12-14-2009 04:24 PM
I bought Ghost 15 at Fry's with one goal in mind: To change my WinXP boot disk from Dynamic to Basic.
I also bought a new WD 500GB HD.
Normally, to "convert" back to a basic disk, I would have to do a full system level backup the C-drive using Windows Backup, create an ASR disk, swap the HD, boot off the ASR disk and restore the Windows bkf file.
Ordinarily, I'd use Acronis, but the version I own doesn't work on Dynamic disks.
My boot disk was converted to Dynamic and it has two partitions - a 112GB & a 168GB. There is no reason for it to be a Dynamic disk - I think I was drunk at the time and it seemed like a good idea.
Because it is a dynamic disk, I can not expand the partition. When I went from a 112GB disk to a 300GB disk, I had to create a 2nd partition to use the remaining unallocated space.
The 2nd partition is mounted as a folder on the boot disk - not a drive letter.
Ghost sees all - and backs up all. I end up with two images on my USB disk under the I:\Norton folder.
The 500GB HD is scrubbed clean - I use the Win98SE boot disk to "fdisk /mbr" to clean it off after each attempt to restore.
But, this is getting old.
Each time I try to restore the image or use the "Copy Hard Disk", it creates 2 partitions on the HD - a 112GB & a 168GB with 200+GB unallocated. I think it is also converting it to a dynamic disk - which I do not want.
There is no option to "resize" - it is grey'ed out. Even the "Copy HD" has the same problem - no resize option.
So, can Ghost help me here?
If so: How?
Solved! Go to Solution.
12-15-2009 09:11 PM
That was one of the most difficult computer tasks I've ever accomplished.
But, it is done. And successfully with no loss of data and no gymnastics.
To clarify: My boot disk (C:\ drive) had been converted to a Dynamic disk. I wanted to convert it back to a basic disk, so I could expand the c:\ partition to use all of the unallocated space on a new 500GB HD.
Everything I read said: "Sure, you can do it" and then outlined some set of tasks that were BULLET PROOF! Except none of them worked, because the were for any drive - except for the c:\ drive. Funny thing is, that most of the "solutions" were links back to the same bogus answers.
There was a Disk Hex Editor (what a joke that is), there was Acronis, there was Ghost, there was "delete the partition then repair the partition" - tons of methods that didn't work.
I tried to use the MS ntbackup (Windows Backup) with the ASR disk - that didn't work either! As part of the recovery process, it converted the 500GB drive from a basic disk into dynamic, then recreated the two simple partitions and left me with 200GB of unallocated space. It worked in the sense that all of the data was recovered to the new HD, but it was still a dynamic disk.
The one thing that worked perfectly: Partition Wizard 4.2 Home Edition - and it is free. Free download and free to use for home. No limits as long as you are a non-commercial home user.
This worked perfectly the first time - it is clear and it is easy to use. It is point and click.
I selected the Disk0, clicked on the "Convert from Dynamic to Basic" and applied the change. It said that the disk couldn't be changed without a reboot, so I rebooted. Partition Wizard worked on the disk during the reboot, and after, it was a basic disk.
Just that simple.
Then, I used Partition Wizard to resize the C:\ partition - again a warning and a reboot - and now I have a C:\ drive with 497GB total capacity.
12-16-2009 08:04 AM
I have to also say that Partition Wizard 4.2 saved me. I purchased a new laptop and was using Win 7 disk management to split the my c drive to 2 drives but this is an hp laptop and they take up 2 partition with recovery and tools. Before I knew it I had changed my system to dynamic. After reading all the crazy ways to get it back I came upon Partition Wizard 4.2 and it worked easily and like a charm.
It is the only program I use now for any partitioning. I have not used it to clone a drive but I may test it out.
It is really a great program that is free.
12-16-2009 08:06 AM
Thanks for letting us know. I have not used it myself but it does sound like a good utility. Another one which is popular is BootIt NG.
01-09-2010 08:46 PM