How do you configure settings for a 2nd HDD

Posted on 2004-10-14
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have a Raptor 36 GB as my Primary Hard Drive. I have just installed a WD 250 GB SATA HDD.

In Computer Management ~ Disk Management, it has named it Disk 1 whilst the primary is Disk 0.
It also says it has 232.88 GB and that it is unallocated.

Here is the problem:
When I right Click on it, it has a menu.
One option says "New Volume" and another option says "Convert to Basic Disk" which means that it is set as a Dynamic Disk at the moment. I can change between the two just by clicking on that option.

All I need is a simple hard drive with a partion within it. I also want the option of implementing Raid at a future date if I want to.

Can someone please explain the difference between a Basic Disk and a Dynamic Disk and which option I should choose.

At the same time, what should I do with the "New Volume" option?

Appreciate the help on this,

Question by:Jetheat
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Accepted Solution

Brainded earned 45 total points
ID: 12313046
A Dynamic disk will allow you to use software RAID or spanned volumes.  There are no partitions on dynamic disks, only volumes.  Basic disks are what you are used to thinking of; they can contain partitions, but not volumes which could potentially be mirrored or span multiple disks.

To make the disk usable, you will need to use the "New Volume" selection.  This will create a formattable volume on a dynamic disk, or a formattable partition on a basic disk, and give it a drive letter.  What you are seeing now is the PHYSICAL disks.  Remember that drive letters are only assigned to LOGICAL partitions and volumes.

If this is unclear, just ask for some more clarification.

Author Comment

ID: 12313113
Thanks, So does a volume pretty much act as a partition on a basic disk plus more? If this is the case, I might as well go for that. If I do, what is the drawback of using a Dynamic Disk as opposed to a Basic Disk?

When you say LOGICAL Drive, does that mean the drives within a Physical drive?

Expert Comment

ID: 12313242
Yes, a volume is essentially analogous to a partition.  You can do anything a partition can do, plus spanning, mirroring, etc. on up to (software) RAID-5.  I don't recommend using software as it will be slower and more CPU intensive than a hardware solution, but that's another story.

ONLY 2000, XP and 2003 can access dynamic drives, so if you multiboot ot need to put the drive in a PC running a different OS, it will be inaccessible.  This does not affect access over the network, though.  That would be the biggest drawback.

By logical drives, yese, I mean the drives within a physical.  For example, taking an 80GB drive and putting 3 partitions on it (40GB primary, 20GB extended, 20GB extended) would yield 3 logical drives: c:\ (40GB), d:\ (20GB) and e:\ (20GB).  Anything you can subdivide digitally is usually going to be logical.  Physical stuff can only be sibdivided with a saw. ;)
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Author Comment

ID: 12313309
Im only going to be using the new drive for putting and installing most of my program files and Video Files etc.. I don't plan to use it for boot up or anything special.
When you said "This does not affect access over the network, though.  That would be the biggest drawback.", if it does not affect the network, how can that be considered a drawback? Surely it would be a drawback if it DID affect the network.

Finally, which one would you recommend? Basic or Dynamic?

Expert Comment

ID: 12313344
Sorry.  I meant the lack of accessibility from other OSes.  Just reverse those two sentences, and I think it should express my meaning better.

Expert Comment

ID: 12313364
Oh, and if you never plan on doing anything fancy like adding another drive and extending the volume onto that or mirroring it or something, either one will work just fine.  There isn't a performance difference between them, just a features difference.
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Expert Comment

ID: 12313907
Might be problem with 3rd party wares here:

Since you specify intended usage such as video, A/V whatever, know that some can mess up (if not updated) for some out of bounds conditions, such as provided by your Large disk drive. With updates XP can do so well enough, for moving files around. but for applications having direct access to disk, that could be problem.  Were that the case then your two scenarios would be different. For you could either partition a disk to confine old application to a smaller area, or, confine application to the front of HD (1st partition) were that needed. Without partioning (subdividing HD), that capability is lost.

Other than that, I leave this to Brainded to conclude

Author Comment

ID: 12316610
Ok, I have changed the Drive to a Dynamic Drive and have Formatted it as a New Volume.

It has now made the new secondary Hard Drive as Disk 0 and has changed the previous Primary C Drive to Disk 1

Is there a problem with that? Has it changed any of the settings I should know about?

Secondly, How do I partition this new Drive (Drive F - called "Major Storage" in Volume Name) into 2 logical drives? I want 170 GB in one and the rest in the other?

Please see my website for the picture:


Expert Comment

ID: 12337981
Partitioning your drive F: into two smaller partitions should (in this case, since I assume there is not any data on it yet) be done at the time you create the volumes.  Rather than creating a single 250GB new volume, create one at 170GB and one for the remainder.  Once the drive is actively in use, you will have to either move the data stored there to a different physical disk to remove the volumes and re-create them at the desired sizes, or use a third-party partitioning utility since Windows does not have the capability to resize partitions.

Although I'm not sure exactly how you managed to reverse the drive letters, this should not be a problem as far as system functionality.  Just keep it in mind if you ever have to do any work with your BOOT.INI file.  Apps and such generally don't care WHERE your boot/system partition(s) are, just what the drive letter is.  IT sounds like the drive letter did not change, so you should be OK.

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