Dynamic Disk

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

What are the downsides to using Dynamic Disks? We want to use a software
RAID, but I am afraid of running into problems later on with this Dynamic
Disk format.

Tim
3 answers Last reply
More about dynamic disk
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win2000.setup (More info?)

    Dear Tim,

    Thank you for posting!

    From the origional message, I know that you want to use a software RAID,
    but you are afraid of running into problems later when using dynamic disk.

    The below information is quoted from the article "317587 - HOW TO: Disable
    the Upgrade Basic Disks to Dynamic Disks Functionality" in the Microosft
    Knowledge Base:

    A dynamic disk is a physical disk that contains dynamic volumes that you
    create by using Disk Management. Dynamic disks do not use traditional
    partition tables like primary and extended partitions (logical drives);
    therefore, dynamic disks cannot be accessed by MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows
    95, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me) or
    Microsoft Windows NT operating systems.

    When you convert a basic disk to a dynamic disk, the partition layout on
    the disk changes and the dynamic disk database is created. These changes
    provide you with increased flexibility to manage the volume in Windows
    2000 and Microsoft Windows XP Professional. However, these changes are not
    easily reversed, and the structure of dynamic disks is not compatible with
    some operating systems. Therefore, you must consider the following issues
    before you convert basic disks to dynamic disks:

    - Do not convert a basic disk to a dynamic disk if it contains multiple
    copies of Windows XP Professional or Windows 2000. Even though these
    operating systems support dynamic disks, they require certain registry
    entries to start from dynamic disks. If the operating systems are installed
    on the same disk and you use one of the operating systems to convert the
    disk to a dynamic disk, the registry of the other operating system becomes
    out-of-date because the drivers that are required to start the operating
    system from a dynamic disk are not loaded. Therefore, you can no longer
    start the other operating system. You can use dynamic disks with Windows XP
    Professional and Windows 2000 in a multiple-boot configuration if you
    install each operating system to a different disk. For example, install
    Windows 2000 on disk A and Windows XP Professional on disk B. Use Windows
    2000 to convert disk A to a dynamic disk, and then use Windows XP
    Professional to convert disk B to a dynamic disk. By using this method, you
    ensure that the registries are updated for each operating system.

    - You can access dynamic disks only from computers that are running
    Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional, or Windows XP 64-Bit Edition. You
    cannot access dynamic disks from computers that are running MS-DOS, Windows
    95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT 4.0 or earlier, or Windows XP Home
    Edition. This restriction also means that you cannot start any of these
    operating systems if you convert the disk that contains the system volume
    to a dynamic disk.

    To avoid this restriction, use two hard disks. Install the other operating
    system on the first disk, which contains the system volume, and then
    install Windows on the second disk. If you use this method, you can convert
    the disk that is running Windows to a dynamic disk and still start the
    other operating system on the basic disk. However, this method prevents the
    other operating system from accessing the dynamic disk or any of its
    volumes and data. Therefore, in computers that start multiple operating
    systems, you must use caution when you convert basic disks to dynamic disks.

    The partition style that is used on the dynamic disk can also restrict
    access to dynamic disks. The following list describes the different
    partition styles and their limitations:

    - Dynamic master boot record (MBR) disks: Only computers that are running
    Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional, or Windows XP 64-Bit Edition can
    access dynamic MBR disks.

    - Dynamic GUID partition table (GPT) disks (where GUID is the abbreviation
    for globally unique identifier): Only Itanium-based computers that are
    running Windows XP 64-Bit Edition can access dynamic GPT disks.NOTE:
    Volumes on dynamic MBR and GPT disks are available across a network to
    computers that are running MS-DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me,
    Windows NT 4.0 or earlier, or Windows XP.

    - Do not convert a basic disk to a dynamic disk if the disk contains
    unknown partitions that are created by other operating systems. Windows
    converts unknown partitions to dynamic partitions, which makes them
    unreadable to other operating systems.

    - Do not convert a disk to a dynamic disk if it contains an original
    equipment manufacturer (OEM) partition that is not located at the beginning
    of the disk. (In Disk Management, an OEM partition typically is displayed
    as an EISA configuration partition.) When you convert a basic disk to a
    dynamic disk, Windows preserves the OEM partition only if this partition is
    the first partition on the disk. If this partition is not the first
    partition, the partition is deleted when the disk is
    converted to a dynamic disk.

    - You can extend dynamic volumes that do not retain their partition entries
    in the partition table. The following list describes the volumes that
    retain their entries in the partition table and cannot be extended:

    - The system volume and boot volume of the operating system that you used
    to convert the disk to dynamic.

    - Any basic volume that was present on the disk when you converted the
    disk from a basic disk to a dynamic disk by using the version of Disk
    Management that is included with Windows 2000.

    - Simple volumes on which you run the DiskPart retain command. The retain
    command adds a partition entry to the partition table. However, after you
    use this command, you can no longer extend the volume.
    To add more space to the system volume or boot volume on a dynamic disk,
    you must back up all of the data on the disk, repartition and reformat
    the disk, reinstall Windows, convert the basic disks to dynamic disks, and
    then restore the data from backup.

    The following volumes do not have partition entries and can be extended:

    - Simple volumes and spanned volumes that are created from unallocated
    space on a dynamic disk.

    - A basic volume that is not the system volume or the boot volume, but it
    is on a disk that you converted from a basic disk to dynamic disk by using
    Windows 2000.
    In addition, you cannot extend striped volumes. Although striped volumes do
    not have entries in the partition table, you cannot extend this volume in
    Windows 2000. To add more space to a striped volume, back up the data,
    delete the volume, recreate the volume by using Windows 2000, and then
    restore the data.

    - Disk Management does not offer FAT as a formatting option for dynamic
    volumes because the NTFS file system is the preferred file system for
    dynamic volumes. If you want to format a dynamic volume by using FAT, use
    My Computer, Microsoft Windows Explorer, or the format command.

    - The DiskPart command that is used in the Recovery Console can damage your
    partition table if the disk has been upgraded to a dynamic disk. Always use
    Disk Management to modify the structure of dynamic disks.

    - Windows 2000 does not support reverting your boot disk from a dynamic
    disk to a basic disk.

    - Dynamic disks are not supported on the following hardware:

    - The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 1394 serial
    bus

    - The Universal Serial Bus (USB)

    - Removable disks

    - Disks in laptop computers or laptop docking stations

    For additional information, visit the hyperlink below to view the article
    in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    http://support.microsoft.com/?id=317587
    317587 HOW TO: Disable the Upgrade Basic Disks to Dynamic Disks
    Functionality

    http://support.microsoft.com/?id=175761
    175761 Dynamic vs. Basic Storage in Windows 2000

    I hope that the above information is helpful.

    Thank you for choosing Microsoft and have a nice day!

    Thanks & Regards,

    Feng Mao [MSFT], MCSE
    Microsoft Online Partner Support

    Get Secure! - www.microsoft.com/security

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  2. dynamic disk is at a high risk of data loss
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