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Dynamic Disks and Volumes Technical Reference

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Like basic disks, which are the most commonly used storage type found on computers running Microsoft Windows, dynamic disks can use the master boot record (MBR) or GUID partition table (GPT) partitioning scheme. All volumes on dynamic disks are known as dynamic volumes. Dynamic disks were first introduced with Windows 2000 and provide features that basic disks do not, such as the ability to create volumes that span multiple disks (spanned and striped volumes), and the ability to create fault tolerant volumes (mirrored and RAID-5 volumes).

Dynamic disks offer greater flexibility for volume management because they use a database to track information about dynamic volumes on the disk and about other dynamic disks in the computer. Because each dynamic disk in a computer stores a replica of the dynamic disk database, Windows Server 2003can repair a corrupted database on one dynamic disk by using the database on another dynamic disk.

The following topics describe how dynamic disks and volumes work, their architecture, and the tools you can use when working with them:

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