Friday, April 11, 2008

Basic Disks and Dynamic Disks

  • Basic Disks

Basic disks are what we always have been using. This is the traditional industry standard. A basic disk can have primary and extended partitions that make logical drives. The disk is referred to as basic disk when used for traditional basic storage, which is supported by all versions of Microsoft operating systems. For Windows 2000 Professional, it is the default storage type. All disks remain basic disks unless they are converted into dynamic disks using disk management. Basic disks cannot be resized without rebooting the system.

Disk partitions divide the physical hard drive into one or more storage areas used for saving different kinds of data. Two types of partitions can be created on basic disks: primary and extended. A physical disk can be divided into four primary partitions, or three primary partitions and one extended partition.

One of the primary partitions is set as active and is used for starting up the computer. The operating system boot files are located in this partition. An extended partition is created from free space on a hard disk. You cannot have more than one extended partition on a single disk. It is important to note that the extended partitions are not formatted or assigned drive letters; they only work as logical drives.

  • Dynamic Disks

Dynamic disks or dynamic storage are supported only on systems running Windows 2000. Basic disks can be converted into dynamic disks using Disk Management. The dynamic disk can then be used for creating dynamic volumes. A dynamic volume can consist of a single partition, multiple partitions of a single drive, or multiple partitions of multiple physical hard drives.

Dynamic disks facilitate creation of simple volumes, spanned volumes, and striped volumes. These volumes are called dynamic volumes. It is possible to resize the dynamic volumes without having to reboot the computer; however, there are certain restrictions to this. The reboot becomes.

Requirements for Dynamic Disks and Volumes

There are certain requirements for hard drives to be configured or upgraded as dynamic disks. The following points explain the requirements for dynamic volumes:

  • Dynamic volumes need dynamic disks. A basic disk must be upgraded to a dynamic disk before any dynamic volumes can be created.
  • The sector size of the disks should not be greater than 512KB. This must be taken care of while formatting the drives.
  • Removable media cannot be configured as a dynamic volume.
  • The dynamic disk must have a minimum of 1MB free disk space at the end of the drive. If you are using more than one drive as part of a striped set, each drive must have 1MB free at the end.
  • If the boot or system partition is a part of a mirrored set, this partition cannot be upgraded to a dynamic disk.
  • In case you wish to have multiple file systems, you must have multiple volumes. A single volume can have only one type of file system.
  • If you have some disks working as a stripe set, each of the disks must first be upgraded to a dynamic disk. This will enable upgrading the stripe set to striped volume.