conversion from dynamic to basic disk


R

richard

I went to use a third party partitioning tool on my hard drive and found
out it couldn't happen because the tool was set up to be used on a basic
disk only.
Originally, from the factory my HP Pavilion dv7 laptop was apparently a
basic. After a fatal crash, I reinstalled with windows 7 store bought disk,
which apparently creates a dynamic disk.

I've done some reading and learned the differences. There appears to be a
lot of chatter about which is better. One of these cases where it's a
matter of whom you ask as to which is better.

Obviously, the machine works apparently the same either way.
I also had a look at some freeware and paid for utilities that could do the
conversion. I was wondering, does Windows 7 home premium have a built in
utility to do this or is there one available for free from Microsoft?
 
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F

Flint

I went to use a third party partitioning tool on my hard drive and found
out it couldn't happen because the tool was set up to be used on a basic
disk only.
Originally, from the factory my HP Pavilion dv7 laptop was apparently a
basic. After a fatal crash, I reinstalled with windows 7 store bought disk,
which apparently creates a dynamic disk.

I've done some reading and learned the differences. There appears to be a
lot of chatter about which is better. One of these cases where it's a
matter of whom you ask as to which is better.

Obviously, the machine works apparently the same either way.
I also had a look at some freeware and paid for utilities that could do the
conversion. I was wondering, does Windows 7 home premium have a built in
utility to do this or is there one available for free from Microsoft?


I recently went through 'dynamic disk hell' myself after purchasing
Acronis True Image 11 home and discovering it didn't work on dynamic
disk partitions/volumes. To make matters worse, Microsoft didn't
provide a way to convert dynamic disk volumes to basic volumes without
doing a destructive conversion of the disk.

After researching the issue, I found two ways of dealing with dynamic
disks by converting them manually using a hex editor (free, but
risky), or obtaining a copy of MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional,
and it converted the dynamic disk/volumes to a basic disk
partitions/MBR scheme in just a few seconds automatically, and did so
while running from the copy of Windows 7 I was currently booted from.

It worked flawlessy and easily. It did cost me $29.95 however, but it
is functionally identical to Acronis' Disk Director in both appearance
and operation.

You want the 'professional' version however, as the free home version
doesn't do dynamic to basic disk conversion:

http://www.partitionwizard.com/products.html
 
R

richard

I recently went through 'dynamic disk hell' myself after purchasing
Acronis True Image 11 home and discovering it didn't work on dynamic
disk partitions/volumes. To make matters worse, Microsoft didn't
provide a way to convert dynamic disk volumes to basic volumes without
doing a destructive conversion of the disk.

After researching the issue, I found two ways of dealing with dynamic
disks by converting them manually using a hex editor (free, but
risky), or obtaining a copy of MiniTool Partition Wizard Professional,
and it converted the dynamic disk/volumes to a basic disk
partitions/MBR scheme in just a few seconds automatically, and did so
while running from the copy of Windows 7 I was currently booted from.

It worked flawlessy and easily. It did cost me $29.95 however, but it
is functionally identical to Acronis' Disk Director in both appearance
and operation.

You want the 'professional' version however, as the free home version
doesn't do dynamic to basic disk conversion:

http://www.partitionwizard.com/products.html
Thanks. I've been considering buying it. I've got the free version and it
won't do a damn thing unless the disk is "basic". However, using the MS
partition tool made it an easy job for what I wanted to do.

Why is it that with every new version of Windows, MS has to screw up
something simple?
 
S

Seth

richard said:
Why is it that with every new version of Windows, MS has to screw up
something simple?
Dynamic disks have been around for a while. At least as far back as Server
2003 (and in Vista, just can't recall off the top of my head if they were in
2000). If you think that muddies things, just wait till you get a disk with
4K cluster sizes.

One is warned of these issues when selecting to make a disk Dynamic. Just
unfortunately for you, HP made that decision on your behalf.

So your beef is really with HP for making the decision you didn't want, not
Microsoft for offering the choice.
 
F

Flint

Dynamic disks have been around for a while. At least as far back as
Server 2003 (and in Vista, just can't recall off the top of my head if
they were in 2000). If you think that muddies things, just wait till
you get a disk with 4K cluster sizes.

One is warned of these issues when selecting to make a disk Dynamic.
Just unfortunately for you, HP made that decision on your behalf.

So your beef is really with HP for making the decision you didn't
want, not Microsoft for offering the choice.

That was exactly why I had to purchase Partition Wizard - to convert
the dynamic disk volumes of a brand new HP laptop that HP so
thoughtfully decided I should have a dynamic disk volume setup. :-/
 
P

Paul

Flint said:
That was exactly why I had to purchase Partition Wizard - to convert the
dynamic disk volumes of a brand new HP laptop that HP so thoughtfully
decided I should have a dynamic disk volume setup. :-/
If you look around, you can probably find a recipe which is free.
Not risk free, but lower in cost than buying a commercial tool.

Even if you buy a commercial tool, your first step is to back
up the entire disk first. Even the venerable Partition Magic,
has been known to trash a disk. As have some freebie partition
tools out there. It's always a good idea to back up the disk,
so you can restore it later.

Then, have a look at the suggestions here.

http://thelazyadmin.com/blogs/thelazyadmin/archive/2007/01/17/Converting-Dynamic-Disks-Back-to-Basic-Disks.aspx

I don't expect meddling with Dynamic Disks, in the way described in that
article, is wise under every condition. Dynamic Disks allow multiple disks
to be spanned together into one very large volume. Obviously, toggling the
partition type from 42 to something else in that case, would mean instant
ruin for your spanned set. The trick used in that article, is intended
for the simplest of configurations, where a single disk was made dynamic
by accident, and none of the features of dynamic disks have been used.
I had heard that there was a solution to this problem, which is why I
tried looking for it in a search engine. I've never had to do that myself
(to be honest, if I've made a dynamic disk by accident, I probably punted and
started my disk preparation sequence all over again, rather than fiddle the
partition type).

Another tool that can allow you to look at the partition table, is here.
As long as the field that needs editing, is visible here, you can make
changes. I've used this, to swap two partition table entries, and it worked
no problem at all. (I needed to do that, so the partition table entries
were in ascending order again. Makes it easier to understand the disk setup
when you're using disk utilities. "Don't try this at home." I think Partition
Magic was responsible for doing that in the first place. There are a number
of special case situations, where you can't do that. None of them applied
to my disk, at the time.)

ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/tools/pq/utilities/PTEDIT32.zip

As long as you have backups, and know how to use them, you can do whatever
kinds of experiments you want.

There are actually lots of tricks and special case situations, that can arise
when making changes to a disk. The commercial tools know about at least some of
them. But with a little luck, you can learn about enough of them, to do a
few things on your own.

HTH,
Paul
 
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F

Flint

If you look around, you can probably find a recipe which is free.
Not risk free, but lower in cost than buying a commercial tool.

Even if you buy a commercial tool, your first step is to back
up the entire disk first. Even the venerable Partition Magic,
has been known to trash a disk. As have some freebie partition
tools out there. It's always a good idea to back up the disk,
so you can restore it later.

Then, have a look at the suggestions here.

http://thelazyadmin.com/blogs/thelazyadmin/archive/2007/01/17/Converting-Dynamic-Disks-Back-to-Basic-Disks.aspx


I don't expect meddling with Dynamic Disks, in the way described in that
article, is wise under every condition. Dynamic Disks allow multiple
disks
to be spanned together into one very large volume. Obviously, toggling
the
partition type from 42 to something else in that case, would mean instant
ruin for your spanned set. The trick used in that article, is intended
for the simplest of configurations, where a single disk was made dynamic
by accident, and none of the features of dynamic disks have been used.
I had heard that there was a solution to this problem, which is why I
tried looking for it in a search engine. I've never had to do that myself
(to be honest, if I've made a dynamic disk by accident, I probably
punted and
started my disk preparation sequence all over again, rather than
fiddle the
partition type).

Another tool that can allow you to look at the partition table, is here.
As long as the field that needs editing, is visible here, you can make
changes. I've used this, to swap two partition table entries, and it
worked
no problem at all. (I needed to do that, so the partition table entries
were in ascending order again. Makes it easier to understand the disk
setup
when you're using disk utilities. "Don't try this at home." I think
Partition
Magic was responsible for doing that in the first place. There are a
number
of special case situations, where you can't do that. None of them applied
to my disk, at the time.)

ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/tools/pq/utilities/PTEDIT32.zip


As long as you have backups, and know how to use them, you can do
whatever
kinds of experiments you want.

There are actually lots of tricks and special case situations, that
can arise
when making changes to a disk. The commercial tools know about at
least some of
them. But with a little luck, you can learn about enough of them, to do a
few things on your own.

HTH,
Paul

Yes, I'm aware of the manual disk sector editing thing ("42" to "07").
This was what I was referring to previously about it being 'free,
but risky' for some - not to mention tedious. Since I needed a decent
partition manager anyway, I decided to go with Partition Wizard since
it did both rather well, was less expensive than Acronis Disk
director, although virtually identical to Acronis in both appearance
and usage.

Still though, it is good to be aware of the manual sector editing
technique. It's also a good idea to do as you suggested and make a
backup image regardless of which method one uses. To date, I haven't
needed it on any spanned volume situations, nor do I suspect I will.
What amazes me is that HP even uses dynamic disk as an option on their
laptops. I can't see any use for spanned volumes on most
consumer/user laptops in the first place.

MS' implementation of dynamic disks seems rather pointless in consumer
space AFAIC.
 
P

Paul

Flint said:
Yes, I'm aware of the manual disk sector editing thing ("42" to "07").
This was what I was referring to previously about it being 'free, but
risky' for some - not to mention tedious. Since I needed a decent
partition manager anyway, I decided to go with Partition Wizard since it
did both rather well, was less expensive than Acronis Disk director,
although virtually identical to Acronis in both appearance and usage.

Still though, it is good to be aware of the manual sector editing
technique. It's also a good idea to do as you suggested and make a
backup image regardless of which method one uses. To date, I haven't
needed it on any spanned volume situations, nor do I suspect I will.
What amazes me is that HP even uses dynamic disk as an option on their
laptops. I can't see any use for spanned volumes on most consumer/user
laptops in the first place.

MS' implementation of dynamic disks seems rather pointless in consumer
space AFAIC.
What strikes me about the whole process, was how Microsoft chose
to "promote" this new technology. What they should have done, is
made it moderately difficult to make a dynamic disk in the first
place. It should not have been a default choice, for noobs like
me to fall into. I got my first taste of this bad choice thing,
back on my Win2K machine.

Paul
 
B

Bob I

What strikes me about the whole process, was how Microsoft chose
to "promote" this new technology. What they should have done, is
made it moderately difficult to make a dynamic disk in the first
place. It should not have been a default choice, for noobs like
me to fall into. I got my first taste of this bad choice thing,
back on my Win2K machine.

Paul

They labeled the OS "Windows 2000 Professional" did they not?
 
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P

Paul

Bob said:
They labeled the OS "Windows 2000 Professional" did they not?
Aw, jeez. I thought that meant I had to wear a shirt, tie, and
suit coat, while installing it. I kept looking for "Windows 2000 Casual"
at the computer store, but they didn't carry it.

Paul
 

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