A default Windows installation will create a Basic Disk, which uses normal partition tables. A Basic Disk may contain up to four primary partitions (only one of which can be active), or three primary partitions and one extended partition. However, the extended partition can have up to 23 drive letters assigned, for a total of 24 drive letters. In an extended partition, the user can create logical drives which simulate several smaller-sized hard drives.
There are a few advantages to converting a Basic Disk into a Dynamic Disk, for instance disk and volume management tasks can be completed without having to restart the pc. Also, volumes that span multiple disks can be created, which are called spanned volumes. Dynamic disks support up to 2000 volumes and do not use a Master Boot Record (MBR); instead disk layout information is stored in the last 1 megabyte± of the disk.
According to Microsoft, “after you convert a basic disk to a dynamic disk, the dynamic volumes cannot be changed back to partitions. You must first delete all dynamic volumes on the disk and then convert the dynamic disk back to a basic disk. If you want to keep your data, you must first back up the data or move it to another volume.”
I recently converted my hard drives to Dynamic Disks, and came to find out that many programs still have compatibility issues and difficulties recognizing Dynamic Disks. For this reason, I decided to convert my hard drives back to Basic Disks. The problem was neither Windows nor any other program I had could convert back to Basic Disks, and if it could convert it all of the data would be lost. I had to find a solution that would convert my drives back to Basic Disks, and after a simple Google search I came across a program that I had used in the past but forgotten. This program is Easeus Partition Master Home Edition.
The Easeus Partition Master Home Edition (Free) Download is Available Here:
- After installing Easeus Partition Master Home Edition, you may be asked to restart your computer. After restarting, open the program.
- Select the Dynamic Disk that you would like to convert back to a basic disk. Right click in the middle of the Dynamic Disk and select the option Convert to Basic Disk. This will add a pending operation of converting dynamic disk to basic disk. NOTE: This feature can only process dynamic disk with simple and mirrored volumes. The other types of dynamic disk like spanned volume, striped volume are not supported. To convert a dynamic disk containing mirrored volumes to a basic disk, please break the mirrored volumes before converting.
- In the bottom left corner of the Easeus Partition Master window, click the Apply button. A popup window will appear asking to restart the computer. After restarting, the conversion process will proceed and then restart again.
- The Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk conversion is now complete.