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Friday, January 21, 2011

Convert a Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk

How to Convert a Dynamic Disk to a Basic Disk

A disk is a separate physical hard drive. This will show you how to convert a dynamic, also known as "software RAID", disk to a basic disk in Windows Disk Manager or in a command prompt. By default Windows uses Basic disks.

Basic and dynamic disks both support using MBR and GPT partition (volume) styles.

For more detailed information on basic and dynamic disks, see: Basic and Dynamic Disks (Windows)

You must be a administrator to do this in Windows.
Before you convert a dynamic disk to a basic disk, be sure to backup anything that you do not want to lose on that dynamic disk. Converting the dynamic disk back to a basic disk requires that all dynamic volumes are deleted on the disk first.
If you disable the Disk Defragmenter service, then you will get the error below when you try to do anything in Disk Management. If you get this error, then make sure that the Disk Defragmenter service is set to only Manual.

Using Disk Management

Be sure to read the red WARNING box above, and backup any data on the dynamic disk that you wish to keep first. See OPTION FOUR below if you wanted to be able to convert a dynamic disk back to a primary disk without losing the data on it.

1. Open the Control Panel (All Items view), and click on the Administrative Tools icon, then close the Control Panel window.

2. Click on Computer Management in Administrative Tools, then close the Administrative Tools window.

3. If prompted by UAC, click on Yes.

4. In the left pane under Storage, click on Disk Management.

5. In the dynamic disk (ex: Disk 1) that you want to convert to a basic disk, right click on each volume on the disk and click on Delete Volume until the whole disk is unallocated space.

If prompted, click on Yes to continue deleting the volume(s).

6. If the disk (ex: Disk 1) that you want to convert to a basic disk is still displayed has being Dynamic (left side under Disk #), then right click on the disk (ex: Disk 1) and click on Convert to Basic Disk if available.

7. You can also confirm that the disk is a basic disk if it's displayed has being Basic (left side under Disk #), or if you right click on the disk # and it has Convert to Dynamic Disk instead now. (See screenshot below)

8. You can now create partitions on the now basic disk if you like.

9. When done, close Disk Management.

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