This article describes how to convert a basic disk to a dynamic disk, and how to change a dynamic disk back to a basic disk by using the Disk Management snap-in in Windows XP Professional.
Windows XP Professional supports two types of disk storage: basic and dynamic. Basic disk storage uses partition-oriented disks. A basic disk contains basic volumes (primary partitions, extended partitions, and logical drives).
Dynamic disk storage uses volume-oriented disks, and includes features that basic disks do not, such as the ability to create volumes that span multiple disks (spanned and striped volumes).
Before you change a basic disk to a dynamic disk, note these items:
You must have at least 1 megabyte (MB) of free space on any master boot record (MBR) disk that you want to convert. This space is automatically reserved when the partition or volume is created in Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows XP Professional. However, it may not be available on partitions or volumes that are created in other operating systems.
When you convert to a dynamic disk, the existing partitions or logical drives on the basic disk are converted to simple volumes on the dynamic disk.
After you convert to a dynamic disk, the dynamic volumes cannot be changed back to partitions. You must first delete all dynamic volumes on the disk, and then convert the dynamic disk back to a basic disk. If you want to keep your data, you must first back up or move the data to another volume.
After you convert to a dynamic disk, local access to the dynamic disk is limited to Windows XP Professional and Windows 2000.
If your disk contains multiple installations of Windows XP Professional or Windows 2000, do not convert to a dynamic disk. The conversion operation removes partition entries for all partitions on the disk with the exception of the system and boot volumes for the current operating system.
Dynamic disks are not supported on portable computers or Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition.
Before you change a dynamic disk back to a basic disk, note that all existing volumes must be deleted from the disk before you can convert it back to a basic disk. If you want to keep your data, back up the data, or move your data to another volume.