converting from basic disc to dynamic

we have a file server and a mailserver that are using one single HardDrive each.
The file-server contains data and is running DFS, the Mailserver is only runing Exchange and Blackberry Enterprise.

we would like to convert the current disk on each server from basic to dynamic and then conifgure disk mirroring to prevent a disaster.
what are the steps that i need to follow?
is there any risk to losing data during the conversion?
will DFS function the same?

thanks
winperezAsked:
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gambit_642Commented:
http://www.lockergnome.com/windows/2006/10/06/convert-to-a-dynamic-disk-in-windows-server-2003/
DFS won't care.

Mirroring is also done in the Disk Management console,  simply by right clicking the Primary drive and selecting "Add mirror".  All members of the raid must be converted to dynamic disk.
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garrtechCommented:
Not recommended.  Purchase a SCSI or SATA RAID controller to do your Mirroring. Better to get the hardware to control such actions - more efficient and more reliable.

*Always backup data before you do anything like this!

I'm pretty sure you'll have to add a second hard drive to your server to do so.  I don't think this is possible with using a DFS.  I could be wrong.  

To do this locally:
Converting Basic to Dynamic is easy:
R. click My Computer
select Manage
select Disk Management
R. Click the disk you want to convert and select Convert to Dynamic Disk.
   NOTE:  Once you convert to Dynamic, you can't go back to Basic.  To do so without losing data, you must delete the partition and re-create as BASIC disk.

Once you've converted at least 2 drives to Dynamic, R. Click one of the drives and select either a) Extend Volume or b) Add Mirror.  

Great Article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314343

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garrtechCommented:
Looks like gambit_642 says the DFS shouldn't make a difference.
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winperezAuthor Commented:
thanks
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scrathcyboyCommented:
converting good reliable drives to an unreliable software compression (that is all MS dynamic drive is, and it is extremely unreliable) is probably the WORST thing you can do for your systems).  This dynamic mantra of M$ gives the illusion of "mirroring" but it is a false promise.  If any of the software compression goes bad because of a single sector error, you will lose everything -- and once made compressed (aka "dynamic) you cannot get out of it, which means you can never recover your data in the event of a failure.  It will slow your systems down about 50% trying to deal with the overhead, and you could lose all at any minute.

If you really want raid, buy a RAID controller or a MB with RAID on it, as said above, don't kid yourself with this M$ deception, it is truly a disaster waiting to happen.  If you get hardware raid, make sure to use RAID 1 as raid 0 is also prone to losing everything in the event of a disk sector error.
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gambit_642Commented:
I agree with scrathcyboy that your should go hardware raid, but his reasons seem a little exaggerated.

I have had instances where both mirror members where not bootable after an HD failure, but once you determine the good drive, you can usually get it working after a chkdsk.

Performance is the key reason for hardware raid, but on decent machines, latency is only noticeable when the mirror needs to be re-synced.
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scrathcyboyCommented:
"but his reasons seem a little exaggerated"

no just different experience.  I see horror stories all the time about MS dynamic disks.  When people don't know what it is / does / doesn't do, they are in greatest danger of "catastrophic loss" for them.
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garrtechCommented:
I am in the process of installing a new RAID 5 setup using a new Adaptec Controller.  The admin that was here before me used the SW RAID through windows to setup a RAID 5 using 4 SCSI drives, meanwhile he had installed the OS on a separate IDE drive - no good for a server environment!    

In my case, i'm pretty sure... should windows stop working that i would lose all the data stored within... that's like 340GB of drawings and cu info!

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scrathcyboyCommented:
Gartech -- for goodness sake, get yourself an IDE drive and back up all this crucial info of yours to IDE.  When all else fails, including hardware raids, at least you have a bootable backup, you can always depend on IDE.  Make a system - data copy onto the IDE, and put it away for safe keeping.  It is worth the $100 to do it now!!
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garrtechCommented:
Oh man... it's already been done! It was the first thing I did when I realized the setup on this server!
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winperezAuthor Commented:
340 pts
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