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Working with dynamic disks and Setup

Updated: January 21, 2005

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

Working with dynamic disks and Setup

A dynamic disk is a disk using the new storage type introduced with Windows 2000. If you changed a disk to dynamic and you want to perform a new installation on the disk, review the following.

  • If you used Windows 2000 or Windows XP to change a disk with no partitions directly to a dynamic disk, you must revert the disk to basic before you can install an operating system on it.


    • All data will be lost in the process of reverting the disk to basic, so back it up first.

    You can use Windows 2000 or Windows XP to revert the disk, or you can use the Setup program for a product in the Windows Server 2003 family. To use Windows 2000 or Windows XP, follow the instructions in Help for your operating system. To use Setup for a product in the Windows Server 2003 family, during the partitioning phase, find the dynamic disk among the list of available partitions and then delete it (which erases all data on all volumes). You will be prompted to confirm your action. After you do this, the disk will contain only unpartitioned space, and you can use Setup to create a new (basic disk) partition on it.

  • If you plan to rerun Setup on a computer on which a product in the Windows Server 2003 family was already installed, and the computer contains dynamic disks, be sure to read about the limitations for installing operating systems on disks that are changed to dynamic using a product in the Windows Server 2003 family. For more information, see Dynamic disks and volumes.

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