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Resize Dynamic Disk to Extend or Shrink Dynamic Disk

Updated by Daisy on Sep 22, 2022
Written by Tracy King

Why Need to Resize Dynamic Disk?

Resizing dynamic disk is helpful for users to make good use of disk space, especially maximize computer performance. For example, when the system volume has insufficient disk  space, we want to add some free space for system volume to make the computer works well. So we need to resize the bigger dynamic volume to free up unallocated space and extend system volume. 

2 Ways to Resize (Extend/Shrink) Dynamic Disk

Dynamic disk is a good choice for people who want to maximize hard drive performance. However, it has two huge disadvantages. One is if you convert a basic disk to dynamic, you cannot turn it back without data loss, as you need to delete all dynamic volumes first before converting. The other is in most conditions the dynamic volume still cannot be extended in disk management, especially for the system volume. Many people will encounter this problem if they need to increase the dynamic disk.

Here we will introduce two ways for you to resize the dynamic disk. One is the traditional Disk Management method, and the other is to apply a third-party tool - EaseUS Partition Master which will offset the limitation and support to resize dynamic disk directly with all data protected.

Method 1. Manage and resize dynamic disk by Disk Management

Step 1. Right-click My Computer, select Manage -> Storage -> Disk Management, open Windows built-in Disk Management.

Step 2. Select the volume you want to resize and right-click, choose "Extend Volume" or "Shrink Volume" to resize the dynamic disk.

Step 3. Type the volume size that you want to resize in MB. Then click Next.         

Step 4. Click Finish and you will find the dynamic volume has been resized.

Extend Dynamic Volume in Disk Management

In Disk Management, you can only extend or shrink Simple volume and Spanned volume. So it's not the best choice if you want to resize mirrored, striped volume, or RAID-5 volume. To fulfill your demands, we recommend you go to Method 2 to try a professional partition management tool - EaseUS Partition Master.

Before Windows Vista, Disk Management has the following limitations to resize dynamic volume.

Features Windows 2000 Windows Server 2000 Windows XP Windows Server 2003
Extend system volume/boot volume - - - -
Extend/shrink simple volume
Extend/shrink spanned volume
Extend/shrink mirrored volume - - - -
Extend/shrink striped volume - - - -
Extend/shrink RAID-5 volume - - - -

Tips: Extend the simple volume which was converted from the basic disk of Windows XP/2003 that was upgraded from Windows 2000.

In Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows Server 2008, Disk Management has the following limitations to resize dynamic volume.

Features Windows Vista Windows 7 Windows Server 2008
Extend/shrink system volume/boot volume
Extend/shrink simple volume
Extend/shrink spanned volume
Extend/shrink mirrored volume - - -
Extend/shrink striped volume - - -
Extend/shrink RAID-5 volume - - -

Method 2. Manage and resize dynamic disk by EaseUS Partition Master

As mentioned before, Disk Management has many limitations in resizing the dynamic disk. As a better replacement, EaseUS Partition Master can do the following dynamic disk management operations. Check and download EaseUS Partition Master on your computer.

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  • Extend dynamic volume, including system/boot/simple/spanned/striped/mirrored/RAID-5 volume, to maximize computer performance.
  • Shrink dynamic volume, including system/boot/simple/spanned/striped/mirrored/RAID-5 volume to free up disk space.
  • Convert dynamic disk to basic disk without losing data.
  • Copy dynamic volume, including system/boot/simple/spanned/striped/mirrored/RAID-5 volume.
  • Delete dynamic volume, explore dynamic volume, check file system on dynamic volume, defrag dynamic volume.
  • Convert FAT dynamic volume to NTFS file system
  • Repair RAID-5 volume when it failed.

Resize dynamic volumes can be realized with ease by following the next steps:

Step 1. Locate the volume

Choose the volume on the dynamic disk, right-click on it and choose "Resize/Move".

choose the volume

Step 2. Resize the volume

  • To shrink a volume - drag the volume panel leftward or use the "Partition size" option to adjust the volume size you'd like to decrease, then click OK to confirm.
  • To extend a volume - If there is no unallocated space, repeat the shrink volume process to create enough unallocated space. Then on the new pop-out window, use your mouse to drag one of its ends into unallocated space. Click OK to confirm. 
drag the mouse to resize the volume

Step 3. Apply changes

To save the changes, click "Execute 1 Task(s)" and then "Apply".

apply changes to the volume

Disk Management VS EaseUS Partition Master 

If you are still not sure whether to pick up EaseUS Partition Master or not. The following is the comparison of Disk Management and EaseUS Partition Master when resizing dynamic disk.

Features Windows 2000/XP/2003 Disk Management Windows Vista/2008/7 Disk Management EaseUS Partition Master
Extend system volume/boot volume -
Extend simple volume
Extend spanned volume
Extend mirrored volume - -
Extend striped volume - -
Extend RAID-5 volume - -
Shrink system volume/boot volume -
Shrink simple volume or spanned volume -
Shrink mirrored volume, striped volume, or RAID-5 volume - -

Comparing to Disk Management, EaseUS Partition Master provides a more convenient and safer way to resize the dynamic disk.

Another safe way to resize dynamic disk

To resize dynamic disk partition by resizing dynamic volume which can also be realized by converting the dynamic disk directly to basic disk and then resizing the partition directly and safely.

For different dynamic volume, the situations are different when converting basic disk back to dynamic:

Simple Volume: After converting and resizing the Simple Volume on a basic disk, you can convert the basic partition back to a Simple Volume in Disk Management without difficulty.

Mirrored Volume: If you want to convert the Mirrored Volume back after being converted to basic disk and resized on a basic disk, at first you need to convert it to Simple Volume in Disk Management, then adding mirror with another dynamic disk.

Striped/Spanned/RAID5 Volume: Convert to basic disk feature in EaseUS Partition Master doesn't support Striped Volume, Spanned Volume, and RAID 5 Volume. However, if you want to resize them, you can copy these volumes to the basic disk and then resize the basic disk. By the way, these volumes can be converted to Simple Volume or Mirrored Volume only, as these Striped/Spanned/RAID5 dynamic volumes should be re-built in Disk Management. For the step by step instructions, please refer to Copy Dynamic Disk.

Everything You Want to Know About Dynamic Disk

A dynamic disk is a physical disk that provides features that basic disks do not, such as support for volumes spanning multiple disks. Dynamic disks use a hidden database to track information about dynamic volumes on the disk and other dynamic disks on the computer. A disk managed by a software RAID provider with support for flexible volume reconfiguration. A dynamic disk uses a partition as a container for volumes; there is no guaranteed mapping.

Windows 2000 introduced the Logical Disk Manager and the diskpart command-line tool for dynamic storage. All versions of Windows 2000 support three types of dynamic disk volumes: simple volumes, spanned volumes, and striped volumes.

Dynamic disk applies to the following Operating Systems. The following table describes the support case for each Windows.

Operating System Simple, Spanned, and Striped Volume Mirrored Volume RAID-5 Volume
Windows 2000 Professional - -
Windows 2000 Server
Windows 2000 Advanced Server
Windows XP Home - - -
Windows XP Professional - -
Windows Server 2003 Standard
Windows Server 2003 Enterprise
Windows Vista Home Basic - - -
Windows Vista Home Premium - - -
Windows Vista Business - -
Windows Vista Enterprise - -
Windows Vista Ultimate - -
Windows Server 2008
Windows 7 Starter - - -
Windows 7 Home Basic - - -
Windows 7 Home Premium - - -
Windows 7 Professional -
Windows 7 Enterprise -
Windows 7 Ultimate -


More advanced features are also provided to manage your hard disk by EaseUS Partition Master. Besides partition manager features, EaseUS partition manager software also provides some other features like Partition Recovery Wizard to recover deleted or lost partition, Disk & Partition Copy Wizard to upgrade or backup disk.

Basic knowledge of Dynamic Volume:

Simple volume: A volume with disk space from one dynamic disk. The simple volume can be expanded to a spanned volume.

Spanned volume: A spanned volume is created from free disk space that is linked together from multiple disks. You can extend a spanned volume onto a maximum of 32 disks. A spanned volume cannot be mirrored and is not fault-tolerant.

Striped volume: A striped volume is also known as RAID-0, store all their data across several disks in stripes. This allows better performance because disk reads and writes are balanced across multiple disks.

Mirrored volume: A mirrored volume is also known as RAID-1, it is the replication of logical disk volumes onto separate physical hard disks in real-time to ensure continuous availability. A mirrored volume is a complete logical representation of separate volume copies. When creating a mirrored volume, you must need two dynamic disks at least. If one of the disks fails, the data can still be accessed from the remaining disk.

RAID-5 volume: A RAID-5 volume is a fault-tolerant volume whose data is striped across an array of three or more disks. Parity (a calculated value that can be used to reconstruct data after a failure) is also striped across the disk array. If a physical disk fails, the portion of the RAID-5 volume that was on that failed disk can be re-created from the remaining data and the parity by repairing the RAID-5 volume.

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About the Author

Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

Read full bio

Written by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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Product Reviews

Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 49 reviews
  • 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. I also think the overall look and feel of EaseUS Partition Master Free makes whatever you're doing with your computer's partitions easy.

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  • Partition Master Free can Resize, Move, Merge, Migrate, and Copy disks or partitions; convert to local, change label, defragment, check and explore partition; and much more. A premium upgrade adds free tech support and the ability to resize dynamic volumes.

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  • It won't hot image your drives or align them, but since it's coupled with a partition manager, it allows you do perform many tasks at once, instead of just cloning drives. You can move partitions around, resize them, defragment, and more, along with the other tools you'd expect from a cloning tool.

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