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Upgrading to dynamic disks

bcops asked
Last Modified: 2010-04-14

I have a Windows 2000 Advanced Server machine. It has two drives, C & E.
I wish to upgrade them both to dynamic disks (for RAID 1 mirroring)  - but - both a stuffed full of data and applications.

If I upgrade them, will:
a) Any data be lost? Does upgrading to dynamic disks wipe any data?
b) All application paths be kept - so applications that have installed some data on both drives, C & E will still work?

I *cannot* lose any data nor have any applications stop working.

I have been told that through Windows upgrading to dynamic disks you do lose data, through Partition Magic - you don't lose data.
Thanks, Ben.

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Zaheer IqbalTechnical Assurance & Implementation


In theory you should be fine changing to dynamic disk without data loss.  But, it has been known to happen a time or three.
Good practice would to backup all data on a hard drive before doing anything with a hard disk.
examples:  Convert fs to ntfs, upgrading to dynamic, changing partitions

i disagree with kabaam,, yes you can upgrade them to dynamic disks without any problem, no data will be lost, but the ultimate goal here was to mirror them, and you need 2 drives with unallocated space, which we do not have in this situation.. we have 2 drives with data on them.

your right there Mike, I was answering question a) and forgot all about the second part of his question.
a) your good... should be ok
b) as MikeLeebrla mention, a mirrored set requires available space on both drives.  The largest possible mirror size would be the smallest of the two unallocated spaces.
sample... 1 gig available on drive 0... 48 gig available on drive 1.... largest mirror volume will be 1 gig

thanx for pointing this out Mikeleebrla.


Thanks for all the answers.


1. So it sound like upgrading to dynamic disks - might be OK, might not. How come you all don't agree?
2. Also will installed applications still work?
3. What happens if drive C has two partitions on it and I upgrade to dynamic disks? Will that survive?

4. Mirroring: If I added a third disc partitioned into two, where one partition mirrored drive C (supposing drive C only had one partition for simplicities sake), and the other mirrored drive E, would that work? Does Win dynamic disks support such mirroring? I read somewhere that dynamic disks don't support partitions?

Thanks for the continued help.

1. Actually it appears we are all in agreement with this.  Theory says it should be fine with data on it.
2. I have done this with applications and they did work after...I also have not found anything stating that they apps will not work.  Still looking.
3. That is a good question, I have always upgraded to dynamic disks right after installing win2k. wi th a single partition.  I'll look around.

I always keep disks as simple volumes b/c i use a hardware solution for RAID and do not use 2000s software solution at all.  Anyone will tell you a hardware raid is better than a software raid... but to the best of my knowledge you need 2 blank volumes to create a mirror in 2000,,, and in this situation we only have 1 volume that is blank if the user buys a new disk


Thanks for all the comments.

Taking a further look at the server, it breaks out like this:
- C drive: 16MB FAT partition. 16.93GB NTFS partition (boot partition).
- E drive: 34.41GB - already dynamic disk (coloured kind of green/brown).

I didn't set this machine up, so I've no idea why there is a 16MB FAT partition.
Thanks for all the help so far - any further help *extremely* welcome.

On a slightly separate note - anyone heard of  or used this tool?:
http://www.diydatarecovery.nl/~tkuurstra/backupmbr.htm - check the comment on the bottom right "Performing a safe upgrade of a Basic Disk to a Dynamic Disk"

Cheers Ben.


Perhaps I should use something like Norton Ghost before I upgrade the C drive (or drive zero) as it should be known?


Any answers re: what might happen re:converting the C drive (16MB FAT partition. 16.93GB NTFS partition (boot partition)) to a dynamic drive would be most welcome.

From anyone?


anyone want these points? I'm willing to give them. Would just like an answer to the question re: the C drive.

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Zaheer IqbalTechnical Assurance & Implementation


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