How to Change Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk Safely

Tracy King updated on May 29, 2020 to Partition Master | How-to Articles

Applies to: Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista, and Windows Server 2000/2003/2008/2012/2016/2019.

There are two types of disk storage types on Windows: basic disk and dynamic disk. Many users are dithering which one to choose before partitioning a drive. First of all, you need to understand the features of the two disk storage types. 

What Is Basic and Dynamic Disk? 

Basic disk refers to a disk that is initialized for basic storage. A basic disk usually contains partitions, including primary and logical volumes, for file storage. And the created partitions are formatted with a file system - NTFS by default.

Dynamic disk is more like a disk that has been initialized for dynamic storage. It provides the features that basic disk does not.

Basic vs. Dynamic, Which Is Better?

Some of you may not know the differences between Basic and Dynamic disks. Here is a comparison table that may help you understand which is better and select the right disk type:

Comparison Basic Disk Dynamic Disk
Supported OS
  • MS-DOS(Microsoft Disk Operating System)
  • All Windows-based operating systems
  • Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10
  • Windows server systems
Maximum Partition Number
  • MBR - 4 primary partitions, or three primary partitions + one extended partition 
  • GPT - 128 partitions
2,000 volumes
Partition Type
  • Primary partition
  • Extended partition or logical partition
  • Simple volume
  • Spanned volume
  • Stripped volume
  • Mirrored volume
  • Raid-5 volume
Pros (Usages)
  • Most often used
  • Easiest to manage
  • Compatible disk type with Windows
  • Creat volume that spans multiple disks (spanned + striped volume)
  • Create fault-tolerant volumes (mirrored + RAID-5 volume)

According to this comparison table, basic and dynamic disks mainly share differences in OS, number of partitions, partition types, usages. It's obvious that Dynamic disk is mainly used for huge storage, while the basic disk is better for ordinary data storage. 

Is It Possible to Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk

Yes. You can convert a dynamic disk to a basic one. 

The basic disk can be directly converted to a dynamic disk using the Windows disk management tool. However, you cannot directly convert a dynamic disk to basic when there are partitions on it.

To do so, you will need to delete all the volumes and data on the dynamic disk, which is the last thing you want to see. And the conversion is irreversible.

Then, is it possible to convert dynamic disk to basic disk without losing data? Luckily, the answer is YES. In the following, we will cover three practical solutions to help you change a dynamic disk to basic without losing any data:

Continue reading and see the how-to tutorials. 

How to Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk Without Losing Data 

Applies to: Windows beginners, professionals, 3-step dynamic to basic conversion, no data loss.

Third-party partition manager software - EaseUS Partition Master enables you to switch Dynamic disk to Basic or vice versa in only a few clicks. With it, you can directly execute the conversion, keeping all the volumes intact without any data loss.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

How-to Tutorial: Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk using EaseUS Partition Master

 

Step 1: Install and open EaseUS Partition Master on your Windows computer by clicking the download button.

EaseUS Partition Manager software

Step 2: Select dynamic disk which you want to convert to basic. Right-click it and choose "Convert to Basic".

convert dynamic to basic

Step 3: Click "OK" on the pop-up window and you will add this conversion to the pending operations.

convert dynamic to basic

Step 4: Click the "Execute 1 Operation" button at the top-left corner and "Apply" to begin to convert dynamic to basic disk. After that, you can also use this partition manager to resize/move, clone, merge, format, and delete the partitions. 

convert basic to dynamic

After EaseUS Partition Master applies these changes, you will see the dynamic disk has become basic in Windows Disk Management as shown below:

Disk shows basic after conversion

And then you can use "Resize/Move partition" feature to resize partitions on the basic disk. Note that, if you want to change a basic disk into a dynamic type, you can also apply this software for help. 

How to Convert Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk with Disk Management

Applies to: Experienced Windows users, deleting partition is unavoidable, data loss.

As said before, if you want to use the Windows built-in disk management to convert dynamic disk to basic, you need to delete all the volumes on the dynamic disk. 

Warning
To convert a dynamic disk back to a basic disk with disk management, you must delete all volumes, which means the data will be removed too.
Make sure you back up all the data you want to keep before proceeding.

How-to Tutorial: Change Dynamic to Basic using Disk Management

It's a free solution to use Windows disk management to convert dynamic disk to a basic. You can do it within three steps as demonstrated below:

Step 1. Back up all volumes on the disk you want to convert from dynamic to basic.

Step 2. In Disk Management, right-click on the dynamic disk volume, and then click "Delete Volume" for each volume on the disk.

Delete dynamic volue

Step 3. Click "Yes" to confirm the deletion.

confirm deleting dynamic volumes

Step 4. When all volumes on the disk have been deleted, right-click the disk, and then click "Convert to Basic Disk".

On some new operating systems, the disk will automatically turn into as a Basic disk after deleting all volumes on the dynamic disk.

Convert dynamic disk to basic

Bonus Tutorial - Convert Dynamic Disk with Mirror Volumes to Basic

To convert dynamic disk has mirror volumes, you need to break mirrored volumes before you can delete them. 

Step 1. Right-click "My Computer/This PC" and choose "Manage" -> "Storage" -> "Disk Management".

Step 2. Right-click the mirrored volumes and choose "Break Mirrored Volume" or choose "Remove Mirror" to remove the mirror.

If the boot/system partition is on the mirrored volumes, you can only choose "Remove Mirror" to remove the mirror.

Please backup your important data before this operation. 

After choosing "Break Mirrored Volume" or "Remove Mirror", the mirrored volumes will become simple volumes. Then, you can delete them through right-click shortcut. 

Break mirrored volumes

Step 3. And then convert dynamic disk to basic disk by repeating delete all volumes on the disk.

After this, right-click the dynamic disk and select "Convert to Basic" if necessary. When your dynamic disk has been changed into a basic disk, you can then create new partitions on the disk to make use of it again.

How to Change Dynamic Disk to Basic with Command Prompt

Applies to: Experienced & professional Windows users, IT administrators. 

It's much more complex to apply Command Prompt converting dynamic to basic than using EaseUS Partition Master and Disk Management. Any false operations may cause serious data loss or program malfunction.

Be careful while you are converting the disk to basic. Note that this operation will also delete your partitions and data. Make sure that you back up data in advance.

Tutorial: Convert Dynamic to Basic Disk using Command Prompt

Step 1. Type cmd in the Search box and right-click Command Prompt, select "Run as Administrator".

Step 2. Type diskpart and hit Enter to bring up DiskPart.

Step 3. Type the following command and hit Enter each time:

  • list disk
  • select disk 1 (Replace 1 with the disk number of your dynamic disk)
  • detail disk
  • select volume 2 (Replace 2 with the volume number that you want to delete)
  • delete volume 2 

delete volume using diskpart

Repeat the process until you have deleted all existing volumes on the disk.

Step 4. when you finish deleting all the volumes, type the following command and hit Enter each time:

  • select disk 1 (Replace 1 with the disk number of your dynamic disk)
  • convert basic

convert dynamic to basic using diskpart

Step 5. Type exit after the process finishes.

After this, your disk is a basic disk now. And you can re-create partitions to save data on it again.

Conclusion

On this page, we compared Basic disk with Dynamic disk and provided 3 practical solutions to help Windows beginners, experienced and even professional users to efficiently convert Dynamic to MBR.

If you are looking for an all-in-one efficient resolution in converting dynamic disk to Basic without data loss, let EaseUS Partition Master help. 

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

 
 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose EaseUS Partition Master?

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"Partitioning tools have come a very long since the days of complicated command line utilities and EASEUS Partition Master is one of the most advanced programs available."TECH ADVISOR

"I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes."Lifewire

Will the "Migrate OS" feature transfer the Windows system files only or the whole C drive?

To ensure that the migrated system will boot normally, the Migrate OS feature will transfer all the files in the system and the boot partitions. Generally, the boot partition is the C drive so the transfer will include all the files in C.

Does EaseUS Partition Master license apply to multiple computers?

The license of Partition Master Professional and Server editions can be used on 1 computer only, while that for for the Technician and Unlimited editions can be used on multiple machines.

What is the difference between EaseUS Partition Master Trial version and the Free version?

Free is for home users only, with most basic functions available such as partition resize and clone. While trial can help you understand how this product works and test what a full license can do on a business or server OS machine.

Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

Generally, it will not cause any data loss or boot issue by resizing a partition. However, in order to protect your data, we suggest that you backup the partition before resizing, in case of any unexpected situations such as power outages, computer hardware failures, etc. You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to backup the partition and its trial version is fully functioned for 30 days.

What should I prepare before resizing the partition?

On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

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