Dynamic Disk


O

OldGuy

My new laptop came with Win 7 64 bit installed.
I went into disk management to changes partitions.
I noticed that the factory install already had multiple partitions,
some hidden, and the 240Gbyte HDD was already a dynamic disk.

I want to use Macrium Reflect Free to create an image. Unfortunately
it does not work with dynamic disks.

My old laptop was Win XP Pro and I recently reloaded all of it and the
disk was not changed to dynamic so I could use Macrium Reflect.

So the questions are:
1) why would the manufacturer set it up as dynamic? Any good reason?

2) in my case, is there any real advantage to using dynamic?
 
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P

philo 

My new laptop came with Win 7 64 bit installed.
I went into disk management to changes partitions.
I noticed that the factory install already had multiple partitions, some
hidden, and the 240Gbyte HDD was already a dynamic disk.

I want to use Macrium Reflect Free to create an image. Unfortunately it
does not work with dynamic disks.

My old laptop was Win XP Pro and I recently reloaded all of it and the
disk was not changed to dynamic so I could use Macrium Reflect.

So the questions are:
1) why would the manufacturer set it up as dynamic? Any good reason?

2) in my case, is there any real advantage to using dynamic?

Not sure why the mfg would set up a dynamic disc

Rather than attempt to convert the dynamic disc to basic
you may want to just use tools already built into win7

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/4241/how-to-create-a-system-image-in-windows-7/
 
W

Wolf K

My new laptop came with Win 7 64 bit installed.
I went into disk management to changes partitions.
I noticed that the factory install already had multiple partitions, some
hidden, and the 240Gbyte HDD was already a dynamic disk.
Those hidden partitions are for repair and maintenance. If you make a
repair disk, you can probably get rid of those hidden partitions, but I
wouldn't do that, unless I knew exactly what I was getting rid of. FWIW,
when I installed Linux on an old laptop, everything was wiped.
I want to use Macrium Reflect Free to create an image. Unfortunately it
does not work with dynamic disks.

My old laptop was Win XP Pro and I recently reloaded all of it and the
disk was not changed to dynamic so I could use Macrium Reflect.

So the questions are:
1) why would the manufacturer set it up as dynamic? Any good reason?
I have no idea. Dynamic disk is a method of creating volumes larger
than a single HDD. If you have only one HDD, you don't need dynamic
disk. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_disk

I infer that Dynamic Disk is MS's version of a "proper" storage system:
physical drives, and logical volumes. Volumes don't need to match or be
located on specific physical drives. People have gotten used to using
"drive" and "partition" for both concepts, interchangeably, which can be
confusing.
2) in my case, is there any real advantage to using dynamic?
I doubt it. But that isn't enough to persuade me to change the HDD
layout (which I surmise you're itching to do. ;-) ) You've got a
perfectly good working machine, the only customisation IMO would be
adding software that you want, and replacing anti-malware if indicated.

HTH
 
P

Paul in Houston TX

OldGuy said:
My new laptop came with Win 7 64 bit installed.
I went into disk management to changes partitions.
I noticed that the factory install already had multiple partitions, some
hidden, and the 240Gbyte HDD was already a dynamic disk.

I want to use Macrium Reflect Free to create an image. Unfortunately it
does not work with dynamic disks.

My old laptop was Win XP Pro and I recently reloaded all of it and the
disk was not changed to dynamic so I could use Macrium Reflect.

So the questions are:
1) why would the manufacturer set it up as dynamic? Any good reason?

2) in my case, is there any real advantage to using dynamic?
Dynamic disk allows more than 4 volumes.
How many are there now?
programs, data, backup, restore, x number hidden, and ???
 
O

OldGuy

Dynamic disk allows more than 4 volumes.
How many are there now?
programs, data, backup, restore, x number hidden, and ???
I plan on (with 240GByte HDD)
Win 7 Pro 64 60GByte
Win XP Pro 60GByte
Data 60GByte
Win Image 60GByte

I need a dual boot setup and will use an external boot manager.

The laptop has an eSATA interface so I will have plenty of HDD storage
external if needed.
 
P

Paul in Houston TX

OldGuy said:
I plan on (with 240GByte HDD)
Win 7 Pro 64 60GByte
Win XP Pro 60GByte
Data 60GByte
Win Image 60GByte

I need a dual boot setup and will use an external boot manager.

The laptop has an eSATA interface so I will have plenty of HDD storage
external if needed.
This may help:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa363785(v=vs.85).aspx

I don't know why it came with a single dynamic disk.
Perhaps there are many hidden volumes.
Is it also ahci?
Or the mfg used dynamic to record to 1000 volumes at once.
You may want to consider changing 7-64 to 80g and xp to 40.
My 7-32 is used only for business and it uses 120g for
windows and all the business programs.
My xp is for fun. It uses about 20g for windows
and 500g for all the fun stuff.
Consider putting data on an extended partition in case
you want multiple drive letters someday.
 
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P

Paul

Wolf said:
Those hidden partitions are for repair and maintenance. If you make a
repair disk, you can probably get rid of those hidden partitions, but I
wouldn't do that, unless I knew exactly what I was getting rid of. FWIW,
when I installed Linux on an old laptop, everything was wiped.


I have no idea. Dynamic disk is a method of creating volumes larger
than a single HDD. If you have only one HDD, you don't need dynamic
disk. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_disk

I infer that Dynamic Disk is MS's version of a "proper" storage system:
physical drives, and logical volumes. Volumes don't need to match or be
located on specific physical drives. People have gotten used to using
"drive" and "partition" for both concepts, interchangeably, which can be
confusing.

I doubt it. But that isn't enough to persuade me to change the HDD
layout (which I surmise you're itching to do. ;-) ) You've got a
perfectly good working machine, the only customisation IMO would be
adding software that you want, and replacing anti-malware if indicated.

HTH
Dynamic Disk is "logical volume management" and an extra
layer in the storage stack. And totally unnecessary in
the OPs case.

The main disadvantage for end-users sitting at desktop
computers, is that not all disk tools deal with Dynamic
Disks properly. For example, if I boot a Linux LiveCD,
Linux doesn't know what a Windows Dynamic Disk is. I only
discovered this while testing, that I could not do maintenance on
a two-disk Dynamic Disk Span from Linux. Linux has its
own Logical Volume Management functions. So immediately,
I went back to Windows and deleted the stupid setup.

If you have good commercial tools for working with them,
then, it is not a problem.

With the Span function, I could take two 1TB disks, and
make a "logical disk" big enough to take a 2TB partition.
That's the kind of thing I was trying to do in my experiment.
I can't think of a good reason for the OPs laptop to need that.
All it's going to do, is create a headache during data
recovery.

Paul
 
P

Paul

OldGuy said:
My new laptop came with Win 7 64 bit installed.
I went into disk management to changes partitions.
I noticed that the factory install already had multiple partitions, some
hidden, and the 240Gbyte HDD was already a dynamic disk.

I want to use Macrium Reflect Free to create an image. Unfortunately it
does not work with dynamic disks.

My old laptop was Win XP Pro and I recently reloaded all of it and the
disk was not changed to dynamic so I could use Macrium Reflect.

So the questions are:
1) why would the manufacturer set it up as dynamic? Any good reason?

2) in my case, is there any real advantage to using dynamic?
Take a picture of your Disk Management window, and
post it. You can use www.imageshack.us as a site to
post images. Then, copy the URL from the biggest version
of the image you can manage, from that site. Clear your
cookie cache, before visiting the site to enter new
pictures. That way, you don't have to set up an
account with them.

When uploading the picture, select "Do Not Resize" from
the size menu, so that the picture is not distorted by
web site compression of your image.

Here's a picture I put up there a few minutes ago, as an
example. My link goes directly to the image file.

http://img685.imageshack.us/img685/9205/st500dm002burst.gif

*******

In this example, Disk Management is showing four physical
disks (or, what it's been fooled into thinking are
four physical disks). Space from the bottom two disks,
is shared to make logical volumes (Dynamic Disk). For example,
the letter "H:" is a 25GB volume, with 12.5GB stored on
each hard drive. The letter "G:" uses two identical
copies of the data, stored on each drive, and using
30GB on each drive. The user only sees a 30GB partition
in that case, even though a total of 60GB is used
by the mirror scheme. Each of the logical volume
management schemes has a purpose, but there are
also ways to do this at closer to a hardware
level (with Intel Matrix RAID driver for example).

http://www.extend-partition.com/img/help-me-choose/disk-management.gif

Once we have an initial picture of your laptop setup,
it might be easier to comment on what they've done.

You can also look in Device Manager, and see whether
there are additional storage devices in the laptop.
Look in the Disk section of Device Manager perhaps.
Some laptops have room for an MSATA drive, which plugs
into a slot on the motherboard. You may not necessarily
be aware of that.

You could also tell us the precise make and model of
laptop, so we can get more info on it.

Paul
 
O

OldGuy

So, if I create a full recovery backup of the C: drive (nothing on the
other partitions) then do a recovery from those disks, I can partition
(4 partitions) at that time and leave the HDD as non-Dynamic ?

I believe it will take 3 DVDs to do this recovery backup.

Questions is, can this type of full recovery using Win 7 to create it,
be done to and external drive? I have an eSATA port. That would be
faster.

Since I am starting with a dynamic disk, I cannot use the free Macrium
Reflect to generate an external 'image'.

Is there some other free image tool that will work with a dynamic disk?
 
P

Paul

OldGuy said:
So, if I create a full recovery backup of the C: drive (nothing on the
other partitions) then do a recovery from those disks, I can partition
(4 partitions) at that time and leave the HDD as non-Dynamic ?

I believe it will take 3 DVDs to do this recovery backup.

Questions is, can this type of full recovery using Win 7 to create it,
be done to and external drive? I have an eSATA port. That would be
faster.

Since I am starting with a dynamic disk, I cannot use the free Macrium
Reflect to generate an external 'image'.

Is there some other free image tool that will work with a dynamic disk?
While I'm working on a few things, could you give some details on the setup ?

1) How many backup disks do you have ? Are they big enough to hold
the whole laptop file contents ? or the whole laptop disk ?
What brand are the disks ? The brand helps, if downloading
software from Seagate or Western Digital.

2) How big is the laptop disk ? What brand is it ?

3) Do you have an alternate OS to run ? Like a Linux LiveCD ?
There is a way to do a backup from there, even if Linux
hasn't a clue what a dynamic disk is.

4) Are you familiar with burning boot CDs (converting ISO9660
file ending in .iso, into a boot CD) ? Do you have a tool
for doing that ?

I'm going to check the copy of Acronis on Seagate site in a
moment, to see if it has the backup option I need. I have
a Dynamic Disk set up for test, so I can feed it that as
a target. Note - this backup step is "Step 1", the "Safety Backup",
so that no matter which tool you use (like an Easeus product),
you'll have a fallback to recover to the initial undamaged state.

Paul
 
P

Paul

OK, checked the Seagate DiskWizard user manual, and it says:

"Seagate DiscWizard does not support dynamic discs."

So that means, certain file backup options would be missing.
If the disk had 320GB capacity and 40GB of files, a file-level
or VSS based backup would only take 40GB of space.

However, DiskWizard has a sector-by-sector mode. That means
a 320GB laptop drive, requires 320GB+ space on an external
hard drive for the backup.

http://www.seagate.com/support/discwizard/dw_ug.en.pdf

On page 89, it says:

As a rule, "as is" transfers not recommended as they leave
much unallocated space on the new disc. Using the "as is"
method, Seagate DiscWizard transfers unsupported and damaged
file systems.

And that's how you get a backup of the Dynamic Disk. If the
disk is 320GB, you need a larger disk to hold the results.
That would be your "safety copy" for the moment, while
you're experimenting.

This is an example of a DiscWizard download page, for Seagate
drives. At least one Seagate drive must be present to use it,
after it's installed. Western Digital has the same software
(the software is written by Acronis), where a Western Digital
disk must be present. It's a form of "free, branded" software,
similar to the Nero Lite that comes with optical drives and
only works with certain optical drives. [ You can go round-and-round
on this site. I hope these links work for you. No guarantees. ]
Since I have a Seagate disk, I'll be using this in a few
moments, to test how well it works. At least the backup step.

http://www.seagate.com/files/www-content/support-content/downloads/discwizard/_shared/docs/dw_ug.en.14382.pdf

http://www.seagate.com/files/staticfiles/support/downloads/discwizard/DiscWizardSetup-14387.en.exe

DiscWizard is 144MB. It's downloading now.

Paul
 
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Paul

Paul said:
OK, checked the Seagate DiskWizard user manual, and it says:

"Seagate DiscWizard does not support dynamic discs."

So that means, certain file backup options would be missing.
If the disk had 320GB capacity and 40GB of files, a file-level
or VSS based backup would only take 40GB of space.

However, DiskWizard has a sector-by-sector mode. That means
a 320GB laptop drive, requires 320GB+ space on an external
hard drive for the backup.

http://www.seagate.com/support/discwizard/dw_ug.en.pdf

On page 89, it says:

As a rule, "as is" transfers not recommended as they leave
much unallocated space on the new disc. Using the "as is"
method, Seagate DiscWizard transfers unsupported and damaged
file systems.

And that's how you get a backup of the Dynamic Disk. If the
disk is 320GB, you need a larger disk to hold the results.
That would be your "safety copy" for the moment, while
you're experimenting.

This is an example of a DiscWizard download page, for Seagate
drives. At least one Seagate drive must be present to use it,
after it's installed. Western Digital has the same software
(the software is written by Acronis), where a Western Digital
disk must be present. It's a form of "free, branded" software,
similar to the Nero Lite that comes with optical drives and
only works with certain optical drives. [ You can go round-and-round
on this site. I hope these links work for you. No guarantees. ]
Since I have a Seagate disk, I'll be using this in a few
moments, to test how well it works. At least the backup step.

http://www.seagate.com/files/www-content/support-content/downloads/discwizard/_shared/docs/dw_ug.en.14382.pdf


http://www.seagate.com/files/staticfiles/support/downloads/discwizard/DiscWizardSetup-14387.en.exe


DiscWizard is 144MB. It's downloading now.

Paul
OK, I've tried the Seagate and WD version of the Acronis
TIH software, and neither will touch the Dynamic Disk.
Humbug.

My "dd" method will work. Requires a Linux LiveCD, and
some knowledge of command line. Sounds about as exciting
as watching paint dry.

I'm kinda curious now, whether the only class of
software interested in Dynamic Disk, is server style
software.

Paul
 
B

BeeJ

While I'm working on a few things, could you give some details on the setup ?
1) How many backup disks do you have ? Are they big enough to hold
the whole laptop file contents ? or the whole laptop disk ?
What brand are the disks ? The brand helps, if downloading
software from Seagate or Western Digital.
Backup disks:
a) DVD-DL written with interior drive interior to laptop
b) eSATA drive. waiting to decide before I buy
c) USB drive. 1T WD, 500GB Seagate
d) can purchase whatever I need if I currently do not have
2) How big is the laptop disk ? What brand is it ?
a) Samsung P580 laptop with 320GByte
3) Do you have an alternate OS to run ? Like a Linux LiveCD ?
There is a way to do a backup from there, even if Linux
hasn't a clue what a dynamic disk is.
a) Win XP Pro not installed yet
 
E

Ed Cryer

Paul said:
Paul said:
Paul said:
OldGuy wrote:
So, if I create a full recovery backup of the C: drive (nothing on
the other partitions) then do a recovery from those disks, I can
partition (4 partitions) at that time and leave the HDD as
non-Dynamic ?

I believe it will take 3 DVDs to do this recovery backup.

Questions is, can this type of full recovery using Win 7 to create
it, be done to and external drive? I have an eSATA port. That
would be faster.

Since I am starting with a dynamic disk, I cannot use the free
Macrium Reflect to generate an external 'image'.

Is there some other free image tool that will work with a dynamic disk?
OK, checked the Seagate DiskWizard user manual, and it says:

"Seagate DiscWizard does not support dynamic discs."

So that means, certain file backup options would be missing.
If the disk had 320GB capacity and 40GB of files, a file-level
or VSS based backup would only take 40GB of space.

However, DiskWizard has a sector-by-sector mode. That means
a 320GB laptop drive, requires 320GB+ space on an external
hard drive for the backup.

http://www.seagate.com/support/discwizard/dw_ug.en.pdf

On page 89, it says:

As a rule, "as is" transfers not recommended as they leave
much unallocated space on the new disc. Using the "as is"
method, Seagate DiscWizard transfers unsupported and damaged
file systems.

And that's how you get a backup of the Dynamic Disk. If the
disk is 320GB, you need a larger disk to hold the results.
That would be your "safety copy" for the moment, while
you're experimenting.

This is an example of a DiscWizard download page, for Seagate
drives. At least one Seagate drive must be present to use it,
after it's installed. Western Digital has the same software
(the software is written by Acronis), where a Western Digital
disk must be present. It's a form of "free, branded" software,
similar to the Nero Lite that comes with optical drives and
only works with certain optical drives. [ You can go round-and-round
on this site. I hope these links work for you. No guarantees. ]
Since I have a Seagate disk, I'll be using this in a few
moments, to test how well it works. At least the backup step.

http://www.seagate.com/files/www-content/support-content/downloads/discwizard/_shared/docs/dw_ug.en.14382.pdf


http://www.seagate.com/files/staticfiles/support/downloads/discwizard/DiscWizardSetup-14387.en.exe


DiscWizard is 144MB. It's downloading now.

Paul
OK, I've tried the Seagate and WD version of the Acronis
TIH software, and neither will touch the Dynamic Disk.
Humbug.

My "dd" method will work. Requires a Linux LiveCD, and
some knowledge of command line. Sounds about as exciting
as watching paint dry.

I'm kinda curious now, whether the only class of
software interested in Dynamic Disk, is server style
software.

Paul
EaseUS Partition Master worked for me. Didn't loose a byte in the process;
http://tinyurl.com/3gmmanr

Ed
 
P

Paul

BeeJ said:
Backup disks:
a) DVD-DL written with interior drive interior to laptop
b) eSATA drive. waiting to decide before I buy
c) USB drive. 1T WD, 500GB Seagate
d) can purchase whatever I need if I currently do not have
a) Samsung P580 laptop with 320GByte

a) Win XP Pro not installed yet
OK, to avoid doing it from Linux, I had another think about
it, and perhaps if you boot the Windows 7 recovery CD, you can
run "dd" program from there. I use version dd-0.5 here, for
the things I do. I haven't tried a later version yet.

http://www.chrysocome.net/dd

The recovery CD is something you can burn from the System Image
menu. It is the "Create a system repair disc" option.

When you boot with that "system repair disc", there is a
"Command Prompt" option. You get a MSDOS style black window
with command prompt in there.

http://www.123seminarsonly.com/Tips/004/Windows-7-System-Recovery-Options-System-Image-Recovery_sisimgRes1.jpg

This is the command prompt window you get, while running the
rescue CD as your boot CD. This is what appears after you
select "Command Prompt" in the previous link.

http://itexpertvoice.com/files/2009/12/WinRE-06.png

The prompt is "X:", meaning the OS has booted as the drive
letter X: and stuff in X: is the contents of the CD. So
X: is the temporary OS partition in this environment.

You would put the copy of "dd.exe" on some other disk you
know will be accessible. Say the dd.exe executable was
on drive letter "T:".

You'd type "T:" to get it to CD to T:. And run "dd" from
there.

You use this first. It lists all the disks, in the internal
syntax the OS uses. For example, I have three disks right
now on the computer. They're listed in the same order as
Disk Management would see them.

dd --list

Selecting some lines from there, the disks are numbered in the
same order as in Disk Management. Of course in command prompt,
you can't see that info, as there isn't a GUI to work with. The
fact a size is listed, means "dd" has enough access rights
at the moment, to make a copy. If a size is not listed,
then there is a problem with getting to the partition.
The notation "Partition0", means the ability to access the
disk starting at sector 0. A reference such as "Partition1"
is the first defined partition on the disk, and is a fraction
of the disk contents. When backing up an entire disk, we'll
be using Partition0 notation.

\\?\Device\Harddisk0\Partition0
link to \\?\Device\Harddisk0=DR0
Fixed hard disk media. Block size = 512
size is 500107862016

\\?\Device\Harddisk1\Partition0
\\?\Device\Harddisk2\Partition0

In order to do a backup in this case, I need a destination
disk (external), that holds at least 500,107,862,016 bytes or
in rough round numbers, 500GB. The disk should be a touch
larger, in that I would want to copy the file to an NTFS
partition on another disk. For me here, that means connecting
up a 1TB disk, so there is room for the 500GB file. On the
1TB disk, I would create a single partition of type NTFS.
I would create an empty text file with the name
"I_am_your_backup_disk.txt", so that later, in the Command
Prompt, you can verify which disk you're looking at.

So later, in the Command Prompt, I might try

dir E:

and then I might see a single file

I_am_your_backup_disk.txt (size 0)

That way, I then know my destination for the backup, is
drive letter E:.

So now I'm ready to issue a command to back up the disk.
Now, some arithmetic will be required.

The number 500,107,862,016 is factorable. I actually have
a program off the Internet, which does the factoring for
me, so I'm cheating. In any case, the disk size should be
divisible by 63. (That's in honor of the decades old CHS
definition of disk capacity.) In addition, the disk size
should be divisible by some power of two. In the case
of 500,107,862,016, my factor.exe program shows me this
as the factors of that number.

2000398934016: 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 7 269 1601

So 2**13 or 8192 is also a factor. I can take 8192*3*3*3
as a decent sized block for transferring purposes, and
8192*3*3*3 = 221184 bytes. Dividing 500,107,862,016 by
some 221184 byte blocks, gives a total of 2261049 blocks
of data of that size. The block size should be a multiple
of a sector, which is 512 bytes. 221184 bytes is 432 sectors.

So now, in the command prompt, I'm ready to back up the disk.
I know the drive letter E: is my NTFS destination volume,
with room for a 500GB file. I know how many blocks to transfer
from the source disk. And using "dd --list", I got the name
of the source disk as \\?\Device\Harddisk0\Partition0. The
size is a cue I use, to determine I've got the right disk.
There can be an ambiguity problem, if I own two or more
disks of the same size. But we'll ignore that for now. Your
laptop has a 320GB internal disk, and the external backup
disk is likely a lot larger.

This is the command I issue in command prompt. This copies
raw sectors from Harddisk0, into a 500GB file E:\backup.dd .

dd if=\\?\Device\Harddisk0\Partition0 of=E:\backup.dd bs=221184 count=2261049

That should transfer data at a rate of 30MB/sec to a USB2
external disk drive. If you attempt to transfer without
size parameters, like this, the speed drops to around
13MB/sec, because much smaller transfer blocks are used.

dd if=\\?\Device\Harddisk0\Partition0 of=E:\backup.dd

The other purpose of using "block size" and "count" parameters,
is when you need to transfer an exact amount of data. When
restoring just a portion of the disk for example, you might
need to do that, to prevent overwriting something. It's
good to get in the habit of providing the bs and count parameters.

*******

Now, it's later. You made a mistake and your laptop drive is empty.
You boot the Windows 7 repair disc CD, enter the command prompt
again, and verify the backup file is available.

dir E:

And it lists

I_am_your_backup_disk.txt (size 0)
backup.dd (size 500,107,862,016)

So, we're ready to do the restoration. I check using "dd --list"
that everything is the same as before. I then craft my
restore command as

dd if=E:\backup.dd of=\\?\Device\Harddisk0\Partition0 bs=221184 count=2261049

and my laptop disk now gets loaded from the external backup.dd file.

The command puts out completion information when it finishes, like

2261049+0 records in
2261049+0 records out

and that confirms an equal number and the right number of
"blocks" was transferred from backup.dd to Harddisk0.

If the command completes successfully, you can "exit" the
command prompt, and reboot without the CD in the drive.

Anyway, that's a sector-by-sector backup operation. And
done using the repair CD your laptop can burn for you.
That gives you a command prompt to work from, when the
laptop drive is otherwise empty or damaged.

Your 320GB hard drive will be a different size than
my 500GB example, so the arithmetic will be different
than mine. But there's a good chance 221184 might fit
as a useful transfer size. If you don't have a copy of
"factor.exe", you can try dividing that in first and
see if it's a factor of the entire disk size. Use the
calculator application to work out the numbers.

The reason I use this method, is I've proved to myself
it works. And, the method is independent of the disk
type, the partitions on it, and so on. Even if there
was FreeBSD on the source disk, I could still back it
up. And have a way to recover and put things back,
if I make a mistake in some experiment.

So that's "Step 1", the "make a good backup" step.

Step 2, changing from Dynamic to Basic, can be done
with one of those free programs off the Internet. If
it goes wrong (and it could), you'll have your
"backup.dd" to fall back on. And since it is an
exact copy, we don't have to worry about Acronis
or Macrium refusing to do Dynamic Disk backups.
The dd.exe, just doesn't care what's on there. All
it does, is "copy bytes".

HTH,
Paul
 
P

Paul in Houston TX

OldGuy said:
So, if I create a full recovery backup of the C: drive (nothing on the
other partitions) then do a recovery from those disks, I can partition
(4 partitions) at that time and leave the HDD as non-Dynamic ?

I believe it will take 3 DVDs to do this recovery backup.

Questions is, can this type of full recovery using Win 7 to create it,
be done to and external drive? I have an eSATA port. That would be
faster.

Since I am starting with a dynamic disk, I cannot use the free Macrium
Reflect to generate an external 'image'.

Is there some other free image tool that will work with a dynamic disk?
Your 7 volume is probably AHCI.
I don't know how that will affect dual booting to XP,
which defaults to IDE without ahci drivers.
 
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P

Paul

Paul said:
dd if=\\?\Device\Harddisk0\Partition0 of=E:\backup.dd
I had more of a chance, to test this in the Recovery Console
environment. These are the results.

1) Download dd.exe from the Internet.

2) Boot Win7 SP1 x64 (64 bit) installer DVD, which doubles as
a recovery console disc. Use Command Prompt.

D:
cd downloads
cd dd-0.5
dd --list

That returns

"The subsystem needed to support the image type is not present"

exit
(reboot)

3) Boot Win7 SP1 x86 (32 bit) installer DVD, which doubles as
a recovery console disc. Use Command Prompt.

D:
cd downloads
cd dd-0.5
dd --list

A popup error dialog appears on the screen. It says:

"The program can't start because WOW32.dll is missing from your
computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem."

OK, quit. Type "exit". (reboot, back into regular Windows).

4) Navigate to C:\windows\sysWOW64 and find a WOW32.dll file.
5,120 bytes. A tiny file. I copy that into the dd-0.5 folder
that contains "dd.exe" file.

Repeat step 3. Now "dd --list" command works. I was able
to copy one sector from my new disk, into a backup folder
on another disk.

The result is messy. If you're on an Acer 64 bit laptop install,
it's going to burn a 64 bit recovery CD. If you go to the internet,
and download Win7 SP1 x86 (32 bit) ISO image at 2.5GB or so, and
burn that to a DVD, boot that, that gives a 32 bit environment.
The combination of "dd.exe" plus wow32.dll seems to work with that.

This is one reason why I download both 32 bit and 64 bit images
from the Internet, when they're available. Stupid stuff.

For me, I got a working environment, using X17-24208.iso from
the Internet. 2,563,039,232 bytes.

*******

My guess is, some aspect of dd.exe is 16 bit. If I check the
file type, it's "PE32", implying it is compiled as a 32 bit
program. Perhaps some library it uses is 16 bit. I can't figure
out exactly what is amiss, but the symptoms suggest a 16 bit
program that will only run in a 32 bit environment, and only
when wow32 is present.

Paul
 

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