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Windows 7: Convert Dynamic disk to basic w/o wiping

06 Dec 2010   #1
Carlos37

Windows XP Pro
 
 
Convert Dynamic disk to basic w/o wiping

I need to convert a hard drive from dynamic back to basic on a laptop running Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit, but appear not to have the option in Windows unless I delete all the partitions and lose everything on the hdd.

I have partition wizard 5.2 (free version) but it won't allow that function.

I hunted down a copy of 4.2 after reading a previous post that this does have the option but requires free registration, I clicked on the link to do this goes to partition wizard's website but a 404 error is displayed, not allowing me to obtain the free registration code, I suppose this is because 4.2 is no longer supported.

Can anyone help me out of this situation and provide me with the code which was free for a free bit of software?

Failing that how about someone give me an alternative solution or another package that is free and can do the same job.

All advice appreciated, this is somewhat urgent so the sooner the better.

Kind Regards,

Carl.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2010   #2
mikedl

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Hi, Carlos37, welcome to the Seven Forums.

Even if you find a free alternative (there are a few out there) you should back up the data before proceeding else you will risk losing it.

There are many paid disk management utilities available as well but, again, back up the disk first, please.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2010   #3
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I believe diskpart will do this as one of the commands, but either way, you would be taking a huge risk by not backing up the data. Given that, I'd rather just move the data off, wipe the drive and create a basic partition, then restore my data. If the data is that important to you, then you should already have a backup plan for it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2010   #4
Carlos37

Windows XP Pro
 
 
Backup done

Thanks for the advice, but the data is backed up already, the reason for the conversion is it will save a lot of time, wiping the operating system, reinstalling, all the windows updates, all the software programs that will have to go back on, were talking a good 4-5 hours of time.

I agree that the conversion may not work and mess things up but I'm prepared to take that chance, I have nothing to lose and everything to gain in terms of time.

No one has really answered my question, I am aware that paid packages exist, but If I can get something free that does the same job then why pay for a package I'm only ever likely to use this once.

Can anyone provide me with a link to a package I can download that will do the job.

Regards,

Carl.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2010   #5
mikedl

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Hi, again, Carlos37.

I'm not sure how handy you are with a hex editor but HxD, a free hex editor, will allow you to edit Sector 0, offset 01C2, of the drive thereby converting it to a Basic Disk. The following article explains a bit more:
Quote:
Convert Dynamic Disk back to Basic Disk without data loss
I like to share with you my method. I had a 400gb sata drive and xp wont see the data after install until you add it to Disk Management as a Dynamic Disk because it somehow it became a dynamic disk in the past. I not sure why. For it to be seen as a Basic Disk like all the rest of your drives you have to convert it to Basic but this means you lose all your data so say Microsoft. I didn't want to lose 400gb of data. Haha. So here's a hack to convert it to a Basic Disk without losing any data. It also means i can access the drive in dos properly too. Welcome...

First download this great disk editor - No need to install. HxD - Freeware Hex Editor and Disk Editor | mh-nexus - Will also open disk images.

By default it reads your disks Read Only so goto Extras - Options and untick 'Read Only by Default.

Next goto Extras and select Open Disk and select the right Physical Disk of the drive you want to become Basic Disk...
Link...

Note: Proceed at your own risk! Follow the procedure carefully. DO NOT perform this procedure unless you are familiar with hex editing.

One more caveat:
Quote:
Find Sector 0 Position 1C2 and verify that it is currently 42. If it is not a 42 make sure you selected the right drive, if you did open the correct disk and it isn’t 42 you might not want to try this. You can always undo this change without causing damage so if you are brave give it a shot anyways.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2010   #6
Carlos37

Windows XP Pro
 
 
Thanks

Thanks again for the advice,

I managed to find a product key off the internet for the free version of Partition Wizard 4.2 which has allowed me to convert it without any problems so far.

I will save the information about the hex editor though for future reference, just in case.

Many Thanks.

Carl.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Dec 2010   #7
mikedl

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Glad you got it sorted, Carlos.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2011   #8
alikhan1991

Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Carlos37 View Post
Thanks again for the advice,

I managed to find a product key off the internet for the free version of Partition Wizard 4.2 which has allowed me to convert it without any problems so far.

I will save the information about the hex editor though for future reference, just in case.

Many Thanks.

Carl.
Hey how did u convert .
I am not able to do that.
To convert from dynamic disk to basic disk one should have two HD using partittion wizard 4.2.2
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jun 2011   #9
gregrocker
Microsoft MVP

 

Sorry I didn't see this until now.

Use free Partition Wizard bootable CD version 4.2 which is still free: pw422.zip ISO - Windows Live

Highlight the Win7 HD, from Disk tab select Convert to Basic.

Back up your files first. When WIn7 is not bootable you can retrieve your files first to back them up using the Win7 DVD or REpair CD: Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console or free Paragon Rescue CD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2011   #10
criminalno199

windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

hey
Carlos37
can you please me send me the product key for partition wizard 4.2
i also got the same problem
and i have been searching the solution finally i got your post here
please help me out with product key
here is my email id
zeeshan4u2001@hotmail.com

waiting for your reply brother

thnx

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Convert Dynamic disk to basic w/o wiping




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