Dynamic disks

Posted on 2005-03-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Dynamic disks:

      I am looking to install a server (2003 STD, this doesn’t matter). What I am looking to do is take the disk’s; 3 of them and make them all dynamic for speed or even redundancy reasons. But how do I configure this before I install.

If I attempt to convert the disks to dynamic from the OS installation I get errors about converting the OS disk.  So I ask how I go about doing this.
Question by:weguardyou
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Expert Comment

ID: 13530516
Are you saying that when you try to change to dynamic from basic disk type in the disk management mmc is when you get the error message?  One thing that comes to mind, is that the mirroring function is failing because you are trying to mirror to three drives rather than a standard two.  The software mirroring is setup to mimic a raid 0,1 array(someone correct if wrong).  So its possible you are receiving that error because you're trying to mirror three drives.  Try mirroring just two of them.

Expert Comment

ID: 13531202
From my experience you can update your disks from basic to dynamic whenever.
If it is a new install then I personally would do the update after the install.
If you intend to mirror using OS then that is fine to do after the install also.

If there is a specific reason you want them dynamic first, please advise.

Also bear in mind that if you do an install with formatting you will no longer have a dynamic disk.

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Expert Comment

ID: 13532397
You can't make a disk dynamic before the installation. You can always do that  once it is installed. I don't recommend a dynamic disk for the system partition, though, as you can run into other issues then.
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Author Comment

ID: 13534859
So what if I wanted to use dynamic disk(s) so that I can mirror my OS Drive Letter C for example; but I didn’t have a raid controller I wanted to do this via software raid like the one provided in XP Pro and Server 2003.

I was thinking that I would turn the ide0, ide1 into a dynamic disk and install, but I could not find a way to do this.

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Accepted Solution

rindi earned 1000 total points
ID: 13534948
This would be possible, but the entries in your boot.ini would change, So before you change anything like that you should edit your boot.ini to accomodate for the changed drive numbers. The best thing to do would be to add every possible combination in the boot.ini, so that one of them will boot once you have changed your drives to dynamic. That is the main reason it isn't advised to make dynamic disks of your system or boot partition.

Also, I don't advise to use the software mirroring capability, hardware is much more reliable and it is a lot faster. A lot of mainboards these days have Integrated Controllers which support mirroring, and you can get cheap addons ($60 - $80).

Expert Comment

ID: 13584414
Only certain versions of Windows OS can be mirrored. This may be why you can't mirror your ide0 and ide1.
The F1 help on diskmgmt.msc gives lots of information on mirroring disks and which OS can be mirrored. Search for mirror.

From memory
Advanced server 2000 can
Windows 2000 pro can not
XP home addition can not
Easy way to tell is use diskmgmt.msc.
You need to partitions or two disks.
Disks must be dynamic - just upgrade to dynamic.
If you can mirror then OS lets you.

I've been using Window OS Mirroring since W2K Adv Server came out. It has worked perfectly.

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Expert Comment

ID: 13587884

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