Windows Desktop - Disk Management:
Disk Management supports Basic
and Dynamic Disks.
Basic Disks -
A Basic Disk is a Physical Disk that contains
Primary Partitions, Extended Partitions, or Logical Drives. Basic Disks
may also contain Spanned Volumes (Volume sets), Mirrored Volumes (Mirror
sets), Striped Volumes (Stripe sets), and RAID-5 volumes (Stripe sets with
Parity) created using Windows NT 4.0 or earlier.
Use Basic Disks if the computer also runs MS-DOS, Windows 98 or
earlier, or Windows NT 4.0 or earlier because these Operating Systems
cannot access Dynamic Volumes.
Dynamic Disks -
A Dynamic Disk is a Physical Disk that contains
Dynamic Volumes created using Disk Management. Dynamic Disks can contain
an unlimited number of Volumes, so you are not restricted to four Volumes
per Disk. Dynamic disks cannot contain Partitions or Logical Drives, and
Dynamic Disks are not supported on portable computers.
Use Dynamic Disks if your computer runs only Windows 2000 and if
you want to use more than four Volumes per Disk, create fault-tolerant
volumes such as RAID-5 and Mirrored Volumes, or extend Volumes onto one or
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Limitations of Dynamic Disks and Dynamic Volumes:
As mentioned previously, Dynamic Disks are not
supported on portable computers. If you are using a portable computer and
right-click a Disk in the graphical or list view in Disk Management, you
will not see the option to upgrade the Disk to Dynamic.
The limitations of dynamic volumes occur in the
- When installing Windows 2000
If a Dynamic Volume is created from
unallocated space on a Dynamic Disk, you cannot install
Windows 2000 on that Volume. You can, however, extend the Volume
(if it is a Simple or spanned Volume).
The setup limitation occurs because
Windows 2000 Setup only recognizes Dynamic Volumes containing
Partition Tables. Partition Tables appear in Basic Volumes and in
Dynamic Volumes that were upgraded from Basic to Dynamic. If you
create a new Dynamic Volume on a Dynamic Disk, then that new Dynamic
Volume does not contain the Partition Table.
- When extending a Volume
If a Basic Volume is upgraded to Dynamic (by
upgrading the Basic Disk to Dynamic), then you can install
Windows 2000 on that Volume, but you cannot extend the Volume.
The limitation on extending Volumes occurs
because the Boot Volume, which contains the Windows 2000 files,
cannot be part of a Spanned Volume. If you extend a Simple Volume that
contains a Partition Table (that is, a Volume that was upgraded from
Basic to Dynamic), then Windows 2000 Setup recognizes the Spanned
Volume but cannot install to it because the Boot Volume cannot be part
of a Spanned Volume. The only Dynamic Volumes that you can install
Windows 2000 on are Simple and Mirrored Volumes, and these
Volumes must contain the Partition Table (which means that these
Volumes must be upgraded from Basic to Dynamic).
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