For those of you unfamiliar with this concept, a basic disk is used for basic logical drives and partitions and serves as the storage disk type most commonly used in the Windows operating system.
A basic disk is a simple storage solution that allows you to create and delete primary and extended partitions, create and delete logical drives within an extended partition, and the ability to format a partition and mark it active. P>
A dynamic disk provides features that are not available with a basic disk. They allow you to partition volumes into partitions such as spanned, striped, mirrored, and RAID-5. These drives usually offer a lot of flexibility for volume management. Since the release of Windows 10, dynamic disks have been deprecated and are generally no longer recommended for use.
One of the main reasons a dynamic disk is no longer considered useful is the introduction of new storage spaces technology that can help protect your data from disk failures. A long-standing problem with dynamic disks is that they inevitably fail, causing disk failures and the need to go back to the basic disk.
How to convert a dynamic disk to a basic disk
The good thing about both drives is that they are mutually convertible, that is, you can convert one to the other and vice versa. This is possible in two ways; using a disk management tool or command line.
You can use third party tools that should make the whole process easier. You can find one if you like, although we cannot personally recommend it.
This process will require some computer skills, but is relatively simple even for a beginner. We will try to simplify both conversion methods and help you convert a dynamic disk, bad or otherwise, to a basic one.
Before you begin, it is very important to back up all volumes located on a dynamic disk. Both conversion processes will completely erase all data during transfer.
First Transfer Method – Disk Management
Probably the simplest method of the two, since it requires minimal effort, we’ll start converting your dynamic disk to basic using the disk management tool.
- Right-click the Start menu and select Disk Management.
- You can also enter disk management in the search in the taskbar and select “Create and format hard disk partitions”.
- In the Disk Management window, find and right-click each dynamic disk volume that you want to convert, then select Delete Volume.
- After deleting the volumes, right-click the disk itself and select Convert to Basic Disk.
Moving from simple to dynamic with the disk management tool
On the other hand, converting a basic disk to dynamic does not require data backups. So, if for some reason you feel the need to revert a dynamic change back to basic, it’s as easy as following a screen wizard.
You may receive a warning while trying this change. The first informs you that it will not be possible to install the operating system from a volume that is not the current boot volume. This means that you already have a data or system partition on the underlying disk, and you should not convert it. It would be better to dual boot if you are firmly committed to using a dynamic disk.
Conversion method 2 – command prompt
If you are more familiar with the command line, this may be easier for you. However, this requires one additional step compared to the Disk Management tool. In either case, the end result is a basic disk converted from a dynamic disk.
- Start by running the command line. You can do this by typing cmd into a search in the taskbar and running the result as administrator.
- In a Command Prompt window, run the following command:
- A list of all available disks that can be found on your computer will open.
- The list will display the following information for each entry: disk number, status, size, current available space, and Dyn (dynamic DNS) and Gpt (GUID partition table).
- Please indicate the number of the drive you want to convert as we will use it in the next step.
- From DISKPART, enter the drive number you selected using the following command:
- You should receive a similar confirmation message that the drive has been selected.
- You will now need to preview and delete each volume on disk one at a time.
- Enter the detailed disk number, where # is the actual number of the selected disk.
- Now enter select volume #.
- Then delete volume no.
- After deleting each volume, you can convert a dynamic disk to a basic one by typing convert basic.
Going from simple to dynamic using the command line
Follow the steps above until you get a list of available disks in DISKPART. You don’t need to delete anything in this process. Just do convert dynamic and the disk will do it.
The only time you should get a warning is when you are trying to convert the system drive. In this case, you will be prompted with a virtual disk service error message stating that there is not enough space.