My HDD was formatted but...

March 24, 2011 at 19:10:20
Specs: Windows XP
I recently added a HDD to my system (XPS 400), Dinosaur I know, but still works like a charm. Anyway, I added a new HDD to the system, finally got it formatted and show up in my computer folder. However, it shows up with a simple layout and type is dynamic. Does this mean I have no partition or it has one just doesnt show it?

My primary drive shows the layout to be partition and type basic, and was wondering why my second drive didnt format or add a partition readily visible like the other one. It just says simple. Can someone help me understand if this is ok as a second drive setup, or do I need to reformat and add a small sized partition.

Keep in mind that I am only using this drive as a secondary storage drive and to possibly run some games from it, so I can have max space for my OS and office programs on my primary drive. Any help is appreciated.

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March 24, 2011 at 23:29:39
Dynamic disk means basically it is an extension of the primary drive. I recommend you redo the partitioning and formatting to make it a basic disk. If anything happens to the primary disk you won't be able to access anything on the second one if you leave it as dynamic.

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March 25, 2011 at 03:03:21
I think you misunderstand the difference between dynamic and basic disks. A dynamic disk is not "an extension of the primary drive" (although it is true that it is possible, if both disks are dynamic disks, to create volumes spanning both disks). A failure of the primary, basic, disk won't affect access to the second, dynamic, disk (apart, obviously, from the fact that Windows won't be running as it is on the failed disk). Have a look at this article for more information.

OP - are you sure that you actually created and formatted a volume on the new disk using "Disk Management"? If so, you might like to check that you have assigned a drive letter to the volume. Have a look at this article for further details.

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March 25, 2011 at 04:07:42

Your response, "A dynamic disk is not "an extension of the primary drive" (although it is true that it is possible, if both disks are dynamic disks, to create volumes spanning both disks)." <--- I kind of figured this, but was unsure of the reason why is was called dynamic in the first place. Just kind of threw me off as I had not seen that term.

I did format the drive with "Disk Management", I gave it a drive letter and a name. However, when I viewed it in Disk management all it showed was one volume and not broken up as having a partition like my primary drive. That is what threw me off. My question is it supposed to be viewed that way when viewed under Disk Management?

I guess what I am saying is that, if in the future I want to use this drive as an additional OS drive can I leave it the way it is or must I reformat it to meet additional requirements?

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March 25, 2011 at 05:28:55
You cannot use that additional hard drive to install an additional OS, safely anyway.

I may have oversimplified the response in #1. That said, for a home user there is no real advantage to using a dynamic disk and many disadvantages. Look at all the links below and decide for yourself. In short, you can't convert a dynamic disk back to a basic without deleting the volumes that contain the data.

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March 25, 2011 at 06:20:05
Assuming that you see the drive in Windows Explorer, and it looks OK, then everything is fine. As you have used the whole disk as one volume you don't see it divided into partitions. That's as it should be. Unless you wish to install alternative Operating Systems on your PC, or access the disk from very early versions of Windows and MS-DOS (which seems unlikely), just go with the flow.

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