Recall: Convert Dynamic Disk back to Basic Disk without data loss

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by jerrysoon, Nov 30, 2011.

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  1. jerrysoon

    jerrysoon Registered Member

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    Hi markymoo,
    I would like to recall this topic. I was having the same issue and I was trying to convert my Dynamic Disk to Basic.

    Here's my scenario:
    I have a hard disk, dynamic, that splits into 2 partitions.

    When I start HxD, select open disk, it shows me:

    Physical disks
    - Hard disk 1
    - Hard disk 2

    Hard disk 1:
    On line 1C0-02 it already shows "07"

    Hard disk 2:
    On line 1C0-02 it shows "42", and thus I changed it to "07" and then save it, reboot the disk.

    After rebooting, it managed to detect only 1 partion, which is the Hard disk 2. It can't detect Hard disk 1 in the partition in Disk Management.

    Could I know what else I need to do? Thanks for your time!

    Hi,

    I like to share with you my method. I had a 400gb sata drive and xp wont see the data after install until you add it to Disk Management as a Dynamic Disk because it somehow it became a dynamic disk in the past. I not sure why. For it to be seen as a Basic Disk like all the rest of your drives you have to convert it to Basic but this means you lose all your data so say Microsoft. I didn't want to lose 400gb of data. Haha. So here's a hack to convert it to a Basic Disk without losing any data. It also means i can access the drive in dos properly too. Welcome...

    First download this great disk editor - No need to install. http://mh-nexus.de/hxd/ - Will also open disk images.

    By default it reads your disks Read Only so goto Extras - Options and untick 'Read Only by Default.

    Next goto Extras and select Open Disk and select the right Physical Disk of the drive you want to become Basic Disk.

    Once opened you see the first sector on display like so.

    [​IMG]

    It should read 42 at sector 0 location 1C2. Change it to 07(ntfs) and then click the save icon at the top to save back to the drive. Now reboot and run chkdsk drive: /f after. Thats it, it's now a Basic Disk.

    Basic Disk Storage

    Basic storage uses normal partition tables supported by MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me), Microsoft Windows NT, Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP. A disk initialized for basic storage is called a basic disk. A basic disk contains basic volumes, such as primary partitions, extended partitions, and logical drives. Additionally, basic volumes include multidisk volumes that are created by using Windows NT 4.0 or earlier, such as volume sets, stripe sets, mirror sets, and stripe sets with parity. Windows XP does not support these multidisk basic volumes. Any volume sets, stripe sets, mirror sets, or stripe sets with parity must be backed up and deleted or converted to dynamic disks before you install Windows XP Professional.

    Dynamic Disk Storage

    Dynamic storage is supported in Windows XP Professional, Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003. A disk initialized for dynamic storage is called a dynamic disk. A dynamic disk contains dynamic volumes, such as simple volumes, spanned volumes, striped volumes, mirrored volumes, and RAID-5 volumes. With dynamic storage, you can perform disk and volume management without the need to restart Windows.

    You cannot create mirrored volumes or RAID-5 volumes on Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, or Windows XP 64-Bit Edition-based computers. However, you can use a Windows XP Professional-based computer to create a mirrored or RAID-5 volume on remote computers that are running Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Advanced Server, or Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, or the Standard, Enterprise and Data Center versions of Windows Server 2003.Storage types are separate from the file system type. A basic or dynamic disk can contain any combination of FAT16, FAT32, or NTFS partitions or volumes. A disk system can contain any combination of storage types. However, all volumes on the same disk must use the same storage type.​
     
  2. jerrysoon

    jerrysoon Registered Member

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    Anyone? Sorry, this is quite urgent. Thanks!
     
  3. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    Seems you need some kind of partition recovery tool. I would try :
    - Active@filerecovery pro (comes with a partition recovery module)
    - http://findandmount.com/, free (slow) or paid (fast), I would start with this one,
    etc.
     
  4. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    Can you go back and change the value of Disk 2 to 42 with HxD? Or you cannot see that partition in HxD now? I am not sure it these tools will work on a dynamic disk. You might want to see if you can recover the partition with Minitools Partition Recovery or Testdisk. Easeus Partition Master can also try to recover a partition. Testdisk can be downloaded as a bootable iso file. If the drive is a system drive, you will have to use something like a USB adapter in order to use Easeus or Minitools.

    http://www.vantecusa.com/en/product/view_detail/266
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  5. jerrysoon

    jerrysoon Registered Member

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    Managed to mount the other partition after scanning. Thanks MerleOne!

    But need to actually convert that partition to "basic disk" so I can access it with read/write.

     
  6. jerrysoon

    jerrysoon Registered Member

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    Hi tgell, I dare not change the value back to 42. Worried it will screw up the whole thing again. Will try the programs you suggested.

     
  7. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    There is always the (lenghty but safe) solution to copy each file from the mounted partition to another drive, then do the same for other partitions, using an imaging tool for the OS (if relevant), reformat and reinstall from what you have saved.
     
  8. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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    @MerleOne, thanks for that tip on findandmount. I am adding that to my toolbox. A very useful utility.
     
  9. tgell

    tgell Registered Member

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  10. napoleon1815

    napoleon1815 Registered Member

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    Agreed! Thanks!
     
  11. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    I once used it, to recover files from a damaged partition. The trouble was that there was no way to identify which files were ok and which were corrupt.
     
  12. jerrysoon

    jerrysoon Registered Member

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    Yup, that's the Plan B. If can, I would like to use the HexEdit method.

     
  13. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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  14. jerrysoon

    jerrysoon Registered Member

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    On Disk Management, it doesn't detect my First Partition. But on Find&Mount, it does and it only allows me to read the partition.

    I think the only way is to backup all the datas and reformat the harddisk.

     
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