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Converting basic disk to dynamic without losing data

    Question

  • I posted this question in answers.Microsoft.com and it was recommended that it be posted here instead. If this is posted in the wrong category could you please move it to the appropriate category. The one reply I received said that I cannot convert to a dynamic disk without losing everything that is on that disk but just finished reading an article on MS website saying that the current partitions would be converted to simple volumes on the new dynamic disk and would still be bootable so would appreciate clarification or confirmation. The issues of concern are those listed below and the primary one is whether the conversion will keep all of my info including the recovery partition (or equivalent volume on the dynamic disk), OS and still be bootable as mentioned below

    According to Intel my laptop has RAID capability built into the chipset but it would seem Samsung has disabled it as there is no settings in the BIOS. In doing some reading it would appear there is a software RAID built into Windows 8.1, or at least driver mirroring which is what I want. It is also my understanding that you have to have the drive as a dynamic drive and mine is currently basic, so need to know;

    1. Does the drive have to be changed to dynamic in order to use mirroring?
    2. Can I convert my bootable drive with the OS and all of my data to dynamic without any data loss, and will it retain the recovery partition that has been provided for recovery purposes?
    3 Is there any downside to having the disk as a dynamic instead of a basic, and if not why are all disks simply not dynamic to start with?
    4. Is using this type of mirroring the same as a hardware RAID 1 where if one drive fails the other can be used without any interruption and will be bootable?


    One other thing, is the program to check your computer for compatibility with Windows 8 still available? I did a search and everything I found said it was no longer available. I purchased Windows 8 when first released with the $39.95 special price and have an older Vista laptop I would like to use it on if it is compatible but can't find the program to run that checks for compatibility. Also would I be able to upgrade from Vista to 8 and maintain my data or programs or would I have to do a complete fresh install?

    Thank you.



    • Edited by jackdup Saturday, January 03, 2015 5:26 PM
    Saturday, January 03, 2015 5:23 PM

Answers

  • Hi jackdup,

    First of all, I must tell you mirroring is not technically a backup solution, because if you accidentally delete a file, it’s gone from both hard disks.

    And then for your problems:

    1. Yes, mirrored disks requires changing them to “dynamic disks".

    2. The disk that you will use to mirror the existing disk must be unallocated. If it is not, you need to delete Volume to mark it as unallocated. This will destroy any data on that drive.

    3. dynamic disk cannot be allowed multiple OS installed on the computer and you may have problems working with a dynamic disk in older versions of Windows.

    4. RAID Level 1 can also be referred to as a mirrored array of hard drives. Mirroring is implemented when fault tolerance is desired. A mirrored volume is provides fault tolerance by duplicating data on two disks. If one disk fails, the data on the failed disk becomes unavailable, but the system continues to operate using the unaffected disk. A mirrored volume is provides fault tolerance by duplicating data on two disks. If one disk fails, the data on the failed disk becomes unavailable, but the system continues to operate using the unaffected disk.

    For more information, read this article 

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc938519.aspx


    Karen Hu
    TechNet Community Support

    Monday, January 05, 2015 7:03 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi jackup,

    For your second and third problem:

    2. Yes, it couldn't lose any data and still be bootable.

    3. If you just have one Operating System, make no difference to you.


    Karen Hu
    TechNet Community Support

    Friday, January 09, 2015 6:16 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi jackdup,

    First of all, I must tell you mirroring is not technically a backup solution, because if you accidentally delete a file, it’s gone from both hard disks.

    And then for your problems:

    1. Yes, mirrored disks requires changing them to “dynamic disks".

    2. The disk that you will use to mirror the existing disk must be unallocated. If it is not, you need to delete Volume to mark it as unallocated. This will destroy any data on that drive.

    3. dynamic disk cannot be allowed multiple OS installed on the computer and you may have problems working with a dynamic disk in older versions of Windows.

    4. RAID Level 1 can also be referred to as a mirrored array of hard drives. Mirroring is implemented when fault tolerance is desired. A mirrored volume is provides fault tolerance by duplicating data on two disks. If one disk fails, the data on the failed disk becomes unavailable, but the system continues to operate using the unaffected disk. A mirrored volume is provides fault tolerance by duplicating data on two disks. If one disk fails, the data on the failed disk becomes unavailable, but the system continues to operate using the unaffected disk.

    For more information, read this article 

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc938519.aspx


    Karen Hu
    TechNet Community Support

    Monday, January 05, 2015 7:03 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you for your reply.

    I understand the importance of additional backups but my main concern is the potential for losing work I have done between backups, even if they are done daily. If I lost 10 hours of work that I have done since my last backup yesterday an $80 drive is very cheap insurance to not spend another day to recreate the work I lost. In addition it would take additional time to install a new drive, format it and then restore backed up data costing additional time and expense when with the Raid I can replace the failed disk when it is most convenient but continue to work with the mirrored drive until I have a chance to replace the drive.

    I would appreciate additional clarification.

    1. Answered

    2. I do have a brand new disk that is the same model number as the original disk and is unallocated however am more concerned with my primary disk. As I had mentioned it has both the bootable partition with the operating system as well as all of my programs and files and then there is also the operating system recovery partition.  I would like to know and have confirmation that converting the primary disk to a dynamic disk will not result in any data loss and that the existing bootable partition will still be bootable and will still contain all of my programs and files after the conversion (obviously barring any unforeseen events that could potentially happen during the conversion), and that it will also still contain the recovery partition, although it may now be referred to as a volume instead of a partition but would like to confirm that it will still function the same way in the event I would have to use it to recover and reinstall the operating system.

    3. I only use Windows 8.1 so the restriction of multiple operating systems should not be an issue. In addition my other computer is Windows 7 and assume it would be able to access the dynamic disk should that become necessary for some reason?

    4. Understood.

    Thanks again for your reply and assistance.

    Tuesday, January 06, 2015 7:34 PM
  • Hi jackup,

    For your second and third problem:

    2. Yes, it couldn't lose any data and still be bootable.

    3. If you just have one Operating System, make no difference to you.


    Karen Hu
    TechNet Community Support

    Friday, January 09, 2015 6:16 AM
    Moderator
  • Well I just converted both drives to dynamic and both were successful. I
    exited Disk Management and reentered and it showed both drives as dynamic and
    both as healthy. It also showed drive C as system or boot or something like that
    however when right clicking mirroring was not shown on the menu. I shut down and
    restarted however as soon as it started to reboot there was a message saying
    Preparing Automatic Repair and then Diagnosing PC and then Attempting
    repairs.

    Then I get a message saying automatic repair couldn't repair your PC with two
    options, shut down and advance options. Selecting advance options brings up
    another screen with three choices. The first is continue which if you select it
    it just reboots. The third option is turn off your PC. The second option is
    troubleshoot and selecting it brings up another screen giving three choices,
    Refresh your PC, Reset your PC and advanced options. I don't want to have to
    reinstall all of my software which I would assume I would have to do if I select
    either of the first two options but would appreciate if someone could confirm
    that. The third option is again advance options which takes you to another
    screen with six options. System restore, System Image recovery, Startup repair,
    Command prompt, UEFI Firmware and Startup settings.

    Selecting system restore brings up an error saying system restore could not
    find the offline boot volume. Please insure it is currently accessible.

    I don't have an image recovery, startup repair does not solve the problem.

    Selecting command prompt and then going to drive c: shows a 16 GB partition
    named Samsung Rec 2. Going to Drive d: shows Samsung Rec which is 325 MB, so assume these two partitions were the recovery partitions. It
    would appear the original system partition that had all of my files as well as
    the system files, in other words the primary partition on drive c is now drive
    X so am not sure if that is the reason it is not booting or what I need to do to
    make it bootable again.

    Thank you



    • Edited by jackdup Friday, February 06, 2015 8:45 PM
    Friday, February 06, 2015 8:38 PM
  • If this is in the incorrect forum could you please move it to the appropriate forum. Thank you

    I wanted to use drive mirroring which requires converting the disks to dynamic so posted the following to be sure I understood the consquences and was assured I could convert the drives and not lose any date and the drives would still be bootable.

    https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/4540380b-50bf-42dc-a3c0-31684509b984/converting-basic-disk-to-dynamic-without-losing-data?forum=w8itproinstall

    Well I just converted both drives to dynamic and both were successful. I
    exited Disk Management and reentered and it showed both drives as dynamic and
    both as healthy. It also showed drive C as system or boot or something like that
    however when right clicking mirroring was not shown on the menu. I shut down and
    restarted however as soon as it started to reboot there was a message saying
    Preparing Automatic Repair and then Diagnosing PC and then Attempting
    repairs.

    Then I get a message saying automatic repair couldn't repair your PC with two
    options, shut down and advance options. Selecting advance options brings up
    another screen with three choices. The first is continue which if you select it
    it just reboots. The third option is turn off your PC. The second option is
    troubleshoot and selecting it brings up another screen giving three choices,
    Refresh your PC, Reset your PC and advanced options. I don't want to have to
    reinstall all of my software which I would assume I would have to do if I select
    either of the first two options but would appreciate if someone could confirm
    that. The third option is again advance options which takes you to another
    screen with six options. System restore, System Image recovery, Startup repair,
    Command prompt, UEFI Firmware and Startup settings.

    Selecting system restore brings up an error saying system restore could not
    find the offline boot volume. Please insure it is currently accessible.

    I don't have an image recovery, startup repair does not solve the problem.

    Selecting command prompt and then going to drive c: shows a 16 GB partition
    named Samsung Rec 2. Going to Drive d: shows Samsung Rec which is 325 MB, so assume these two partitions were the recovery partitions. It
    would appear the original system partition that had all of my files as well as
    the system files, in other words the primary partition on drive c is now drive
    X so am not sure if that is the reason it is not booting or what I need to do to
    make it bootable again.

    Thank you

    Saturday, February 07, 2015 5:58 PM
  • An OEM installation of Windows 8 is actually a multi-boot system. You can boot either Windows 8 or Windows RE. I am not certain if this arrangement strictly counts as a dual-boot.

    Changing an existing OS to be put into a RAID1 is not preferrable. RAID decisions should be made prior to installing an OS, not kludged in afterwards. For system with a lack of RAID enabled features, the software mirroring should only be used for data volumes... which is not typically available for notebooks... however certain models do exist where 3 "disks" can be installed.

    Monday, February 09, 2015 5:13 PM
  • From that CMD (your X drive is a ramdisk in WinPE) run these commands:

    diskpart
    sel disk 0
    list part

    Post the output.

    Monday, February 09, 2015 5:14 PM
  • So are you saying a dynamic disk cannot be made to boot? If it can could you please advise what I need to do to make the drive I just converted from basic to dynamic bootable? It was bootable prior to converting it and I had posted here to get confirmation that it would not lose any data and would still be bootable after the coversion however after the conversion it is not bootable however don't know what needs to be done to make it bootable. I can't imagine I am the only one that has had this happen?

    Thank you
    Tuesday, February 10, 2015 8:09 PM
  • I replied to your post in the other thread. I cannot research this without getting the answers. In order to attempt to replicate, I need to know what configuration your system is using and whether or not I can deploy Windows 8 in the same way.
    Tuesday, February 10, 2015 9:46 PM
  • Sorry I'll check the other thread as I had not checked it since starting this one.
    Tuesday, February 10, 2015 9:54 PM
  • diskpart brings up a DISKPART prompt.

    set disk 0 returned The arguments specified for this command are not valid. For more information on this command type: HELP SETID.

    I also tried list disk which returned

    disk ###     Status         Size           Free            Dyn        Gpt

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    disk 0           Foreign        931             0                *             *

    I tried list part and received an error but forgot to right it down.

    I tried list partition and received the message There is no disk selected to list partition. Select a disk and try again.

    I also tried list volume and received info for volume #5 which was the DVD-ROM.

    I installed the drive as a second drive in my desktop computer and went into Storage and Disk Management and captured an image and the drive in question is shown as Disk 1. 

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015 1:19 AM
  • Wednesday, February 11, 2015 2:46 AM
  • You misread my command. Sel is short for Select. You can try Select Disk 0 in place of that line in the command list. Please do not run these commands while the disk is in another system, unless it is the only disk present.

    Answer these questions:
    - What is the model of Samsung notebook?
    - How exactly did you end up with Windows 8.1 on this system? Was an earlier OS installed first and an upgrade was performed? Did you have Windows 8.0 originally then update to 8.1 from the Store?

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015 3:33 PM
  • The laptop is a Samsung NP550P7C-T05CA and it came with Windows 8 installed. I did not intentionally upgrade to 8.1. From time to time I would get a notification to upgrade to 8.1 which I always refused as I had a program that was not recommended to be run with 8.1 but somehow the upgrade started. I tried to cancel it but could not find a way to cancel it nor could I find a way to uninstall it.

    I did not perform any functions on the HDD while installed in another computer. I simply installed it to both backup the data and to find out what the status would show in disk management.

    I thought I had tried both sel disk 0 and select disk 0 but perhaps not so will try that now and post the results.

    Thank you for your assistance.

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015 3:57 PM
  • Here is the results from the list part.

    Partition ###        Type                               Size                    Offset

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Partition 1              Recovery                        499 MB               1024 KB

    Partition 2              System                          300 MB                500 MB

    Partition 3              Dynamic Reserved         1024 KB                800 MB

    Partition 4              Reserved                        127 MB                801 MB

    Partition 5              Dynamic Data                 908 GB                928 MB

    Partition 6              Recovery                        449 MB                909 GB

    Partition 7              Recovery                          20 GB                910 GB

    Partition 8              Recovery                       1024 MB               930 GB

    Wednesday, February 11, 2015 4:23 PM
  • Did you do any additional fiddling with partitions prior to converting the disk to dynamic? From your earlier post, it sounds like you just did it in Disk Management. It isn't working like that for me.

    I will note that I am not able to deploy Windows in the same configuration as your system. You have 2 extra partitions for whatever reason. For my test I did the following:

    - set boot to UEFI
    - deploy Windows 8 Pro to GPT disk
    - install updates, then install Windows 8.1 update from the Store

    At this point, a stock Windows 8.1 system on GPT should have 6 partitions, as seen here:

    This means that your system has some custom setup, either done by a program you are/have used or by Samsung... such as sometimes a system may have the ability to boot into a small OS like Linux or FreeDOS, or if you have an Ultrabook and have the cache partition...

    Anyways, on my test system... I get this message if I try to convert the disk:

    Had you received this message before?

    Thursday, February 12, 2015 4:01 PM
  • Allot of this is over my head as I have not done a lot at the operating system level for many many years and that was back in the DOS days which are obviously much different. As your test drive is still set to Basic is it possible that converting to Dynamic creates an extra partition or two for some reason? One of the extra partitions is a dynamic reserved and is very small at 1024 KB so it would seem possible it is created during the conversion but that is just complete speculation on my part. Had I expected any problems I would have taken more notice of the drive configuration prior to the conversion. 

    No I didn't do anything out of the ordinary before or after. I have not done anything relating to additional partitions, resizing of partitions or anything similar. On my HP computer I have a visible second partition with the recovery information but on the Samsung only one partition was every visible and that was the main partition. According to Intel the chipset is supposed to support hardware RAID but it would seem Samsung must have disabled it as it is not an option in the BIOS. I have RAID setup on my desktop and really like it so wanted to do the same on the Samsung, so after I found that hardware RAID was not an option I looked for other alternatives and found the mirroring option. I did some reading and then posted the original post above to insure I was aware of the potential consequences as I had read that you cannot switch from dynamic back to basic without deleting everything on the drive first, so wanted to be sure I would not lose any data by converting to dynamic and wanted to confirm the drive would be bootable after the conversion. From new I have simply installed my programs and used the computer normally without doing anything an the operating system level or any tinkering or fiddling of any kind before or after the conversion. When I converted I simply right clicked on the drive selected convert to dynamic disk. There were definitely no errors or messages of any kind indicating there may have been a problem. After not being able to boot I did not perform any operations that would change anything only things like we did to get a list of the partitions. I went to a command prompt and tried a few different letters to see what drives/volumes or partitions I could find. As mentioned above there was C and D and X but did not go through the whole alphabet either as X had all of my data as that was my main concern that my data was intact. I posted my problem here and after not receiving a reply the next day put the drive in my desktop simply to see what Disk Management showed and to copy all of my data just in case, but again know enough not to experiment or try anything that might not be reversible or that could result in making things worse and wanted to wait for some advice from someone much more knowledgeable than myself.

    So just to summarize the drive has never been altered in anyway from it's factory original configuration aside from the upgrade to 8.1 and the dynamic conversion, neither of which gave any errors of any type.

    Thank you

    PS If you look at my screen capture from Disk Management it only shows 6 partitions and only one of them is noted as dynamic which is E, the main partition. It would be interesting to see what Disk Management shows after conversion to dynamic or from a dynamic disk that is bootable just for comparison.




    • Edited by jackdup Thursday, February 12, 2015 4:56 PM
    Thursday, February 12, 2015 4:48 PM
  • I am not able to find information regarding the error I received. I will have to research that separately.

    The reason why I asked for Diskpart output regarding partitions is because of the fact that Disk Management does not show all of them. In my screenshot, you can see 5 partitions in Disk Management, but Diskpart shows 6. For reasons unknown to me, Disk Management will not show the MSR partition.

    Thursday, February 12, 2015 5:01 PM
  • I completely understand about Diskpart and again would be interested in seeing the Diskpart from a converted drive that is bootable, both from before and after the conversion to see if any additional partitions are created as part of the conversion.

    Are you aware of how to make this disk bootable, or do you think it is likely we will be able to make it bootable? It seems converting to dynamic and using mirroring is not that uncommon so one would think there should be a logical explanation for my situation.

    If it is unlikely we will be able to make this drive bootable again I will have to do a factory recovery and reinstall all of my programs again which I really really don't want to have to do as it is very time consuming as well as running the risk of losing something as well.

    I appreciate your help and sure hope we can find a solution. I am surprised that no one else from Microsoft has offered any advice, as again find it hard to believe I am the only one this has happened to. I don't know whether it is the way Samsung sets up the drive with the hidden partitions that has caused the issues but it would seem the conversion would look at what partition boots the drive and insure after the conversion the same partition boots the drive.

    Thursday, February 12, 2015 6:06 PM
  • One other question, when I put the drive into my desktop to copy everything off of it the users folder was not copied and did not realize it at the time. Is there any way to copy the users folder as I am not even sure it was visible when the drive was installed as the second drive. I have gone into tools and folder options and view and made sure everything is either checked or unchecked so that nothing should be hidden.

    Thank you

    Thursday, February 12, 2015 6:48 PM
  • It seems that the message I received is what is supposed to happen. Windows is supposed to prevent you from converting your boot volume to Dynamic within Disk Management. This is because booting the OS is not designed to boot from this type of disk.

    Did you convert the disk while booted in the Samsung, or did you make the conversion while the disk was installed in another computer?

    I will see about getting my disk converted by other means, and attempt to get it to work again using only tools available in a stock WinPE or Windows installation.

    Thursday, February 12, 2015 7:21 PM
  • I was booted into my Samsung as normal and went to disk management and then did the conversion and there was definitely not warnings like you received.

    So are you saying that you can't have a bootable dynamic disk? It also appears the only partition that was converted was the main partition and as you can see in my disk management capture the other partitions are still shown as basic. Maybe that is correct or maybe that is the problem, I don't have any idea.

    Thank you

    Thursday, February 12, 2015 8:18 PM
  • It is certainly possible to have a bootable dynamic disk. Think about this, you have the ability to boot to your Repair screen... this is stored in another partition. Your problem is different. You want to boot your Windows 8.1, as it exists, from this dynamic disk.

    I was able to convert my disk to Dynamic by using Diskpart in a WinPE. Problems now exist:
    - cannot boot to Windows 8.1
    - can boot to WinRE
    - cannot run recovery as it says the partition where Windows is installed to is locked.
    - it created a 1MB partition called Dynamic Reserved. It does not contain a volume.
    - the recovery partition (location of recovery image) now shows RAW as the file system.
    - BCDEdit returns errors while trying to recreate the BCDStore
    - Diskpart cannot create or remove partitions on a dynamic disk.

    I looked at some third party tools that claim to be able to convert a Dynamic to Basic disk. They did not boot in UEFI mode, or shows no options available regarding the disk. Diskpart information post conversion:

    DISKPART> sel disk 0
    
    Disk 0 is now the selected disk.
    
    DISKPART> list part
    
      Partition ###  Type              Size     Offset
      -------------  ----------------  -------  -------
      Partition 1    Recovery           300 MB  1024 KB
      Partition 2    System             100 MB   301 MB
      Partition 3    Dynamic Reserved  1024 KB   401 MB
      Partition 4    Reserved           127 MB   402 MB
      Partition 5    Dynamic Data       105 GB   529 MB
      Partition 6    Recovery           451 MB   106 GB
      Partition 7    Recovery          5000 MB   106 GB
    
    DISKPART> detail disk
    
    Crucial_CT120M500SSD3
    Disk ID: {049AE314-4DE1-43A1-A76E-28060A1FB77E}
    Type   : SATA
    Status : Online
    Path   : 5
    Target : 0
    LUN ID : 0
    Location Path : UNAVAILABLE
    Current Read-only State : No
    Read-only  : No
    Boot Disk  : No
    Pagefile Disk  : No
    Hibernation File Disk  : No
    Crashdump Disk  : No
    Clustered Disk  : No
    
      Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
      ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
      Volume 0     N   Windows      NTFS   Simple       105 GB  Healthy
      Volume 1         Windows RE   NTFS   Partition    300 MB  Healthy    Hidden
      Volume 2         SYSTEM       FAT32  Partition    100 MB  Healthy    Hidden
      Volume 3                      NTFS   Partition    451 MB  Healthy    Hidden
      Volume 4     E                RAW    Partition   5000 MB  Healthy    Hidden

    The concept you attempted to employ is OLD: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302969

    I suspect Windows 8.1 would boot from a Dynamic Disk but only in MBR. GPT is a no-go because 8.1 needs the other partitions which basically make it multi-boot system. This would require a total software reload and likely a bit of testing. It is moot-point if your notebook only supports UEFI boot.

    I recommend you reinstall Windows normally. You will need to convert your disk back to Basic type, which will erase all information. You can do this with Diskpart:

    select disk 0
    clean

    This will erase everything and revert the disk back to Basic type. You will then be able to reinstall Windows with your recovery media. NOTE: this step is needed as Windows Setup should give you an error saying it can't install on a dynamic disk.


    • Edited by Tripredacus Thursday, February 12, 2015 9:20 PM
    Thursday, February 12, 2015 9:19 PM
  • So that I don't have to go through this all again, once I have converted to basic, reinstalled Windows, is going to dynamic or mirroring not an option, and if it is still an option can you explain what I would need to do so I don't end up in the same situation I am now in? Also I did a backup of the drive by installing it into my desktop but after reviewing the backed up data it appears the users folder is missing. Is there a way to back up the users folder as it doesn't seem to appear when the drive you are accessing was not the boot drive?

    I guess I am a little frustrated as I was concerned about a scenario such as I am now in and that is why I posted on what is supposed to be where a person can get technical assistance provided by an expert, and was assured everything should be fine, and it seems in spite of that I am now in a situation that is going to require several days just to return to where I was prior to the conversion.

    I know this is neither your fault or concern so thank you for your assistance, just wish someone from Microsoft would step forward as it would still seem there should be a way to make this bootable as all of the data is still on the drive, and apparently dynamic drives should be bootable so I am at a loss to know why this disk is not bootable nor can it be made bootable.

    Thank you.

    Thursday, February 12, 2015 9:37 PM
  • Do not convert the disk to dynamic after you reinstall. As I mentioned before, using Window's ability to create a software mirror should be used for storage drives only. I do not know what you mean to accomplish by using this, as you did not post your thread you made on Answers... and your thread here sounded like you had already decided to go this direction. Try looking into Microsoft Storage Spaces and see if it is what you are looking for.

    The Users folder should always appear. It is in C:\Users, however it may be hidden.

    Your current drive IS bootable as a dynamic disk. Booting from dynamic disk does not work on a multi-boot system. So your second boot option (Windows 8.1) does not work but your primary one does. I was not able to determine a way to make it so you could make the Windows 8.1 the default boot option.

    Thursday, February 12, 2015 10:22 PM
  • What is the default if not 8.1?

    I took a multi-boot system to have two separate operating systems on two separate partitions like XP and 7 for example, and then you can boot into either operating system. I don't have a second operating system or separate partition to run a second operating system.

    When hard drives were quite small I could see having separate data hard drives but given how cheap a 1 or 2TB drive is I see no reason to mess with trying to store your data on a second drive and then mirror it to a third drive when you have 90% of your main drive empty because you are storing your data on a separate drive. On top of it I have not seen any laptops that have space for three hard drives.

    I use my computer for much more that IE and e-mail and having a second drive in case of drive failure is almost imperative for me. Even if I do a backup every evening if a drive failed at 5 in the afternoon I would have to redo all the work I did that day to say nothing of having to reinstall all of my software so would lose several days of use of the computer and the time to recreate what I did the day the drive failed so a second $75 hard drive is very very cheap insurance. I have my desktop setup the same way and although drive failures are far less common than they used to be they still fail. My desktop had a drive failure a few weeks ago and it was a matter of unplugging the failed drive, installing another and I was back to where I left off, less than an hour including buying the new drive and no loss of the work I had done since the previous day's backup.

    Thanks

    Friday, February 13, 2015 12:01 AM
  • What is the default if not 8.1?


    The default is WinRE. That is the small OS (Windows PE) that gives you the options for Startup Repair, recovery, etc.

    Regarding 3 Hard Drive supporting notebooks, I certainly have seen them. Yours might even be one as such, but I can't say as I've not physically used that model. When I speak of these types of notebooks, they have 2 bays for standard notebook sized drives, and then also have the slot to add an mSATA SSD to the board. Depending on the limitations that the manufacturer placed in the firmware Setup (BIOS), some allow for this type of configuration:

    Enable RAID, JBOD the mSATA (install OS to this), then set RAID1 to the two other drives (for data).

    However, not all manufacturers are equal as they limit what you can change in the BIOS. Also, I personally wouldn't want that capability in a notebook, as RAID arrays can be "fragile" especially on a portable. Also these also tend to show up in the high-end gaming/engineering notebooks, if the system were not used to be portable (they are heavy) and just keep them on a desk then that would be fine.

    Friday, February 13, 2015 4:40 PM
  • I guess I misunderstood dynamic drives as I had thought that the trend was moving toward dynamic drives rather than basic but if cannot be made to be bootable I am obviously wrong about that.

    What is the advantage of a dynamic drive if it can not be bootable?

    What is WinRE and Windows PE or what is the difference? Are they separate operating systems as well?

    Thank you


    • Edited by jackdup Saturday, February 14, 2015 9:12 PM
    Saturday, February 14, 2015 9:11 PM
  • I used a partitioning program to convert the disk back to basic and am using another program to recover the partitions and below is what it found which looks correct however need to specify the type of partition for each partition so would appreciate if you can tell me the type for each partition. There is a list of applicable partitions at the bottom of the page.

    Thank you

    Sunday, February 15, 2015 4:30 PM
  • I have no experience with TestDisk. This topic is now likely beyond the scope of TechNet. You may be able to get further help here: http://reboot.pro/topic/20330-convert-boot-disk-to-dynamic-error/

    Monday, February 16, 2015 4:41 PM
  • I have no experience with TestDisk. This topic is now likely beyond the scope of TechNet. You may be able to get further help here: http://reboot.pro/topic/20330-convert-boot-disk-to-dynamic-error/

    I am less concerned about using TESTDISK and simply would like to know whether each of the partitions listed in the above capture are primary, primary bootable, logical or extended as I need to mark them appropriately before trying to recover them. If you could offer guidance with that I would appreciate it.

    Thanks again for all of your help.

    Monday, February 16, 2015 8:54 PM
  • For your prob what i know is :

    1.Yes.mirrored disks requires changing them to “dynamic disks".you could use the windows built-in disk mnagement to get it done

    2.If you wanna migrate the OS to the dynamic disk.the minitool partitionwizard has a function specially to do this .but the rest of data you may should move them manually.also.you can use another function to copy the whole partition to an unallocated space or another disk

    Thursday, November 19, 2015 7:20 AM