Data recovery from using windows 8.1 system - two failed hard drives RRS feed

  • Question

  • I had two 3.5 SATA disks in windows 7 SP1 64 system. Unfortunately, my MOBO crashed and now i have no PC to recover data. When I took my drives to the  technician, his windows 7 machine identified these drives as foreign disks. there was neither import nor convert options available in windows disk management utility. my first drive (320GB) was a basic boot disk and the second drive (1TB), a dynamic data disk. Both has data to recover. Because of the risk of data loss , we did not proceed further.

    My next option is to buy external 3.5 HDD SATA enclosure and connect the disks to my laptop via USB. I also have an external 4TB USB drive connected to my laptop as a basic disk. My laptop runs windows 8.1 64 bit.

    I'm looking for help in these areas.

    1. Once the enclosure d HDD's are connected to the laptop via USB, will my 8.1 system show/recognise my external 3.5 HDD's in the device manager ?

    2. My 3.5 HDD 's are coming from windows 7 SP1 64 bit system. Will my 8.1 64 bit system identify them as basic and dynamic disks respectively ? The drives are not encrypted.

    3. What is the best option to recover/transfer data from my 3.5 HDD's to 4TB external USB drive in this setup ? I do have a Macrium Reflect disk utility.

    4. Do i have to first import basic/dynamic disks or convert ? Which option is safer to recover my data intact ?  because i believe, these disks are foreign to my 8.1 system, convert will erase the data on the disks. I worry and confused about these options. Or Do I need a windows 7 or XP system for this operation ?

    Many thanks and appreciate your kind help.


    • Edited by mchandim Saturday, June 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    Saturday, June 11, 2016 4:27 PM


  • Hi mchandim,

    When you move a dynamic disk from one computer to another one which does not support dynamic disk, such as all Windows home editions, and then the dynamic disk created on previous computer will be flagged as a foreign disk in Disk Manager. On the other hand, if your computer is dual-boot and one of the operating system does not support dynamic disk, the status of the disk will also be shown as foreign disk.

    When you right click the disk, there are two available options: Import Foreign Disk and Convert dynamic disk to basic without losing data.

    To allow the disk to be recognized by the current installation of Volume Manager, you need to add the disk to your computer's system configuration by right-click on the disk and select Import Foreign Disks. Any existing volumes on the foreign disk will be visible and accessible when you import the disk.

    Because some versions of Windows cannot access dynamic disk, you need to revert dynamic disk to basic by right click the foreign disk and select "Convert to Basic Disk". You have to know this operation will wipe out all the data on the disk.

    Hard disk of computer may be converted from basic disk to dynamic disk by users intentionally or unintentionally. The dynamic disk is narrowly used and lower compatibility. Compared with basic disk, dynamic disk is easier to Emerge problem.

    When we recover or transfer data, we recommend looking professional data recovery engineer for help. Some third party software may be have an impact on data.

    Hope it will be helpful to you.

    Please mark the reply as an answer if you find it is helpful.

    If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact

    Wednesday, June 15, 2016 11:16 AM