Partition your hard drive with Aomei Partition Assistant Home Edition, a powerful yet simple free program

There’s been a proliferation of excellent free hard drive partitioning software in the past year or two.

These programs typically offer all the basic partitioning functionality for free (e.g. creating, resizing, formatting, copying, deleting, setting active partitions, as well as advanced functions such as USB drive support, virtual disk partitions, and support for MBR and GPT disks.

What I like about Aomei, aside from it’s support for partition merging, is it’s clean, functional interface free of clutter, and (unlike other, similar programs in it’s category) free of links to inactive paid functions. Also, this software is free for commercial use, despite ‘home addition’ in the name.

Anomei Screenshot1

There are ways to manage partitions; one, using software that you boot into via live CD or USB, and manage your partitions outside of the Windows environment (e.g (Gparted, Parted Magic). The other kind is this type of software, launched from within Windows, and which can either perform it’s functions on the spot or on reboot. There are times when you cannot boot into Windows for whatever reason and the former is what you need, but, if not, my own personal preference is the perform these functions from within Windows.

This software belongs to the latter category motioned above, as are two other programs that we’ve previously written about, Easeus Partition Manager and Partition Wizard, both excellent, feature rich programs. In fact all three programs are extremely similar, with a similar set of functions, and an almost identical interface and look and feel. (So much so that I sometimes suspect and wouldn’t be surprised if they’re all based on the same code – but I digress).

How does Aomei compare to the other two mentioned above? Click here for a list:

  • Interface: the one thing I like most about Aomei, compared to the other two, is that there is not a function on the console that is not actually offered freely, and that surprises you by linking out to a web site
  • It offers a partition merging function, like Easeus and unlike Partition Wizard
  • No rebuild MBR function: unlike Partition Wizard. If you want a standalone freeware that does this, check out MBR Regenerator.
  • No support for bootable media: like Easeus and unlike Partition Wizard. Note, though, that if you want bootable media, you could use the Partition Wizard software, Gparted, Parted Magic, or others alongside Aomei on your desktop.
  • Free for COMMERCIAL use. Unlike Easeus and Partition Wizard. They really should drop the very misleading ‘home addition’ from the name.

 

More notes about this program (click here):

  • Anomei Screenshot2The interface: aside from being free of teasers for paid functions, most things can be done via visual drag and drop (see screenshot to the right). A handful of wizards are on offer as well, for those who like them.
  • Wide range of functions: resize, move, merge, split, copy, create, delete, format, wipe, clone, and hide partitions. Set active partition, change label, change drive letter, convert across FAT/FAT 32 and NTFS, convert Logical partition to Primary and vice versa, and check partition surface.
  • Advanced functions: supports virtual disk partition in VMware, VirtualBox and Virtual PC, supports all hardware RAID, such as RAID 0, 1, 5, 10; supports most HDD standards, such as IDE, SCSI, SATA, SAS, SSD, USB 1.0/2.0, IEEE 1394 (FireWire); supports removable devices such as USB flash drives, memory cards, and memory sticks; supports MBR disk and GPT disk with partition sizes up to 4TB; supports up to 32 disks in one system.

 

Freewaregenius 5-Star Pick

The verdict: I like this software because (a) what you see is what you get – and what you see is good; (b) it has a wide range functions, including all the functions that 99% of users need, and (c) it offers support for a nice set of advanced functions, such as USB and virtual disk partitioning, and partitions up to 4TB.

Moreover, I tested this program and – on a purely subjective, non scientific level – was impressed with it’s speed and efficiency. A winner.

Version tested: 4.0

Compatibility: both 32 bit & 64 bit versions of Windows 8, Windows 7 (SP1 supported), Vista, XP, and Windows 2000 Professional.

Go to the program home page to download (~ 3.0 megs).


 
 
 
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Mar 8, 2012
Samer Kurdi
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  • http://carbonize.co.uk Carbonize

    I can see the use for it on XP/200 but why use something like this over the built in partitioning tool that comes in Vista/Windows 7 ?

    • Samer

      @ Carbonize: this tool can do a lot more; e.g. merging of partitions in one go, support for virtual hard drives for Vmware, Virtualbox, and VirtualPC (predictably the MS/Windows tool supports VHD only), partitioning for USB drives. It also has a nicer interface, and overall is a better piece of software.

      However, for those who will only use a partitioning software once or twice a year, making do with Windows’ built in tool may be a better idea than installing an additional program.

  • Roger T.

    What a great App, thanks to it, I could allocate some free space from C: to my almost full D: partition. It did it smoothly and without any kind of troubles. Also, I find its interface much more intutive than Easeus and other programs. This partition manager is a must!!!

  • Michael_J

    Compare to the Windows 7/Vista or Windows server 2008 snap-in Disk Management, this partition software could do more, the snap-in disk management has so many limitation, such as some time you may find the “extend volume” is greyed out when your C drive is full and D drive has a lots of free space, and some time you will get the error waring “the disk you select will convert to dynamic disk”. All of these problems could be solve by this partition tool.

  • Justin

    There are some limitations in Windows 7 or Vista Disk Management snap-in. For example,

    1. The “Extend Volume” function only works with contiguous unallocated space at the right of the partition you want to extend. Otherwise, it will be greyed out.

    2. For some OEM laptops which are pre-installed and come with 4 primary partitions (such as system reserved, C drive, RECOVERY, HP-TOOLS), the Disk Management will forbid you to create more partitions.

    3. More…

    In my opinion, take Aomei Partition Assistant just as a precaution.

  • SilverSage

    I just downloaded Zorin and need to create a partition on which to load it on my laptop’s RAID 0 SSDs. Looks like Partition Assistant will do what I need. Thanks for reviewing this!

  • Fred Thompson

    This looks like the same thing as MiniTool free version:

    http://www.partitionwizard.com/

    • Samer

      @ Fred: indeed. I compare it to Partition Wizard and Easeus Partition Manager; to quote my text above “all three programs are extremely similar, with a similar set of functions, and an almost identical interface and look and feel. (So much so that I sometimes suspect and wouldn’t be surprised if they’re all based on the same code)”.

      But there’s reason why I prefer this one to the other two. Click on the link above titled “How does Aomei compare to the other two mentioned above? Click here for a list”.

  • Andrew

    Thanks Samer, Thanks for the great evaluation and share this review.
    Actually there are some difference among those partition software. In Partition Assistant Home Edition, it could create partition even there are already four primary partitions (If windows, it will require to change to dynamic disk); merge unallcoated space with one click and allocate free space from one to another with one click. Maybe those changes are not significant, however, in a sense, they are made for simplifying users’ operations.
    In addition, Aomei Partition Assistant Lite Edition, this is also firstr freeware for Windows 2003 server and 2008, 2011 server basic disk partition management.
    http://www.extend-partition.com/partition-assistant-lite.html

  • http://www.onforce.com/servicepro/73409 Chris

    Thanks so much for reviewing this. I needed this in a corporate environment!!

    You da man!

  • Jeff

    Free is great, and I need to resize the C: on my Server 2003 (ran out of space, haven’t done patching in forever, need to migrate to 2008 so have to finish patching). Did you try this only on desktop OS’s, or did you do a server and resize? I want this in our corporate environment also, but it has to be a zero risk product. I’m worried less about server down time than I am about keeping my employment. ;p

    • Matteo

      Hey Jeff,
      we are in the same situation (win server 2003). Did you succeed in the partition redimensioning with aomei? Was your volume a raid 5? Thanks.

  • TK_M

    @Jeff,

    Sadly there is no such thing as risk-free with software, particularly with software such as this, as it does alter fragile and sensitive things…

    1) Backup! I know it takes time and is a nuisance to say the least, but it has to be done before attempting something like this on something as critical as a business system, If possible, backup on to something removeable, or unplugable like a USB drive(s), DVDs or even tape. If something very, very bad happens, you know you can always reinstall Windows and your backup software to get back to where you were as an absolute worst case.

    2) This partition manager has had the occasional reported glitch – I’m not sure if it was the software or not at fault? But if you want something as secure as it can be, perhaps you should look in to Easeus’ Partition Master and see if it will do what you need?

  • ivan

    nice review!

  • Joe Rahall

    I have had problems with my hardrive and was looking for a way to partion it. The WIN 7 lacks features that this program does. I look forward to downloading and using this software. I will write a follow up comment after I use it a while.

    Thanks for the Software.

  • joe rahall

    Downloaded file but got error message could not access CGI Installer.

    Please send another download link

    Thanks
    Joe

  • Turtle

    Love this program