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Dynamic Volumes Are Not Displayed Accurately in Text-Mode Setup or Recovery Console
Article ID: 227364 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q227364
While you are using the Recovery console to repair an unbootable Windows 2000 system, or during the text-mode portion of Windows 2000 Setup, dynamic disks may not display accurate information about the correct sizes or the complete list of volumes contained on the dynamic disk(s). There is also no visible designation as to whether a disk is a basic or dynamic disk.
NOTE: Deleting or reformatting any dynamic disk volume using the Recovery console's DISKPART or FORMAT command, or during Windows 2000 text-mode Setup, could result in permanent data loss.
Windows 2000 does not fully support pure dynamic disk volumes during Setup. Setup only understands dynamic disk partitions that are hard-linked. Hard-linked dynamic partitions are created when you upgrade a basic disk to dynamic and the basic disk had pre-existing primary and/or logical drives configured. Each of the pre-existing partitions retains a legacy-style partition table entry (type 42 for primary and type 05 for extended), even after upgrading the disk to dynamic. These special hard-linked partition table entries allows Setup to recognize them as valid partitions for installation.
Pure dynamic disks (those not containing any hard-linked partitions) have only a single partition table entry (type 42) to define the entire disk. Dynamic disks store their volume configuration in a database located in a 1-MB private region at the end of each dynamic disk. Volumes contained on a pure dynamic disk are soft-linked, and drive letters for them are not displayed until Setup is complete. Setup displays a single drive letter for the whole drive (usually the drive letter assigned to the first soft-linked partition) even if it has multiple volumes configured. You cannot install a fresh installation to this type of dynamic disk without destroying underlying volumes.
Keep a record of all dynamic disks and the volumes they contain, noting which volumes are hard-linked. Uniquely name your volumes so they can be identified during a repair operation or during text-mode Setup. Do not delete any of the dynamic volumes unless you are going to delete all of them from text-mode Setup.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.
The following examples demonstrate some of the misleading information you may see in text-mode Setup when you have existing dynamic volumes:
For additional information about how Windows 2000 displays and assigns drive letters during Setup, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/234048/EN-US/ )How Windows 2000 Assigns, Reserves, and Stores Drive Letters
Article ID: 227364 - Last Review: February 26, 2007 - Revision: 3.2