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Aomei Partition Assistant Home Edition: Partitioning Utility Is Great for Home or Business Use

Freebies don't get any better than Aomei's powerful Partition Assistant Home Edition.

Partitioning utilities were once mysterious, geeky, and expensive. No more--witness Aomei's Partition Assistant Home Edition, which is highly competent, and free. Aside from being a nice upgrade from the integrated Windows tools provided by Microsoft, PAHE is probably the easiest-to-use partition utility I've encountered.

Partition Assistant Home Edition doesn't deserve its "Home" designation, which frequently appears in software names as shorthand for "feature-deprived." The program can resize, move, split, extend, copy, create, delete, format, wipe, and hide partitions--mostly within Windows, and without a reboot. There's not a lot else you can do with partitions. The program can also copy entire drives, but it can't copy to an image file--a feature that would have made this program well-nigh perfect as a disk utility. Even the paid editions of Aomei Partition Assistant don't offer copying to image files, though.

PAHE's interface is utilitarian in the best sense of the word. My favorite feature is the list of pending changes at the bottom of the tasks pane on the left side of the main window. As that description suggests, you can stack changes and then apply them all at once so you don't have to wait around for each operation to finish. The app is simple to use and its help file is well written. When I wanted to check on dynamic disks, however, I did miss the search function found in most help files.

As it turns out, the app doesn't support dynamic disks. But it was flawless in my testing with normal partitions, performing every operation in fine style on both GPT and MBR disks. Aomei's Partition Assistant Home Edition has won an extended stay in my toolkit: It's easy, effective, and to the point. Pros can opt for $36 Professional Edition (for workstations) and $139 Server Edition that handle dynamic disks and (in the latter case) will run on a server operating system.

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