Customer Review

46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Large SATA Hard Drive a cautionary tale if Partioning, 3 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Western Digital Caviar 2TB SATAII 64MB Cache 3.5-inch Green Internal Hard Drive OEM (Personal Computers)
If you install this as a second hard drive as I did in later versions of Windows or XP Professional a pop up will probably appear suggesting it is set up as a Dynamic Volume. I accepted this suggesion during installation.
This is different to a normal Simple Volume that can be partioned into different Drive Numbers. A Dynamic Volume works differently and will not accept partioning by Windows or Third Party software.
Also my Acronis TrueImage software would not backup to a Dynamic Volume if I wanted to recover my sytem from an emergency boot up CD which is often the most likely eventuality.
All attempts to convert it from a Dynamic Volume to a Simple Volume through Windows using Disk Management were "greyed out" as unavailable actions. Partition Commander 11 would not work on a Dynamic Volume either.
The only way I could delete the Dynamic Volume was to use an excellent Freeware utility ISO file called Parted Magic which when put on a CD enabled me to boot into Linux and delete it before booting back into Windows and mounting it as a Simple Volume which can be partioned.
I hope this saves you a day and half that I spent resolving it.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Sep 2010 13:29:09 BDT
Thank you for posting this! Thought I'd done something wrong when I swapped it back to an 'ordinary' XP system after my professional died! That aside, I've found them an excellent drive.
Don't know if I'm PC literate enough to do what you talk about but it's enough to know that my data is safe. If I can ever get another of these I may try it once all is backed up.
Thanks again!

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Oct 2010 18:26:21 BDT
DC says:
There is little benefit in converting your hard disks to 'dynamic disks'. I'd only use them if I was creating a fault tolerant system where a hardware-based solution was not an option.
Using dynamic disks can also cause the time taken for your PC to boot to increase.

Simple volumes consist of a single disk with no fault tolerance. Not really any better than a basic disk.

Spanned volumes (multiple dynamic disks merged into a single volume with no fault tolerance). If one of disks involved fails or is removed the data on the spanned volume becomes inaccessible. No improvement in performance. Avoid using spanned volumes.

Striped volumes - spreads bits of your data across multiple disks to improve read and write performance. Has no fault tolrence, so like spanned volumes your data will be lost if one drive fails or is removed.

Mirrored volumes - achieves fault tolerance by creating a copies of your data on a second disk. If either disk fails then your data is still safe on the other disk. of course, although unlikely it is still possible for both disks to fail simultaneously.

RAID-5 - a fault tolerant, striped volume - your data is split across multiple disks along with 'parity data'. If one disk fails then the data can be reconstructed using the parity data and the data remaining on the surviving disks.
Performance can be affected as parity data has to be written to disk.
Best choice if you have to use dynamic disks, but a hardware solution would be perferred.

For help on dynamic disks using Windows try
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308424

Posted on 27 Nov 2010 20:12:07 GMT
Sj Fielding says:
Thanks for the warning. I am thinking of getting one of these and your rview was very very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to post.
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Tellboy
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Location: Manchester

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