convert dynamic disk to basic on HP laptop Win 7

Posted on 2012-03-18
Last Modified: 2012-03-18
Hi all,

I have a brand new HP Pavillion dm4. I bought it so I could use it to dual boot Windows 7 (Home, preinstalled) and Windows 8 (consumer preview).

The disk is a dynamic disk with 4 partitions. I've done some research and understand that I need to have a basic disk in order to install Windows on another partition.

I've found an article on on how to do this, but it does not work. I have a system partition and the OS sits on the C: partition. I can not delete either of these volumes, neither with the GUI nor with the elevated command prompt and diskpart.

I've been able to delete the other two volumes (recovery partition and HP Tools) without problems.

I don't care about any data on the machine, since I have not yet saved anything. I just want to be able to dual boot Win7 and Win8.

Any ideas?

Please don't recommend using a VM for Win 8. I'm aware of that option, but I prefer the dual boot setup.

cheers, teylyn
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 37734206
do you have a setup cd/dvd for windows 7  as thats in the recovery partition as if you have just get rid of the partitions all together and install windows 7 if the windows serial number is on your laptop its usually under the battery these days

I wouldn't bother with windows 8 yet I have seen the consumer preview but it really is only going to work good imho on thouch screen laptops
LVL 50
ID: 37734242
Thank you for your opinion about Windows 8.

I have created the recovery disks before deleting the recovery partition and the other partitions. How does having a recovery partition or knowing where to locate the serial number help at all with changing the disk from dynamic to basic?
LVL 30

Assisted Solution

ded9 earned 500 total points
ID: 37734264
I think the computer has a raid need to convert the disk to basic.

Try to shirnk one parition and create a new parition ....launch windows 8 setup from windows 7 desktop and point it to the new parition ....this will automatically config windows 8 as dual boot.

Post diskmgmt.msc screenshot.

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LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 37734268
what model of DM4 do you have?  it can have 1 or 2 disks, even an SSD
LVL 50
ID: 37734300

that sounds very simple. Why do all the things I found on the web make it so complicated?


It has only one hdd. It's a HP dm4-3000 Beats edition.

After all the stuff I've been doing to it, I'm just now doing a recovery from the disks I created. Then I'll delete all the bloatware, so I have a clean slate.

I'll post a screenshot of diskmgmt.msc as soon as it's through with the recovery and the subsequent win 7 setup.

ded9, I've already been through reducing the C: drive and creating another partition, so I'm comfortable doing that.

I then went to boot/install Win 8 from the memory stick, but it throws a fit when I select the partition (doesn't like dynamic drives). I'm not too sure on how to do the Windows 8 setup from the Win 7 desktop. What do I need to download? I have the Win 8 ISO and used the toolthingymagic to create a bootable USB stick.

LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 37734486
Burn the windows 8 iso to a dvd....if you do not have access the dvd drive then  create two partition for windows 8 setup files and one for windows 8 o.s.

Extract the iso setup files to setup partition and then launch the setup....during installation select the right o.s partition.

To extract files you can download can also mout the iso using poweriso and complete the installtion but there is a high chance of o.s getting corrupted.

If you get any error press print screen and post screenshot or use snipping tool.

LVL 50
ID: 37734490
I already have the iso on a bootable USB stick. Can't I just run the setup from there and choose my desired partition?
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 37734493
Sure you can try that first.

Would recommend using ms tool for creating windows 8 usb install

The above will work for windows 8

LVL 50
ID: 37734530
Coming up for air after removing the bloatware and running Disk Management, I now see that the disk type is Basic. The recovery and the HP tools partitions are back, but I could just delete them, shrink C:, create a new partition for Win8.

I'll try that and report back.
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 37734607
the install key is not on the laptop sometimes it can be i the image there is a tool that can get the key from windows just google it
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 37734678
the recovery cd's will install all the bloatware again imo

your model has a 750 Gb dis, yes?
LVL 50

Accepted Solution

Ingeborg Hawighorst (Microsoft MVP / EE MVE) earned 0 total points
ID: 37735340
OK, all done. What I did:

After a recovery, the laptop was back in factory shape.
- I removed all the bloatware, following the suggestions in this article:
- Apparently, the recovery magically turned the HDD from a dynamic to a basic disk, which solved the question I asked above.
- with diskmgmt.msc I deleted the HP Tools and the Recovery partitions (since a recovery from disk will put them back, anyway, I considered this safe to do)
- shrunk the C partition
- created an extended partition from the freed-up space
- created a logical volume with 60GB on the extended partition
- tried to use the setup from the USB stick while running Win 7 (didn't work)
- booted off the USB stick and got Win8 installed without a hitch

I now have a clean lapper that shows me the Win8 dual boot screen on start up.

I would have tried the suggestion from ded9, but since the disks was no longer a dynamic one after the recovery, I didn't.

cheers, teylyn

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