Convert to Basic Disk?


G

Guest

Ok, confused.
I put Vista on my system that was running XP and I had 3 internal hard
drives. 2 showed just fine and the 3rd which was used for backup was not to
be seen. Look into the Disk Mgr and I can see it but when I right click on
it, it gives me the option to Convert to Basic Disk, Properties and Help.
I dont really want to loose the data that was/is on that drive and if I do a
Convert to Basic Disk, wont that loose the data?
What actually is Convert to Basic Disk mean?
My other 2 drives are Dynamic drives.
So what is the difference between a 'Basic Disk' and a Dynamic disk?
I have sent a question to Western Digital to see if then have drivers that I
missed on their site to add to enable the drive rather than wipe it out, so
far they have not responded.
(e-mail address removed)
 
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R

Ryetronics

Doug,

This happened to me as well. I ended up dumping all the data on an
external drive for backup, then converting to Basic. I posed the same
question to a number of forums and never received a response, but
after some lengthy research via Google, I came to the understanding
that having Dynamic drives just limits what you can do with it. All
of my drives are Basic now, they work the same as they did before, and
all are compatible with Vista.

So I hope you have a spare HD for backup purposes lying around,
because if you do convert to Basic, you will lose your data.
 
G

Guest

Thank you. I was hoping for a good result and someone to come back and say do
this or that and it will be all better now.
I know the worse case is I do the Converto to Basic Disk and start over, the
data that was being backed up to this drive is a-okay so I can recover and
start over but I have 2 other computers that I want to make sure I understand
what is happening before I convert them over.
 
M

mister.jones

Be a bit more specific. The backup has been done with what program? Do you
know the file system that was used on the backup harddisk?
Usually you will loose all data if you Convert to Basic Disk. You can
convert back to basic disk using a disk editor, but probably that will not
bring your data back.
You will probably not need additional drivers.
 
G

Guest

The backup program doesnt matter, it was the data on the harddrive that matter.
The harddrive was formatted in NTFS and worked like a charm prior to
installing Vista. I ran the program to check my software and hardware and
nothing came up as needing to be changed so I thought I was good to go.
Now this. My main drive where I have data on it is running great so if I
need to Convert the backup drive, I can do so but I have 2 other computers
that have backup drives that I want to be sure I know how to fix or correct
if needed.
Thanks
 
M

mister.jones

You say, the drive shows up in Disk Manager.

On the left, you see probably:
Disk X
Dynamic
XXX GB
Online

What do you see on the right? Which color is assigned to the volume? Which
filesystem is given? etc.
What comes up if you right-click here?
Have you tried "Change Drive Letter and Paths" to add a new drive letter?
 
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G

Guest

It says it is a Dynamic drive and Healthy but no drive letter.

I dont get the ability to assign a drive letter, not enabled. I an only see
Properties and Help and Convert to Basic Disk.

Would have made it nice to just assign a new drive letter.

Get this, I have another PC with the same type of drive in in it and had to
re-install XP on the PC. The 2nd drive was the Western Digital wd3200jb just
like this one on my Vista machine. It also did not come up after reinstalling
the O/S?

So now 2 machines with identical type of drives and both would not show the
drive after the O/S was installed. Both show the same issue, I can see in
Disk Mgr but can not do anything with them except Convert to Basic.
 
G

Guest

Hea, I was wondering if I could take the 320g drive that has failed in this
computer, put it in a external case as a USB external drive and connect it to
the computer. Wonder if it would recognize the drive as an external drive and
drive letter and then read what is on the drive?
Then the next question is:
If I did this, would I have the same problem I have now where if I need to
reinstall the O/S, it would not loose the drive as it would be a USB drive.
Correct in your thinking as well?
 
M

mister.jones

Very strange, indeed.
I am not sure if you would see the data on the drive if you put it in an
external case. I have the impression, the volume is not in a format that
Vista can recognize.
You can look at more details with the cmd program 'diskpart'.
The following commands might be useful:
list vol - lists all volumes
sel vol x - selects the volume you are interested in
detail part - shows details about the partition of the selected volume
What partition type is given? 42 should be correct for dynamic disks.
detail vol - shows details for selected volume
Is your volume perhaps 'hidden'?
You can compare the working and the non-working disks, perhaps you notice a
difference.
online - might bring the volume online?
setid - could perhaps be used to set the id from 42 (dynamic) to 07 (basic),
function is probably blocked.

.... some minutes later ...

Several reports that _maybe_ Vista Home does not support dynamic disks,
although documentation states that all versions of Vista support dynamic
disks:
http://itsvista.com/2007/02/dynamic-disk-microsofts-bastard-child/
http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?p=1030654823

In this case, there is one solution, which lets you _probably_ keep all your
data, but with no guarantees.
And you have to use a disk editor for this purpose.

The procedure is explained here (dskprobe.exe, however, poses problems under
Vista):
http://faq.arstechnica.com/link.php?i=1806
I successfully applied it to one dynamic disk, all data was save.

Mainly you have to use a disk editor, go to sector 0, go to byte 01C2. This
byte will be 42 (dynamic disk). Change it to 07 (basic disk, NTFS). For the
second partition, the byte is 01D2, third 01E2, forth 01F2.

You can find disk editors in most partioning programs, or as freeware (e.g.
Tiny Hexer)

The procedure is simple, and it should work if your disks do not use fancy
features of dynamic disks (spanning/mirroring), which they probably won't.
But, of course, this is on your own risk, and you might loose the data on
the disk.

Let us know if it worked. Good luck!
 
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G

Guest

I got the external case and gave it a shot. Of course it would not work.
Win XP recognized the the USB port, it recognized the type of drive and I do
not see it in Explorer. I can see it in Disk Mgr but not a drive that can be
obtained. I only have the choice to Delete the partition.
I needed to get the one computer running, so I deleted the partition and
started over and I will keep it as an external drive.
I tried the diskpart and list vol and it did not show the drive. BIOS showed
the drive and the correct size.
I still would like WD non-Support to finish my question I posed to them on
their Support web site to tell me why my two identical drives failed to be
recognized after re-installing Win XP and installing Vista on an XP machine.
These 2 drives had been working for several months prior to these installs so
I do not know why this caused the problems they have caused.
I still have the Vista machine to do, plan on doing the external drive to it
as well but will wait to see if WD support answers my question.
 

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