If you’re looking for a free partitioning tool then there’s no shortage of competition around, but you need to choose carefully. And this is particularly true if you’re considering free versions of commercial products, which often include annoying restrictions and limitations in an effort to persuade you to upgrade.
With this in mind, then, we were initially suspicious of Aomei Technology’s latest Partition Assistant Home Edition. It would probably have a restrictive licensing agreement, yes? Demand registration before you can use it? Have a host of functions which won’t work until you buy?
Well, surprisingly, no. There are no hidden snags here, no small print, the program just delivers basic but effective partition management with the absolute minimum of hassle.
You can create and format partitions, for example, split and merge them, reallocate free space to suit your needs, resize or copy partitions, and more. The program works with most hard drive technologies, even on Windows 8 Consumer Preview, and straightforward wizards ensure it’s very easy to use.
Despite the “Home Edition” tag, this isn’t just for home users: it’s free for commercial users, too.
And Aomei haven’t employed any of the usual tricks to persuade you to upgrade. There are no annoying reminder dialogs every time you open or close the program. Partition Assistant doesn’t have any “Upgrade” messages in its interface, beyond a single, restrained toolbar button. And you won’t click on an option only to get a “you can’t do that with this build” message, either: every function you can see here, is usable.
The program does also have its limitations. There’s no boot disk version, for example. You can’t undelete a partition, view drive sectors, or carry out low-level operations on a drive’s MBR. And if you need preferential technical support, amongst other things, you may want to consider one of the commercial versions.
There’s plenty here for a free tool, though – especially one free for commercial users – so if your partitioning needs are straightforward then we’d recommend you give Partition Assistant Home Edition a try.