Dynamic disk VS basic disk
There are two types of hard drive configurations that most commonly used in Windows systems: dynamic disk and basic disk. They own different features, which decide their different way of organizing files and folders.
In the post, let’s learn about what is dynamic disk and basic disk, and how to convert between them.
■ Basic disk
A basic disk is a kind of physical disk, which can be visited by all Windows systems and MS-DOS. It is the most common disk type used in Windows OS. When you initialize a hard disk on your computer, it would initially set up as a basic disk.
A basic disk supports MBR and GPT partition styles, and it manages data on a disk with primary partitions, extended partitions and logical partition. You can create logical drives in extended partitions and resize/delete/ extend/ format partitions in basic disk. But all those operations are confined in one disk.
■ Dynamic disk
Unlike the basic disk, the dynamic disk uses LDM (logical disk manager) or VDS (virtual disk service) to manage all partitions, and it can also support MBR and GPT partition tables.
And a dynamic disk allows you to resize its volumes and transfer space from one drive to another. And you can share data among disk to prevent data damage or loss. Besides, more types of volumes can be recreated in a dynamic disk, including simple volumes, spanned volumes, striped volumes, mirrored volumes, and RAID-5 volumes.
● Simple volume: Just like the basic partition, it works as an independent unit. You can change the size of a simple volume on the dynamic disk. And if there are only one dynamic disk on your PC, simple volumes are only allowed to be created.
● Spanned volume: With spanned volume, you can merge multiple unallocated spaces from different physical disks into one logical volume.
● Striped volume: Striped volumes are composed of equal spaces from two or more disks. Its data are distributed in multiple disks. And it distributes I/O requests among disks to improve disk performance.
● Mirrored volume: It can create a copy of data in a mirrored volume, which means it could be used for fault tolerance.
● RAID-5 volume: RAID 5 is a redundant array of independent disks that uses disk striping with parity.
The next table makes a brief summary of the differences between dynamic disk and basic disk. You can take a quick glimpse at it.
From the “dynamic disk vs basic disk” table, we can know the difference between dynamic disk and basic, and you may want to convert disk between dynamic and basic disk. Here, we are going to demonstrate how to perform the basic-to-dynamic and dynamic-to-basic conversion.
✍Note: Before the operation, you would better backup the hard disk in case of data loss.
How to convert basic disk to dynamic disk?
Many people want to change basic disk to dynamic disk, because a dynamic disk is more flexible. And you can do it in Disk Management. Here are the steps.
Step 1. Right-click “The PC” or “My Computer” and click “Manage”.
Step 2. Click the “Disk Management” on the left window, right-click the basic you want to convert to dynamic disk.
And wait for the disk converted to be dynamic disk.
✍Note: But sometimes, you should not convert basic to dynamic disk. For example, in some operating systems like Windows 7, Windows XP, a dynamic disk can’t be read. If you run into some problems after this operation, you can follow the next content to learn dynamic-to-basic conversion.
How to convert dynamic disk to basic disk without losing data?
You can also convert dynamic disk to basic disk in Disk Management, but using DM is not recommended here, because you need to delete all the dynamic volumes during the operation, and will lose all the data on the disk. Is there any method to convert disk without data loss?
Yes, there is a disk management tool called AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. It allows you to convert dynamic disk to basic disk without data loss. You can download the Demo version and see how it works.
✍Note: If your computer is running with Windows Server system, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server Edition.
Step 1.Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant, and click “All Tools” and choose “Dynamic Disk Converter”.
Step 2. AOMEI Dynamic Disk Converter will be launched. And click “Next”.
Step 3. There are two converting ways: “Convert a dynamic disk back to basic disk” and “Convert any dynamic volume to basic partition”. Here we choose method 1, and click “Next”.
Step 4. Choose the dynamic disk you want to convert to basic disk, and click “Next”.
Step 5. It will pop-up a window that tells you after this disk is converted to basic disk, all data on it will be lost and the disk would be unallocated. Confirm this note, and click “Yes”.
Step 6. Then click “Proceed” to start, it takes a few minute, when it is over, click “OK” > “Finish”.
This is all about "dynamic disk vs basic disk", and how to convert them without losing data. If you need to convert basic to dynamic disk, I think you would better install AOMEI Partition Assistant, because once your computer encounters some issues after converting, you can change basic disk back.
Moreover, AOMEI Partition Assistant also provides other functions to manage disk like converting MBR to GPT or convert GPT to MBR, converting primary partition to logical drive, and vice versa, changing File System between FAT32 and NTFS.