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Windows 7: Unbootable after changing to dynamic disk. Win recovery can't see disk

22 Oct 2014   #1

Win 7 x64 Pro
Unbootable after changing to dynamic disk. Win recovery can't see disk

Hey. I wanted to do a software RAID1 to my current Windows 7 system disk. I saw a few tutorials and guides were this had been done.

I converted my present system disk (2 data partitions + system recovery partition + small boot partition?) into a dynamic disk. I was not able to mirror the disk because of the new Advanced Format sector sizes being different between the disks (old one 512 per sector, new one 4096 per sector). Anyhow.

I rebooted, and got the error "the boot selection failed because a required device is inaccessible"
When I boot the Windows 7 DVD and select repair, it can not repair the boot automatically.
It can not see the disk either.

When I boot into Hiren's limited XP, the Disk Management does only see a Dynamic disk - foreign. I don't know if that's my other disk or my system disk. It sees 1 dynamic disk, the USB stick where Hiren is running from and my CD drive. Screenshot at the bottom.
The Device Manager correctly identifies both disks.

At this moment, I have 2 HDD's connected. Both are 1Tb. One is the Samsung disk, with my Windows install (normally C:\) and a data partition (normally D:\). The other is a data disk (normally F:\)

When I boot into Linux, it does see my files and partitions. But it gives off many errors.

I suppose it's an error with the boot loader or boot partition? How can I fix this?
With the mismatch between sector size, I think I'll have to clone it onto a more recent disk, but it has to work, either as a dynamic or basic disk before I can proceed doing that.



My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2014   #2
Microsoft MVP


We only see problems with RAID and Dynamic disks here. Dynamic is intended to span a partition across multiple HD's. RAID isn't even redundant since many lose everything if one disk fails. So I would not do it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2014   #3

Win 7 x64 Pro

I wanted to do a RAID-1 (mirroring) for double redundancy, not striping.
My data files already gets backed up to a NAS, but reinstalling software and re-configuring a system is also an annoyance. Hence my interest in a (software) RAID-1. I have RAID-1 on several linux boxes, and it has proven its worth already.

Regardless of my RAID-wish, how do I get the old setup back?
As I've described, Windows 7 setup can't even see the disk anymore.
I've also tried to clone the disk to a new one (4096 advanced format), so I could non-destructively experiment with potential cures, but no dice (the different imaging softwares either can't clone a dynamic disk, or they have troubles with the 512-4096 sector difference).
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Oct 2014   #4

Win 7 x64 Pro

I tried the Partition Wizard tool to get the dynamic back to static, as indicated in a guide here on the forum.
However, unlike linux or the Paragon rescue tool, it sees things very differently.
My new disk (which I've tried to clone to, and which should be entirely empty according to the previous two tools) shows up with 3 unformatted partitions.
My old disk, shows up, with no partitions, and unallocated space!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2014   #5

Win 7 x64 Pro

I kinda solved it. Still no RAID1 (mirroring) though.

Steps for reference:
1) I cloned the drive succesfully with Hiren's boot, with the CloneDisk 1.9.6 tool. This is the only tool which worked. Clonezilla, Paragon, Partition Wizard couldn't do anything

2) Though Partition Wizard could not see anything (screenshot above), it could change the drive back to basic drive (from dynamic).

3) With Windows 7 DVD, repair, commandline.
Diskpart. active the Windows partition.

At this point, I finally get a new error message, about the BOOTMGR missing.

4) Use Windows 7 DVD, automatic repair. After 2 times of auto repair, it could boot again.

5) I used the WD Align tool to check if the alignment after cloning was alright from the old 512 b/sector drive, which it apparently was.

6) I read all the tutorials and the Youtube videos again, and I still can't see where it went wrong. There are a couple that claim that you can do mirroring/RAID1 succesfully to a Windows system disk.
( here's one from MS, although for the Server editions: )

It is not 100% back to normal yet. Windows has now frequently becom unresponsive for a couple of seconds. I don't know if this is maybe a hardware error (new disk), or something setting gone wrong.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Unbootable after changing to dynamic disk. Win recovery can't see disk

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