I upgraded to Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium from a XP installation with two hard disks. The result is that I now cannot read the second disk although it appears in the BIOS setup. In the Computer Management > Disk Management, it is shown as a Dynamic Foreign disk with no other information. How the drive got the dynamic status is a puzzle to me. I know that the Vista Home cannot read dynamic disks and I assume that the same applies to Windows 7. My problem is how can I read the data that is on this disk?
Why dynamic disk showing foreign?
When you move a dynamic disk from one computer to another one which does not support dynamic disk, such as all Windows home editions, and then the dynamic disk created on previous computer will be flagged as a foreign disk in Disk Manager. On the other hand, if your computer is dual-boot and one of the operating system does not support dynamic disk, the status of the disk will also be shown as foreign disk.
How to access foreign dynamic disk?
When your dynamic disk is showing foreign, the inside data is till there but you cannot access it as normal. To fix it, you have two options: Import Foreign Disk or Convert to Basic Disk. Below comes the details.
1. Import Foreign Disks
To make the current OS recognize the dynamic disk successfully, you need to add the disk to your computer's system configuration. To do this, you can make use of Windows built-in Disk Management. Right-click on the disk and select "Import Foreign Disks". Any existing volumes on the foreign disk will be visible and accessible when you import the disk.
2. Convert dynamic disk to basic
"Import Foreign Disks" won't erase or damage data in the foreign dynamic disk. However, if you are using Windows XP Home, you cannot use the disk again through "Import Foreign Disks". In this situation, you can convert dynamic disk to basic. To convert dynamic disk to basic via Disk Management requires that you delete all volumes and data beforehand. To do this without data loss, it is recommended to use the AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.
This powerful disk partition management software developed by AOMEI Technology is widely used in Windows 11, 10, 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, both 32 bit and 64 bit. It provides you with the most popular disk partition technology which enables you to convert dynamic disk to basic without deleting any partitions or data.
Step1: Download and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. According to the picture showing below, it is observed that AOMEI has a clean and intuitive surface, with the functions available listed on the left and menu items listed on the top. Now click All Tools-> Dynamic Disk Converter in the left panel.
Step 2: In the new pop up window, click Next to continue.
Step 3: As you can see from the following screenshot, there are two options. Since we are going to convert a dynamic disk to basic disk, we simply choose Method 1. (If you need to convert a dynamic volume to basic, then you can choose Method 2.)
- Method 1: Convert a dynamic disk back to basic disk. Safely, directly and time-saving (only take 3-10 seconds) revert a dynamic disk back to basic disk without losing data.
- Method 2: Convert any dynamic volume to basic partition. Clone simple volume, spanned volume, striped volume, mirrored volume and RAID-5 volume from dynamic to basic disk sector by sector.
Step 4: Tick the disk which you want to convert and then click Next to continue.
Step 5: Confirm your operation and then click Proceed.
Step6: AOMEI Dynamic Disk Converter will notice you as soon as the operation has been completed. Click OK -> Finish to end this operation.
After the operation is completed, you need to click OK to restart your computer in order to bring the conversion operation into effect.
Here, we provide you with two methods of fixing foreign dynamic disk in Windows computer. Now you can choose a suitable one based on your specific situation and requirements. As a matter of fact, AOMEI Partition Assistant can also help you convert GPT disk to MBR without losing data. Other helpful features like Migrate OS to SSD, Windows To Go Creator, Create Bootable Media, App Mover etc. are also available in this software.