basic partition/dynamic volume or remove all basic partitions on a disk at once.
  • Add, change, and delete the drive letter.
  • Mark a partition as Active or Inactive.
  • Break mirrored volume as well as add/remove mirror.
  • Create, attach, compact, expand, merge, and detach VHDs (Virtual Hard Disk).
  • Repair the RAID-5 volume by replacing the failed disk region with the specified dynamic disk.
  • Recover readable information from a bad or defective disk.
  • Change partition type ID, which is a byte value intended to specify the file system the partition contains or to flag special access methods used to access these partitions.
  • Display or set the GUID partition table (GPT) identifier or master boot record (MBR) signature for the basic or dynamic disk.
  • Import a foreign disk group into the disk group of the local computer.
  • Display, set, or clear the attributes of a disk or partition (read-only or not, hidden or not, etc.).

DiskPart

ReFS vs NTFS: What's the Difference Between Them?

DiskPart vs Disk Management

After reading the above content, you probably know some differences between DiskPart and Disk Management in your mind. In this part, I will summarize them.

1. Disk Management is more convenient than DiskPart.

As you can see, Disk Management offers a GUI. Therefore, you can manage your disks easily with just a few clicks. However, if you use DiskPart to manage your disks, you need to type commands.

Learning commands is a tough job, especially if some commands may vary when they are tightly related to the partition’s type and attribute. In addition, each time you switch the operation object, you need to list disks, select a disk, list partitions, and select a partition. This will take you more time.

2. DiskPart is a more powerful tool than Disk Management.

As you can see, DiskPart offers more management options in order to create sophisticated portions. It allows you to manage your disk more freely. In addition, DiskPart can work in a WinPE environment while Disk Management can’t. To learn DiskPart commands, you can go to Microsoft’s DiskPart page.

What Is Windows PE and How to Create A Bootable WinPE Media

MiniTool Partition Wizard — An Alternative to DiskPart and Disk Management

Is there a disk management tool that combines ease of use with functionality? Yes, there is. MiniTool Partition Wizard, an all-in-one disk and partition management tool, can meet your demands.

Free Download

Like Disk Management, MiniTool Partition Wizard offers you a simple GUI, allowing you to manage disks and partitions/volumes with just a few clicks. Right-click an object and the context menu will list all operations you can do with the object. There are also some features listed on the toolbar and the action panel.

MiniTool Partition Wizard

With MiniTool Partition Wizard, you can do the following operations:

  • Create a primary/logical partition or a dynamic volume like simple volume, spanned volume, stripped volume, mirrored volume, and RAID-5 volume.
  • Format a partition to FAT, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, Ex2, Ext3, Ext4, or Linux Swap. Format a dynamic volume to FAT, FAT32, exFAT, or NTFS.
  • Move/Resize a basic partition or a simple/spanned/mirrored/striped volume (the file system should be NTFS or FAT32). The Resize feature equals the extend feature plus the shrink feature in DM and DiskPart. The Move feature that can move the location of a partition is not available in DM and DiskPart.
  • Extend an NTFS/FAT32 partition. This feature allows you to extend a partition by directly taking space from other partitions or non-adjacent unallocated space. You may want to know how to extend Windows 11 partitions.
  • Merge 2 adjacent NTFS partitions. You may want to know how to merge C drive and D drive.
  • Split an NTFS or FAT32 partition.
  • Copy an entire disk or a basic partition/dynamic volume. It just requires the destination space is larger than the used space of the original disk/partition/volume.
  • Add, change, and delete the drive letter.
  • Mark a partition as Active or Inactive.
  • Hide or unhide a partition.
  • Change the cluster size of a basic partition or a dynamic volume without formatting.
  • Change the serial number of a partition without formatting.
  • Check and fix the file system of a basic partition or a dynamic volume.
  • Convert a partition from FAT32 to NTFS without data loss or vice versa.
  • Convert a partition from primary to logical without data loss or vice versa.
  • Align one partition or all partitions at once to 4K, which can improve the read and write speed of the disk.
  • Delete a single basic partition/dynamic volume or remove all basic partitions on a disk at once.
  • Convert a dynamic disk to a basic disk without deleting simple volumes (if a volume spans two or more disks, you should delete it or convert it to a simple volume).
  • Convert a basic disk to MBR/GPT without deleting partitions.
  • Rebuild the MBR of an MBR disk.
  • Run Surface Test on the entire disk or a single partition, which will check for bad sectors.
  • Wipe an entire disk or a single partition.
  • Migrate OS to another disk. You can choose to migrate the OS only or the entire disk. It allows you to migrate the OS to a smaller disk as long as the destination disk is larger than the used space of the original disk. If the original disk is an MBR disk, it also allows you to migrate it to a GPT disk.
  • Recover deleted or lost partitions from the full disk, unallocated space, or a specified range.
  • Recover deleted or lost data from an entire basic/dynamic disk, an existing basic partition/dynamic volume, a deleted basic partition/ dynamic volume, unallocated space, and a specific location like Desktop, Recycle Bin, or a selected folder. But it can only recover data from the FAT, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, or HFS+ partition/volume.
  • Benchmark a partition or a disk.
  • Analyze a partition or a selected folder to delete unnecessary big files.
  • Make a bootable media, which allows you to use MiniTool Partition Wizard even if the PC won’t boot. Thus, you can fix some boot issues.
  • It also offers some small features like Properties to assist you to manage the disk or partition better.

MiniTool Partition Wizard can’t create a VHD, but it can manage a VHD like a real disk.

Top 10 Hard Disk Software You Need (Partition, Recovery, etc)

Which One to Choose?

As you can see, DM and DiskPart are Windows built-in tools, but DM is easier to use. Therefore, if you are not familiar with command lines or you just want to do some simple operations on the disk or partition, I recommend you use DM.

However, if you want to do some more advanced operations and you happen to be proficient with the command lines, you can try using DiskPart.

If you are not familiar with command lines but still want to do some advanced operations, I recommend you to use MiniTool Partition Wizard, which offers powerful features and a graceful GUI. In addition, it also offers some features that are unavailable on DM and DiskPart.

On the other hand, MiniTool Partition Wizard is a powerful and easy-to-use tool, but it requires an extra download and installation.

After reading the above content, you can choose a tool depending on your situation.

7 Ways to Fix Error - DiskPart Failed to Clear Disk Attributes

Here is a post talking about DiskPart vs Disk Management. What can they do? What’s the difference between them? You can find answers in this post.Click to Tweet

Bottom Line

DM and DiskPart are Windows built-in tools. You can find them in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. This post introduces their differences and recommends MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Is this post useful to you? Do you have other ideas about DiskPart vs Disk Management? Do you want to know more about MiniTool Partition Wizard? Leave a comment in the following zone and I will appreciate that very much.

In addition, if you encounter problems when using MiniTool Partition Wizard, please feel free to contact us via [email protected]. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

  • Linkedin
  • Reddit