Dynamic volumes are unavailable after you install Windows 8


Assume that you have a computer that has one or more dynamic volumes. You install Windows 8 over an earlier version of Windows on the computer, for example over Windows 7 Ultimate.  In this situation, the data on the dynamic volumes is not available after the installation of Windows 8. 

Additionally, if the operating system volume is a dynamic mirrored volume, Windows 8 may not start, the installation may fail, or the computer may roll back to the previously installed operating system. 

Note This issue does not occur when you install Windows 8 Pro or Windows 8 Enterprise.


This issue occurs because only Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise support dynamic volumes among all the Windows 8 editions.


Before you install Windows 8 on a computer that has dynamic volumes, make sure that you copy the data to a basic volume.

If the issue that is described in the Symptoms section has already occurred, use one of the following methods to recover the data.
  • Use Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE)

    To start Windows RE, insert the Windows 8 installation disc, and then restart the computer from the DVD. In Windows RE, you can copy data from dynamic volumes. If you use a dynamic mirror volume for the operating system volume, you can break the mirror.
  • Connect the dynamic disks to a system that supports dynamic volumes

    Connect the dynamic disks to a computer that is running one of the following operating systems, and then import the disks:
    • Windows 8 Pro
    • Windows 8 Enterprise
    • Windows 7 Ultimate
    • Windows 7 Professional
    • Windows 7 Enterprise

Article ID: 2769686 - Last Review: Jun 17, 2013 - Revision: 1

Windows 8 Enterprise, Windows 8 Enterprise N, Windows 8 N, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Pro N, Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 7 Enterprise N, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Professional N