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Windows 7: C: is a dynamic drive, having problems....

16 Jan 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 
C: is a dynamic drive, having problems....

During my recent new installation, i converted my whole hard drive to a dynamic drive. I have no intention of changing it too as long as i don't face problems. But after the installation some of my game DVD's iso files (as a backup as i am not good with DVDs) were getting crc errors. It wasn't a full clean install, i just formatted my C: dynamic drive (it was dynamic from the beginning itself) and installed windows on it leaving data on the other drives unaltered. I don't know but the issue may be with dynamic partitions on the same drive. I have already lost one of my games as the DVD was corrupted and so was the .iso. I could recover the others back from DVDs. This occurred only after the reinstall and all my other large files such as video recordings were working fine. The problem was only with iso archives.

This is my first question: What is the cause of the problem??
Question #2: Anyways i feel i should change back to standard drive as it is safer if anything goes wrong (i heard i could be formatted from DOS which dynamic ones are not capable of); so is there any way to change the whole HDD to standard without loosing data (even C: )?? If yes how??, cause i do not have any backup drive having ample space for backup (if really necessary i will go to a computer shop and get it done). I really don't want a reinstall now.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Jan 2011   #2
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I can't specifically answer your first question. Portable or removable disks are commonplace and they don't mix well with dynamic disks.

To convert from dynamic to basic see
Convert a Dynamic Disk to a Basic Disk
Including post 85 if you're handy with a hex editor

Alternatively early versions (4.2) of Partition Wizard will do it quite simply. The current free ver 5.2 of PW won't do it.
partition wizard 4.2 free.zip - Windows Live

There are absolutely NO guarantees with the above.
Given you say
"cause i do not have any backup drive having ample space for backup (if really necessary i will go to a computer shop and get it done). I really don't want a reinstall now. "
Maybe you should "go to a computer shop"
But with insufficient backup capability you don't have any guarantees on a normal day to day basis???
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jan 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Yes, i have been through the above post but as i have read i don't think there is any way without having to format the C: (windows) partition. I don't know the cause so i don't want to go wandering about trying everything. I am ready to go to the extent of even of backup the drive and format, then change to standard partition but i need to know i must not face these problems in after changing it. I want to know whether there are any issues with the standard partition. Also this is a big project for me as i have lots of programs and reinstall is a long process. It will at least two-four weeks to get PC to back to its normal condition. I was just looking for a simple, non problematic solution. I have googled a lot and haven't found any answers. I haven't divided yet so your suggestions are still welcomed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Jan 2011   #4
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pcfreak View Post
Yes, i have been through the above post but as i have read i don't think there is any way without having to format the C: (windows) partition.
I don't understand this. Maybe you can start by posting a disk management screen shot of the HDD (use the Windows snipping tool & the paper clip icon/manage attachments.

Four weeks to do a clean install
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

I meant 4 weeks as in installing all my programs and getting things back to work. I usually do not spend more than 2 hours on the pc so installing all my programs will take some time for me. The screenshot is on the way....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Here is the screenshot.....sry for delays


Attached Thumbnails
C: is a dynamic drive, having problems....-dm.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

If really necessary i can get a 500GB from my friend and get it done, maybe even a pc shop. But right now as i said system and drive is very stable and i have run chkdsk and it showed no errors. No loss of files since then. I just wanted to ask if this loss of data is a normal thing with dynamic drives after a windows reinstallation due to the dynamic nature. As i know dynamic disk space means there are no physical barriers and the data can be written on any sector of the drive which may overlap with the other partition and may cause problems when only one of them is formatted. This is just my assumption, correct me if i am wrong.
I am a new so i don't know much.

Anyways thank you mjf for all your quick replies....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2011   #8
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

The Nature of Your "Problem"
Your disk is dynamic which has some disadvantages. You already appear to be on top of some of these issues.
You are allowed four basic partitions on a disk. Two common configurations are:
(1) 4 primary partitions. OEMs (store bought computers) are often configured this way.
(2) 3 primary partition + 1 extended partition. Now the extended partition can contain any number of logical partitions.
Less commonly and not generally desirable for an average PC user:
(3) Dynamic disks which have dynamic partitions. In this case the whole disk is dynamic - every partition.

(3) often happens by accident. When you start out with configuration (1) go into disk management and say "I want to make another partition". Windows says fine - but converts you're whole disk to dynamic. It will warn you but I guess people just say ok. Unfortunately you started with this according to post #1. You have 6 partitions to deal with.

Normally Disk Management allows you to keep adding primaries up until you have 3. Then when you want to add another it says fine - but starts making logicals.

When I look at the disk partitions again they look a bit odd to me not knowing the history (eg. location of the system reserved). If you are a "beginner" fixing it is going to be a bit messy and not as straightforward as I first thought. Also I'm not so sure now about the "PC Shop" solution.

Easiest way forward
Backup and clean install using disk partition configuration (2) above.

Questions

(1) What is on that first 98 MB partition
(2) Do you have Windows installation disks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Thank you once again for the answer,
Actually this problem was created during my first install, i did not know how to revert these changes so i kept it this way. I faced problems only when i reinstalled windows as mentioned above. To answer your questions:

1) The 98MB partition was the first windows system reserved partition, it was no longer in use so i merged it with one of my data partitions.
2) Yes i have purchased the disc and i do have them with me right now.

Yes i agree with you when you said it happens by accident, perhaps it was my fault that i just clicked OK without knowing it.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mjf View Post
(3) often happens by accident. When you start out with configuration (1) go into disk management and say "I want to make another partition". Windows says fine - but converts you're whole disk to dynamic. It will warn you but I guess people just say ok. Unfortunately you started with this according to post #1. You have 6 partitions to deal with.

Normally Disk Management allows you to keep adding primaries up until you have 3. Then when you want to add another it says fine - but starts making logicals.

When I look at the disk partitions again they look a bit odd to me not knowing the history (eg. location of the system reserved). If you are a "beginner" fixing it is going to be a bit messy and not as straightforward as I first thought. Also I'm not so sure now about the "PC Shop" solution.
Question: It could be messy??
After i backup the whole drive, insert my windows disc and when the installation disk management starts up and i format and unallocate every drive, so now i will have all sectors unallocated, then i can allocate them in different stand primary partitions. I guess this may be the way.
If not then i have to use another PC and do the above using disk management.
Can i use any one of the above? Or is it not that simple?

Question2: Solution in post 2. So you mean i should have all drives as standard partitions an wherever i need more i can create logical ones. Can i create logical partitions in standard partitions too. I know they can be created in dynamic.

Optional (just my curiosity): I just wanted to know about dynamic drives. I learn C++ and i know about dynamic data allocation. So is it similar to that or is it different?

Thanks again for your reply....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2011   #10
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 
Save Clean Install from Dynamic to Basic

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pcfreak View Post
Question: It could be messy??
After i backup the whole drive, insert my windows disc and when the installation disk management starts up and i format and unallocate every drive, so now i will have all sectors unallocated, then i can allocate them in different stand primary partitions. I guess this may be the way.
If not then i have to use another PC and do the above using disk management.
Can i use any one of the above? Or is it not that simple?

Question2: Solution in post 2. So you mean i should have all drives as standard partitions an wherever i need more i can create logical ones. Can i create logical partitions in standard partitions too. I know they can be created in dynamic.

Optional (just my curiosity): I just wanted to know about dynamic drives. I learn C++ and i know about dynamic data allocation. So is it similar to that or is it different?
Question1 & 2
If you're comfortable with the backing up. You have the installation disks - it's plain sailing! It's only messy if you wanted to fiddle with what you have.
Clean install is the straightforward way to go!

Now for disk management. Windows should sort it all out.
BUT
If it was me, I would prepare your disk yourself. WHY? Because you can clean the disk up and importantly run some disk checks so you know you're working with a solid foundation. Also, you don't need a friends computer. Use the free Partition Wizard Bootable CD. It's easy to use (almost self explanatory), powerful and very popular.
Steps
1. Backup up
2. Download
Partition Wizard Bootable CD allows user to boot computer directly to manage partition.
3. Boot the CD.
4. Select the disk (or all partitions in turn). Select Delete.
5. Now in "Operations pending" on the left - select apply. You should now see the whole disk unallocated.
6. Now to decide what you want your disk to look like. Here's a suggestion adjust for yourself.
7. Select unallocated. Select Create. Choose Primary, NTFS, inactive. Select Partition letter (eg. C: for OS) Apply.
8. Select the new primary. Select Move/Resize. Drag the right Bar to the left so that you have 250 GB allocated and the rest unallocated (gray). Assign partition letter. Apply.
9. Select the unallocated and repeat the process to get a second then a third primary partition.
10. Now you should have about 250 GB left unallocated. This time select the unallocated partition and choose it to be LOGICAL. Do the create & apply thing.
11. Now Test out the disk. Select each partition in turn and select "File System Check" Apply. The fix option should be selected by default.
12. Select at least the first partition and choose "Surface Test" apply. This will do a rigorous test of the partition your OS is going to live on. It will take some time but you get feedback with the little boxes light up as each cluster is checked. I suggest you have the patience and do it for the rest of the partitions.
13. Now install Windows. Make sure this is the only sata HDD connected, ideally to the first port.

You are now in a position to easily change around the structure of your disk afterwards.
Now with your logical partition you have actually created an "extended partiton" as a container for the logicals. You can create as many logicals as you like. Your disk won't go dynamic.

(Your question: I think your analogy of dynamic data allocation in C is good enough. Volumes aren't fixed they can span disks etc. I'm not on top of the technical fine points. In a way it may be closer to logicals. The partition structure for logicals is embedded in the extended partition in things called EBRs (Extended Boot Records) as opposed to the single MBR (Master Boot Record) which lives at the front of the HDD and has a table for defining a maximum of 4 basic partitions. In what we did above, we made 3 primaries and used the 4th as our extended to contain the logicals)
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 C: is a dynamic drive, having problems....




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