Recover Files From Dynamic Disk In Windows, The Definitive Guide
Chapter 1: Problem – Partition Is Lost from Dynamic Disk
At present, dynamic disk is widely used on personal computers and servers. It provides many features that a basic disk can't provide, such as the ability to span multiple disks and fault tolerance. In other words, dynamic disk offers better management flexibility, breaking the conventional storage limitations. No wonder there are so many people prefer dynamic disk to basic disk.
While using or managing volumes on the computer, you can't be too careful. Even though, mistaken deletion problems still occur frequently. When people realize it's a huge mistake, they'll be eager to know whether it's possible to recover files/partition from dynamic disk; is that right?
Therefore, we'd like to provide solutions to help people recover files from dynamic disk in Windows completely in the next chapter.
What Happens When You Delete Volume in Disk Management
You may plan to show properties of a volume or extend a volume by right clicking on it, but you mistakenly choose "Delete Volume" option and then press "Yes" button in the delete volume window. Oops, that volume turns into unallocated space immediately and all files are gone with it.
Let's take a look at this concrete example:
"I accidentally deleted the volume D from my dynamic disk0 and it now shows as unallocated space. Is there any way to revert that?"– asked by papoos on SevenForums
After deleting a volume from dynamic disk, the corresponding disk space will be released immediately (become unallocated). In order to ensure the integrity of data, we strongly recommend that you drop everything you're doing on the computer (it's better to shut down the computer and restart it to do what we tell you to do in the following content).
Chapter 2: How Do You Recover Files from Dynamic Disk in Windows
Just like many other users we saw before, we bet you are determined to finish dynamic disk partition recovery whatever it takes (unless the partition/file in it is not useful at all). Thus, we advise you to follow the ultimate guide given below carefully to recover deleted partitions and files.
Recover Deleted Partition on Dynamic Disk with MiniTool Partition Wizard
Step 1: You should choose a reliable partition recovery program like MiniTool Partition Wizard; get a Professional License for it and then install the program properly to another drive on computer.
Why don't use the free edition of MiniTool Partition Wizard directly? There're 2 reasons to explain:
a). Dynamic disk operations are not supported by free edition.
b). You are not allowed to use "Partition Recovery" in a free edition even if you're running a basic disk. (That is to say, "Partition Recovery" is only available in paid editions)
Step 2: You can't recover dynamic disk partition directly; on the contrary, you need to change the dynamic disk to basic firstly since "Partition Recovery" in MiniTool Partition Wizard only applies for the basic disk. There are the things people should do when they ask "how can I convert dynamic disk to basic disk".
- Right click on the correct dynamic disk in Disk Map area and choose "Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk" from the pop-up menu.
- Click on "Apply" button from upper left corner and choose "Yes" from the pop-up "Apply Changes" window.
- Click on "Restart Now" bottom to continue when you see a "Notice" window saying that the selected disk is being used now. Then, the computer will be shut down; MiniTool Partition Wizard will finish the rest operations and restart computer automatically.
1. You can't use "Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic" function to convert a dynamic disk containing other types of volumes except for simple volume and mirrored volume.
2. If you have deleted all partitions on a non-system dynamic disk, the disk will turn into basic disk automatically; in this case, you can skip step 3.
3. If you need to recover deleted partition(s) from existing dynamic disk with system installed on it, we advise you to use the MiniTool Partition Wizard Bootable Edition, which is embedded in a paid edition, to do the disk conversion safer.
Step 3: Select the basic disk that has been converted from dynamic disk just now. Then, choose "Partition Recovery" to recover files from the dynamic disk volumes by following ways:
- Navigate to it under "Check Disk" in the left action panel.
- Choose it from right click menu of the disk.
- Choose "Disk" from the menu bar and choose it from the submenu.
Step 4: Set a scanning range for the specified disk from "Full Disk", "Unallocated Space" and "Specified Range". Then, click on the "Next" button at the bottom of this interface to move on to the next step.
Step 5: Set a suitable scanning method for the specified scanning range as suggested by the prompt in the following interface. Also, you ought to click on the "Next" button at the bottom to confirm your selection.
Step 6: Now, you should wait patiently for the completion of the full scan. When the scanning progress bar goes to 100%, the scan result will be listed automatically.
Step 7: Please choose all needed partitions (both existing and lost) by adding a checkmark in front of the partition. Then, click on "Finish" button in the lower right corner to confirm your selection.
When you check a partition to recover, another partition (or other partitions) may become "overlapped". This means that the selected partition and the partition shows overlapped share one or more common parts. At this time, you should make your choice and choose the partition with a higher matching degree.
Step 8: You'll go back to the main interface of MiniTool Partition Wizard after clicking on "Finish" button. Now, you can see the preview effect of partition recovery. If you're satisfied with it, please click on "Apply" in the upper left corner to carry out pending operations and then choose "Yes" from the pop-up window. When all those operations are finished, a Successful window will appear to inform you that you succeed in recovering lost partition.
Step 9: In the last step, you should right-click on the target partition and choose "Change Letter" to assign a new drive letter to the recovered partition so as to make it appear in Windows Explorer.
This is the entire process to recover dynamic disk partition. Till now, you can go back to Windows Explorer to check whether the lost partition and files in it are recovered completely or not.
Recover File from Dynamic Disk with MiniTool Power Data Recovery
If there are still some files lost in the recovered partition, you may as well turn to MiniTool Power Data Recovery.
Step 1: download and install the free edition of MiniTool Power Data Recovery; please remember you can't do this on the recovered lost partition in order to avoid secondary damage.
Step 2: run the software and click on "Damaged Partition Recovery" to enter the following interface. Here, you should select the recovered partition with lost files and press "Full Scan" button in the lower right corner to start to scan the disk space thoroughly.
Step 3: Now, you need to wait for a period of time until the scanning progress bar goes to 100%. At the end of the scan, the interface with a few possible partitions will be listed in front of you. Please look through the found files and check what you need. After that, press "Save" button and choose a safe location to store the files.
1. If the total size of files you have selected to recover is more than 1GB, you can't recover them with the free edition of MiniTool Power Data Recovery; you need to buy a license for it.
2. If you don't care about the deleted volume itself on a dynamic disk, you should choose MiniTool Power Data Recovery to start Windows dynamic disk file recovery directly (which can better ensure the data integrity). You can also choose to buy a paid edition directly or try the free edition firstly and then buy a license to recover more than 1 GB of data.
Above 2 methods are both useful for dynamic disk recovery; you should choose the more suitable one according to your actual needs.
Chapter 3: What Is a Dynamic Disk
Generally speaking, a disk that has been initialized for dynamic storage is a dynamic disk. And basically 5 types of volumes can be found on a dynamic disk: simple volume, mirrored volume, striped volume, spanned volume and RAID-5 volume.
With dynamic storage, you can achieve more flexible disk & partition management. For instance, you can specify several disk parts on different disks to form a partition. What's more, the RAID 5 volume is a storage solution that balances storage performance, storage cost and data security.
You can also take a look at the article – What Are Basic and Dynamic Disks? Features for Dynamic/Basic Disks – to know more details.
What Are the Main Differences between Basic Disk Storage and Dynamic Disk Storage
We summarize the following 5 differences between a basic disk and a dynamic disk. After reading the following differences between a basic disk and a dynamic disk, you can have a good understanding of the reason why some people prefer the latter to the former.
- OS support: all the Windows operating systems (even DOS) give support to basic disk, while dynamic disk can't be supported by some of them.
- Volume number: the number of partitions on a single basic MBR or GPT disk is limited, but on a dynamic disk, countless volumes can be created.
- Disk configuration information: on a basic disk, the disk configuration information is stored in the disk system partition or registry (if RAID fault tolerance is enabled); so, the information will be lost from RAID disk if it is moved to other computers.
However, on a dynamic disk, the disk configuration information is stored on disk and can be copied to another dynamic disk by RAID fault-tolerant system. That is to use, it can be moved to and used on another computer.
- Disk volume formation: a basic disk partition can only contain the continuous space on the same disk, while non-continuous space on one or more disks can be used together to form a single dynamic disk volume.
- Disk capacity: the capacity of a basic disk is fixed at the factory while that of a dynamic disk can be changed, without restarting the computer or damaging data.
Chapter 4: Bottom Line
You must know well about how to recover files from dynamic disk in Windows after reading above content, right? Here, we'd like to make a brief summary of things we have covered.
Please feel free to leave a short message below if you have any doubts or questions. Thank you for your precious time and attention.