How to Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk without Losing Data

How to Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk without Losing Data

In this post I will talk about the difference between a dynamic disk and a basic disk, as well as its virtues regarding the loss of information and optimization of writing or reading, in addition, you will learn how to convert a dynamic disk to a basic disk.

Jul 18, 2020 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions

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At present, the dynamic disk function is increasingly frequent, mainly in laptops since they protect the integrity of the information and in turn are able to improve the efficiency of reading and writing data, features that are very useful for millions of users, however, this function has some limitations, the main one is that this mode is not capable of booting the operating system and therefore, you may find yourself in the need to convert from dynamic disk to basic disk.

  • Part 1. How to Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk?
  • Part 2. Dynamic Disk VS Basic Disk
  • Part 3. How to Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk without Losing Data?

Part 1: How to Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk?

Q: "How do I convert dynamic disk [not simple or mirrored type] to basic disk?"

Windows allows you to change from basic disk to dynamic disk in just a few minutes and in a very simple way, however, converting a dynamic disk to a basic disk is not so simple when you need to preserve your data so you have to follow some advice that most of the users don't know. This is due to the complex distribution of data in the dynamic disk, converting it into a basic disk process will not be able to recover the information entirely.

So, it is highly recommended to make a backup of the information on another storage device and then proceed to delete the information from the disk you want to become basic; if this action is not performed, you will require the assistance of a professional recovering data software.


Part 2: Dynamic Disk VS Basic Disk

Q: "What does convert to dynamic disk mean?"

Physically there is no difference between a basic disk and a dynamic disk. That is, you do not need a certain type or model of hard disk to configure a system of basic or dynamic disks.

Basic disks are the usual conception of a disk and its usual use. On the other hand, dynamic disks are used only in specific situations where their additional functionality is necessary, but if it is not, they are usually dispensed with in favor of the simplicity and ease of handling of the basic disks.

The difference between dynamic and basic disks is the way in which Windows structures the distribution of data in the system, which may be more convenient depending on the purpose of the use and how much information you want to manage in your computer or laptop.

If when creating the disk drive you establish that this is a basic disk, you will not be able to divide the disk into more than 4 primary partitions and an additional extended one, these restrictions are due to the fact that the MBR (Master Boot Record) is 64K and the description of each partition occupies 16K. Partitions on a basic disk cannot share data with other partitions and it cannot be divided either. Each partition of a basic disk is an independent entity of the disk, while with the dynamic disk you could create up to 2000 partitions, however, only the basic disks allow the operating system to boot, therefore, the dynamic disks are oriented to optimize the writing, reading and recovering the information you work with.

In addition to limiting partition space, basic disks do not offer failure tolerance. That is, if the disk drive suffers any physical damage, the information cannot be easily recovered, you will need specialized software or the help of some professional service to do so. On the other hand, some dynamic disk configurations allow the creation of "mirror units", which are very useful since the information is backed up in the event of a failure so it almost always will be safe.

RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) is a data storage system on multiple disk drives. Therefore, dynamic disks are a form of RAID created by software natively in the Windows operating system.

As with RAIDs created via hardware, you can use various types of data distribution depending on what you need, such as increasing storage capacity, improving disk drive performance, or increasing data security.

Dynamic disks differ in their qualities. There are five types, each has different features and can be better adapted to the needs of different user profiles. The different dynamic disks and some of their characteristics and details will be shown below.

Simple: In this mode, the data will be distributed throughout the storage extension, thus optimizing the storage space. The union of the disks will act as a usual disk drive, adding their capabilities. It does not grant any protection against disk errors. It requires at least one unit to be created.

Reflected: Two copies of the data contained in this unit are created, these are called a mirror, although they appear as a single entity. That is, if one of the units has errors you will have an additional copy from which you can recover your data so the reliability of this type of dynamic disk is very high. Its capabilities are not added, and the smallest disk capacity is taken as a reference. It requires two units to be created. It is especially important to use disks of the same characteristics when you want to create volumes of this type and to use independent controllers for each disk since this increases the tolerance for errors, especially if we want to reflect system or startup volumes. A reflected volume is also called mirrored volume or RAID-1.

Spanned: It is a way of distributing the unallocated space in a system with several disks in a single logical unit, which allows more efficient use of available space and drive letters, which increases the speed of access; on the other hand, this type of volume cannot be reflected and is not failure tolerant, although it has a great advantage that allows extending its size to other available units.

Striped: This configuration will let you combine available storage areas of different disk drives to write to them simultaneously. We could say that it is a variant of the spanned volume, since it also uses the space of several disks and converts them into a single logical unit. This achieves better performance in reading and writing data, since it is two different reading heads (on two different disks) that do the job. Both disks must have the same storage capacity. This type of volume is usually called RAID-0, they cannot be extended to other dynamic disks if necessary and cannot be reflected either. It is perhaps the least reliable form of dynamic storage because if one of the disks contained in the sectioned volume fails, the rest of the volume will also fail.

RAID-5: This mode allows you to store your data with parity information. It is more reliable than the previous methods, more efficient in the use of space, but somewhat slower. This type of volume is error tolerant and is characterized by having its data distributed on three or more physical disks. Unlike the sectioned dynamic disk, data can be recovered, in case one of the disks fails. This type of volume can also be implemented by means of hardware solutions, with the advantage that the hardware implementation offers greater performance than the implementation of RAID-5 through software, since the latter overloads the processor.


Part 3: How to Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk without Losing Data?

When it is no longer necessary to make use of the advantages offered by the dynamic disk storage method, it is completely understandable that you want to return to the practicality provided by the configuration of the basic disks, however, after completing the procedure, you will not be able to have access to the information stored on the disk in a conventional way.

To perform a Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk conversion while preserving your information, you will need to erase all the Dynamic Disk volumes that you no longer need, then you must convert the drive to Basic Disk. Do not forget to make backups of all the data you want to keep before proceeding.

And if you have already converted your disk into basic without making backup of your information, you don’t have to worry about it, the information will be still there, however, to recover it you will need to restructure it with the help of professional software. As mentioned earlier, converting a dynamic disk to basic requires following some extra steps, this in order to recover your information.

Currently, one of the most practical and convenient ways to rescue all your documents and files is through Recoverit software, which is very easy and practical to use and, additionally, the results are completely reliable.

Next, I will show you step by step how simple it is to recover your information.

Step 1 Select a Drive

Launch Recoverit and investigate "Hard Disk Drives". Your drive will be there. Select and click "Start".

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Step 2 Scan Your Drive

Recoverit will initiate a scan on the drive. You will have great features that you can use to streamline the scan and recovery process. For instance, you can simply tick the file types you want to recover instead of each one.

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Step 3 Preview and Recover Drive Data

The conclusion of the scan will reveal a long list of the files in the software found. Recovering them is just matter of you selecting all the files or specific ones and clicking "Recover". The files will all be recovered and saved on any location of your choice. Just be cautious and select the disk where you want to save your information.

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See how simple using Recoverit is? You just must launch it, make a few clicks and your lost files will be reunited with you once more!

Use Disk Management to Convert Basic to Dynamic

Step 1 Right-click on "This PC" (for Windows 10/8 users) or "My Computer" (for Windows 7 users) and select Manage.

Step 2 Open Computer Management and click on "Disk Management".

Step 3 Select the basic disk that you need to convert and right click on it, select "Convert to Dynamic Disk".

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Step 4 Make sure that you are converting the right disk to dynamic and click "OK" to finish the process.

(Remember you can only run your operating system from a primary partition; therefore, you must preserve a primary partition to boot your operating system).

Use CMD Command to Convert Basic to Dynamic

Step 1 Open Command Prompt by pressing Win + R at the same time in Windows.

Step 2 Type: disk partand hit "Enter" to enter Command Prompt window.

Step 3 Type: list disk and hit "Enter"; Do remember the number of the disk that you want to convert to Dynamic.

Step 4 Type: select disk 0(0 is the disk number of the disk that you want to convert) and hit Enter.

Step 5 Type: convert dynamic and hit Enter.

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Step 6 When the process is finished, type: exit and hit "Enter" to end the disk converting process.


Closing Words

A dynamic disk can optimize information management, thanks to this, you can choose the configuration that suits you according to your needs to improve writing, reading, storage or recovery of information. However, if you find it more convenient to use a basic disk, there are several ways to convert a dynamic disk to a basic disk in just a couple of minutes. With the help of Recoverit, you can perform this process without losing your information and greatly facilitating the process, thanks to this and its multiple features, you will save a lot of time.

Theo Lucia

chief Editor

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