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Two Ways to Convert Basic Disk to Dynamic Disk without Data Loss

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    About Basic Disk and Dynamic Disk


    Are you familiar with basic disk and dynamic disk?

    Generally speaking, basic disk and dynamic disk are 2 types of hard disks. Basic disk uses a partition table to manage all basic partitions on the hard disk, and it is used by the Microsoft MS-DOS operating system and all Windows operating system versions. However, dynamic disk is supported in Windows 2000 and the later operating systems. Besides, dynamic disk doesn’t use a partition table to track all dynamic volumes. Instead, it uses a hidden database - Logical Disk Manager - to track information about dynamic volumes on the hard disk.

    Tip: Windows XP doesn’t support mirrored volume and RAID-5 volume.


    In addition, you can read this post: What Are Basic and Dynamic Disks? Features for Dynamic/Basic Disks to learn more about them.

    Compared with basic disk, dynamic disk provides features that basic disk doesn’t have, such as the ability to create volumes that span multiple disks (spanned and striped volumes) and the ability to create fault-tolerant volumes (mirrored and RAID-5 volumes). Sometimes, you may want to convert basic disk to dynamic disk to enjoy these features. So the next section will introduce two dynamic disk converters to achieve this aim.

    How to Convert Basic Disk to Dynamic Disk


    Dynamic disks and dynamic volumes rely on the Logical Disk Manager (LDM), Virtual Disk Service (VDS) and their associated features. And it is these features that enable you to convert basic disk to dynamic disk without data loss by using the Windows snap-in Disk Management and diskpart command line.

    Way 1: Convert Basic Disk to Dynamic Disk with Disk Management


    Step 1. You should enter the Disk Management by clicking My Computer > Management > Disk Management.

    Step 2. Right click the target basic disk, and select "Convert to Dynamic Disk" from the pop out window. Then do as the wizard tells you to do.

    convert to dynamic disk dm

    At the end of the operation, you will receive two kinds of warnings accordingly.

    Warining 1: If the target basic disk just contains data partition, you will get a warning as following.

    warning 1

    Warining 2: If the target basic disk containa a system partition, you will get a warning as following.

    warning 2

    Both these two warnings tell you that you are unable to start installed operating systems from any volume on this disk except the current boot one. So the basic disk is not recommended to be converted to dynamic disk if you are planning to run dual or multi Windows well.

    Please notice that you are unable to install Windows on dynamic disk. To solve this problem, you can learn from this post: Is It Possible to Install Windows 7 on Dynamic Disk? to get the solutions.

    Or perhaps, you can even encounter this error:

    error

    For more detailed explanation, you can visit part 4 of this post: Solved - There Is Not Enough Space Available on the Disk(s) to Complete This Operation.

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    Way 2: Convert Basic Disk to Dynamic Disk with Diskpart


    Take disk 1 on Windows 10 as an example.

    Step 1. Right click the Windows icon and select "Command Prompt (Admin)" to enter the Command Prompt interface. Then type "diskpart" on the interface and press "Enter" then.

    Step 2. Input "list disk", "select disk 1" and "convert dynamic" successively and press "Enter" after inputting every command line. At last, this interface will show you that "Diskpart successfully converted the selected disk to dynamic format."

    diskpart

    Unlike Disk Management, this way will not show you the warnings. But the related dynamic disk issues may also exist. Don’t forget the solutions mentioned in the posts which are listed in way 1.

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    Added Content: Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk


    Convert to Basic Disk with Disk Management or Diskpart


    Both Disk Management and Diskpart can convert basic disk to dynamic disk without data loss. However the reverse conversion will cause data loss if you are still using these two snap-in dynamic disk converters because you have to delete all volumes on the target dynamic disk first. For Windows XP and the earlier versions, you still need to select the target dynamic disk and choose "Convert to Basic Disk" manually. While, in the later Windows versions, the dynamic disk will be converted to basic disk automatically once you delete all volumes on it.

    Convert to Basic Disk without Data Loss with MiniTool Partition Wizard


    Anyhow, data loss is a big trouble. But a third party partition manager can achieve converting dynamic disk to basic disk without data loss. MiniTool Partition Wizard is a good choice.

    MiniTool Partition Wizard a professional partition program which is designed to partition and repartition hard disks, as well make some powerful conversions including Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk, and more.

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    Since the Free Edition doesn’t support to manage dynamic disks, you should choose the Professional Edition or advanced editions to operate.

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    Summary


    The inter-conversions between basic disk and dynamic disk can have no data loss as long as you select a right tool. All in all, you can convert basic disk to dynamic disk without data loss with Windows snap-in Disk Management or diskpart. And then you are able to convert dynamic disk to basic disk with all data are kept well by using MiniTool Partition Wizard if it is necessary.

    Next time, when you have these issues, just try these tools.