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Harddrive Basic to Dynamic but can I change it back or recover my data?

Posted on 2004-11-02
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
My question involves a 120 GB IDE 7200rpm WD Harddrive. I am runnig Windows XP Pro on a dual processor HP XW8000.
I was on a tech support call with HP last night for 7 hours trying to figure out why I could not load a second IDE harddrive in my workstation. During this time the HP tech walked me through a Wizard changing my existing drive containing (the drive containing my data) from a basic to a dynamic drive. Now when I try to boot open that drive I get a pop up telling me that the drive is not formated and asks if I would like to format now. I do not want to format the drive because I valuable data on the drive that I need to complete a project I am working on. My question is???? Can a Dynamic drive be changed back to a basic drive and if so how? If not is there a way to recover my data.  Thank you in advance for all your help.
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Question by:Brendle
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by:JBinRI
ID: 12479407

How to Convert a Dynamic Disk to a Basic Disk

To change a dynamic disk back to a basic disk: 1. Back up all the data on all the volumes on the disk you want to convert to a basic disk.  
2. Log on as Administrator or as a member of the Administrators group.
3. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.  
4. Click Performance and Maintenance, click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Computer Management.  
5. In the left pane, click Disk Management.
6. Right-click a volume on the dynamic disk that you want to change to a basic disk, and then click Delete Volume.
7. Click Yes when you are prompted to delete the volume.
8. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for each volume on the dynamic disk.
9. After you have deleted all the volumes on the dynamic disk, right-click the dynamic disk that you want to change to a basic disk, and then click Convert to Basic Disk.

NOTE:You must right-click the gray area that contains the disk title on the left side of the Details pane. For example, right-click Disk 1.


Reference is here

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;309044&sd=tech

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Expert Comment

by:JBinRI
ID: 12479428
Do have access to another PC where you can set the drive up as a slave, in order to save the data?
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12479429
JBin is right in his solution, but I don't think he addressed your data concerns.  Doing his solution would erase all data on the drive.  Well, technically, make it inaccessible and difficult to recover.  

You can try software from www.ontrack.com (I think you have to buy it).  In addition, there is a manual way to convert the disk back to BASIC, provided you haven't made it part of a RAID.  However, that process is risky and "high level" as it requires using a byte level editor to change a particular byte on the disk.
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Expert Comment

by:JBinRI
ID: 12479477

I would suggest that you do not convert the disk back, until you have tried other ways to recover the data.

Can you load an OS on the drive that is now empty......then set your original drive up as a slave to recover the data?
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12479567
DON'T WRITE ANYTHING to that disk that you say has your data but is being seen as empty - doing so will guarentee either a VERY costly recovery or a loss of at least some of your data.  The most you want to do is try to recover it with appropriate recovery tools.  You install windows to it, you WILL make lots of data effectively unrecoverable.
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Author Comment

by:Brendle
ID: 12479762
I have Windows up and running on another drive.  I have also managed to get the 2 more 120Gb IDE harddrives up and running on my workstation. I have removed the drive with my data however when I try to install it the workstation can see the drive and it assigns a drive letter to the drive but when I try to click on the drive I am face with a pop up that states. The drive is not formated. and the question Do you want to format this drive YES or NO. That is where the head scraching starts!
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Author Comment

by:Brendle
ID: 12479780
JBinRI
Yes I do have another PC and have tied loading the drive into to it as a slave but I am still faced with the same results. The pop-up that asks me to reformat the drive.
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Author Comment

by:Brendle
ID: 12479790
I am still looking for a way to recover the data from my drive before reformating it. Thank you again for all the comments. I will continue to try and solve the problem and check back every half hour for new suggestions.
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Author Comment

by:Brendle
ID: 12480237
Can you tell me more about this process?

 In addition, there is a manual way to convert the disk back to BASIC, provided you haven't made it part of a RAID.  However, that process is risky and "high level" as it requires using a byte level editor to change a particular byte on the disk.
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Expert Comment

by:JBinRI
ID: 12486282
Brendle,

Check this out

http://www.win2000mag.com/Article/ArticleID/25375/25375.html

If this is unsuccessful....you should try to recover the data using Ontrack's Easy Recovery Pro. I have had a lot of success with Ontrack software.

GL let us know
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Expert Comment

by:JBinRI
ID: 12486812
Brendle,

You stated that you made the disk a slave to another computer.Which OS is on that computer. It looks like Windows 2000 Pro or XP Pro will be able to see the volume and not XP Home Edition.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314343/EN-US/

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;175761



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Author Comment

by:Brendle
ID: 12487080
JBinRI,
I am running XP-Pro on all my machines. I have also tried loading the drive into the workstation where the probelm orignated and I am still getting the same pop-up asking me to reformat. Thanks for continuing to help. I will look at the links you sent and see if I can find any more info.
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Author Comment

by:Brendle
ID: 12488925
I will purchase a coy of Ontracks Easy Recovery Pro and give it a try. Thank you for the suggestion.
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Accepted Solution

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JBinRI earned 1500 total points
ID: 12489264
Brendle,
 
You should be able to recover the info on the drive. I have had sucess recovering data from a drive that was formatted 2x using Easty Recovery.

I would try the Ontrack software before converting the drive back to basic. If the software does not see the dynamic drive I would then convert the drive back to basic, and go from there. It is important not to write anything to that disk with the data on it.

GL
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Author Comment

by:Brendle
ID: 12657911
The Ontrack software worked although it took a few minutes to figure out. Thank you for your help. Have a great day.
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