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Windows 7: Convert a Dynamic Disk to a Basic Disk

Convert a Dynamic Disk to a Basic Disk

How to Convert a Dynamic Disk to a Basic Disk
Published by Brink
29 Sep 2009
Published by

How to Convert a Dynamic Disk to a Basic Disk

information   Information
A disk is a separate physical hard drive. This will show you how to convert a dynamic, also known as "software RAID", disk to a basic disk in Windows Disk Manager or in a command prompt. By default Windows uses Basic disks.

Basic and dynamic disks both support using MBR and GPT partition (volume) styles.

For more detailed information on basic and dynamic disks, see: Basic and Dynamic Disks (Windows)

Note   Note
Differences Between Basic and Dynamic Disks:
  • Basic disks are supported (readable) by all Windows operating systems since MS-DOS.
    • Dynamic disks are only supported (readable) by Windows 2000, XP Professional, Windows Server 2003, Vista Ultimate, Vista Enterprise, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008.
  • Basic disks can have up to 128 GPT primary partitions, or 4 MBR primary partitions or 3 MBR primary partitions and 1 extended partition with up to 128 logical volumes in the extended partition.
    • Dynamic disks can have up to 2000 dynamic volumes that function like a primary partition used in basic disks.
  • Basic disks cannot share or split data with other primary or logical partitions, or basic disks. Each partitiion on a basic disk is treated as if it was a separate hard disk on the basic disk.
    • Separate dynamic disks can be combined into a single dynamic volume (spanning), split data among several dynamic disks (striping) for increased performance, or duplicate data among several dynamic disks (mirroring) for increased reliability.
  • Hard disks are basic disks by default, including removable disks and disks on a laptop (notepad).
    • Removable disks cannot be converted to a dynamic disk.
warning   Warning
VERY IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ THIS FIRST.
  • You must be logged in as an administrator to do this inside Windows.
  • Before you convert a dynamic disk to a basic disk, be sure to backup anything that you do not want to lose on that dynamic disk. Converting the dynamic disk back to a basic disk using either OPTION 3-5 below requires that all dynamic volumes are deleted on the disk first.
  • See OPTION ONE or OPTION TWO below if you wanted to be able to convert a dynamic disk back to a basic disk without losing the data on it.
  • If you disable the Disk Defragmenter service, then you will get the error below when you try to do anything in Disk Management. If you get this error, then make sure that the Disk Defragmenter service is set to only Manual.
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OPTION ONE
Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk using "Partition Wizard 4.2 Free"

WARNING: Even though you will not lose the data on the dynamic disk when you use this option to convert the dynamic disk back to a basic disk, be sure to backup any data on the dynamic disk that you wish to keep first just to be safe in case something happens. Say a power outage while in the middle of converting the disk.
1. Do step 2 or 3 below depending on what you are able to do.

2. To Use Partition Wizard 4.2 Free at Boot
NOTE: This option can be helpful if you are unable to startup Windows if your Windows disk was made dynamic.
A) Download "pwhe42.iso" file here to your desktop.
NOTE: It will take a moment for the download option to automatically appear at the link.

B) Create either a bootable CD/DVD or USB with the pwhe42.iso file.
NOTE: You could also use a free program like ImgBurn at 4x burn speed to create a bootable CD/DVD with.

C) Boot from the the CD/DVD or USB.

D) Convert the dynamic disk to basic like starting at step 3E below.
3. To Use Partition Wizard 4.2 Free in Windows
A) Download the "Partition_Wizard_4.2_free.zip" file here to your desktop.

B) Open the ZIP file, and extract (drag and drop) the PW folder to your desktop.

C) Open the PW folder, and run the PWIZ.exe file.

D) Click on No for the new version avialable update. (see screenshot below)
Name:  PW-1.jpg
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E) Right click on the Disk # (ex: Disk 1) of the dynamic disk you want to convert, then click on Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk. (see screenshot below)
Convert a Dynamic Disk to a Basic Disk-pw-2.jpg
F) Click on OK. (see screenshot below)

G) Click on the blue Apply check mark toolbar button at the top right corner, and click on Yes. (see screenshot below)
Convert a Dynamic Disk to a Basic Disk-pw-4.jpg
H) If prompted to restart, click on Restart Now. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: This is normal if the dynamic disk you wanted to convert to basic is the disk that the currently running Windows is installed on.
Convert a Dynamic Disk to a Basic Disk-pw-5.jpg
4. When finished, the selected dynamic disc will now be converted to a basic disk without losing any data on it.



OPTION TWO
To Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk using Disk Management

WARNING: Be sure to read the red WARNING box above. You will lose all data on the dynamic disk using this option.
1. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click on the Administrative Tools icon, then close the Control Panel window.

2. Click on Computer Management in Administrative Tools, then close the Administrative Tools window.

3. If prompted by UAC, click on Yes.

4. In the left pane under Storage, click on Disk Management. (See screenshot below)
Convert a Dynamic Disk to a Basic Disk-step1.jpg
5. In the dynamic disk (ex: Disk 1) that you want to convert to a basic disk, right click on each volume on the disk and click on Delete Volume until the whole disk is unallocated space. (See screenshot above)
NOTE: If prompted, click on Yes to continue deleting the volume(s).

6. If the disk (ex: Disk 1) that you want to convert to a basic disk is still displayed has being Dynamic (left side under Disk #), then right click on the disk (ex: Disk 1) and click on Convert to Basic Disk if available. (See screenshot below)
Convert a Dynamic Disk to a Basic Disk-step2.jpg
7. You can also confirm that the disk is a basic disk if it's displayed has being Basic (left side under Disk #), or if you right click on the disk # and it has Convert to Dynamic Disk instead now. (See screenshot below)
Convert a Dynamic Disk to a Basic Disk-step3.jpg
8. You can now create partitions on the now basic disk if you like.
9. When done, close Disk Management.




OPTION THREE
To Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk using "Clean" Command

WARNING: Be sure to read the red WARNING box above. You will lose all data on the dynamic disk using this option.
1. Use the Clean command in the tutorial below on the dynamic disk that you want to wipe out and convert to be a basic disk.
NOTE: You could also use the Clean all command for this as well, but it will take much longer to do since it also does a secure erase.
How to Clean or Clean All a Disk with the Diskpart Command
2. You can now create partitions on the now basic disk if you like.



OPTION FOUR
To Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk using "Delete Volume" Command

WARNING: Be sure to read the red WARNING box above. You will lose all data on the dynamic disk using this option.
1. Open an elevated command prompt, and go to step 3 below.

OR

2. Open a command prompt at boot, and go to step 3 below.
Convert a Dynamic Disk to a Basic Disk-command_basic.jpg
3. In the command prompt, type diskpart and press enter. (See screenshot above)

4. Type list disk and press enter.
NOTE: Make note of the disk number (ex: Disk 1) that you want to convert to a basic disk.

5. Type select disk # and press enter.
NOTE: Substitute # with the actual disk number that you want to convert to a dynamic disk. For example, select disk 1.

6. Type detail disk and press enter.
NOTE: This will give you a list of all the volume numbers on the selected disk number that you will need to delete in steps 7 and 8 below.
A) If you do not have any volumes listed, then you can go to step 10.
7. Type select volume # and press enter.
NOTE: Substitute # with a volume number listed in step 6. For example, select volume 3.

8. Type delete volume and press enter.

9. Repeat steps 7 an 8 for each volume # listed in step 6 until you have deleted all volume #'s.

10. When done, type select disk # and press enter.
NOTE: You would use the same one from step 5 above. For example, select disk 1.

11. Type convert basic and press enter.

12. When done, type exit and press enter.

13. Close the command prompt.

14. You can now create partitions on the now basic disk if you like.
NOTE: Restart the computer if you did step 2 instead.
That's it,
Shawn


11 Jan 2010   #1
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Anigoni, and welcome to Seven Forums.

If you have not already, while you have Windows 7 started, see if you are still able to create a set of HP Windows 7 Recovery Disks from the "HP Recovery Manager". The instructions for how are in the HP link below if needed.

Using HP Backup and Recovery Manager in Vista - HP Customer Care (United States - English)

If successfull, you can boot from this recovery disc to format your hard drive back to a BASIC disk again. Be sure to backup anything that you do not want to lose first though.

Hope this helps,
Shawn

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2010   #2
anigoni

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello Anigoni, and welcome to Seven Forums.

If you have not already, while you have Windows 7 started, see if you are still able to create a set of HP Windows 7 Recovery Disks from the "HP Recovery Manager". The instructions for how are in the HP link below if needed.

Using HP Backup and Recovery Manager in Vista - HP Customer Care (United States - English)

If successfull, you can boot from this recovery disc to format your hard drive back to a BASIC disk again. Be sure to backup anything that you do not want to lose first though.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
Hello,

after created new partition and after Windows 7 changed disk to Dynamic type, I can't create Recovery Disk. When I start "HP Recovery Manager" and try to burn CD or DVD, this error message appears: "Unable to create Recovery Disk System. Parameter not correct. (0x80070057)"

If I press "f11" or "f8" at the booting of the system, Windows doesn't start and I have the following state error: "state: 0xc0000225".

I can see, in Disk Manager of Windows 7, all the partitions: HP_RECOVERY, HP_TOOLS, SYSTEM, C.\....

I have seen in some technical forum that a way to reverse back dynamic disk to basic without data loss is change, with a partition table editor, the partition type from "42" value to "07" value ...

What do you think about?

Andrea.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2010   #3
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Andrea,

I have not tried that before myself, but I would strongly advise backing up anything that you do not want to lose to be safe before trying it. Also, if you do not have a way to reinstall Windows 7 afterwards, you may need to either contact HP to see about getting a set of HP Windows 7 Recovery Discs, or purchasing a retail upgrade copy of Windows 7.

If you have a friend that has the same model of computer that you do, then you can use their recovery disc to reinstall Windows 7 on your computer with you using your product key number instead.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


14 Jan 2010   #4
anigoni

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Andrea,

I have not tried that before myself, but I would strongly advise backing up anything that you do not want to lose to be safe before trying it. Also, if you do not have a way to reinstall Windows 7 afterwards, you may need to either contact HP to see about getting a set of HP Windows 7 Recovery Discs, or purchasing a retail upgrade copy of Windows 7.

If you have a friend that has the same model of computer that you do, then you can use their recovery disc to reinstall Windows 7 on your computer with you using your product key number instead.
Brink,

I will back up HP_RECOVERY, HP_TOOLS and SYSTEM partitions that I have preinstalled from HP in my HDD... but ... what do you suggest?

Simple file backup or create image for each partition?

Then, I will try to convert dynamic disc to basic disc, but, if everything goes wrong, could I restore my data?
Form simple back up file or from image created before?

I'm not sure of that or... better... what I mean is that HP_RECOVERY and HP_TOOLS and HP_SYSTEM partitions are "special" partition by HP and I don't know exactly how to backup them in the right way...

What do you suggest me about?

Many thanks in advance,

Best Regards,

Andrea
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2010   #5
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Andrea,

Since you can no longer create a set of Windows 7 recovery discs of your own, then it would be best to get a copy from HP first for your computer model number since you will not be able to convert it back to basic without losing the recovery partitions and your Windows 7. This way you have a recovery disc to reinstall Windows 7 with after you convert the disk back to basic.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2010   #6
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Hi Anigoni,

You should be able to convert a Dynamic disk to Basic disk without data loss , using a partition manager.

Paragon PM 10 Pro can certainly do it - an excellent program , but it is not free.

There is free one that claims to do it - I haven't tried the function , but because you have a simple Dynamic disk - it will probably be fine:

How to convert dynamic disk to basic disk with Partition Wizard?

Free Download Partition Wizard

You would need to download the bootable disc .iso and burn as an image to cd. Then boot the cd on the sick machine ( make sure NUM LOCK is on when it asks about screen resolution - press1, press enter).

It is a good idea to back up your drive first , to be safe.

I would make an image.

I am not sure how free imaging programs will handle it - but you can try this one:

Paragon Backup & Recovery 10 Free Edition

You need to install it on a working machine - you can run off the bootable disc - boot that on your sick machine , select Normal Mode - then make images of the volumes ( or the whole drive ). If you select normal compression - the image will smaller. You will need to have an external drive attached, or lots of dvd's to store the image.

Hope it helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2010   #7
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Thank you SIW.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2010   #8
anigoni

Windows 7
 
 
Can't see any partitions with Partitoin Wizard...

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
Hi Anigoni,

You should be able to convert a Dynamic disk to Basic disk without data loss , using a partition manager.

Paragon PM 10 Pro can certainly do it - an excellent program , but it is not free.

There is free one that claims to do it - I haven't tried the function , but because you have a simple Dynamic disk - it will probably be fine:

How to convert dynamic disk to basic disk with Partition Wizard?

Free Download Partition Wizard

You would need to download the bootable disc .iso and burn as an image to cd. Then boot the cd on the sick machine ( make sure NUM LOCK is on when it asks about screen resolution - press1, press enter).

It is a good idea to back up your drive first , to be safe.

I would make an image.

I am not sure how free imaging programs will handle it - but you can try this one:

Paragon Backup & Recovery 10 Free Edition

You need to install it on a working machine - you can run off the bootable disc - boot that on your sick machine , select Normal Mode - then make images of the volumes ( or the whole drive ). If you select normal compression - the image will smaller. You will need to have an external drive attached, or lots of dvd's to store the image.

Hope it helps.
Dear SIW2,

first of all, thanks for all kind suggestions. I have already tried to boot with Partition Wizard CD, but I can't see partitions on my HDD, it recognize only the physical Hard Disk Drive ad dynamic disk.

I have already ordered DVD set for Recovery all the system from HP Support. I'm waiting for it. Right now, I think the only way to convert dynamic disk in basic disk type is to change partition type from "42" to "07", as I have seen in some other forum... Did you see my previous post where I say:

"I have seen in some technical forum that a way to reverse back dynamic disk to basic without data loss is change, with a partition table editor, the partition type from "42" value to "07" value ..."

What do you think about?

I will try this way ... before, I would like to back-up SYTEM, HP_TOOLS and HP_RECOVERY partitions... I have a doubt referring to this: if I make an image cloning of each of these partition, after, if everything goes wrong, could I format the HDD, create the partition as they are now and restore everything form images of partitions created before?

Sorry for my english ... I hope to be clear enought in explaining my intentions...

Many thanks in advance for your precious suggestions,

Andrea
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2010   #9
SIW2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

Hi Anigoni,

Yes I am aware of the manual method changing 42 to 07 for the partition type. I used to suggest it to people when less software was available to do the job.

It can work - or not. It is easy for the user to make an error, and you need to change all the 42 references, not just one.

Partition Wizard is supposed to only see the whole Dynamic disk. If you click the Disk itself , and select convert to basic ( that is a virtual operation - it will not do the job until you click Apply). Then you will see the volumes.

If it looks right, click Apply.

You can see that in the instructions :

How to convert dynamic disk to basic disk with Partition Wizard?

Good idea to make an image before trying to convert.

Try Paragon B&R Free - no need to "clone" , just make an image. You can restore if necessary.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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