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Everything About Windows Dynamic Disk

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jun 14, 2024 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions

Can anyone please explain to me the advantages and disadvantages of converting my disks to dynamic disks in Windows XP?
I have a 120 GB Western Digital boot drive, a 160 GB striped array made up of 2 Maxtor 80GB D740X in the onboard RAID controller, and an old 40 GB 5400rpm Maxtor drive. I use my PC for video editing, gaming, web surfing, and office applications. Will these drives perform better if make them dynamic?

Can any advanced disk/drive be an alternative for the dynamic disk? Practically No! A dynamic allows you to create unlimited volumes to save huge data. If used as a boot drive, it can run heavy programs. Hence, if you are bothered about the storage issues then converting your Windows basic disk to a Windows dynamic disk will work. This article will elaborate on basic knowledge about Windows dynamic drive and the ways to proceed with the conversion.

Here are the topics that would be discussed in detail.

Part 1: What is Dynamic Disk?

The dynamic foreign disk, compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10, is the creation of unlimited volumes on the disk. Its unlimited volumes enable huge space for running and storing. Besides, the dynamic disks can also change Windows configuration.

This dynamic disk on a Windows computer manages all its volume via the LDM database. LDM stands for a logical disk manager. Each dynamic disk carries a 1 MB hidden LDM database, which stores all the local information present on the volumes. Other information such as drive letter, volume label, volume sector, volume size, the file system can all be stored on the LDM database.

windows dynamic disk

Part 2: What’s the Difference Between Basic Disk and Dynamic Disk?

As for now, you are familiar with the dynamic disk and how it is different from the basic disk in general, then let’s check the differences on the whole. This section will provide the set of differences between basic disk storage and dynamic disk storage along with the types of volumes that can be created.

1. Basic Disk Storage:

Basic disk storage is the common disk space available on the devices. As a normal partition, it is supported by MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me), Microsoft Windows NT, Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP. As this basic storage is meat to run the hard disk, so it is termed as the basic disk. As the name implies, disk storage carries the set of basic volumes i.e. primary partitions, extended partitions, and logical drives. In the case of Windows NT 4.0, some of the other basic volumes that can be created are volume sets, stripe sets, mirror sets, and stripe sets. In case, if you are trying to install Windows XP, then all these multidisc volumes should be backed up and deleted or else you can convert your basic disk to a dynamic disk. If you are looking for convert to dynamic disk meaning, then you would find it in the next sections.

2. Dynamic Disk Storage:

Coming towards the dynamic disks, of course, the disk storage that initializes the disk gives it a name i.e. dynamic disk. As compared to basic disk storage, dynamic disk storage is supported by the latest versions of operating systems. This includes Windows XP Professional, Windows 2000, and Windows Server 2003. The dynamic disk won’t work with portable devices or on Windows XP Home Edition. Famous for the creation of unlimited volumes on it, the dynamic disk carries dynamic volumes for example simple volumes, spanned volumes, striped volumes, mirrored volumes, and RAID-5 volumes. The mirrored and RAID 5 are not compatible with Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, or Windows XP 64-Bit Edition-based devices. As far as the file formats are concerned, the dynamic disk supports a mix of FAT16, FAT32, or NTFS.

3. Dynamic Volumes:

Apart from the dynamic foreign disk, let’s discuss the type of supported volumes that can be created on it. A volume is a storage unit that can be formatted with the desired file format system and given a name (initial). In the case of dynamic disk, the volumes that can be created are: simple Volume, spanned Volume, Striped Volume, Mirrored Volume, and Raid-5.

Simple Volume:

As the name implies, it uses the free space available on the disk. Be it a single region or multiregional, you can extend it on the same disk. If extended on multiple disks, then it would be termed as the spanned volume.


Spanned Volume:

As mentioned above, if a simple volume is extended across multiple disks, then it would be called the spanned volume. This can be further extended on 32 disks at maximum. It is not fault-tolerant and cannot be mirrored.


Striped Volume:

The volume that has its data interleaved between multiple disks is termed as striped volume. This means the data would be alternatively saved on multiple physical disks. It is sensitive to any potential fault and cannot be mirrored or extended.


Mirrored Volume:

Now a mirrored volume is described as fault-tolerant. As the name suggests, the data saved on this volume is duplicated in two disks. In case, if one of the disks fails, you have the other with all data to proceed with normal functioning. This volume cannot be extended. The phenomena of mirroring are termed as RAID-1.


Raid-5 Volume:

This one is also fault-tolerant. As its data can be stripped on an array of three or more than three disks. In case, if the disk fails to work or corrupted carrying the RAID 5 volume, then due to features like parity, the RAID 5 can be recreated.


Part 3: How to Create a Volume on Dynamic Disk?

As soon as you are familiar with the concept of dynamic foreign disk and types of volume that are supported by the drive, then here in this section, you will get a stepwise procedure to create a volume on a dynamic disk. Creating new volumes would increase the space for storing new data. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: In the main menu of windows, select the option of this PC, and right-click it. In the drop-down menu, select the option of manage.

Step 2: In the manage window, select the option of disk management.

Step 3: In the disk management, select the dynamic disk and in the new window, right-click on unallocated space on the dynamic disk and select the option of new simple volume.

Step 4: Complete the process by following all the steps.


A new volume would be created on a dynamic disk once the process is completed. Creating different types of volumes would carry a different set of instructions. The above-mentioned procedure is for creating a simple volume.

Part 4: How to Convert Between Dynamic Disk and Basic Disk?

This section will guide you to convert a basic disk to a dynamic disk. Through the transfer, you can create storage space and increase disk performance. Follow the following steps to perform the conversion between basic disk and dynamic disk.

Step 1: Initiate the process in the windows main menu and select the option of this PC.

Step 2: Right-click this PC and in the menu, select the option of manage followed by selecting the option of disk management.

Step 3: in disk management, right-click on the basic disk, and in the drop-down, select the option of a convert to a dynamic disk. Click ok and then convert to complete the action.


Once the process is completed, your basic disk will be converted into a dynamic disk. If you want to convert a dynamic disk back to basic, then this function is not supported by disk management. For that, you need a third-party tool.

Part 5: How to Restore Lost Data on Dynamic Disk?

In case of any data loss on a dynamic disk, you can always restore it. For restoring the lost data, you need third-party recovery software. In this context, Wondershare Recoverit recovery software is all that you want. It is the best recovery software that can help you retrieve all the data from corrupted/damaged drives, corrupted partitions, bad sectors, or accidental deletions. It supports more than 100 formats of data and restores it in no time. Here is how the software works to restore the data.

Step 1: Download and install the software on the device and after a successful install, launch the software.

Step 2: In the main menu, select the mode. In this case, select hard disk drives. In the next window, you have to select your targeted drive i.e. from where you lost the data. Click start to continue.

recoverit interface

Step 3: The software will run a scan on your drive to check for the deleted files and folders. As soon as the scan is completed, all the deleted and lost files would appear on the screen

scan dynamic hard drive

Step 4: Preview all the files one by one and select the files that you want to restore. Click recovery to complete the action.

preview files on dynamic drive

Once the recovery process is completed, all the data would be restored on your device. It is advised that save the retrieved data to a new location other than the place from where you lost it.

Hence, this article explains all about the basic disk and dynamic disk along with their potential differences. Moreover, 5 different types of dynamic disk volumes are explained in depth. You can create the volumes on the dynamic drive and section 3 is all about the steps you can follow to create simple volume on the dynamic disk. Apart from creating new volumes, you can shift your basic disk to a dynamic disk. Head to section 4 and you would get a detailed process. In case, you lost any data on the dynamic drove, you can always restore it. With Recoverit data recovery, you can get back all the data.

Recoverit author

Theo Lucia

chief Editor

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