Basic disk or dynamic?

What's different between basic and dynamic?
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Here is a Good explanation of what they are and what you can do with them

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Ernie BeekExpertCommented:
Basic Disk Storage

Basic storage uses normal partition tables supported by MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me), Microsoft Windows NT, Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP. A disk initialized for basic storage is called a basic disk. A basic disk contains basic volumes, such as primary partitions, extended partitions, and logical drives. Additionally, basic volumes include multidisk volumes that are created by using Windows NT 4.0 or earlier, such as volume sets, stripe sets, mirror sets, and stripe sets with parity. Windows XP does not support these multidisk basic volumes. Any volume sets, stripe sets, mirror sets, or stripe sets with parity must be backed up and deleted or converted to dynamic disks before you install Windows XP Professional.

Dynamic Disk Storage

Dynamic storage is supported in Windows XP Professional, Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003. A disk initialized for dynamic storage is called a dynamic disk. A dynamic disk contains dynamic volumes, such as simple volumes, spanned volumes, striped volumes, mirrored volumes, and RAID-5 volumes. With dynamic storage, you can perform disk and volume management without the need to restart Windows.

Note: Dynamic disks are not supported on portable computers or on Windows XP Home Edition-based computers.

You cannot create mirrored volumes or RAID-5 volumes on Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, or Windows XP 64-Bit Edition-based computers. However, you can use a Windows XP Professional-based computer to create a mirrored or RAID-5 volume on remote computers that are running Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Advanced Server, or Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, or the Standard, Enterprise and Data Center versions of Windows Server 2003.

Storage types are separate from the file system type. A basic or dynamic disk can contain any combination of FAT16, FAT32, or NTFS partitions or volumes.

A disk system can contain any combination of storage types. However, all volumes on the same disk must use the same storage type.

Dynamic disks are not supported under for iSCSI volumes when using the Microsoft iSCSI initiator (iSCSI HBA okay). Many disk cloning and similar utilities don't work with dynamic disks. I consider them to be a huge PITA and I recommend that you never use them unless all the alternatives are worse. Usually you use a hardware RAID controller so dynamic disks aren't needed for that, and you can expand the volumes on basic disks as well, so you usually don't need dynamic disks for that, either. So, long story short don't ever implement dynamic disks because they seem like thay have cool features. Do it only if you really need to, and always consider alternatives.
Active Protection takes the fight to cryptojacking

While there were several headline-grabbing ransomware attacks during in 2017, another big threat started appearing at the same time that didn’t get the same coverage – illicit cryptomining.

SAM2009Author Commented:
This the situation:

I have a server with 4 sata disks configure with RAID5 and it manages by a RAID controller card. I need to install Windows 2003 R2 with 5 drives including OS partition. I also need to leave a unallocated space in case some drives need more space in the future.

What do you suggest?
I agree with kevin on that. If you dont need dynamic dont use it.  Stick with basic. Create the partitions you need and leave space for unallocated space like you want to.  In my personal observations I have seen dynamic in use for raid 5 and i really havent seen any problems. But i have heard of others who have had problems. Maybe someone else on here can share what their opinion is.

This is one guide that could help you decide.

Dynamic disks vs. basic disks
Before you convert basic disks to dynamic disks, determine whether you require features provided by dynamic disks. If you do not require spanned volumes, striped volumes, mirrored volumes, or RAID-5 sets, it may be best to use basic disks.

Note If you want to increase the size of a hardware RAID-5 disk LUN but do not have to span the NTFS file system volume across different physical disks (or LUNs), continue to use basic disks. You can use the DiskPart.exe utility to extend the NTFS volume after you add new storage capacity to the RAID volume. DiskPart.exe is a text-mode command interpreter that you can use to manage objects (disks, partitions or volumes) by using scripts or direct input from a command prompt. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
Dynamic disks suck, basic disks are much more stable. Assuming you have a decent RAID controller then there's just about no instance where dynamic disks are useful.
SAM2009Author Commented:
I leave 1 TB of unalloacted space to be able to expend space when it will be needed without reboot.
andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
With Windows 2008 you can expand C: on the fly using basic disks, with 2003 you can only expand it offline (unless you want to try delpart), dynamic disk doesn't make any difference since the space is contiguous. For non system disks you can expand basic disks online using contiguous space. Dynamic disks get in the way of many offline expansion tools.
PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
How are your disks currently laid out and where/how does your Unpartitioned Space fit into things ... what is your hope/goal?  Maybe you could provide a screenshot of Disk Management and what you are hoping to accomplish, then we can give you specific options for your configuration.
SAM2009Author Commented:
Thank you for all your opinions.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows Server 2003

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.