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What is eXtended FDisk?
eXtended FDisk, or short XFDisk, is a free DOS FDISK replacement that offers more comfort and comes with a bootmanager that allows you to have more than one operating system installed on your hard disk. With XFDisk you can partition your hard disk or install and configure the bootmanager, which will be located in the first 17 sectors of your first hard disk. The bootmanager will not occupy an own partition, so you can fully use the four available primary partitions per hard disk. If you choose to have an extended partition with logical drives on your hard disk, XFDisk transparently manages the extended partition for you. So you don't need to worry about the size of the extended partition any more. Of course, XFDisk and the bootmanager support more than one hard disk and even booting from logical drives. But it must be said clearly that most operating systems that are commonly used on PCs require a primary partition on the first hard disk at least for their boot files. This is true for all versions of DOS and Windows 95/98/ME, but it is also true for Windows NT/2000. However, some operating systems like Linux or OS/2 can boot from virtually any hard disk, even though OS/2 may need its own bootmanager for installation.
Do I need eXtended FDisk?
You can profit from XFDisk if you need to, or want to, have more than one operating system on your hard disk, if you regularly partition hard disks or even if you just want to take a quick look at what partitions your hard disk has. For example, when you're using Windows 95 and would like to experiment with Linux, you can use either LiLo, the bootmanager that comes with Linux, or you can use the bootmanager that comes with XFDisk to chose what operating system to boot at start up. However, since LiLo is short for Linux Loader, you will need LiLo anyway to boot Linux, so why use XFDisk? The same applies to Windows NT which also comes with a bootmanager that is needed as loader for the operating system kernel.
To put it short, that's simply a question of personal preference. The LiLo bootmanager is, like the NT bootmanager, rather spartaneous and not very easy to configure, while XFDisk offers a much prettier user interface and is easy to use. Just give it a try!
But be also warned! XFDisk is a helpful tool, but if you don't use it carefully, you might loose your valuable data. XFDisk is tested thoroughly by many users, but of course I can not give you any warranty, not even the implied warranty of fitness for any purpose. If you plan to partition your hard disk, you will have to back up your files anyway, since deleting a partition destroys all data on it! So do back up your files! You are the one who is responsible for any damage that may be done if you use XFDisk.