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convert dynamic disk to basic

Usually, to convert a dynamic disk to basic disk, you have to delete all dynamic volumes in Windows first unless you turn to a third-party software for help. Here MiniTool Partition Wizard is such a prefessional dynamci disk converter that can help you convert dynamci disk to basic without data loss.

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"Running windows 10, due to some personal reasons want to change my dynamic disk to a basic disk. But the option for the same is grayed out in Disk Management. If anyone posts a guide to accomplish the same I would be really grateful!"

While doing hard drive maintenance, some of you may find your hard disk became dynamic in Windows Disk Management utility. Or you may regret of converting a basic disk to dynamic disk. Anyhow, now you want to convert a dynamic disk to a basic disk, what should you do?

Normally, there are 3 ways to convert disk from dynamic to basic disk. By reading this post, I guess you can find the best one for you.

Way 1: Using MiniTool Partition Wizard

If you want a straight forward and safe way, I guess you will be glad to know MiniTool Partition Wizard – the most popular disk management utility. Why is it popular? Well, this partition manager is able to deal with all kinds of dynamic disk issues, such as move/resize volume, copy volume, check file system, change volume cluster size, convert dynamic disk to basic, etc. As the best dynamic disk converter, MiniTool Partition Wizard offers 2 choices to convert dynamic disks to basic disks.

Want to know the best part? Just move on!

First Choice: Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk

Note:
  1. MiniTool Partition Wizard can only convert dynamic disk containing simple volumes and mirrored volumes to basic disk. If you have other types of volumes on the dynamic disk, you may head down to read Way 2 and Way 3.
  2. Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk works for both the OS disk and data disk, and is a paid feature in MiniTool Partition Wizard. Hence, you need to pay for a license to activate it. However, you can also download the Trial edition to have an experience first.

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Let's have a look at how it performs when it comes to converting dynamic disk to basic disk.

Step 1. Install and launch this dynamic disk converter. It is easy for you to find the dynamic disk you want to convert.

Step 2. Select the dynamic disk you need to convert, and then choose Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic from the action panel. Or you can right click the dynamic disk and choose Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk from the pop-up menu.

choose the dynamic disk to covert and select Convert Dynamic to Basic

Step 3. Immediately you can see what this dynamic disk will become. In my example, disk 2 becomes basic disk and all simple volumes on it are turned into primary partitions. But this is just a preview. Finally, click Apply to start the conversion.

click Apply

Step 4. MiniTool Partition Wizard is likely to ask you to close all other applications. Please do as your are told to let it finish.

close all other applications

Tip: MiniTool Partition Wizard requires a reboot to finish the conversion if you are dealing with a system disk.

"Hey! I just used MiniTool Partition Wizard to convert dynamic disk to basic in Windows 10. All goes well, and the OS is running. Guess you can have a try."Click to tweet

You may also like: How Can I Convert Simple Volumes to Primary Partitions Easily?

Second Choice: Copy Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk

Another suggestion is to use the Copy Disk feature. In short, this feature is very powerful, because it not only clones basic disks (such as clone HDD to SSD) but also copies dynamic disks. Please note that when it copies dynamic disk, the target disk turns into basic disk. Hence, you can use this feature to convert disk from dynamic to basic.

Note: When it comes to dynamic disk, Copy Disk only works with non-system disk. And, this is also a paid feature.

Please follow the step-by-step guide below:

Step 1. Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard and select Copy Disk Wizard from the menu bar.

choose Copy Disk Wizard

Step 2. Skip the welcome page by clicking Next.

skip the welcome page

Step 3. Here you need to select the source disk. Just choose the dynamic disk you want to copy and click Next.

select dynamic disk as source disk

Step 4. Now choose the target disk and confirm your choice. Note that all data on the target disk will be destroyed. Hence make sure it is ready for the copy. Otherwise, make a backup immediately.

choose the target disk

Step 5. At the Review page, you can edit the partition size before you click Next. (Please note that "Copy partitions without resize" is not available while copying a dynamic disk.)

edit partitions on the target disk

Step 6. Ignore the "how to boot" information (since you are copying non-system disk) and click Finish.

click Finish

Step 7. See! The target disk will have a copy of the volumes on the dynamic disk. Finally, click Apply to start the cloning. All will be finished quickly.

hit Apply button

"Hey! Want to convert disk from dynamic to basic? Maybe you can copy dynamic disk to basic disk, another way to address your issue."Click to tweet

Way 2: Using the Windows Interface

The second way to convert disk from dynamic to basic is to use Disk Management utility, which can be accessed by running "diskmgmt.msc" at Start menu.

Note: This way requires deleting all the volumes, for Convert to Basic Disk feature is invalid before the deletion. Microsoft explains that to change a dynamic disk back to a basic disk using the Windows interface, "the disk must not have any volumes nor contain any data before you can change it back to a basic disk. If you want to keep your data, back it up or move it to another volume before you convert the disk to a basic disk."

Convert to Basic Disk feature is invalid

Step 1. Right click a volume on the dynamic disk and choose Delete Volume.

delete a dynamic volume

Step 2. On the new window, confirm that you want to delete the simple volume.

confirm deletion

Step 3. The dynamic disk will turn into basic disk automatically if you are converting dynamic disk to basic disk on Windows 10. (For the older operating systems, right click the dynamic disk and choose Convert to Basic Disk which is now available.)

dynamic disk has become basic disk when all volumes get deleted

All is done! Now create partitions on the unallocated space, and then save the backup files to the new partitions.

Way 3: Using a Command Line

The third dynamic to basic disk converter I can offer is the command line, which is preferred by numerous of Windows users.

Note: To change a dynamic disk back to a basic disk using a command line, back up all volumes on the disk you want to convert from dynamic to basic.

Step 1. Open a command prompt and type diskpart and press Enter.

Step 2. At the DISKPART prompt, type list disk and press Enter. Make note of the disk number you want to convert to basic.

Step 3. At the DISKPART prompt, type select disk <disk number> and press Enter.

Step 4. At the DISKPART prompt, type detail disk and press Enter.

Step 5. At the DISKPART prompt, type select volume <volume number> and execute by pressing Enter. Then type delete volume and hit Enter. Make sure you have deleted all volumes on the disk.

Step 6. At the DISKPART prompt, type select disk <disk number> (should be the one you want to convert to a basic disk) and press Enter. 

Step 7. At the DISKPART prompt, type convert basic  and hit Enter.

Step 8. At the DISKPART prompt, type exit  and press Enter.

Step 9. At the command prompt, type exit and press Enter.

See the following pictures to get a better understanding:

detail disk in diskpart

convert basic in diskpart

By comparison, I think you know the advantages of using MiniTool Partition Wizard, which does dynamic disk conversion in the real sense. Guess you can make the right choice to change dynamic disk to basic disk.

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For Your Info: Dynamic Disk VS. Basic Disk

Knowing how to convert a dynamic disk to basic disk, I want to share the key information about Dynamic Disk VS. Basic Disk with you. Hopefully, the information can help you make out whether you need to change dynamic disk to basic disk.

1. About Basic Disk

In short, basic disks and dynamic disks are two storage types in Windows. Today basic disk is the commonly used storage type, which is supported by DOS and all Windows versions. When you install Windows on a hard drive, it would be initialized to a basic one by default. Basic disk uses a partition table to manage all partitions on the disk, and contains basic volumes, such as primary partitions, extended partition, and all logical partitions are contained in extended partition.

2. About Dynamic Disk

Dynamic disk is a separate form of volume management that allows volumes to have noncontiguous extents on one or more physical disks. Dynamic disk is supported in Windows 2000 and later operating systems. Unlike basic disk, dynamic disk uses a hidden database (LDM) to track information about dynamic volumes or dynamic partitions on the disk. Dynamic disks provide features that basic disks do not, 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).

3. Their Differences
  • Supported OS: Basic disk is supported by MS-DOS and all Windows like Win95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003/2008/2011/2012/XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10. Dynamic Disk is supported by Win2000 and the later versions but isn't supported by MSDOS, Win95/98/Me/NT and Windows XP Home Edition.
  • Supported Volumes: On a basic MBR disk, all volumes you create are called partitions. You can create at most 4 primary partition, or 3 primary partitions plus 1 extended partition which can be further divided into multiple logical partitions. On a dynamic disk, all volumes you create are called dynamic volumes. With multiple dynamic disks, you can create an unlimited number of volumes which can be simple volume, spanned volume, striped volume, mirrored volume and RAID-5 volume.
  • Extend Volume: A dynamic volume can be composed of a set of noncontiguous extents on one or multiple physical disks. By contrast, a volume on a basic disk consists of one set of contiguous extents on a single disk. This means you can add more disk space to existing primary partitions and logical drives, provided that there is adjacent, contiguous unallocated space (for primary partition) or free space (for logical partition) followed on the same disk. But you don't need to care about the location of the unallocated space when you extend dynamic volume.
  • Mutual Conversion: Basic disk can be easily converted to dynamic disk without restarting and losing data. However, to convert a dynamic disk to basic disk, all volumes on the dynamic disk need to be deleted, unless you use third-party tools like MiniTool Partition Wizard to help you.

You may also like: How to Create More Partitions on a MBR Disk without Data Loss?

4. Their Similarities
  • Supported File Systems: Both basic disk and dynamic disk support FAT, FAT32, and NTFS file systems. To convert FAT to NTFS, use "convert d: /fs:ntfs" in command line without losing data. To convert NTFS to FAT32, you need to format the partition (volume) with FAT32 file system, or you can use MiniTool Partition Wizard to help you without formatting.
  • Label and Drive Letter: On both basic disk and dynamic disk, you can set volume label and assign a drive letter to each partition (volume).
  • Resize Volume: Both basic disks and dynamic disks, you can extend and shrink both basic partitions and dynamic volumes on the condition that you are running Windows Vista/2008 and the later versions. Tip: to move a partition/volume location, you may need the help of MiniTool Partition Wizard.

You may also like: Here Is the Free Software to Convert NTFS to FAT32

Summary

Above are the 3 ways that can convert dynamic disk to basic disk. Hope you can benefit something from this article. If you have any questions on the subject of using MiniTool Partition Wizard to change dynamic disk to basic disk, let us know by typing your questions in the comment section below. Or you can contact our support team via [email protected]. All ideas are welcome.

Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic FAQ

Can you convert a dynamic disk to basic without losing data?
Windows requires deleting all volumes on the dynamic disk before converting it to basic disk. However, with professional dynamic disk converter MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro, you should have no problem converting dynamic disk to basic without data loss.
What is the difference between dynamic disk and basic disk?
A basic disk uses normal partition table while a dynamic disk does not contain partition table or logical drives. A basic disk can create on MBR and GPT partitions while a dynamic disk can create simple/mirrored/spanned/striped/RAID5 volumes. Partition extending should be made inside the same basic disk but for dynamic disks, more disks can be combined to create a bigger volume.
What does it mean to convert to dynamic disk?
If a system disk is converted to dynamic disk, Windows will only be able to boot from the current system volume. If a data drive is converted to dynamic disk, you will be able to extend dynamic volume using free space from other dynamic disks.
What is simple volume in dynamic disk?
Simple volumes are dynamic-disk equivalent of the primary partitions and logical partitions found on basic disks. Simple volumes act like partitions but can be extended by using free space from another dynamic disks.
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