AOMEI Partition Assistant
AOMEI Partition Manager is a specialist tool allowing for the safe management of the disks and partitions which make up your PC.
This naturally extends to making possible tasks such as migrating from an old hard drive to a new SSD, reducing in size (or removing) the pre-installed recovery partitions which come with many pre-built systems and also re-sizing and extending existing partitions (useful after shrinking or deleting another partition).
Aside from the core disk management and partitioning offerings Partition Assistant also also features some additional tools such a partition recovery wizard, a secure SSD eraser and the Windows To Go creator which allows for portable Windows 10 systems to be run from a flash drive!
Perhaps not the most exciting tool but certainly a very useful utility when it comes to managing and optimising a PC. Time to dig a little deeper and see what Partition Assistant can do!
- Copy and migrate hard drives
- Migrate hard drive to SSD
- Create / Delete and Resize partitions
- Merge multiple partitions into 1
- Split 1 partition into multiple partitions
- Partition and secure SSD wiping tools
- Partition recovery wizard
- Convert file systems (FAT32 and NTFS)
- Convert basic to dynamic disks (and vice versa)
- Create bootable media
- Available in free and professional versions
Starting with the installation, AOMEI Partition Assistant was quick and easy to download and was installed and running on my PC within a few minutes.
Once the installation has completed the initial start screen will be visible, from here we can see an overview of the drives currently attached to our PC as well as an overview of the tools on offer from the left side menu.
I think this is a really nicely laid out interface and will hopefully make using and navigating the program quick and simple for users all all abilities, a great start!
Before going any further I need to mention that AOMEI actually offer two versions of Partition Assistant, a free version and a Professional version offering a few more advanced features. I think the free version will be fine for many but I have structured my review (below) to try and highlight the basic features found in both pieces of software and the more advanced tools only in the professional edition!
Basic Partitioning Features (available in the free version)
Most of the time when working with newly installed hard drives we only really need the basic partitioning tools found within Windows itself. For example when installing a new disk it would be wise to create at least 1 or more partitions and then format these partitions with the necessary file systems.
AOMEI Partition Assistant expands on the basic tools found in Windows and features a full suite of basic partitioning tools meaning such tasks and more can be achieved easily. As well as the basic partitioning task shown above we can also merge partitions, make full copies of partitions, rebuild MBRs as well as changing drive letters and labels.
One useful tool included with the free version is the migration tool, this allows migrating the contents of an entire partition or disk onto a new disk. This new disk could also be an SSD drive, if so Partition Assistant will automatically take care of optimising the transfer for us thus ensuring we get the best performance form the new SSD.
Still in the free version we can also convert data partitions between the older MBR and the newer GPT formats and back again, useful when migrating from older hardware and needing to keep disks in-tact.
Another excellent tool to find for free is the Windows To Go creation tool which allows for a portable version of Windows 10 to be built on and run from a flash drive. Usually only available on the enterprise versions of Windows this tool makes this very useful feature available to all, excellent!
Advanced Partitioning Features (available in the professional version)
The free version of AOMEI Partition Assistant, in all honesty, is fine for the most basic partitioning tasks, it does however soon start showing its limitations when trying to accomplish more advanced partitioning tasks such as spiting up partitions, aligning partitions or even re-allocating free space between existing partitions. For more advanced partitioning tasks such as these the professional version of Partition Assistant starts to shine through in its own right!
For example, lets assume we have two partitions, one is nearly full whereas the other has plenty of free space available. Using more basic partitioning tools might require us to make a backup of the data, delete the two partitions and then re-create them in different, more accommodating sizes. At best a basic tool would see us needing us to waste time shrinking and then re-allocating space in a time consuming manor.
In the example above Partition Assistant Professional would make such a task quick and simple (not to mention safe as well). Simply open up the “Move and Resize Partition” tool, and move the slider to change the partition spacing and optionally tick the check box show above to assign any free space from the alternate partition, simple!
The professional version also allows for other, more complicated partitioning tasks which are otherwise very difficult to accomplish. For example it allows us to easily convert primary partitions to logical ones and visa versa. It also allows for converting disks within Windows from basic disks to dynamic (and crucially) backup again if needs be.
Finally, some other useful tool found in the professional version include:
The SSD secure eraser tool ensures your SSD is completely clean should you need to remove it form your system, this is good practice to help maintain data privacy for unused SSDs not actively in use!
The command line tool allows partitioning tools to be initiated via the Windows command prompt. Admittedly, quite an advanced tool which wont appeal to many but could be very useful in certain circumstances or usage scenarios!
Serial Number Changer:
Again an advanced tool but nevertheless useful for certain IT professionals. This tool allows for the serial number automatically assigned to a partition by Windows to be edited without having to delete and rebuild the partition.
Finally there are a few more features available in both the free and professional version of Partition Assistant. These include a bootable media builder, this tool allows a PC to be booted into and then the disks can be worked on without having to boot fully into Windows and (potentially) re-install the entire software to work on the disks.
Both versions also contain several helpful wizards, these make certain partitioning processes quick and simple. For example there is a wizard to help copy an entire disk to a new disk (including an SSD), a wizard to convert NTFS to FAT32 and even a wizard to help in creating the bootable media.
One of the useful tools contained within AOMEI Partition Assistant is the SSD secure eraser tool/ With this tool users can help maintain data privacy by ensuring any unused SSDs are completely clean when not in use.
AOMEI have a great support section on their website containing user manuals and help documents. Should you need more help AOMEI also have specialist support forums and an email based technical support system.
Partition Assistant Free is, of course, free to use! Partition Assistant Professional which features many of the more advanced features is priced at $39.95 for a 2 PC licence.
AOMEI also offer a lifetime upgrade add-on for the professional licence, for an additional fee of $10 you will get a lifetime of free upgrades as they become available for the software, ideal for more serious PC users!
AOMEI is a very reputable outfit and produces some great backup and utility software, this includes the excellent AOMEI Backupper software which I reviewed last year (click here to read). Partition Assistant continues to build on the professional, powerful and yet still easy to use nature of AOMEI products!
Everything worked well during my testing and finding the tools and settings you need within the application is generally quick and easy. It was also very easy to download and install the software having it ready to use within just a couple of minutes of starting.
Whilst Windows itself does have some basic partitioning tools it is fair to say these are not enough for the needs of many users. Additionally, I have found the Windows partitioning tools to be difficult to use and fully understand, contrast this to the excellent, wizard based approach of Partition Assistant and you have a much more user friendly tool capable of much more to boot.
The more advanced features found in the Professional version will no doubt have limited appeal for many users but if you want a powerful tool capable of virtually any partitioning job then AOMEI Partition Assistant is definitely the way to go. Great work AOMEI!