Why format dynamic disk in Windows?
Dynamic disk is a good choice in computer use due to its additional features such as creating volumes that span multiple disks, extending a simple or spanned volume, and accommodating RAID-5 volumes, and so on. However, some users still want to format a dynamic disk to a basic one. Is there any disadvantage of dynamic disk?
Obviously, the answer is positive. Some users complain that the dynamic disk volume could not be deleted when trying to reinstall Windows Vista. What’s more, one of the reasons that user convert basic disk to dynamic is to break the disk capacity of 2TB. Nevertheless, there is GUID Partition Table (GPT) disk type developed afterwards, which helps users handle large capacity disks well. That is to say, the 2TB limitation can be made up for by converting MBR to GPT disk.
A part of users who want to change dynamic disk to basic just because of they convert it to dynamic accidentally. Or, convert to dynamic disk automatically when creating a primary partition in the condition that there are already 4 primary partitions on MBR disk. Besides, according to Microsoft dynamic disks have been deprecated from Windows, so it is not suggested using them anymore.
How to format dynamic hard disk with Windows tools?
Windows brings you ways to format a dynamic disk if you don’t want it any more. In general, you can do the dynamic volume formatting in Disk Management and Command Prompt. Let’s learn the detailed steps. Formatting during Windows installation is also discussed below.
Note: these methods will cause data loss after formatting. Therefore, please back up all important files in advance.
Delete volume in Disk Management
1. Press Win + R to open Run. Type diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter to open Disk Management.
2. Find the dynamic disk, right click its volume and select Delete Volume. Wait for the process completes.
Notice: repeat the step to delete all volumes on the dynamic disk.
3. Usually, the dynamic disk will become basic automatically after all volumes have been deleted. If not, right click the dynamic disk after it becomes unallocated space and select Convert to Basic Disk.
Tips: To convert mirrored volumes, you need to break mirrored volumes by Windows Disk Management.
How to format dynamic disk using CMD?
1. Click Start and type command prompt in the search box. Right click the Command Prompt from the list and select Run as administrator.
2. At the prompt, type diskpart and press Enter.
3. Type following commands successively and press Enter after each input.
select disk n (where n is the disk number of the dynamic disk)
select volume m (where m is the volume number of dynamic disk)
convert basic (run this after deleting all volumes on the dynamic disk)
exit (leave diskpart)
exit (leave command prompt)
Tips: repeat “select volume m” and “delete volume” if you have more than one volume on the dynamic disk.
Some user tries to format dynamic disk in Windows 7 install, so that he can install Windows OS to a basic disk directly after formatting. To achieve that goal, these steps may be helpful.
1. Boot computer from the Windows installation disc. Follow the wizard to complete the first several settings.
2. Stop when it comes to “Where do you want to install Windows?”. Then, press Shift + F10 to open a command prompt.
3. In the command prompt, repeat step 2 - step 3 in above method to convert dynamic disk to basic one.
4. Leave the prompt and complete the installation with the wizard.
Can’t format dynamic drive to basic in Windows 7/8/10
With such easy ways provided, some users still find that dynamic drive cannot be formatted in Windows. To be specific, the Delete Volume grayed out in Disk Management, or Windows returns the message: Windows cannot delete the system volume on this disk. If run delete volume in Diskpart, this error message would appear: Virtual Disk Service Error: Delete is not allowed on the current boot, system, pagefile, crashdump or hibernation volume.
The key problem is that they trying to format a dynamic disk that contains system files to basic, which is not allowed under Windows environment. System disk can be formatted without Windows like WinPE mode. However, the reinstallation work after formatting is not easy as well. Is there any way to change dynamic disk to basic without losing any data? Fortunately, the answer is yes.
How to format dynamic drive to basic without data loss?
AOMEI Dynamic Disk Manager is powerful and easy-to-use dynamic disk/volume management software for Windows operating systems that developed by AOMEI Technology. It allows you to convert dynamic disk to basic disk without deleting volumes, regardless of system disk or data disk. To invalid and unreadable dynamic disks, it provides more safely conversion to basic disk to retrieval data rather than recover data through data recovery software. Take how to format dynamic partition in Windows 10 for example.
1. Install and run AOMEI Dynamic Disk Manager on your computer. Right click the dynamic disk and select Convert to Basic Disk.
2. Confirm the conversion by clicking OK.
3. Click Commit in the toolbar to commit pending operations.
4. Click Proceed in the pop-up window to start the process. Wait for the process completes.
Tips: a reboot is required to convert system dynamic disk to basic disk.
Three ways in total are introduced on how to format dynamic hard disk to basic, even without losing data on system volume. Just choose the one that is the most suitable one for you. AOMEI Dynamic Disk Manager can also help you manage dynamic volumes like move dynamic volume, resize volume, add drive to RAID, and so on.
AOMEI Partition Assistant, the family product of AOMEI Technology, is a good assistant to manage basic disk after formatting. For example, you can convert system disk to GPT without losing data.