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Windows Server 2003 in a Nutshell by Mitch Tulloch

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Disks—Notes

Synopsis

This section includes important information about basic and dynamic disks, RAID, drive letters, drive paths, disk quotas, and disk defragmenting.

Basic Versus Dynamic Disks

Disks must be either basic or dynamic; they can’t contain a mixture of partitions and volumes. However, your computer can have a combination of basic and dynamic disks in its disk subsystem.

Dynamic disks can’t be accessed by MS-DOS or earlier versions of Microsoft Windows. For example, if you physically move a dynamic disk from a W2K Server to an NT 4.0 Server computer, the new system will not be able to use it.

Dynamic storage is not supported on removable media. Only primary partitions are allowed on removable media.

You can’t reinstall WS2003 on a volume that has been created from unallocated space on a dynamic disk. This is because under the hood there are really two types of volumes:

Volumes created from partitions when a basic disk was upgraded to a dynamic disk

This type of volume has a partition table similar to that in a partition of a basic disk, and it can’t be extended.

Volumes created after conversion of unallocated space on a dynamic disk

This type of volume has no partition table and therefore can’t be recognized by the Setup program of WS2003.

When you add a new disk to a computer, the disk is automatically configured as a basic disk. If you are using dynamic storage on your other disks, convert the new disk to dynamic after it has been recognized by the system.

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