Accessing my old internal hard drive

  kidwispa 11:10 09 Jan 2013

Hi all,

I've been trying to find an answer for this problem online but not being particularly tech savvy I'm at a bit of a loss. My pc stopped working about a year ago - it would load up to the Windows XP screen, then reboot, and would keep doing this until I switched it off with the power button. I've just bought a (Windows 8) and would like to retrieve the files from my pc if possible.

I've taken the hard drive out of my old pc and put it into a StarTech enclosure but when I attach it to my laptop it shows up under disk management as "Dynamic - Invalid".

I've tried to look up what I can do on google and it was suggested that I use a program like partition wizard to convert the hard drive from a dynamic drive to a basic drive, however I can't do this as it says the drive is unallocated????

Can anyone help as I really need to get access to this hard drive (I do music production in my spare time and it has over 5 years of samples, tracks, etc I haven't backed up - schoolboy error I know!!!)

Thanks in advance for any help offered!


  Chronos the 2nd 11:36 09 Jan 2013

Have a look here. You can find HxD here. Or if you prefer this.

It is so simple and relatively cheap to back up, either to the cloud with the likes of Dropbox or Skydive, or you can you an external hard-drive or a NAS drive or be a belt and braces guy and use both NAS and Dropbox,which I do. Hopefully you are now backing up your important data.

  kidwispa 19:30 09 Jan 2013

Thanks for the reply however i'm still at a loss - in disk management the drive shows as Dynamic Disk - Invalid, and I can't assign a letter to it in order to access it in HxD!! I've tried going into the command prompt, and doing the following:

  1. Diskpart
  2. List Disk
  3. Select Disk 1
  4. List Partition
  5. Select Partition 2

Then it comes up with the following message - "Virtual Disk Service Error: This operation is not allowed on an invalid disk. The disk may be invalid because it is corrupted or failing, or it may be invalid because it is OFFLINE"

Any ideas?


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:43 09 Jan 2013
  kidwispa 20:15 09 Jan 2013

Thanks for the link, however I followed the youtube video but the drive did not show up in hxd????


  woodchip 20:26 09 Jan 2013

Dynamic means that the drive as been setup using Disc Overlay Software, Your Best bet would be to reinstall it in the Old PC and get it started so you can get the files off it

Read This

  kidwispa 21:08 09 Jan 2013

Unfortunately this isn't an option as I no longer have the pc (just the hard drive left!) Is there any way I can do it without?


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:52 09 Jan 2013

What do you have showing in HxD?

Disk 1

Disk 2

  BRYNIT 22:48 09 Jan 2013

After a little search I found a little information on dynamic disks CLICK HERE this indicates that you can only access a dynamic disk with Windows XP Pro, Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003.

You could try Convert Dynamic Disk back to Basic Disk without data loss I don't know if it will work.

  BRYNIT 22:53 09 Jan 2013

Must read links first as I just realised Fruit Bat /\0/\ gave you the same info on converting the drive via the Youtub vid.

  kidwispa 08:41 10 Jan 2013

Thanks for all the responses - my brother has the same pc that I used to have running xp so I'll try the above solutions on his and let you know if it all works ok.

Thanks again!


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