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"Dynamic" disk support?

    Question

  • Is Windows 7 going to support "dynamic" disks?

    The problem I am having is that my external USB drive was set up as a dynamic disk on my Windows XP computer. I backed up everything onto the disk and then installed Windows 7. Now I can't access the contents of my backup disk.

    If I plug the USB drive into a different Windows XP computer, and go to Computer Management > Storage > Disk Management, I can see the drive as "Disk 1 - Dynamic - Online" and my data is accessible.

    On Windows 7, under Disk Management, I see "Disk 1 - Dynamic - Invalid". When I right-click the drive, I am given the option to "Reactivate Disk" but clicking it displays an error message "This operation is not allowed on the invalid disk pack".

    Is there any way to gain access to my backup disk from within Windows 7?
    Wednesday, January 21, 2009 11:11 PM

Answers

  • Dynamic disks are not supported for USB devices.  The help and MSDN say this.  You can fake around it in WinXP by attaching a drive to a SATA or IDE port, changing it to dynamic, then putting the drive in a USB enclosure.

     

    It appears they decided to enforce this restriction in Win7.  That's a drag, as it will make it difficult to mount a drive from a different machine on a USB chain, which you sometimes need to do to make repairs.

    Friday, January 23, 2009 5:06 AM
  • Asylum,

    Thank you for your response. The external drive I am referring to supports eSATA and USB. When I first installed the drive, it was connected via eSATA, which is probably why WindowsXP created a "dynamic" volume. I eventually switched over to using the USB interface instead so I could hot-swap the drive between work and home, and you're right, I am basically "getting around" the restriction.

    I'm not sure why this restriction has to be enforced so heavily with drives that are already dynamic. I can understand if Windows 7 won't allow us to create dynamic USB drives, but it would be nice if I could access existing dynamic USB drives. For now, I am going to have to transfer the entire backup to another disk and format the USB drive to something Windows 7 will accept.

    Wednesday, January 28, 2009 5:07 PM

All replies

  • Dynamic disks are not supported for USB devices.  The help and MSDN say this.  You can fake around it in WinXP by attaching a drive to a SATA or IDE port, changing it to dynamic, then putting the drive in a USB enclosure.

     

    It appears they decided to enforce this restriction in Win7.  That's a drag, as it will make it difficult to mount a drive from a different machine on a USB chain, which you sometimes need to do to make repairs.

    Friday, January 23, 2009 5:06 AM
  • Asylum,

    Thank you for your response. The external drive I am referring to supports eSATA and USB. When I first installed the drive, it was connected via eSATA, which is probably why WindowsXP created a "dynamic" volume. I eventually switched over to using the USB interface instead so I could hot-swap the drive between work and home, and you're right, I am basically "getting around" the restriction.

    I'm not sure why this restriction has to be enforced so heavily with drives that are already dynamic. I can understand if Windows 7 won't allow us to create dynamic USB drives, but it would be nice if I could access existing dynamic USB drives. For now, I am going to have to transfer the entire backup to another disk and format the USB drive to something Windows 7 will accept.

    Wednesday, January 28, 2009 5:07 PM
  • Suggestion to fix the invalid disk with Dynamic disk converter, then the disk can be accessed as a basic disk in Windows 7.
    For more: http://www.dynamic-disk.com/invalid-dynamic-disk.html

    Tuesday, March 09, 2010 10:43 AM