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Windows 7: bootloader crash - dynamic disks

28 Mar 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
bootloader crash - dynamic disks

I've recently plugged in a new hdd in order to backup some files and after I got it out, windows bootloader stopped working. I've tried to recover it by repairing and so on (bootrec, automatically startup repairing, etc.), but it still didn't work so I decided to reinstall it. The problem is that both my disks had been converted to dynamic (the only partition which wasn't dynamic was the system partition) and when I try to install my windows on the same partition that it was previously installed on, I get this error "Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition. See the Setup log files for more information". I can't delete any of the dynamic partitions to try to install on my other hdd or whatever.
Any suggestions?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Mar 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64

Well since you already have a backup made it might be best to just wipe the disk and start fresh.

Clean Install Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2011   #3

Win 7 Ult + Starter, XP Pro +Home, 2kAS, Linux Mint 8, SuperOS

Your first sentence suggests that you "plugged in" a second hard disk and then removed it, and since the PC has not booted - is this correct?

Is this an internal HDD or an external? SATA or something else?

Can you plug the second HDD back in and then start up?

Is your data safe, so that you would be happy to wipe all and start from scratch?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Mar 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP


You'll need to use Diskpart Clean All command to convert it back to basic, unless you want to resurrect your old install because it is still intact, in which case you can use free Partition Wizard version 4.2 to convert Disk to Basic non-destructively.

Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command - Windows 7 Forums.url
partition wizard 4.2 - Windows Live
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
can't make changes to dynamic drives

I plugged in that hdd to backup some files from it to my currently two hdds. They are both in dynamic. I can't make any changes to the dynamic partitions! (which I made through Windows 7!!). So I have a backup of most of my files through win 7 synchronization (mirroring).
Therefore, please take notice of the error that I wrote in the previous post. This is the real issue - I know how to make a so-called 'clean install' which is basically a win 7 installation, anyway.

Sorry, I've replied to the first user. I'll have to read the other two posts.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Ok, I'll try to be more explicit.
I have to hdds (500GB and 1TB). On the 500GB hdd I had the win 7 installation and the other partition was mirrored by one on the 1TB hdd (it was 400GB partition or so). I have all my data on these two hdds and I have nowhere to transfer my data to. Is there no way to install my windows on the same partition on which it was installed till now?
Windows CONVERTED these drives do dynamic. How can it be incapable of installing on the same partition!? It's its own software! I find it unbelievable.

P.S. How could I make use of any software if I can't boot windows and can't use ANY partition?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP


Your disks converted to Dyanamic because you tried to add another partition when there were already four Primary, then ignored the prompt warning that this would be done in that case.

Dynamic is meant to link partitions across multiple HD's, not for the use you want.

Your options are to use Diskpart Clean All to wipe HD to convert it back to Basic, or if you want to save what's on it use PW 4.2 to Convert to Basic on Disk tab.

Mirroring backup will not work as it's mirrored Dynamic.

Read more about this and see other options here: Convert a Dynamic Disk to a Basic Disk

You can try to copy out your data using this method with the booted 7 DVD or Repair CD: Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2011   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

What you're saying is that you can have mirroring between two partitions belonging to two different hdds without the dynamic conversion?

I don't know how to make it clearer, but Windows turned them into dynamic disks because I wanted mirroring between two partitions pertaining to two different hdds. That's all. Now Microsoft couldn't find a way for the user to (re)install windows on an already dynamic disk. This is simply outrageous

Let alone the fact that the partition on which windows was installed wasn't mirrored (which is impossible to do, I believe, anyway). So it should be easier. But somehow, Windows can't access the partition table, as it's "encrypted" by its own doing through the dynamic disk. This is incredible
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2011   #9
Microsoft MVP


This is not MS so save your outrage for one of their websites. Now is the time to focus on what needs to be done not what you feel was done to you.

If you have no OS to install PW 4.2 upon to convert your HD's back to Basic, then unplug all but the Windows 7 HD, boot the Windows 7 DVD Repair console to run Startup Repair repeatedly, making sure the 100mb is still marked Active.

Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times

You can also try converting to Basic using the PW boot disk, or by plugging your Windows 7 HD into another computer which has an OS you can install PW 4.2 upon.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2011   #10

Win 7 Ult + Starter, XP Pro +Home, 2kAS, Linux Mint 8, SuperOS

Sadly, quas, you misunderstand what mirroring is, and the difference between that and cloning, copying, imaging, and other terms used which all have slightly different meanings and effects on the physical media they apply to, despite their semantic similarity.

Have you plugged the second drive back in and tried to start the system or not?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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