Details About Windows Dynamic Disk

Everything About Windows Dynamic Disk

Want to know what is a dynamic drive? This is the article acting as your guide to give out complete information about the dynamic foreign disk. It will also elaborate methods to convert the basic disk to dynamic disks.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Sep 21, 2020 • 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 as my 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?

Be it any advanced disk/drive, can it be an alternative for the dynamic disk? Practically No! A dynamic disk by definition is the best product that allows you to create unlimited volumes to save up huge data. If used as a boot drive, it can run heavy programs. Hence, if you are trying to cope up with the storage issues on your device then converting your basic disk to a dynamic foreign disk will work. This article will elaborate on the ways you can proceed with this conversion.

Before heading towards the answer to a question i.e. what is a dynamic drive? Let’s see what exactly the drive is offering. On the top, one of the amazing features of the dynamic foreign disc is the creation of unlimited volumes on the disk. Though this feature got an alternative in way of extended partition on a basic disk. Creating unlimited volumes mean, huge space for running the programs and saving data on the drive. This dynamic disks also help to make the disk configuration changes. All the information about the configuration is saved on the disk management database. The dynamic disks are compatible with windows 7, 8, and 10. This article explains all about the dynamic disks in depth. It also provides ways to convert the basic disk to dynamic disks. Moreover, a third-party recovery software solution is presented for data recovery. Here are the topics that would be discussed in detail.

Part 1: What is Dynamic Disk?

As mentioned earlier, a dynamic disk is also a type of hard drive that is famous for the creation of unlimited volumes on it. This dynamic foreign disk manages all its volume via the LDM database. LDM stands for a logical disk manager. Each dynamic disk carries a 1 MB hidden database i.e. LDM at its end. This LDM acts as a partition, just as the one present in the basic disk. It is meant to store all the local information present on the volumes of a single disk. Other information that can be stored is i.e. drive letter, volume label, the beginning sector of the volume, volume size, the file system of Volume, and the current dynamic disk

If you are still looking for the dynamic disk definition, then furthermore, all the dynamic disks are capable of storing the data mentioned above. It means all the dynamic disks on the device are by each other. This interrelation can allow you to look for nay missing dynamic disk on the device via windows disk management.

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 the 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, the 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 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 the basic disk storage, the 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 towards 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 give you a brief answer for the query i.e. convert to dynamic disk meaning. Converting basic disk to a dynamic disk would creating the space for storing new data and increase the performance of your device. This can be done in disk management utility. Here are the steps to follow:

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 dynamic disk, you can always restore it. For restoring the lost data, you need a third-party recovery software. In this context, 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 drive, corrupted partitions, bad sectors, or accidental deletions. It supports more than 100 formats of data and restores it 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.


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


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


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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