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Dynamic vs basic hard drive

Posted on 2015-02-01
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
On an xp machine I added a second drive, a 1T drive for storage.  Main drive is about 250 gig with .Windows and system recovery files.

When I installed the new 1T drive, I initiated a dynamic drive setup.  And it hasn't worked.  I can go to the drive and save files, but my Acronis True Image back up to external drive can't see it.

So my first attemtp to fix was to reformat it and reset it as a basic hard drive.  I'm now using Windows Disk managment to convert it to "simple" or "basic and it still says "dynamic" when I completed the basic reformat.    I want to partition 3 virtual drives on the 1T.
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Question by:DwEckert
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by:garycase
ID: 40582861
You need to re-initialize the drive.

To ensure there's nothing you miss, I'd do a "Write Zeroes" to the drive (the quick version is okay) using WD's Data Lifeguard.    [The version here is fine:  http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=619&sid=3&lang=en ]

Then when you go to Disk Management, you'll be prompted to initialize the drive -- just be sure you don't choose Dynamic again.
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by:noxcho
ID: 40583472
Actually it should work without reformatting. It simply must be empty. Means you should not reformat it. Just delete all partitions (volume) from it so that you have there only free unallocated space.
After that click on HDD and select Convert to Basic.
After that create partitions on it.
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by:garycase
ID: 40584078
Converting to Basic should indeed work as well --- in fact it doesn't even have to be empty ... but note that the conversion will automatically delete all data on the drive.    However, I've seen cases where there the conversion didn't seem to work properly ... and the question indicates that this may be one of those, since the OP said he has tried converting it in Disk Management ["... I'm now using Windows Disk managment to convert it to "simple" or "basic" ], but it didn't work.

Writing zeroes will ensure the drive is seen as a completely new, un-initialized drive and that there are no residual "bits" that can cause any issues with the initialization and subsequent partitioning.
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Author Comment

by:DwEckert
ID: 40584444
GaryCase

I used the WD utility to write zeros to the entire drive.  Then opened Disk Management and looked for something like initailize and only found format.  I formated the entire drive again.  The "dynamic" label remained. although the visual graphic of the drive said "basic".

I have and old copy of Partition Magic 8.0 that works with an XP and when trying to Partition with PM 8,0 it says, "The selected disk contains one or more partitions that cannot be moved. To complete the task use the Operations Menu rather then the wizard."  When I look at the Partition options they are all grey out, not available.

I can't find any command that looks like initialize only format.
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by:garycase
ID: 40584488
Are you sure you didn't write zeroes to a DIFFERENT drive?   [This would be BAD, as it will definitely wipe out whatever drive you do this to]

When the drive is zeroed, it has NO structure ... so when you next go to Disk Management you should be a "pop up" that offers to initialize the drive.   If you're not seeing that; and the drive still has partitioning information on it, then it was NOT zeroed.    Re-run Data Lifeguard, and be CERTAIN that you're selecting the proper drive, and that it does not have any errors when you do the Write Zeroes.
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by:noxcho
ID: 40584888
Can you take a screen shot of Windows Disk Management and post it here?
I assume you are not deleting the partitions.
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by:DwEckert
ID: 40586255
garycase,  I am 110% sure I wrote on the correct drive.  But I ran it again like you suggested.  I have been able to partition to two drives and write files to it, open them and edit them.

Howerver when I ran Acronis last night, again it said it could not see them to back up.

There is a mix of "dynamic" and "basic" reported on the disk management window.  See attached.
HotKey.jpg
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Assisted Solution

by:noxcho
noxcho earned 250 total points
ID: 40586533
So you delete these two volumes (X) and then right click on a disk - select Make Basic - then right click on free space and create partitions. Is it still dynamic then?
See attached picture.
HotKey.jpg
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Accepted Solution

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garycase earned 250 total points
ID: 40587356
Try doing what noxcho suggested - changing the disk to Basic.   Or just run the Write Zeroes again and IMMEDIATELY after that, go to Disk Management and do NOT do anything to that disk -- just capture the picture again and post what it looks like.

Writing zeroes will absolutely require re-initialization of the disk.   It appears you are not clearing the box that sets it to a dynamic disk.
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Author Comment

by:DwEckert
ID: 40587826
I'm away from my xp machine until Thursday.

Will do as you suggest then.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 40588117
Deleting volumes and converting the drive as I suggested is less time consuming and can be done in few clicks.
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Author Closing Comment

by:DwEckert
ID: 40604899
Got it done, thanks for all your help.

Dan
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