Dynamic disk/volume

Actually, Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 and Windows Server 2003/2008/2012 support four primary partitions per physical hard disk at most, one of which can be extended except system partition. Certainly, it is possible to create logical drives within the extended partition which is a partition type you create only on a basic MBR (Master Boot Record) disk. Extended partition is used to create more than four partitions on a hard disk, because an extended partition can contain multiple logical drives. Such types of disks are called basic disk.

A Dynamic disk is a physical disk with features that basic disks do not have, 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. Dynamic disk management is a data/hard disk management method on the Microsoft Windows platform, first introduced with Windows 2000 operating system. There are five types of dynamic volumes: simple (uses free space from a single disk), spanned (created from free disk space that is linked together from multiple disks), striped (a volume the data of which is interleaved across two or more physical disks), mirrored (a fault-tolerant volume the data of which is duplicated on two physical disks), and RAID-5 volumes (a fault-tolerant volume the data of which is striped across an array of three or more disks).

Dynamic disks can co-exist on a system with basic disks. The only limitation is that you cannot mix Basic and Dynamic disks on the same hard drive.


  1. Dynamic disks are not supported on portable computers.
  2. Dynamic disks are not supported on Windows XP Home Edition-based computers.
  3. Mirrored volumes or RAID-5 volumes cannot be created on Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP 64-Bit Edition-based computers.