Resize Dynamic Disk to Extend or Shrink Dynamic Disk

Tracy King updated on Sep 12, 2019 to Partition Master | How-to Articles

Why need to resize dynamic disk

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

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 in 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 Support - -
Windows 2000 Server Support Support Support
Windows 2000 Advanced Server Support Support Support
Windows XP Home - - -
Windows XP Professional Support - -
Windows Server 2003 Standard Support Support Support
Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Support Support Support
Windows Vista Home Basic - - -
Windows Vista Home Premium - - -
Windows Vista Business Support - -
Windows Vista Enterprise Support - -
Windows Vista Ultimate Support - -
Windows Server 2008 Support Support Support
Windows 7 Starter - - -
Windows 7 Home Basic - - -
Windows 7 Home Premium - - -
Windows 7 Professional Support Support -
Windows 7 Enterprise Support Support -
Windows 7 Ultimate Support Support -

Dynamic disk is a good choice for the people who want to maximize the hard drive performance, especially for some small companies or that for a particular usage. Compared to basic disk, a dynamic disk has many advantages.

However, it has two huge disadvantages, too. One is that if you convert a basic disk to dynamic, you cannot turn it back to basic without data loss in Disk Management, as you need to delete all dynamic volumes first before converting.

The other one is that 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 dynamic disk. To offset the limitation of Disk Management and offer a better solution for dynamic disk resizing, EaseUS Partition Master supports to resize dynamic disk directly with all data protected.

Method 1. Manage and resize dynamic disk by Disk Management

Right-click My Computer, select Manage -> Storage -> Disk Management, open Windows built-in Disk Management, you can do following operations on dynamic disk by Disk Management.

  • Create, delete and format dynamic volume
  • Add or change the drive letter of the dynamic volume
  • Extend and shrink simple volume or spanned volume
  • Expand a simple volume to spanned volume
  • Add mirror for the simple volume
  • Break or remove mirror for mirrored volume and let it become a simple volume
  • Convert dynamic disk to basic disk, but you must delete all dynamic volumes before converting.

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 Support Support Support Support
Extend/shrink spanned volume Support Support Support Support
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 Support Support Support
Extend/shrink simple volume Support Support Support
Extend/shrink spanned volume Support Support Support
Extend/shrink mirrored volume - - -
Extend/shrink striped volume - - -
Extend/shrink RAID-5 volume - - -

Disk Management can not achieve the above-listed operations, but a third-party partition magic software can help you do them to resize dynamic disk.

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

EaseUS Partition Master can do following dynamic disk management operations:

  • Extend dynamic volume, including system/boot/simple/spanned/striped/mirrored/RAID-5 volume, to maximize computer performance as well as better dynamic disk volume management.
  • 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 disk (move, extend and shrink dynamic volume) with EaseUS Partition Master

Partition manager software - EaseUS Partition Master can help you resize 5 type dynamic volumes: simple volume, mirrored volume, striped volume, spanned volume and RAID-5 volume. Its "Resize dynamic volume" feature can help you:

  • Extend dynamic volume, including system/boot/simple/spanned/striped/mirrored/RAID-5 volume, to maximize computer performance as well as better dynamic disk volume management.
  • Shrink dynamic volume, including system/boot/simple/spanned/striped/mirrored/RAID-5 volume to free up disk space.

Note: Our freeware - EaseUS Partition Master Free only supports to convert dynamic disk with simple volumes to basic disk. For resizing dynamic disk or more advanced features, please try our paid version.

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

Download EaseUS Partition Master and install it on your computer.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported


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 Operation" and then "Apply".

apply changes to the volume

Disk Management VS EaseUS Partition Master when resizing dynamic volume

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 - Support Support
Extend simple volume Support Support Support
Extend spanned volume Support Support Support
Extend mirrored volume - - Support
Extend striped volume - - Support
Extend RAID-5 volume - - Support
Shrink system volume/boot volume - Support Support
Shrink simple volume or spanned volume - Support Support
Shrink mirrored volume, striped volume or RAID-5 volume - - Support

Comparing to Disk Management, EaseUS Partition Master provides a more convenient and safer way to resize 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 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 striped/spanned/RAID5 volume to 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. The step by step instructions, please refer to Copy Dynamic Disk.


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.

Dynamic volume basic knowledge:

Simple volume: A volume with disk space from one dynamic disk. The simple volume can be expanded to 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 RAID-5 volume.


100% of people found this article helpful.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose EaseUS Partition Master?

"I've used Partition Master Professional many times to create, delete, format, move, rename, and resize partitions."PCWorld

"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.

About EaseUS Partition Master

All-round disk & partition management software for personal and commercial use. Let it manage your storage drive: resize, format, delete, clone, convert, etc.