GParted live for cd or usb flash drive works quite well for the free Linux drive tool found at SourceForge.net: Files
The 0.3.3.0 release the way it is listed there is a platform independent version for any OS. Windows(Fat, NTFS), Mac, Linux, SUN's Solaris, etc. with the general instructions including screen shots seen at GPARTED DOCUMENTATION - GENERALITIES
That does everything but format partitions. For Windows you then use the Disk Management tool or new option seen on the Vista installation disk for formatting and resizing MS partitions.
For basic Windows only you can run smaller partitions. But once you start installing a good number of programs and having a folders for things like mp3s, videos, etc. your primary suddenly runs out of room. For an abundance of files then you consider a secondary storage partition or drive.