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Reduce a spanned volume in Windows XP ?

I have the following situation :
Windows XP PRofessional SP1
two disks, both dynamic ( one converted from basic, other made dynamic while it was empty ).
The first disk has :
 - C: system volume
 - I: data volume
 - O: data volume, made up of 3 separate partitions glued together ( by "expand" function ) and also extended on the second disk
 - 5 GB of free, unused space

The second disk has :
 - one partition, used as an extension to volume O:

What I want is to install Windows 2003 enterprise server evaluation. I first planned to install i into the free space, but that can not be done due to several reasons :
 - according to MS, only one system/boot volume can exist on one dynamiv disk
 - the win2003 setup does not recognize the empty space on the disk. If I create a partition there from winXP, win2003 setup still does not see it

So what I want is to take out the second disk from the O: spanned volume ( it is only about 40% full , the piece on the second disk is less then the free space on O: ), then convert/format it to a basic disk and install win2003 there. The problem is that I know of no tool that can do this.

Please advise !

My "backup" plan is to delete the entire O: data partition and then recreate it from backup, but it is rather large and the backup/restore would take some time.
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MrStein
Asked:
MrStein
2 Solutions
 
chicagoanCommented:
that's about your only practical option. ghost and drive image don't work on dynamic disks.
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raybassCommented:
I think it would be simple enough to add a temporary hard drive to copy all of your O: data to, so you can delete the spanned volume and then copy the data back.  Even if we're talking triple digit gigs, the whole thing shouldn't take more than a couple of hours.

Alternately if you don't have a spare hard drive, copy the data from O: to directories on C:, I:, and a new partition in that 5gb unused space.

No matter what you do, you're likely going to have to shuffle that data around to get anything useful done.

Good Luck
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MrSteinAuthor Commented:
They didn't tell me anything I didn't already know, but I'll split the points...
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