Finding something free and immensely useful is a rare thing. That’s why I just had to try out the AOMEI Partition Assistant 7.5.1 to find out exactly how useful this free partition manager software works. I must admit, it blew my mind.
Through my personal testing here’s my review on what I found out.
A Great User Interface
Let’s admit it; we often judge things based on how they look. That’s why the user interface is a big deal, and AOMEI got it just right. The tool has a professional look. One look at it can reveal that it has a wide range of capabilities.
It instantly detects the disks you have on your computer as soon as you launch it. And, if you detach an external drive from your computer while the tool is open, it will alert you of the change and request you to reload the disk display.
However, the overall presentation might be a bit overwhelming for a first-time, average user. Having a wide variety of options all in one place can be a bit much. But once you get used to the features and understand how to use them, the interface becomes quite convenient, since you can access everything all in one page. You don’t have to click to other tabs for hidden features.
Besides, it has a built-in wizard that can guide you through all the features.
That means you don’t have to guess when doing something particularly tricky. After all, you wouldn’t want to risk damaging your computer through guesswork.
A Basket Full of Functions
The first thing that pulls you into the software is its partitioning feature. But there’s a whole lot more than that.
Firstly, the partitioning feature is quite impressive. The Partition Assistant helps you create, resize, merge, format and delete partitions. If all that sounds complicated, the built-in wizard will guide you step-by-step as you perform all those operations.
Here’s how I created a partition on my hard drive.
The first step involves picking the specific disk you want to partition. If the disk has other partitions and you want to create more partitions, you can either resize the existing ones or create a new partition on one of the existing partitions.
I wanted first to create a partition, so I started by clicking on one of the partitions.
Note, from my experience, if your disk already has too many partitions, it might not be possible to add more. For my case, it wasn’t possible to create a fifth partition, since I already had four partitions. Therefore, I first had to reduce the partitions to three by merging two partitions before I could create a new partition. Later, I’ll show the process I used to merge partitions.
When you click on the “Create Partition” operation, you get a popup window that gives you the options to resize the disk/ existing partition you’ve selected.
This is such a great tool for two reasons.
- Firstly, you can actually create a partition without having to format the existing partition/ drive or losing the data you have in it. It simply creates a partition on the free space you have on the disk/ existing partition.
- Secondly, the resize window has a nifty little slider that you can move from left to right in picking the right size of the new partition. This is a great visual presentation of the process that makes it so simple.
Besides, you also have the options to give the new partition a label or change the file system from NTFS to FAT32.
After clicking “Ok” on the popup, you’ll get the drive/ existing partition divided into two, based on your desired size.
As you may notice, the new partition is blue.
This, as is indicated in the key at the bottom, shows that the partition is converted to a logical partition from a primary partition. A primary partition contains system files. The existing partition I resized didn’t contain any system files, so it’s perfectly fine.
But the changes I made would still not take effect until I click on the “Apply” tab at the top left corner.
Once I click on the “Apply” tab, a window showing the details of the new partition appears.
This also indicates the amount of time it will take to complete the process. It’s certainly a useful feature, rather than directly initiating the process. This would help you make necessary changes in case you made any mistakes.
There’s even a second confirmation window that pops up even after you click “Proceed.”
This clearly shows a well thought-out software. The developers understand just how sensitive drives/ partitions are, and placed multiple confirmation steps to prevent accidental and rushed partitioning. Mistakes can have far-reaching consequences on your valuable data and hardware.
Once you click “Yes,” the partitioning process begins.
And you get a handy window showing you exactly how much has been done and how much is left.
That’s a great feature which helps you determine the amount of time you’ll have to wait.
What I noticed is the progress shown by volume is far more useful than the progress shown by a percentage value. In my disk partitioning, the progress shown in terms of volume gave an accurate impression. It showed the partitioning process would end much faster than the percentage progress. I suppose you would rather use that instead of the percentage progress.
When all is done, you get a window popup message congratulating you.
I found it quite fast in partitioning the disk.
It was done in a few seconds.
In the end, you have a brand new partition on your drive.
The great thing about this whole process is the vivid visualization on every step of the way. You see exactly what is happening to your drive in the background. It has a beautiful visual interface, so you don’t need to guess at what’s happening.
But, you might want to delete the partition you created. To do that, you can delete the new partition, and then resize the partition next to it to take up the unallocated space left by the deleted partition. Alternatively, you can do it all in one step by merging the two adjacent partitions.
However, I think the shorter route would be the two-step, delete-and-resize process.
Although it doesn’t seem so, deleting a partition then resizing the adjacent partition can be faster than merely merging two adjacent partitions. If the two adjacent partitions contain files, combining them would be a slow process as the data is transferred from one partition and placed in another partition.
Therefore, deleting a partition and resizing the adjacent one wouldn’t involve any file transfers, making it faster.
That’s what I did. I first deleted the new partition.
This took me through the whole multi-stage confirmation process, just like the process of creating the partition. Since I’ve already shown the same screenshots, let me not bore you with them again.
Then, I went on to resize the adjacent partition.
As you can see, you get a fantastic slider that you can move left or right to select the size of the new partition. Since the goal here is to remove the unallocated space, I slid it to the very end.
Once I went through the confirmation screens, I had back my original partitions.
Besides partitioning, the software also has an SSD Secure Erase feature that applies to Windows 7.
It ensures any data you had in your SSD is completely removed. That’s certainly something you want if you’re concerned about other people accessing your confidential information, especially if you’re going to resell your hard drive.
That’s not all.
You can use the software to migrate your hard drive to an SSD. This allows you to make a hardware upgrade without having to reinstall Windows from scratch.
And it gets even better.
The Partition Assistant can make a Windows To Go installation in Windows versions that don’t have the feature. The Windows To Go feature is specially designed by Microsoft for Windows 8 Enterprise and newer versions. It lets you install and run the operating system from a USB drive.
That’s a whole lot of valuable features from a free product.
Maintains Your Hardware Performance
One major challenge with wiping data from SSDs is most tools perform excessive writes. This leads to a lowered performance of the drive, which means a shorter lifespan.
Essentially, you end up replacing your drives more often. Fortunately, AOMEI’s Partition Assistant wipes SSDs fast. It uses fewer read/write cycles. This preserves the performance of your drive.
Useful to Tech-Savvy and Average Users
One thing that probably makes this software so popular is it’s usefulness to both tech-savvy and average users. It has all the features that an expert, high-end user would want, yet being so simple that an average user can handle comfortably.
I believe the real beauty of this software is that it was initially designed for tech-savvy users. These are people running many different machines simultaneously and need a powerful tool to resize partitions instantly.
That means the tool was designed with super functionality before it came into the mass market.
This single aspect makes it stand out from many other tools which are only designed for average users; hence, they don’t feature high-end functionality.
Free, Yet Feature-Packed
I totally love the software based on all the multiple features it has, yet being free. That’s sure to win over anyone.
And, no, you won’t meet a “buy now” prompt when selecting those features. You can literally use it without ever seeing “buy now” prompts. In fact, when you pick other AOMEI programs, you’ll likely get this software bundled with it as a free extra.
AOMEI Technologies is pretty clear about the exact features you get in the standard freeware edition, and those features don’t get rolled back however long you use the tool.
Compared to the paid professional edition, you’ll realize that you can do pretty much everything an average user would want with the free version. You will only need the professional version if you’re genuinely doing professional business.
Compatible with Your System – Windows Only
One draw-back is the tool is limited to only Windows operating system. It’s not designed for MacOS.
However, it’s compatible with every edition of Windows. And that term, “compatible,” isn’t just a mere marketing phrase. You can use the software on Windows XP, 7, 8, 10, and everything in between. It works just as well on 32-bit architecture as 64-bit.
The Final Verdict
Based on the extensive collection of features in this software, it’s certainly way better than many other free partition utilities out there. You have access to so many features without paying for them.
And the features are surprisingly professionally designed, so much so that they offer more than you would expect.