All versions of Windows support basic disks. A basic disk supports the following:

  • Primary partitions
  • Extended partitions
  • Logical drives

A basic disk also supports different types of Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) including volume sets, stripe sets, mirror sets, and stripe sets with parity.

Vista Business, Enterprise and Ultimate editions all support Dynamic Disks. A dynamic disk supports the following:

  • Simple volumes
  • Spanned volumes
  • Mirrored volumes
  • Striped volumes
  • RAID-5 volumes

You can upgrade a basic disk to dynamic disk using the Disk Management console. Click Start, right click Computer and click Manage. Click Storage and click Disk Management. Click Disk Management. Right click the appropriate disk and click Convert to Dynamic Disk.

There are things you need to keep in mind when converting to a dynamic disk. In order to revert to a basic disk, you must back up all your data, delete the existing volumes and repartition the disk. You can then convert to a basic disk using the ‘convert basic’ command.

Next, you cannot upgrade to a dynamic disk of you are using a mobile computer. Finally, dynamic disks are not accessible under pre-Windows 2000 operating systems. If you are dual booting with an older version of Windows, the dynamic disk will not be readable.

In the next installment of this article, I will more closely at converting from a basic to dynamic disk.

[tags]vista, basic disk, dynamic disk, windows, microsoft, partition, volume, drive[/tags]