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Basic Storage Versus Dynamic Storage in Windows XP
Article ID: 314343 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q314343
Microsoft Windows XP offers two types of disk storage: basic and dynamic.
Basic Disk StorageBasic storage uses normal partition tables supported by MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me), Microsoft Windows NT, Microsoft Windows 2000, and Windows XP. A disk initialized for basic storage is called a basic disk. A basic disk contains basic volumes, such as primary partitions, extended partitions, and logical drives.
Additionally, basic volumes include multidisk volumes that are created by using Windows NT 4.0 or earlier, such as volume sets, stripe sets, mirror sets, and stripe sets with parity. Windows XP does not support these multidisk basic volumes. Any volume sets, stripe sets, mirror sets, or stripe sets with parity must be backed up and deleted or converted to dynamic disks before you install Windows XP Professional.
Dynamic Disk StorageDynamic storage is supported in Windows 2000 and Windows XP Professional. A disk initialized for dynamic storage is called a dynamic disk. A dynamic disk contains dynamic volumes, such as simple volumes, spanned volumes, striped volumes, mirrored volumes, and RAID-5 volumes.
NOTE: Dynamic disks are not supported on portable computers or on Windows XP Home Edition-based computers.
You cannot create mirrored volumes or RAID-5 volumes on Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, or Windows XP 64-Bit Edition-based computers. However, you can use a Windows XP Professional-based computer to create a mirrored or RAID-5 volume on remote computers that are running Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Advanced Server, or Windows 2000 Datacenter Server. You must have administrative privileges on the remote computer to do this.
Storage types are separate from the file system type. A basic or dynamic disk can contain any combination of FAT16, FAT32, or NTFS partitions or volumes.
A disk system can contain any combination of storage types. However, all volumes on the same disk must use the same storage type.
Convert a Basic Disk to a Dynamic DiskUse the Disk Management snap-in in Windows XP to convert a basic disk to a dynamic disk. To do this, follow these steps:
Dynamic Storage Terms:
309044For additional information about how to configure basic disks, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/309044/EN-US/ )HOW TO: Convert to Basic and Dynamic Disks in Windows XP Professional
309000For additional information about how to configure dynamic disks, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/309000/ )HOW TO: Use Disk Management to Configure Basic Disks
308424For additional information about how to create a mirrored volume, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308424/ )HOW TO: Use Disk Management to Configure Dynamic Disks
307880For additional information about how to create a RAID-5 volume, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307880/ )How to create a mirrored volume on a remote Windows 2000-based computer in Windows XP-based computer
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/309043/ )HOW TO: Create a RAID-5 Volume