What is Foreign Dynamic Disk and How to Access it?

Question: I upgraded to Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium from a XP installation with two hard disks. The result is that I now cannot read the second disk although it appears in the BIOS setup. In the Computer Management > Disk Management, it is shown as a Dynamic Foreign disk with no other information. How the drive got the dynamic status is a puzzle to me. I know that the Vista Home cannot read dynamic disks and I assume that the same applies to Windows 7. My problem is how can I read the data that is on this disk?

Why dynamic disk showing foreign?

When you move a dynamic disk from one computer to another one which does not support dynamic disk, such as all Windows home editions, and then the dynamic disk created on previous computer will be flagged as a foreign disk in Disk Manager. On the other hand, if your computer is dual-boot and one of the operating system does not support dynamic disk, the status of the disk will also be shown as foreign disk.

Foreign Dynamic Disk

How to access foreign dynamic disk?

When you right click the disk, there are two available options: Import Foreign Disk or Convert to Basic Disk.

To allow the disk to be recognized by the current installation of Volume Manager, you need to add the disk to your computer's system configuration by right-click on the disk and select Import Foreign Disks. Any existing volumes on the foreign disk will be visible and accessible when you import the disk.

Because some versions of Windows cannot access dynamic disk, you need to revert dynamic disk to basic by right click the foreign disk and select "Convert to Basic Disk". You have to know this operation will wipe out all the data on the disk. If you want to convert dynamic disk to basic without data loss and even manage basic and dynamic disk well, please refer to following content.

To convert dynamic disk to basic

AOMEI Partition Assistant professional is a piece of powerful disk partition management software developed by AOMEI Technology, which is widely used in Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, both 32 bit and 64 bit. It provides you with the most popular disk partition technology which enables you to convert dynamic disk to basic and vice versa.

Step1: Download and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. According to the picture showing below, it is observed that AOMEI has a clean and intuitive surface, with the functions available listed on the left and menu items listed on the top. Now click Dynamic Disk Converter in the Wizards.

AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro

Step2: In the new pop up window, click Next to continue.

Dynamic Disk Converter

Step3: As you can see from the following screenshot, there are two options. Since we are going to convert a dynamic disk to basic disk, we simply choose Method 1. (If you need to convert a dynamic volume to basic, then you can choose Method 2.)

Method 1: Convert a dynamic disk back to basic disk. Safely, directly and time-saving (only take 3-10 seconds) revert a dynamic disk back to basic disk without losing data.                
Method 2: Convert any dynamic volume to basic partition. Clone simple volume, spanned volume, striped volume, mirrored volume and RAID-5 volume from dynamic to basic disk sector by sector.

Choose Method

Step4: Tick the disk which you want to convert and then click Next to continue.

Select Disk

Step5: Confirm your operation and then click Proceed.

Proceed Operation

Step6: AOMEI Dynamic Disk Converter will notice you as soon as the operation has been completed. Click OK -> Finish to end this operation.

Finished

After the operation is completed, you need to click OK to restart your computer in order to bring the conversion operation into effect. As a matter of fact, AOMEI Partition Assistant can help you convert GPT disk to MBR without losing data. Other helpful features like Migrate OS to SSD, Windows To Go Creator, Create Bootable Media, etc. are come with this software as well.