Converting a Dynamic Disk back to a Basic Disk
Posted 11 November 2007 - 08:06 AM
I like to share with you my method. I had a 400gb sata drive and xp wont see the data after install until you add it to Disk Management as a Dynamic Disk because somehow it became a dynamic disk in the past. I not sure why. For it to be seen as a Basic Disk like all the rest of your drives you have to convert it to Basic but this means you lose all your data so say Microsoft. I didn't want to lose 400gb of data. Haha. So here's a hack to convert it to a Basic Disk without losing any data. It also means i can access the drive in dos properly too. Welcome...
First download this great disk editor - No need to install. http://mh-nexus.de/hxd/ - Will also open disk images.
By default it reads your disks Read Only so goto Extras - Options and untick 'Read Only by Default.
Next goto Extras and select Open Disk and select the right Physical Disk of the drive you want to become Basic Disk.
Once opened you see the first sector on display like so.
It should read 42 at sector 0 location 1C2. Change it to 07 and then click the save icon at the top to save back to the drive. Now reboot and run chkdsk drive: /f after.
Thats it, it's now a Basic Disk.
Basic Disk Storage
Basic storage uses normal partition tables supported by MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me), Microsoft Windows NT, Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP. A disk initialized for basic storage is called a basic disk. A basic disk contains basic volumes, such as primary partitions, extended partitions, and logical drives. Additionally, basic volumes include multidisk volumes that are created by using Windows NT 4.0 or earlier, such as volume sets, stripe sets, mirror sets, and stripe sets with parity. Windows XP does not support these multidisk basic volumes. Any volume sets, stripe sets, mirror sets, or stripe sets with parity must be backed up and deleted or converted to dynamic disks before you install Windows XP Professional.
Dynamic Disk Storage
Dynamic storage is supported in Windows XP Professional, Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003. A disk initialized for dynamic storage is called a dynamic disk. A dynamic disk contains dynamic volumes, such as simple volumes, spanned volumes, striped volumes, mirrored volumes, and RAID-5 volumes. With dynamic storage, you can perform disk and volume management without the need to restart Windows.
You cannot create mirrored volumes or RAID-5 volumes on Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, or Windows XP 64-Bit Edition-based computers. However, you can use a Windows XP Professional-based computer to create a mirrored or RAID-5 volume on remote computers that are running Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Advanced Server, or Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, or the Standard, Enterprise and Data Center versions of Windows Server 2003.Storage types are separate from the file system type. A basic or dynamic disk can contain any combination of FAT16, FAT32, or NTFS partitions or volumes. A disk system can contain any combination of storage types. However, all volumes on the same disk must use the same storage type.
Posted 11 November 2007 - 08:46 AM
I dont want to loose the data that is in the partitions that use to be on the drive.
Will this method see all the partitions.
I tried the drive on a USB external drive case and the Drive is recognized as being a drive, but the partitions or its contents are not being seen by Windows XP. So im trying to to rescure my partitions if possible.
Posted 11 November 2007 - 09:16 AM
Posted 11 November 2007 - 10:00 AM
This works only on Basic disks converted to "dynamic".
It should read 42 at sector 0 location 1C2. Change it to 07 and then click the save icon at the top to save back to the drive.
As I remember (not 100% sure, though) right click on a drive in a disk manager may show "convert to basic".
If it doesn't it's no possible.
Can you please run HDTune "Error Scan"?
It seems your MBR is damaged. There are tools to fix it. BTW, was it Dynamic or Basic disk?
Posted 11 November 2007 - 10:35 AM
Of course that applies if the partition (before becoming "42") was 07 (i.e. NTFS).
To those less prone to use disk editors, beeblebrox:
or PTEDIT32 can do the same in a more "friendly" environment.
First thing to try is testdisk:
If the problem is only related to the MBR (and eventually EPT) partition entries it can restore the lost partitions in no time.
Posted 11 November 2007 - 11:26 AM
This is exactly my point and why i did it this way. Once you convert a drive to Dynamic you can't convert it back to Basic in Disk Management without losing all your data even if there was the option to right click in the Disk Ids(dark grey boxes) it will unallocate the partititon and wipe it all again setup as Basic. You have to unallocate the partition first to get to Basic normally. You can't go backwards but you can with the hack. So yes it is possible with the method i described and keep all your data. The title stated Dynamic disk back to Basic that was once a Basic
Yes i should have stated NTFS. Disk Id 07. I was assuming most people who have a 400gb would sanely setup as NTFS
Thanks for the suggestion of the tools. The one i recommended has no install procedure. Is a freeware too
Posted 11 November 2007 - 10:03 PM
Things Ill keep in mind after going and reading more about them
HDTune "Error Scan"
testdisk - http://www.cgsecurit...g/wiki/TestDisk
Does it matter if I have it brought up as USB drive, or shouls I have it connected to one of my IDE cables.
Using USB the Drive is seen but not the partitions. With IDE connection, the drive is not seen.
Posted 19 November 2007 - 09:50 AM
Posted 15 April 2008 - 06:35 PM
Get all the data off the dynanmic disk to another. Then, simply use a Win98 SE boot disk which you can get on bootdisk.com, enter fdisk hit yes when asked if you want to enable 32 bit disk, then clik Delete the partition. When you do this you'll get a selection, chose to delete the non-dos partition. Then chose add a partition and select all the defaults. You'll end up with an active dos 32 partition. After that, you can use any partitioning tool you want to do whatever. Dynamic partitions are not my thing and XP makes it all to easy to make them with no way of getting them back.
PS: This will not work with external drive cases, you have to take out the drive and connect it to the PC ALONE to do it without any chance of screwing your other data up and it will erase the dynamic disk forever.
Posted 21 April 2008 - 02:31 AM
Posted 15 September 2009 - 02:43 PM
I like to share with you my method. I had a 400gb sata drive and xp wont see the data
I discovered a similer method with you. Also, converting a Dynamic Disk back to a Basic Disk visit the page: http://www.articlesb...ta-1215239.html for detailed.
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