What is dynamic disk?
Dynamic Disk is one of hard drive configurations that most commonly used in Windows systems. You can convert a basic disk to dyanmic disk. On a basic disk, the storage space will be divided into one or multiple partitions to keep data, while a dynamic disk sets several several segments called "volume" to store data. And it keeps track of all volumes by logical disk manager (LDM), insteading of partition tables.
Data on different dynamic disk can be relatted. When you change a dynamic disk, information will be recorded in logical disk manager, which is hidden at the end of the dyanmic disk.
Dynamic disk VS basic disk
Before we figure out the difference between dynamic disk and basic disk, let's see what is a 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 will be initialized as MBR and GPT partition styles that decide how the disk descibe partitions on it. Like Windows 11, this system only supports UEFI boot, which means users could only use a GPT disk. A basic disk store data on different basic partitions, or drives. You are allowed to manage storage space by resizing, deleting, extending, formatting partitions within one basic disk.
Meanwhile, a dynamic disk also supports you to resize its volumes. Besides, you can share data among various dynamic disk to prevent data damage or loss. Differ with basic disks, dynamic disks create volumes that span among up to 32 physical disks. It gives fine disk performance and flexbility by creating 5 types different volumes, including simple volume, spanned volume, striped volume, RAID-5 volume.
● 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 lots of dynamic disk advantages, especially if you have several disk connected on your PC. But it is worth mentioning that a dyanmic disk still have some drawbacks. For instance, it does not work in dual-system computer. And it does not support some old Windows system, like Windows 7 Home, Windows Vista Home.
Next, if you want to convert your disk, Here, we are going to demonstrate how to perform the basic-to-dynamic and dynamic-to-basic conversion.
How to convert basic disk to dynamic disk?
Because of flexibility of dynamic disk, many people want to change basic disk to dynamic disk. But please read the above information and take its disadvantage of it into conderation before you follow the steps below.
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.
How to convert dynamic disk to basic 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 with its AOMEI dyanamic converter. You can download the Demo version and see how it works.
1. If your computer is running with Windows Server system, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server Edition.
2. Although this method will not lose your data, it is still neccessary to backup the hard disk in case of any interruption.
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. 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. And AOMEI Partition Assistant also a powerful dynamic disk manager that helps you to create, delete, extend, shrink, volumes. More importantly, once your computer encounters some issues after converting, you can change basic disk back without data loss.
In addition, it also support 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.