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Basic to Dynamic disk upgrade destroys disk data?

Posted on 2003-11-17
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I have a Windows 2000 Server with 3 IDE hard drives.  Drive 0 is a basic disk.  Drives 1 and 2 are dynamic disks.  All are NTFS formatted.  Drives 1 and 2 are currently blank.  But drive 0 contains not only the operating system, but also many installed programs and data files.

My goal is to create a mirrored drive of drive 0, but it is not possible to mirror a Basic disk.  I must therefore upgrade drive 0 to Dynamic.

My question is, will I lose all of my data, and the operating system, if I upgrade drive 0 from Basic to Dynamic?
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Question by:Monroe406
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wtrmk74 earned 50 total points
ID: 9768959
No, you will not lose data!
but it is a permanent operation!
there is no going back!

article:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=175761

http://www.petri.co.il/basic_vs_dynamic_disks.htm

http://www.winnetmag.com/Windows/Article/ArticleID/27085/27085.html
 

wtrmk74
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by:Luc Franken
ID: 9769386
Just one thing to add, when doing these kind of things always make sure you have at least a backup of all of your data, just in case.... wtrmk74 is right it shouldn't erase your data, but better safe then sorry.

LucF
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by:scmowen
ID: 9772239
Just to add to that last comment. I am a Microsoft Certified Trainer and regularly get delegetes to upgrade there disk on some of the courses. I have had some fall over and destroy the operating system. Not lots, but enough that I make them upgrade at the end of the day now so I can rebuild the server for the next day. So make sure your backup works just incase.

Stu
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by:Monroe406
ID: 9775152
>> So make sure your backup works just incase.

I don't have a backup.  That's the whole reason for performing the upgrade.  I'm trying to get to the point where I can mirror disk 0.  Currently, the OS will not allow me to mirror disk 0.  I assume it's because disk 0 is a Basic disk and mirroring is not supported with Basic disks.
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by:Luc Franken
ID: 9776469
I just meant, be sure to save your personal documents etc. Just in case. I've never seen this conversion gone wrong, but as I said before, better safe then sorry... ;-)
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by:scmowen
ID: 9777444
Hi
A mirror should not be a replacement for a backup solution because you cannot roll back to a previous version of a file with a mirror. If a file is deleted or damaged accidentally it will be the same on both drives. If it is backed up you can restore the file.
The reason for implementing a mirror is for fault tolerance if one disk fails the other will continue to function. A software implementation of a mirror is not the best of solutions in a production environment; it will affect performance of writes to disk.
Windows 2000 backup is simple to use and is not limited to backing up to tape as NT4 was.
With the upgrades I have seen hundreds as I often have ten delegates on a course performing the upgrade at the same time. Every three or four courses one will fail, so it is not that common but it can happen.
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by:Monroe406
ID: 9779234
>> A mirror should not be a replacement for a backup solution

I have my data backed up already to another disk, across the network, on another PC.   What I am trying to do here is to have a mirror of the operating system so that if this disk crashes, I will not have to reinstall Windows, and the gazillion patches and hotfixes that I've applied over the past 3 years...not to mention the programs that have been installed to c:\program files  and the thousands of Registry tweaks that have taken place.
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by:Luc Franken
ID: 9779258
So you already have a backup just in case something goes wrong with the conversion, what is stopping you then, the chances something goes wrong is about 1 out of 100 (just a guess)

One more thing to add: after the conversion, you can't use programs like partition magic anymore, so make sure the partitions the way you want them to be.

LucF
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by:RDAdams
ID: 9780461
Get yourself a copy of Norton Ghost and image your drive, put it in a safe place and if you do lots of changes over time create a new set occasionally.  Having a workable backup solution is integral to all computer use.  You may want to make an investment in a tape drive solution to be able to recall data back.  Just a thought.
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by:Monroe406
ID: 9781290
>> You may want to make an investment in a tape drive solution

I have a tape drive on another networked PC.  But a tape backup will not backup or restore an entire operating system.  Tape backups are only useful for preserving data...not registries or operating systems.  Too many system files are open when a tape backup is performed, plus if the hard disk crashes, a tape backup is of little value, since I still would have to reinstall the operating system.

I want a mirror of the primary drive so that if the drive crashes, I do not need to reinstall the OS, tweak the Registry 1000 times, and reinstall dozens of programs, etc.
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by:Monroe406
ID: 9781305
>> what is stopping you then

Fear of losing the operating system, and not being to reboot, and/or finding out that I still will be prevented from mirroring drive 0.
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by:Luc Franken
ID: 9781380
Then create a ghost image, then convert to dynamic drive, if it fails, you still have your image (wich containes everything) of your harddisk.

LucF
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by:Monroe406
ID: 9781399
>> Then create a ghost image

My version of Drive Copy 4 says that it does not support Windows 2000 SERVER.
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by:Luc Franken
ID: 9782093
http://enterprisesecurity.symantec.com/content/displaypdf.cfm?pdfid=34 as far as I can see this one does... I heard some problems with ghost and serverversions before, just check the specs.
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by:wtrmk74
wtrmk74 earned 50 total points
ID: 9782694
Hello Monroe406

It seems to be going off on a tangent....

The original question was:"My question is, will I lose all of my data, and the operating system, if I upgrade drive 0 from Basic to Dynamic? "

which I would assume has been answered in the first 3 posts...

If you are concerned about the data loss do as LucF suggested and get your hands on a copy of Norton Ghost, and create an image.

It is always good practice to have a backup copy when doing system wide changes.

here is a couple of options
mirroring software utilities:

http://www.freedownloadscenter.com/Utilities/File_Synchronizing_Utilities/Twin_Folders.html

http://www.freedownloadscenter.com/Utilities/File_Synchronizing_Utilities/QuickMirror.html

http://www.techsoftpl.com/backup/

hope this helps
good luck :)
wtrmk74
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by:TexasWolf
ID: 10527843
On the tangent...

Symantec's Ghost.exe 7.5 does support dyanmic drives by the way. I was fairly crippled until I got my latest network licenses for Symantec Corporate Ghost 7.5.  I mostly use a network boot floppy anyway, not the system console.

Rob
aka TexasWolf

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