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Thread: Why Dynamic Disk is bad

  1. #1
    Senior Member Commandos's Avatar
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    Why Dynamic Disk is bad

    Hi all.
    I read a post
    http://www.sysopt.com/forum/showthread.php?t=202605
    Sterling_Aug didnt advise the usage of Dynamic Disk. Why ?
    I have a system with 2 hard drive installed :
    Disk 0 ( Basic ) where the OS on C and Data on D. This hard drive has 2 partitions, both Basic.
    Disk 1 ( Dyamic ) where all huge data, music and movies are there. This Hard Drive has 1 partition.
    I remember when I installed this hard drive and went to Computer management to create the disk and partition it, I didnt have the chance to change the "Dynamic ".. Is this bad ?
    Or Sterling_Aug, were u pointing to the Booting Disk not to be as Dynamic ?
    Thanks for your reply.
    Commandos

  2. #2
    Mod w/ an attitude Sterling_Aug's Avatar
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    Dynamic disks are used in companies where high disk storage space is required and they add new drives as the dynamic disk fills up. These companies also have data backup procedures and equipment in place to restore the dynamic disk if one of the drives go bad.

    If you lose a drive, you LOSE ALL DATA unless you have a backup.

    There is no good reason to use dynamic disks in a home situation.

  3. #3
    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    Time to bust out the ole MCSE literature

    Dynamic disks (DD) have benefits that most home users won't need. The most popular features would be RAID (striping, mirroring, spanning) or volume mount points.

    DDs don't use MBR; they create their own LDM boot record. This is why you see 8-10MB of free space left over when 2000/XP/2003/Vista formats a disk. That is exactly the reason you DON'T use fdisk to format, since it won't leave that extra little space. Many backup programs can't support DD properly, since it doesn't use MBR.

    If you don't have a RAID controller, then you could use software RAID. We already have RAID level explanations at Best of Storage. If you're going to use RAID, it's better to have a real RAID controller card.

    Volume mount points allow you get around the 26 drive letter limit. You can basically mount drives as folders, rather than a letter. This is also used in case you fill up a drive and need to add more space to it. So if your D: drive gets full, you can mount another drive into D: to virtually extend the space.

    As you may have guessed, you only reap the benefits of DD if you have multiple hard drives. It's a complete waste on single drives.

    My conclusion is the same as Sterling's. HOME USERS DON'T NEED DYNAMIC DISK.

  4. #4
    Mod w/ an attitude Sterling_Aug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midknyte View Post
    My conclusion is the same as Sterling's. HOME USERS DON'T NEED DYNAMIC DISK.
    Unless you have more money and less brains than most home owners.

    You learn quickly after you get burned once.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Commandos's Avatar
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    Thanks Sterling_Aug and Midknyte for your replies.
    Its not about having More Money nor less Brains. Its just when installing the hard drive, i didnt have the choice to choose between Dynamic and Basic for this second hard drive used for normal data storage. And I didnt pay attention to that point only when I read the post mentioned before.
    My main question is the following : Are there any chances of hard drive failure only because its set to Dynamic ?
    Thanks in advance.
    Commandos

  6. #6
    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    You would have had a choice when you first initialized the disk. You must not have noticed it.

    Dynamic or Basic does not affect the hardware one way or the other. It neither increases nor decreases failure rate.

  7. #7
    Extreme Member! BipolarBill's Avatar
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    The single greatest weakness of Dynamic is that the volume is tied directly to the primary drive. If the first hard drive fails, the data on the Dynamic Disk will be lost too because the operating system defines the volume. No operating system, no dynamic volume. A basic disk is defined by the formatting and can be accessed from any operating system that supports the file system used.
    MS MCP, MCSE

  8. #8
    Mod w/ an attitude Sterling_Aug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BipolarBill View Post
    A basic disk is defined by the formatting and can be accessed from any operating system that supports the file system used.
    And to add to this:

    A simple disk can be accessedno matter what the status or formatting of any other disk in the system. It is totally independant of any other disk.

    As Mk said, you must have missed the choice to format the disk as basic. I have never seen dynamic come up as the default choice.

    BTW: My comment of more money and less brains was not meant for you since you made a mistake here. The comment is meant for all of those people that come here to ask advise, then do as they wish anyways, then come back and ***** about their problems because they never listened to us.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Commandos's Avatar
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    Thanks All.
    Since the dynamic disk is directly tied to the Primary drive, then Im at risk here and I should solve this issue asap... ( Thanks Bill )
    Sterling_Aug, I know your comment wasnt directed to me in person I appreciate your help.
    Here, I always ask for help and I follow your advices.. This led me to be on the right path..
    I think I missed and didnt notice the Basic Dynamic issue when initializing the Disk. Midknyte is right..
    Basic Disk can be converted to Dynamic in Computer Management, not the opposite..
    What shall I do ? Back up on an external hard drive, re-initialize the HD as Basic, then copy the Data Back ?
    Or, there is another way to do that.
    Thanks in advance.
    Commandos

  10. #10
    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    The only way to revert back to basic is to do a format. So yes, you'll have to do a backup and restore if you want to change back.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Commandos's Avatar
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    Thats what Im gonna do.
    Thanks all .
    Cheers
    Commandos

  12. #12
    Mod w/ an attitude Sterling_Aug's Avatar
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    I learned this issue the hard way years ago myself. That was the last time I used dynamic disk. I think I was using Win2K at the time.

  13. #13
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    We got caught out by dyaminc disks at work last year - for some reason even though the disks are actually on the SAN they had been set-up as dynamic (seems pretty pointless when you can manage the disk size via the SAN anyway). Anyway the version of BESR we had back them didn't work with dynamic disks to infrastructure had to go through copying the data off annd re-formating them all (on a 2 farms of 10 boxes - with 3-4 drives per box).

    Steve

  14. #14
    Senior Member Commandos's Avatar
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    Hi again.
    To fix this Dynamic Disk issue, Im planning to get a 500 GB Sata2 HD and move all the date on this new disk ( Basic disk this time ) and re-initialize and reformat the dyamic disk.
    I can get the WD or the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11. But I read a post by Midknyte that those drives (500GB and 1T ) are failing.
    Seagate and Maxtor joined together and they are producing hard drives( They are slim ), so is this HD good, not failing and different from the Seagate Barracuda.
    Or I go with WD ??
    Thanks in advance.
    Commandos

  15. #15
    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    It was a firmware problem with the drives, not a physical defect. You can go to the Seagate site for a firmware update. I don't know what you mean by "different from Barracuda". The 7200.11 is a Barracuda drive.

    If you're that concerned, just go with the WD for now.

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