Hard Disk

Our Helproom Editor explains how to convert a dynamic disk to a basic disk so you can create a bootable disk.

QUESTION I have an HP Pavilion laptop that's fitted with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. I've recently bought a Windows 8 installation DVD with the intention of dual-booting the new OS with the copy of Windows 7 preinstalled on the laptop. After shrinking by 100GB the Windows 7 partition to create a new partition, the installer presented me with two options: install to the already used partition or make a clean install on the newly created partition. I tried the latter and received the response: 'Windows cannot be installed to this hard disk space. The partition contains one or more dynamic volumes that are not supported for installation'.

The sticking point seems to be the dynamic disk. What may be needed is a means to convert the 'dynamic' to plain or basic. How can I do this?

HELPROOM ANSWER It's certainly true that Windows 7 can't boot from a dynamic disk that contains more than one volume. It's not clear why you have a dynamic disk configured, but it is possible to convert it to a basic disk so that you may proceed with the installation.

The most straightforward method is to back up all your data, reformat the drive as a basic disk, then restore you programs and data. You can perform the formatting and partitioning operations using the built-in Windows Disk Management Tool. This may sound rather long-winded, but you should back up your data before performing any sort of low-level disk operations in any case.

An alternative would be to use a free disk-management utility such as the free version of Partition Wizard 4.2 or EaseUS Partition Master. Both these tools can convert a dynamic disk to a basic disk, while leaving the data in place.

Again, it is a very good idea to back up your data before undertaking any of these procedures.

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