[Windows] Best free partition and disk manager — EaseUS vs Paragon vs AOMEI vs MiniTool vs GParted

When you buy a new computer, it probably comes with one hard drive which has two partitions on it; one partition is your main, Windows C:/ partition while the second (which may be hidden) is your recovery partition. For most people, this configuration is enough; there is no desire to install other operating systems nor is there the need to have a separate partition for specific data (e.g. like how I have a D:/ partition that stores all my important files).

However, if you are one of the people that does like to install other operating systems (e.g. dual-booting Windows 7 and Windows 8, or Windows and Linux) or would like a separate partition to keep your important files or maybe a separate partition to install all your programs, then you need a partition and disk manager to help you create those extra partitions. This article looks at the best free partition and disk managers for Windows. Let’s see what they are.

[Note: Please realize that there is an inherent risk of data loss or corruption when modifying partitions on your hard drive. No matter how good a program is (and all the programs listed in this article are very good — there is very little that differentiates them), there is a chance that you may corrupt your data or screw up your partition. So use these programs at your own risk and be sure to always have a backup of your data.]

This review is part of our Best Free Windows Software section. Check out more articles on the best free Windows programs from here.

Table of Contents

Best Free Partition and Disk Manager

2013-02-02_212131Program Name: AOMEI Partition Assistant Home

Note: AOMEI Partition Assistant Home is free for everyone, business and home users alike

Developer: AOMEI Technology Co., Ltd.

Download Size: 3.66 MB

Version Reviewed: v5.2

Requires: Windows 2000 Pro/XP/Vista/Win7/Win8 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Pros

  • Can do all the basics of partition management: create, delete, format, extend, shrink, resize, move, merge, and split partitions
  • In addition the basics, has the ability to:
    • Allocate free space
    • Copy disk or partition to different disk or new partition (sector-by-sector copy [aka clone] or just copy existing data)
    • Modify partition name and/or letter
    • Wipe partition or disk
    • Wipe unallocated space
    • Test disk for errors
    • Rebuild MBR
    • View properties of a disk or partition
    • Hide or unhide partition
    • Convert partition from logical to primary and vice versa
    • Set partition as active
    • Convert FAT/FAT32 partitions or drives to NTFS
    • Migrate from HDD to SSD and vice versa
    • Ability to recover lost partitions
  • Supports NTFS, FAT, FAT32, ext2, and ext3 filesystems
  • Supports MBR and GPT disks of up to 2TB and 4TB in size, respectively
  • Supports all types of drives: internal, external, removable, flash, memory cards, USB 1.0/2.0, IDE, SATA, SSD, SCSI, FireWire, and SAS
  • Supports hardware RAID
  • Supports creation of WinPE (4.0) bootable CD/DVD/USB drive
  • Can automatically shutdown computer after operation has completed
  • Works in ‘virtual mode’ meaning all changes you make are not automatically applied; you need to explicitly click ‘Apply’ to apply all modifications. This helps avoid “oops did I really just do that” type mistakes
  • Works with UEFI/EFI boot
  • Is free for everyone — home and business users alike

Cons

  • Partition alignment, modifying serial number, modifying partition type, and converting between MBR and GPT disks are only available in the paid Pro version
    • (FYI: Most people have MBR disks – because it is the default way Windows is setup – and don’t need to mess with converting between MBR and GPT.)
  • Free version of AOMEI Partition Assistant only supports basic disks — does not support dynamic disks. Pro version of AOMEI Partition Assistant has some functions that work with dynamic disks — such as converting dynamic disk to basic disk without losing data and copying dynamic disk to basic disk — but you need to purchase AOMEI Dynamic Disk Manager if you want to full-features that work with dynamic disks. (The freeware version of AOMEI Dynamic Disk Manager is crippleware, so don’t be fooled by that.)
    • (FYI: Most people are on basic disks. If you are unsure, then you are on a basic disk because that is how Windows is by default. You would know if you changed to dynamic disk.)

    Doesn’t appear to support USB 3.0 drives (I don’t have a USB 3.0 so I cannot test this, but the developer does not list support for USB 3.0 drives)

  • Only has support for WinPE bootable disc/USB — no Linux-based
  • Does not support Server versions of Windows. There is a separate freeware AOMEI Partition Assistant Lite that works on Windows Server but that program is fairly useless. You need to purchase AOMEI Partition Assistant Server if you want server support.
  • Has an ad inside the program for AOMEI Data Backuper, a freeware backup program
  • Does not have the ability to modify cluster size on partitions without formatting whole partitions

Discussion

The problem with trying to find the *best* partition manager for Windows is there are so many excellent free partition managers out there that all provide essentially the same functionality; there is very little differentiating them all. EaseUS popularized the concept of having a freeware partition manager for home users and making money off business users who purchase Pro or home users who upgrade to Pro for the bootable media. Now, however, a couple of new companies have entered the fray with excellent products and have outdone EaseUS simply by giving users what EaseUS doesn’t. AOMEI is one of these companies.

As you can see from the ‘Pros’ list above, AOMEI Partition Assistant Home is an excellent partition and disk management tool and offers pretty much all features the average user would need to manage their drives and partitions. What sets AOMEI apart from the competition is two things:

  • Firstly, AOMEI Partition Assistant Home comes with the ability to create WinPE (3.0) bootable CD/DVD/USB drive. This bootable media allows users to run AOMEI Partition Assistant Home without having to boot into Windows, which is extremely useful not only when you cannot boot into Windows but if you want to mitigate the risk of data loss vis-a-vis partitioning. (Modifying partitions and data is always more safe when done without booting into Windows than while inside Windows.)
  • Secondly, AOMEI Partition Assistant Home may have ‘Home’ in its name, but it is true freeware. In other words, AOMEI Partition Assistant Home is free for all types of users, home and business.

That said, however, AOMEI Partition Assistant Home’s strength is also its greatest weakness. You see having the ability to create WinPE bootable media is great (excellent, in fact). The issue, however, is there is no support to create Linux-based. Now, I know what you must be thinking: “Ashraf, why would anyone need Linux-based when the program offers WinPE-based?” The reason is Windows Automated Installation Kit.

You see you must have Windows Automated Installation Kit installed in order to create the WinPE bootable. (This isn’t an issue with AOMEI Partition Assistant Home itself but rather a requirement for WinPE in general.) Windows Automated Installation Kit is a 1.7 GB download, if you don’t have it already. If Linux-based bootable was supported in addition to WinPE, people who didn’t want to download Windows Automated Installation Kit could use Linux-based bootable instead. Sure Linux-based bootable media probably wouldn’t have been able to have all the features of AOMEI Partition Assistant Home like WinPE-based bootable does, but it could have *most* of the features which would be enough for most people.

Overall, despite the lack of Linux-based bootable, AOMEI Partition Assistant Home is an excellent partition manager.

Runner Up

2013-02-02_212729Program Name: MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition

Note: MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition is free for home-use only

Developer: MiniTool Solution Ltd.

Download Size: 14.4MB

Version Reviewed: v7.7

Requires: Windows 2000 Pro/XP/Vista/Win7/Win8 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Discussion

In my discussion of AOMEI Partition Assistant Home, I mentioned there are two new kids on the partitioning block with AOMEI being one of them. MiniTool is the second one.

By and large, MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition and AOMEI Partition Assistant Home have the same features (and neither support dynamic disks in the free versions). It is extremely hard to differentiate the two products and declare one better than the other. In fact, the only major differences I noticed is:

  • AOMEI Partition Assistant Home can merge partitions and is free for both home and business use. MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition does not have the ability to merge partitions and cannot be used “within business environment”.
  • AOMEI Partition Assistant Home cannot align partitions. MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition can align partitions.
  • While it isn’t clear if AOMEI Partition Assistant Home supports UEFI/EFI boot, MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition does indeed support it.

I personally feel the ability to merge partitions and being free for business use too gives AOMEI and edge over MiniTool but you may disagree and prefer the ability to align partitions. There is no black and white here, the line is very fluid.

Another difference between the two comes in the area of bootable media. Both programs can create CD/DVD/USB drive bootable media, yes. However, AOMEI Partition Assistant Home supports the ability to create WinPE-based bootable media while MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition supports Linux-based bootable media. As already mentioned before, the advantage of WinPE-based bootable media is you can access to full functionality of the program, in this case AOMEI Partition Assistant Home. Linux-based bootable media may or may not offer access to all features of a program, in this case MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition. (MiniTool’s Linux-based bootable media does offer all features.) Typically issues arise with Linux-based bootable media when it comes to drivers, although most people can use Linux-based bootable media just fine without issues.

On the flip side, Linux-based bootable media does not require you to download 1.7GB Windows Automated Installation Kit whereas WinPE-based bootable media does. So, if you are unable or unwilling to download Windows Automated Installation Kit, then Linux-based is what you need. The great thing is MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition’s Linux-based is a separate download from the program itself. This may sound like bad news to people on slow connection who will now have to download an extra thing to build the bootable media but this is a good thing because this means if you prefer AOMEI over MiniTool but do not want to download Windows Automated Installation Kit, you can use AOMEI while inside Windows and MiniTool outside Windows since the bootable media is a separate download from the program itself.

Lastly, I’d like to point out that MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition also has ads in the program for other MiniTool software, just like AOMEI Partition Assistant Home. (See, I told you they are very similar.)

Overall, like AOMEI Partition Assistant Home, MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition is an excellent partition manager.

Honorable Mention 1

2013-02-02_222249Program Name: EaseUS Partiton Master Home Edition

Note: EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition is free for home-use only

Developer: CHENGDU Yiwo Tech Development Co., Ltd

Download Size: 19.7 MB

Version Reviewed: 9.2.1

Requires: Windows 2000 Pro/XP/Vista/Win7/Win8 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Discussion

EaseUS may not be the pioneer in partition management (although it is one of the older companies in this field), but it is the pioneer when it comes to offering a free, home-use only partition manager. In fact, EaseUS has been made famous by coupling this strategy with an excellent partition manager.

Similar to how MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition is similar to AOMEI Partition Assistant Home in terms of features, EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition is similar to both MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition and AOMEI Partition Assistant Home. Indeed, all three programs have pretty much the same features with very few differentiators between them. However, EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition does have built-in defrag capability, something neither of the previous two have. EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition also has better (but not full) support for dynamic disks than the previous two programs — it is able to convert dynamic disk to basic disk. Plus there is an interesting ‘Upgrade Disk’ feature in EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition.

‘Upgrade Disk’ feature allows you to copy your existing hard drive to a larger hard drive and make that hard drive bootable. (The larger drive must be of the same computer — this feature won’t allow you to migrate data to a computer with different hardware.) I believe the previous two program’s copy hard drive features should allow you to do the same thing; however, I have not personally tested this theory so don’t take my word for it.

It should be noted EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition cannot align partitions like MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition can but EaseUS can merge partitions, similar to AOMEI Partition Assistant Home. It should also be noted EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition supports UEFI/EFI boot.

What takes away from EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition is not necessarily the program’s functionality but rather business decisions made by the developer, CHENGDU Yiwo Tech Development Co. CHENGDU does not allow EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition to be used for business purposes (whereas AOMEI Partition Assistant Home can be used for business) and EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition comes with no bootable media what-so-ever (not WinPE-based or Linux-based, something AOMEI and MiniTool have, respectively).

Another issue I have witb EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition is it now comes bundled with the free version of EaseUS Data Recovery, separate program offered by EaseUS. You have no ability to download EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition without EaseUS Data Recovery. What makes it worse is the free version of EaseUS Data Recovery is crippleware, so you can’t even use it to recover much data — you are limited to recovering a total of 1 GB before you have to purchase the program. On top of that, EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition comes with an ad for EaseUS Todo Backup, a free for home use backup program.

Overall, despite its shortcomings, EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition is yet another excellent partition manager. Really there is very little differentiating EaseUS Partition Maaster Home Edition from AOMEI Partition Assistant Home and MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition.

Honorable Mention 2

gpartedProgram Name: GParted

Note: GParted is free for everyone, home and business users alike

Developer: There is no one developer — GParted is an open-source project which has multiple developers

Download Size: 133 MB

Version Reviewed: 0.14.1-6

Requires: N/A — works off a bootable LiveCD, so works with all operating systems

Discussion

GParted is another excellent partition manager. The following are its features, the file systems it supports, and the type of drives it works with:

Features

  • Create partition tables, (e.g., msdos or gpt)
  • Create, move, copy, resize, check, label, set new UUID, and delete partitions
  • Enable and disable partition flags, (e.g., boot or hidden)
  • Align partitions to mebibyte (MiB) or traditional cylinder boundaries
  • Attempt data rescue from lost partitions

Supported file systems

  • btrfs
  • ext2 / ext3 / ext4
  • fat16 / fat32
  • hfs / hfs+
  • linux-swap
  • lvm2 pv
  • nilfs2
  • ntfs
  • reiserfs / reiser4
  • ufs
  • xfs

Supported drives

  • Hard disk drives (e.g., SATA, IDE, and SCSI)
  • Flash memory devices, such as USB memory sticks and Solid State Drives (SSD’s)
  • RAID Devices (hardware RAID, motherboard BIOS RAID, and Linux software RAID)
  • All sector sizes (e.g., devices with 512, 1024, 2048, 4096 byte sectors and more)

Looking at just the features, you may notice GParted doesn’t have all the features found in the previously three mentioned programs, AOMEI Partition Assistant Home, MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition, and EaseUS Partition Master Home. However, if you look at the amount of file systems supported by GParted, you will immediately realize the case-use of GParted: it is for people who have computers with multiple different operating systems (e.g. Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X).

Take note that GParted is, by design, a program that runs outside Windows (and any other operating system). In fact, you cannot run it inside Windows. The reason why GParted is 133 MB is because you are directly downloading the ISO that you must burn to CD/DVD/USB drive to run GParted from a ‘LiveCD’, which is essentially bootable media. In other words, by default you run GParted from outside Windows which is a really good thing because that is the safest way to manage partition. Of course it can get annoying to boot outside of Windows when you only want to do some basic partition management, but better safe than sorry.

Honorable Mention 3

2013-02-02_224428Program Name: Paragon Partition Manager Free Edition

Note: Paragon Partition Manager Free Edition is free for home-use only

Developer: Paragon Software

Download Size: 43.37 MB

Version Reviewed: 12.0

Requires: Windows XP/Vista/Win7/Win8 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Discussion

Paragon Software is one of the best companies when it comes to data and drive management. They are a pioneering company who are famous for their partition and drive management programs. Unfortunately, their free partition manager is very limited only being able to create, format, delete, move, and resize partitions plus convert FAT to NTFS.

Really Paragon Partition Manager Free Edition can’t even hold a candle to AOMEI Partition Assistant Home, MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition, EaseUS Partition Maaster Home, and GParted. In fact, the only reason it is mentioned here is because a) I feel Paragon deserves some sort of recognition for their top-quality programs, even if their free version is very limited and b) I know people will ask be “how does Paragon Partition Manager Free Edition compare to the others”, so I decided to answer the question before it even came out of your mouth.

Other Alternatives

This review is part of our Best Free Windows Software section. Check out more articles on the best free Windows programs from here.

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55 comments

  1. BearPup

    July, 2014 UPDATE: MiniTool Partition now has the features that were lacking in the version reviewed for the article; namely, working with UEFI/EFI boot disks, handling dynamic disks, and allowing for the merging of adjacent partitions. I’ve switched from AOMEI to MiniTool version 8.1.1.

  2. alan

    I am in full agreement with Abram.
    I trust your judgement and am thankful for the work you do for us.

    I wish you all the best for the arrival of your new baby.

    Please note that your comment about the AOMEI WinPE is now out of date.

    I downloaded the GAOTD free offering of version 5.5 yesterday,
    and it built a WinPE.ISO in less than one minute without needing a 1.7 GB WAIK download
    However, SUBSEQUENTLY I tried the “Windows to Go Creator” Wizard and that did require a large WAIK to construct a live “Windows 8″ operating system on a 32GB (or larger) external drive.

    I do not like what I have heard about WIndows 8
    I decided to live without “Windows to Go 8″
    I am content with a small WinPE Boot Recover Flash Drive.

    Regards
    Alan

  3. Abram Klooswijk

    Dear Ashraf,
    Never in all these years I have commented on the GOTD-site or on your site, but I have read quite few of your reviews, and saved many.
    (I was there when people on GOTD used to comment:
    “I am the first to comment” :-) )
    But now I was shocked by your comment to @everyone on GOTD.
    Please, please don’t pay attention to those negative commenters. We are on the internet and have to live with stupid reactions everywhere.
    I hope that you can continue your work as reviewer.
    I wish all the best for you and your wife.
    Abram
    (the Netherlands)

  4. Pachka

    I use EASEUS to format and partition my new hard drives. But the new version that I had installed 9.2.1 had some deliberate limitations and I couldn’t delete some hidden WinPE partition that the hard drive came with. The Windows 7 storage tool had the same limitations considering that partition as system and protected. So I installed an older version of EASEUS 3.0.2 and it did the job without problems. Otherwise it’s true that if you try to resize the first hard disk within Windows using EASEUS, the Windows might not boot again.

  5. RobCr

    [@Maureen]
    If your slim usb external drive is a 2.5″ pocket drive, I would not use that as your reliable backup location.
    I won’t start a debate on whether 2.5″ or 3.5″ are more reliable. (I could but I won’t)
    However if you get an external dock (not case), and shove a 3.5″ drive vertically into it, it should have these benefits –
    – Better heat dissipation
    – More stable, and less likely to get dropped or bumped whilst the heads are spinning.
    I would not do lots of backups to a pocket external drive, if you paid me.
    In fact give me one for free, and I would not use it for important image backups.
    Rob
    PS Don’t get Western Digital, as they frequently do not abide by standards

  6. Maureen

    I get rid of any restore partitions when I get another computer. Using partition software to add the allocated free space to c drive. Now that there are many free image software available, I would rather have an image stored of when I have everything the way I want it….virus free and updated. A couple of years ago I bought a slim usb external drive ($29) for backup images and anything else I wouldn’t want to lose if I crashed. I am not a safe surfer. I download free programs constantly. And yes…I do use a well known virus protector which doesn’t pick up all of today’s sophisticated invaders. System Restore has any virus on your computer backed up. Restore and nailed once again. I turn it off.

  7. Eric989

    My partitioning experience is that I ran Easeus inside of windows and it messed up and windows would not boot. I then used Gparted to fix the problem and get windows up and running again. I have never had a problem with Gparted and would never recommend running a partition tool from within windows.
    PS I love the backup software Easeus makes and use it all the time. The problem with the partition tool was probably a one off.

  8. alan

    @Ashraf
    I believe you.
    It is more than possible that Macrium are more advanced that other third party developers.
    My concern was just that I saw no evidence that you had tested the latest version of AOMEI.

    Regards
    Alan

  9. alan

    That document is horribly out-of-date.
    The only date which I can see is at the bottom of the image of DVD Drive K:
    “(K:) KB3AJK_CN Date modified 5/17/2012″,
    so their documentation is more than one year out of date.

    I understand that Macrium, and no doubt many other WinPE creators and users,
    can now download for free this 1.2 Megabyte file from M.S.
    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30652

    I understand that this version includes USB3 support built in.

  10. alan

    I regret that Ashraf’s review appears out of date and MAY be very wrong.

    The review falsely states
    “… download 1.7GB Windows Automated Installation Kit whereas WinPE-based bootable media does”
    That was true some time ago for the creation of Vista/Win-7 compatible WinPE3 Bootables.

    It was true for Macrium Reflect BUT IS NO LONGER TRUE,
    because Microsoft now provide a MUCH smaller download that is based on Windows 8 to create WinPE4 Bootables.

    Some one needs to test the latest version of AOMEI to determine its download requirement.

  11. George

    Its funny to see that AOMEI is at the top, you should have seen that all the features that are only available in the professional version of AOMEI is present in the free version of EaseUS.

    *Convert primary to logical partitions and vice versa.
    *Changing dynamic disk to basic.
    *Allocate free space
    *Change partition type id.

    All these are available in the free version of EaseUS

  12. George

    The newest version of AOMEI Standard adds these features

    *Convert NTFS and FAT32
    *Convert GPT and MBR disk
    *Fully support UEFI boot
    *Partition Alignment
    *Bootable CD based on Win8 PE

    Please update the article.

  13. Tony

    Thank you RobCr,
    I read this “Typically issues arise with Linux-based bootable media when it comes to drivers” didn’t quite understand at the time but encouraged by your suggestion I finally I burn a PW 7 boot disk , tested drive on an old computer, so far so good.
    a note for other novices like me, in order to create a new partition, have to resize first to create an unallocated space then create the new partition.

  14. RobCr

    [@tony]
    First precaution – Do this from a bootable CD, not from a running Windows.
    When you run the program, you can resize the OS partition, leaving a space on the right.
    Many of these programs smile at you, but have not done the Action yet, so do things one step at a time, and Action each step.
    When you add your extra partitions, you can choose where to put them, so put them on the right.

  15. tony

    Hi,
    I have just received a new win7 computer, comes with a large partition (driveC) with hidden partition for System Rescue….I ‘d like to create 2 new parttions (drive D,E) using Minitool PW or Paragon PM . Will this operation interfere with the computer’s ability to restore later ? (eg. that hidden system rescue parttition might be moved to wrong location…) any precaution ?
    Thanks

  16. BearPup

    [@Ashraf] From my comment #25:

    Sorry to reply you late. I am sorry for bring you so much trouble. Your feedback lets us see the lack. I will forward your message to our programmer and tester. We promise will try our best to optimize this software. About the problems you encountered, it may base on many factors. So before you resizing the partition we suggest you running chkdsk.exe and defrag the partitions. And then you may get rid of some of the problem.

    About the endless cycle of reboot, it may caused by the file which is called “ampa.exe” located in “C:/Windows” you can delete it and then you can abort this cycle.

    Thanks again for your kindly feedback. Your feedback is much appreciated.

    I’ve not heard anything more from them. FYI, I had run chkdsk and done a disk defrag before running their partitioning program; just my habit to do things like that before messing with my hard drive. Also see my comment at #26. Thanks for checking.

  17. BearPup

    Update: I once again needed to ‘reorganize’ my laptop’s hard drive partitioning scheme – shrinking the system drive and increasing the data drive by about 12 GB out of a total of 75 GB. After the last fatal crash using AOMEI, and having gotten a free version of EaseUS Partition Master Pro, I decided to give EaseUS a try.

    The long and the short of it: EaseUS shrank the system drive, took the unallocated space and made it a partition, and then merged the newly created partition into the data drive in quick order with no problems. Yeah!

    The system rebooted on its own, did a dskchk and “found no problems”, and then rebooted with the new configuration. I’ve run disk defrag and optimization (Auslogics’ program), and the two system utilities System Mechanic Pro and 360Amigo, all with no problems found or reported. Its worked exactly as it should. One pleased Puppy!

  18. BearPup

    [@Ashraf] I emailed AOMEI tech and got the following response about 36 hours later:

    Sorry to reply you late. I am sorry for bring you so much trouble. Your feedback lets us see the lack. I will forward your message to our programmer and tester. We promise will try our best to optimize this software. About the problems you encountered, it may base on many factors. So before you resizing the partition we suggest you running chkdsk.exe and defrag the partitions. And then you may get rid of some of the problem.

    About the endless cycle of reboot, it may caused by the file which is called “ampa.exe” located in “C:/Windows” you can delete it and then you can abort this cycle.

    Thanks again for your kindly feedback. Your feedback is much appreciated.

    Though I hadn’t run chkdsk directly, I had run Auslogics’ Disk Defrag program prior to doing the partition resize, and I believe they do run chkdsk before defragging as part of their disk analysis tool (which I had run prior to the defrag). So I may have unintentionally followed their directions anyway; though obviously I hadn’t known about deleting ampa.exe.

    Maybe a follow-up posting to let people know about this would be good. If you have any other ideas / suggestions, let me know.

  19. BearPup

    [@Rob (Down Under)] Though the program starts from within Windows, the entire operation is carried out in AOMEI’s version of DOS. The reboot is required because the structure of the partition has changed.

    When I carried out another partitioning operation that didn’t require a structural change to the partition, the program ran entirely from within Windows without a problem. I’m merely suggesting that when a reboot is required, if the program manages to do it on its own then there isn’t a problem, but if the operator has to manually reboot (as the program suggests you do), then there might be a problem.

    Even if my supposition is correct, I’m not sure what good it would do since there would be no way to know before the fact whether the program could manage the reboot on its own.

  20. Rob (Down Under)

    That reboot is happening BECAUSE you all are running it from within a running windows.
    I have not been able to convince Ashraf (yet), that you all should keep things simple and do partitioning (or imaging) from a bootable CD.
    It just makes (to me) plain and logical sense to do such operations as simply as possible, and it is simpler if windows is not running.
    I hope before I die to convert Ashraf (and thus progressively the rest of you in his reviews).

  21. BearPup

    [@Ashraf] Thanks for the response. I know of one other person who had a problem. During yesterday’s giveaway at Glarysoft a user logged on to say that the app had crashed when he was partitioning his hard drive into two separate partitions, causing him to lose is Win 7 installation (I advised him of the problem I encountered and that he try a data recovery program to try and get his software keys back).

    The non-fatal problem I encountered occurred during a required reboot, where I had to reboot the machine myself. The fatal event also occurred during the reboot stage, so I’m wondering whether that’s where the problem lies; if the program reboots on its own, the process goes fine, but if the operator has to reboot, be forewarned. The again, it could just be a coincidence that it happened during the same phase of the program. I don’t know, nor have I any way of testing that theory.

  22. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    [@Rob (Down Under)] Yes it can create WinPE.

    [@sl0j0n] All I know of is giveaway.glarysoft.com

    [@BearPup] I’m sorry to hear that happened to you. Unfortunately no partitioning program is perfect and there are odd glitches once in a while. I ran into no issues while using AOMEI but if people continue to run into issues I have no issues reevaluating the program.

  23. BearPup

    Mine is a cautionary comment. I needed to shrink my laptop’s system drive partition in order to increase my data drive partition, which AOMEI Partition Assistant said it could do. But halfway through the process (in AOMEI’s version of DOS) the application crashed, wiping out my Windows 7 installation. I had no choice but to reload Windows and my 71 applications, a 6 hour operation even with backup.

    I’ve no idea how any of the other applications mentioned here would have fared; nor, having done the repartitioning, do I have a need or a place to test out the other applications’ abilities in this respect. But having had the application hang twice on my laptop (the first was a non-fatal event), I’m unwilling to give it a third opportunity.

    With respect to USB drives, all of the mentioned applications have limitations; for example, none of them can merge partitions on USB drives (something about USB’s architecture). So be warned fellow Techies, this may not be the panacea envisioned.

  24. sl0j0n

    Hello, all.
    Thanks for the partitioning review.
    I’ve noticed that, besides GiveAwayoftheDay, there are other sites w/ similar offers.
    Could we get a list of such sites?

    Have a GREAT day, neighbors!

  25. alan

    Free (GAOTD 24 Hours)
    EaseUS Partition Master Professional Edition is an ALL-IN-ONE …

    Both the above and also MiniTool Partition Wizard support MBR and also GPT Disks.

    Both the above include Partition Wizard Recovery,
    but I asked and Minitool only recovers from MBR.

    How about EaseUS Partition Master Professional Edition,
    can this recover GPT partitions without losing data ?

    Regards
    Alan

  26. Rob (Down Under)

    PS I am slightly confused as to whether the version reviewed by Ashraf on this page, can create the WinPE ?
    Assuming that it can, anyone attempting that (creating a WinPE bootable CD), might want to read my posts, on an earlier DotTech article by Locutus, where he was giving us a ‘heads up’ on a free giveaway of the Pro version.
    The article was called –
    Free AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro Edition v5.1! [24 hours only]
    My posts say that you can only do it in Win7 (Possibly Vista and Win 8)

  27. Robert from Boston

    Hello Ashraf —

    First of all, I have to thank you for this excellent article. You mention that it took you a long time to put together, and I can believe it — it’s quite thorough. I was recently evaluating some of the more popular partitioning and disk imaging programs and it took me QUITE a while to compare the options – a few days, actually, so I know it is no small task.

    There’s one program that I’d like to mention here that I came across a couple years ago, tried the free version and liked it quite a bit. One reason I like it is that it has a LOT of features that aren’t commonly found in many partitioning programs, such as checking partition tables for errors, partition table backup and restore, erase sectors, clear reserved sectors, verify and repair bad tracks, clone partition by sectors, files, or file system layout, deleted data recovery, and other goodies. The paid version adds working with four different virtual disk formats. Additionally, I found the user interface to be very straight forward (and attractive, to me).

    Once you have recovered sufficiently from the headache of the comparison that you just completed here, I would really love to have your opinion of this program. The program is called Partition Guru, made by a company called Eassos. Not sure if links are allowed here or not, but I’ll put in the link that shows a comparison of features for the free and the Pro version for you or anyone to take a look at.

    The link to that “features” page is:
    http://www.eassos.com/partitionguru/featuredetails.php

    Repeating myself, I’d really love for you to take a look at this. As far as I can tell this is a real gem that has been overlooked in people’s awareness (and nope, I don’t work for them, just think they may deserve some credit that they haven’t gotten so far, as far as I have seen).

    By the way… great to see you back on GiveawayOfTheDay again. You were missed!!

    While I’m at it, awesome job of creating and building dottech.org into what I think is one of the best general interest computing sites on the net.

    Cheers, from my snowbank in frozen Boston….

  28. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @leland: I thought about it. The only issue with Parted Magic I had is it is GParted + a whole lot more partition unrelated stuff. Usually this isn’t an issue but it makes PM’s download more than 2x of GParted.
    You are right, though — PM is essentially GP + more.

  29. Rob (Down Under)

    I only run such programs from bootable CDs (not from within a running Windows), so thanks for mentioning this –
    “The great thing is MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition’s Linux-based is a separate download from the program itself”
    If not for that ‘heads up’ I would have had to go through the CNet front end, then install the program, then search for the option to make a bootable CD, and then god knows what I would have done.
    Thanks,
    Rob
    PS Here is a link (for DotTechies) to the page for downloading the ISO for burning the bootable CD –
    http://www.partitionwizard.com/download.html
    There are actually two links for downloading the bootable CD, The first one gets you the CNet front end. The other one further down the page, gets you the real ISO
    PPS I just checked that page, and I may be wrong. I was guided to that page by them (whilst being told where to get the bootable CD). It is possible(probable) that the upper download is just for the installable program, and not for the bootable CD.

  30. stilofilos

    @Ashraf:
    Thanks Ashraf, this is a very interesting and useful article indeed.
    Two times in the past year or so I installed Aomei, and two times its installer appeared not capable of making it a working tool… – Surely that windows again…
    I also had EaseUS and Paragon, that both did work and were lovely indeed (slight preference for EaseUS too) , but both got lost in a crash of that windows… – the pro versions via gotd , bdj and the likes…
    What is your opinion on virtualizing such applications at a next occasion, to avoid loosing them again ? Would it be safe, or do you see risks specifically related to their nature ? I followed your article on Cameyo and its comments, and find this an interesting way of countering these problems. I have had it with these programmers always dropping files in the middle of such an unstable system instead of keeping them all together in the designated program folder.

  31. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Everyone: I spent multiple hours on this article and, by the end, was too tired to proofread. I’m sure there are typos in this review, so please be sure to point them out to me as you find them!

    Enjoy!