Dynamic disk to basic disk


You might encounter this problem as I have when I was moving away from using Windows as my main Operating System, looking to install a linux based distribution. The issue with having dynamic disks is that the the new OS system you want to install will not recognise them, and you cannot proceed with the install or resize them or anything.

WARNING: Following this guide will result in deleting all of the data on your hard drive. Make sure that your data is backed up before proceeding.

What do you need

If your use case is the same as mine, moving from Windows to another OS it's best that you have 2 USB pen drives ready, but don't fret if you just have one USB drive it will just make the process longer. So basically what you need is:

  • USB drive having a boot-able Windows 10 ISO burned to it. You can use Windows 7 for this too if you are still using it.
  • USB drive having the OS you want to install (if this is in fact what you are doing)
  • Some patience :)

Steps:

  1. More important than anything, backup your data!
  2. Having the Windows USB drive plugged in restart your machine into boot mode. Depending on your machine this is achieved by pressing a key like F2 or ESC during startup
  3. When presented with the boot options choose to boot from the USB drive
  4. In the Windows installer screen that shows up select your language and time settings and proceed.
  5. In the next screen select repair my computer
  6. Go to advanced options
  7. Go to Command Prompt
  8. Once the command prompt opens run the following command: diskpart
  9. Now run list disk. This will list all the disk on your machine. It should look something like this:

DISKPART> list disk

| Disk ###| Status | Size | Dyn | Gpt |
| ------- | ------ | ---- | --- | --- |
|  Disk 0 | Online | 80GB | Yes | --- |
  1. Select the disk you want to modify. In my example we use only one disk which shows up as Disk 0 so the command we're using is: select disk 0. You can choose which disk you want modified from the ones that show up in thee command executed above.

  2. Run the following command clean This will clean your hard drive of all it's data.

  3. At this point you will need to restart the command prompt in order to proceed. So close it by clicking on the X in the window, and reopen it by going through Repair my computer -> Advanced options -> Command Prompt as before
  4. You will need to select your disk again so as before run: diskpart select disk 0
  5. The next two steps might not be necessary but there are cases where clean does not remove the volumes on your disk so these will need to be deleted too. To list the volumes run the next command: detail disk 0
  6. For each volume on the disk type: select volume= <volumenumber> and then delete volume
  7. After that's done select the disk you want converted again select disk 0
  8. Finally run convert basic

Congratulations your disk is now just a basic (b..) disk! You can proceed now with installing another OS on your machine just fine. You can:

  1. Shut down your machine
  2. Plug in the second USB drive with your desired OS
  3. Install it :)

Posted by Horia Gug

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