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Last post Author Topic: AOMEI Backupper FREE + AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - Mini-Review  (Read 42010 times)

IainB

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Originally posted:2013-11-23
Last updated2016-05-03

Basic Info
App Name
(2 apps used consecutively)
AOMEI Backupper FREE (used to clone a drive)
AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE (used to resize a partition)
Thumbs-Up Rating :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup: - that's just for the cloning and partition management; backup was not trialled/tested.
App URLhttp://www.backup-ut...ty.com/download.html
On that page AOMEI Backupper has two alternative installation files:
One size: 60MB, supports both Windows 7/8/Vista/XP and Windows Server 2003/2008/2012 (link to CNET download)
The other size: 20MB, it only supports Windows 7/8 and Server 2008 R2/2012. (link to a "local" download)
App Version ReviewedAOMEI Backupper v1.6
AOMEI Partition Assistant SE v5.2
Note that much newer versions are now available, but these were the ones trialled at the time.
Test System SpecsMS Win7-64 Home Premium
Supported OSesPC Windows (various)
Support MethodsSupport website: http://www.backup-ut...ity.com/support.html
Upgrade PolicyFree upgrades.
Trial Version Available?Not applicable - this is FREEware.
Pricing SchemeAOMEI Backupper + AOMEI Partition Assistant are FREEware.
See also: AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional Edition 5.5 free

Intro and Overview:
For a while now, my trusty HDS PRO - refer Hard Disk Sentinel PRO - Mini-Review - has been telling me about the failing health of my laptop's hard drive - a Seagate 2.5 inch 500GB SATA 7200RPM 16MB Cache Hard Drive Model: ST9500420AS.
The drive's performance status was 100%, but the calculated statistical relevance of several non-fatal error events meant that its health status - that had initially dropped from 100% to 69% and then been stable at that point for months - had started frequently edging downwards in progressive small increments to 55%.
The HDS report Overview at this point stated:
Quote
_____________________________
There are 21 bad sectors on the disk surface. The contents of these sectors were moved to the spare area.
Based on the number of remapping operations, the health of the disk was decreased in different steps.
There are 1 weak sectors found on the disk surface. They may be remapped anytime in the later use of the disk.
7408 errors occured during data transfer. This may indicate problem of the device or with data/power cables. It is recommended to examine and replace the cables if possible.
At this point, warranty replacement of the disk is not yet possible, only if the health drops further.
it is recommended to examine the log of the disk regularly. All new problems found will be logged there.
It is recommended to continuously monitor the hard disk status.
_____________________________

So yesterday (a Friday) I took the bull by the horns, figuring that I had better do something about it before it failed completely (though it was fully backed up), otherwise I'd probably have to commit a mountain of time to the recovery.

So I went online and ordered a hard drive I had been keeping my eyes on - a Western Digital Scorpio Black 750GB 16MB 7200rpm 2.5Inch SATA3 Hard Drive Model: WD7500BPKX. (The failing Seagate drive was a discontinued model.)
The supplier is in the same city as myself, so after some thought I sent them a follow-up email asking if they could send it by URGENT courier same day, rather than the normal 2 business days courier delivery.
I got a call from them telling me that it would cost NZ$30 to do that, so I agreed and paid via credit card. I figured it was worth it as it would give me a weekend to sort out any wrinkles. The package duly arrived about 2 hours later that afternoon.

I put the new drive in a USB3 portable hard drive carrier that I bought a while back (it's proved to be a very useful purchase). Then I ran a few tests/inspections on it using HDS - including its 3-built-in tests:
  • Short Self-test.
  • Extended Self-test.
  • Conveyance Self-test.

The latter 2 tests would have run for hours, but I stopped them after about 30mins. with no evidence of any problems. I took screenshots as I went. The old (failing) hard drive had failed its built-in Short and Extended Self-tests within a few minutes.
I then formatted the drive and repeated the inspections/tests. I took screenshots as I went, but there was no difference before/after the formatting. HDS said the new drive was in 100% performance status and 100% health status and all the SMART flags were good.
So I figured it was safe to go ahead and use the disk - it was AOK.

The next thing was - What to do? I had started to use the Win7 system image tool that gives you a once-only chance to write the image to 6 or so CD-ROMs, but it was so incredibly constipated, and I was running out of CD-ROMS (which I rarely use for anything), so I stopped it before writing to the first CD. It said it could resume from there. This was archaic.
So I did what I usually do - gathered some more information. I chanced across a new report that I had been given automatic access to in my Gdrive (Comparison- AwardSpace vs Freehostia- Best Free Hosting). It was from BearWare, so I went to the website and right there I saw the recommendation for AOMEI Backupper. Now BearWare doesn't usually recommend anything unless it meets certain high standards, and his post of the thing mentioned images and clones, so I took a look at the AOMEI Backupper website.

AOMEI Technologies is based in China - as it says here - AOMEI Company:
Quote
CHENGDU AOMEI® Tech Co., Ltd.
Address: 3F, SOHO Business Port, No.5 HongJiXin Rd, Chengdu, China
Postcode: 610000
- so that probably explains the awkward use of English. It took me a while to understand that the Cloning function is part of AOMEI Backupper.
On the download page, it distinguished between two alternative installation files for AOMEI Backupper:
  • One size: 60MB, supports both Windows 7/8/Vista/XP and Windows Server 2003/2008/2012 (link to CNET download)
  • The other size: 20MB, it only supports Windows 7/8 and Server 2008 R2/2012. (link to a "local" download)

I downloaded and installed the smaller file, then executed AOMEI Backupper. Click-click-click with the mouse - and in less than 20 seconds I had started cloning my failing Seagate drive to the new WD drive.
It was by then Saturday 2AM. I sat with it for a couple of hours, interested in seeing its progress reports, and making sure that the laptop would not go to sleep and set the screen to switch off after 2 minutes of no keyboard activity (so as to keep the temps down inside the laptop). I estimated that at the rate it was going it would take about 8 hours to complete, and so I went to bed. I was awoken at about 8AM by the HDS alarm gong telling me that the health of the Seagate drive had deteriorated another 1% to 54%, and I noticed that AOMEI Backupper was still busy making the clone with apparently no problem. By 10:05AM, AOMEI Backupper had completed the cloning process and shut the laptop down (as I had set it to do in the options).
So I swapped the old/new drives around. started up the laptop and ran the HP BIOS and system checks. Everything was perfect.
So I let it continue and boot into Windows. No problem.

After running some more tests and fossicking about and making notes, I started up AOMEI Backupper and took screenshots as I went (see following).

Examples - screenshots/clips:
Main GUI window: (going to each menu item)

AOMEI Backupper - 01.png

AOMEI Backupper - 02.png

AOMEI Backupper - 03.png

AOMEI Backupper - 04.png

AOMEI Backupper - 05.png



This is the picture of the cloning result - the cloned drive and the original (failing) drive:

AOMEI Backupper - 06 Clone result.png


This is a screenshot of AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - after adding the unallocated storage to the C: partition and relabelling the partition:

AOMEI Partition Assistant - 01 Resize partition.png

Who this software is designed for:
Pretty much any PC user who wants a bombproof backup utility. From the website, the software provides:
  • One click backup your system drive to ensure system security
  • Backup disk & partition, create disk images and clone hard drive
  • Support Windows 8/7/Vista/XP and Server 2003/2008/2012 (32/64-bit)

Features include:
  • Backup Features
  • Restore Features
  • Clone Features
  • System Backup: One-click back up all data of system drive, including system files and installed applications, without interrupting work.
  • Disk Backup: Backup your hard disk drives, including MBR disk, GPT disk, external hard drive, USB disk and other storage devices that can be recognized by Windows.
  • Partition Backup: If you just want to backup a partition or dynamic volume, not the entire disk, the feature will be your best choice. With it, you can backup one or multiple partitions/dynamic volumes (including dynamic system volumes).
  • Schedule Backup: Set up a schedule to automatically backup your system and data, especially for users who want to create backups at a lesser frequency or have multiple backup schedules (e.g. daily, weekly, monthly).

The Good:
My trial has made real, live use of 2 software applications:
  • AOMEI Backupper - to produce a fully-functional clone from a failing 500GB hard drive on a new 750GB hard drive.
  • AOMEI Partition Assistant - to add unallocated space on the new (larger) hard drive to the cloned C: drive.
Both applications:
  • ran perfectly.
  • were incredibly simple and easy to use.
  • operated efficiently.
  • would be relatively difficult to make a mistake with (i.e., relatively idiot-proof).
I was/am very impressed with them.
See also: comparison of Drive Imaging backup tools (both free and commercial) - Raymond.cc compares 20 Drive Imaging Tools - AOMEI Backupper was very highly rated.

Needs Improvement:
No notes on this as at this stage. I have not found any drawbacks/limitations in either application so far.

Why I think you should use this product:
If you need good backup functionality, and particularly drive/disk cloning and subsequent partition management (as in my case, for example where I was in serious need of both), then these 2 applications could well be ideal for you.

How it compares to similar products:
I have no experience of using fully integrated backup software like this, so cannot make any useful comment.
AOMEI Backupper and AOMEI Partition Assistant were used consecutively, and did a fine job.

Conclusions:
I was very impressed by the ease and simplicity with which AOMEI Backupper created the clone and AOMEI Partition Assistant assigned the unassigned drive space to the cloned C: drive.
It arguably couldn't have been easier/simpler.
If the rest of the AOMEI Backupper functionality is as good, then I may drop my FreeFileSync backup program in favour of this one.
These applications seem to be so good, I reckon they could be described as "bombproof".
« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 08:43:59 AM by IainB »

4wd

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Re: AOMEI Backupper (Free), used to clone a hard drive - Mini-Review
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2013, 06:04:18 AM »
So I went online and ordered a hard drive I had been keeping my eyes on - a Western Digital Black 2.5 inch 500GB SATA 7200RPM 16MB Cache Hard Drive Model: WD5000BPKX. (The failing Seagate drive was a discontinued model.)

Analysis of the last image would seem to indicate that the new HDD is 750GB ... unless Backupper has impressive compression techniques also.

IainB

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Re: AOMEI Backupper (Free), used to clone a hard drive - Mini-Review
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2013, 07:35:57 AM »
@4wd: Thanks for spotting that. Yes, I had cut-and-pasted the wrong details in. Corrected it now.
The new drive is: Western Digital Scorpio Black 750GB 16MB 7200rpm 2.5Inch SATA3 Hard Drive Model: WD7500BPKX.

IainB

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Re: AOMEI Backupper (Free), used to clone a hard drive - Mini-Review
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2013, 04:52:21 AM »
2013-11-25 2351hrs: Updated to include AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE details.

tomos

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Re: AOMEI Backupper (Free), used to clone a hard drive - Mini-Review
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2013, 08:05:00 AM »
It's always really great to know when something *actually* works :up: :up:

I'm wondering - it took about 8 hours to clone everything with a USB3 connection (I think?) - is that not very slow? Although I guess it does have to create the partitions etc.  :-\

I suppose if your drive was failing quicker, maybe creating a system image would be better, in case the drive died.


EDIT//
I see they have two versions:
Quote
Download AOMEI Backupper Full Version 1.6
Platform: Windows 7, 8, Vista, XP and Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012
Size: 60MB

Download AOMEI Backupper for Win7 1.6
Platform: Windows 7, 8 and Server 2008 R2, 2012
Size: 20MB

which one did you use (with apologies if in review - I did look over it again quickly but couldnt see any ref).
Thanks! and thanks for the review!
Tom

IainB

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Re: AOMEI Backupper (Free), used to clone a hard drive - Mini-Review
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2013, 04:40:20 PM »
@tomos:
Yes, everything seemed to work perfectly. Very nice when that happens!

I was using a USB3.0 device, but via a USB2 connection. It would probably been a lot quicker with a USB3 connection.
As it was, the clone took about 8hrs, and the allocation of the unallocated space to the cloned C: drive took 1 to 2 hrs. (not sure, as I didn't time it).

Sorry, the download files are referred to, but rather buried in the Intro and Overview:
On the download page, it says:
Quote
The software has two installation files:
One size: 60MB, supports both Windows 7/8/Vista/XP and Windows Server 2003/2008/2012, you can download according to your OS. (link to CNET download)
The other size: 20MB, it only supports Windows 7/8 and Server 2008 R2/2012. (link to a "loal" download)
I downloaded and installed the smaller file, then executed AOMEI Backupper. Click-click-click with the mouse - and in less than 20 seconds I had started cloning my failing Seagate drive to the new WD drive.

I only needed the smaller file as that was relevant to my OS.
I found the website a bit confusing on this and some other subject, but I put that down to the website's use of English rather than anything else.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 04:49:56 PM by IainB »

4wd

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Re: AOMEI Backupper (Free), used to clone a hard drive - Mini-Review
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2013, 04:50:16 PM »
@IainB: You don't mention whether or not the cloning process required that it be done with OS offline, (like many of them do due to locked files), ie. it rebooted the system and then started the cloning.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 04:57:01 PM by 4wd »

IainB

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Re: AOMEI Backupper FREE + AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - Mini-Review
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2013, 05:30:15 PM »
@4wd: I had never needed to use a cloning tool before, and did not know what to expect, though I did wonder what it was going to do with locked files.
It just started the clone from when I launched the program, no rebooting or anything. At the end of the exercise, it said it was "copying the system files" (OWTTE) and I assumed that included any locked files or system files that might have been used/changed during the cloning process.
Like I said:
...I downloaded and installed the smaller file, then executed AOMEI Backupper. Click-click-click with the mouse - and in less than 20 seconds I had started cloning my failing Seagate drive to the new WD drive.
_____________________________________
I was impressed, and subsequent testing of the clone (which I am using as my primary now) indicates nothing amiss so far.

Could you maybe suggest some areas where I could poke around to check up on the output? I'm not really sure where to look or what to look for otherwise. I did notice that the Windows Update History is blank, but I think that is because I deleted that prior to cloning to reduce space used on the drive (and to reduce backup/cloning time).

IainB

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Re: AOMEI Backupper FREE + AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - Mini-Review
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2013, 05:34:11 PM »
2013-11-26 1232hrs Updated the opening post (review) to clarify some of the content, in light of questions asked.
Sorry if it was a bit garbled, but I was pretty dog-tired when I wrote it, so probably prone to making mistakes at that time.

tomos

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Re: AOMEI Backupper FREE + AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - Mini-Review
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2013, 03:06:07 AM »
Thanks Iain -
I'm trying to read slower these days, but in e.g. a review like this, there's a lot of info, so it's easy to miss something, I find ;-)
Tom

4wd

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Re: AOMEI Backupper FREE + AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - Mini-Review
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2013, 03:14:06 AM »
Could you maybe suggest some areas where I could poke around to check up on the output?

The best check is, of course, a fully functioning system.  If it appears to be working OK and your installed programs, (especially things like AV and virtual devices, if you have any), work OK then I'd say it's working fine.

IainB

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Re: AOMEI Backupper FREE + AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - Mini-Review
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2013, 07:01:56 AM »
Could you maybe suggest some areas where I could poke around to check up on the output?
The best check is, of course, a fully functioning system.  If it appears to be working OK and your installed programs, (especially things like AV and virtual devices, if you have any), work OK then I'd say it's working fine.
Yes, it seems to have been an easy, painless process. The cloned system behaves just like it was the old one. No hiccups. I had been expecting much worse.
Things like MS Security Essentials and a virtual CD-ROM drive are operating just fine. So is everything else - so far!
That AOMEI software is quite impressive.

beethoven

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Re: AOMEI Backupper FREE + AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - Mini-Review
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2013, 10:48:41 PM »
I am a bit confused as to what "cloning" means as opposed to creating an image and what the advantage would be?

IainB

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Re: AOMEI Backupper FREE + AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - Mini-Review
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2013, 10:58:15 PM »
Forgot to mention this: After I had started using the cloned drive, Windows 7 Firewall Control (now Windows 8 Firewall Control) from http://sphinx-soft.com/Vista/order.html kept telling me I needed to refresh the licence, so I guess the licence must be tied to the hard drive number, or partition size, or something, and the change(s) had been detected by the software.

IainB

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Re: AOMEI Backupper FREE + AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - Mini-Review
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2013, 11:11:12 PM »
I am a bit confused as to what "cloning" means as opposed to creating an image and what the advantage would be?
Yes, I found it confuzzling too.
It seems that an "image" is a picture of a drive as at a point in time - which image you can superimpose (clone) onto several hard drives if you want, at some future date. A clone is thus created when an image of a drive is taken and superimposed onto a different hard drive.
I didn't take an image, I just cloned the thing in real time, directly from the original drive.
The intermediate stage of creating several CDs holding the image, and then cloning that image to a new hard drive seemed a bit unnecessary for my purposes, but it would have been essential if (say) I had wanted to make 10 clones on 10 different PCs.

IainB

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Re: AOMEI Backupper FREE + AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - Mini-Review
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2014, 05:34:16 AM »
2014-03-19 2330hrs: Updated opening post review to include links to DC Forum discussions:

Curt

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Re: AOMEI Backupper FREE + AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - Mini-Review
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2014, 02:21:20 AM »
[original posted deleted. wrong location!]
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 02:31:38 AM by Curt »

tomos

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Re: AOMEI Backupper FREE + AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - Mini-Review
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2015, 04:18:28 PM »
 :Thmbsup: Well, I successfully restored one system image via Aomei Backerupper free version (henceforth 'AB')

# AB offers to do a full disc backup (imaging). In my case there's three partitions.
=> Partitions can be individually restored.
? does anyone know -
if the partitions are destroyed - or changed, can Aomei still restore the complete drive?
Or would the partitions have to be recreated before it could restore?

If AB doesnt do that, is there any other software that will make a backup of the partition structure (not their contents) ?
EDIT// I will have also have a go with their Partition software
Tom
« Last Edit: July 27, 2015, 04:27:04 PM by tomos »

tomos

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Re: AOMEI Backupper FREE + AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - Mini-Review
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2015, 04:26:52 PM »
:Thmbsup: Well, I successfully restored one system image via Aomei Backerupper free version (henceforth 'AB')

did (another) restore - just of the OS partition - worked fine again :up:
Previous restore was from a 'System backup' image which includes any hidden boot mumbo-jumbo :p :)

Comparison chart:
http://www.backup-ut...tion-comparison.html

"Exclude Files from File Backup" is listed for all editions:
does anyone know if this is possible when creating an image? (I think it isn't possible to exclude files from an image, but hope I'm wrong)
Tom

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Re: AOMEI Backupper FREE + AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - Mini-Review
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2015, 08:29:43 AM »
When you create an image, the whole concept is to take everything.  If you don't want that, you are making a plain file backup.

Depending on the format used for the generated image file, there might be software that allows you to peek inside those files, allowing you to read and copy stuff from that image file.

tomos

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Re: AOMEI Backupper FREE + AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - Mini-Review
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2015, 09:03:54 AM »
When you create an image, the whole concept is to take everything.  If you don't want that, you are making a plain file backup.

hiberfile.sys and the paging file are often excluded by default by this type of software when creating an image file


Depending on the format used for the generated image file, there might be software that allows you to peek inside those files, allowing you to read and copy stuff from that image file.
Yeah,
Aomei does allow to mount an image and copy files from that.
Tom

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Re: AOMEI Backupper FREE + AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - Mini-Review
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2015, 02:06:31 PM »
Software the uses the Windows installation on the system to create images of itself do exclude those files, I agree.

Hard-core tools, software that does not use the installed Windows, doesn't care. This type of software is probably not for the faint of heart...but imho is usually less messy that the kind that uses Windows.

tomos

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Re: AOMEI Backupper FREE + AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - Mini-Review
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2015, 03:22:59 PM »
Hard-core tools, software that does not use the installed Windows, doesn't care. This type of software is probably not for the faint of heart...but imho is usually less messy that the kind that uses Windows.

I'm sometimes faint of heart, but always curious ;-)
so just wondering, can you give an example there ?
Tom

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Re: AOMEI Backupper FREE + AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - Mini-Review
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2015, 02:13:03 AM »
HDclone, Clonezilla, PartImage, R-Drive Image to name a few. R-Drive Image supports both ways. Back in the day the software to got to (for this type job): Ghost (before Norton bought it).

Don't be fooled by the 'Clone'-part in the names of some applications. These also gave options to manage disk/partition images. HDclone is my personal favorite. The free version of this software is limited in functionality and slow. Very reliable, though. The commercial versions do not have these limits.

tomos

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Re: AOMEI Backupper FREE + AOMEI Partition Assistant FREE - Mini-Review
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2015, 12:20:11 PM »
^thanks Shades.

More Aomei experiences:
I wanted to delete a partition; incorporate the freed-up space into 'C'; then divide 'C' into three partitions:
[C | Data | Partition-with-space-for-one-backup-image]

Aomei Partition Assistant:
# I created a boot usb-flash-drive (it's Win PE)
# on a laptop with three partitions (one a miniscule one with some Dell tools), I:
  • deleted the 12GB 'Recovery' partition
  • I then had to *move* (and resize) the 'C partition so as it would take over the now unallocated space (this was slow: I had to use an 'up' arrow to increase the size of 'C')

At this stage I rebooted: everything was fine so I created a new 'System image' using Aomei Backerupper
I then booted again with Aomei Partition and:
  • split 'C' into two partitions
  • then split the newly made partition into two partitions

This one worked fine too :up:
So all in all a very successful experience with both tools :-*
Tom