My Computer and Disk Management Offer Inconsistent Options for Formatting a Volume on a Dynamic Disk

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Article ID: 303584 - View products that this article applies to.
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When you attempt to format a volume on a dynamic disk in My Computer, all three format options--FAT, FAT32, and NTFS--are available in the File system box. However, in the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Disk Management snap-in, the only available format option is NTFS.


This behavior is by design.


After you convert a physical disk from basic to dynamic, you can still format a volume as FAT16 or FAT32, but you must perform this task from within My Computer, by right-clicking the drive letter and then clicking Format. File system availability depends on the size of the partition; for example, FAT16 is not available for disks that are larger than two gigabytes (GB). The Disk Management MMC console offers only the NTFS file system as a formatting option.

Although you can use the FAT file system to format a volume on a dynamic disk in Windows XP, doing so means that you cannot extend the volume and that you cannot use the FAT volume with that fault tolerance methods that are commonly associated with dynamic disks and NTFS.

NOTE: Dynamic disks are not supported on portable computers or Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition.


Article ID: 303584 - Last Review: December 1, 2007 - Revision: 1.4
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
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