Hard Disk Concepts and Operations in Windows NT and Windows 2000
(Basic Disk) (Basic Disk) (Dynamic Disk)
Primary Partition Primary Partition Simple Volume
Logical Drive on Logical Drive on Simple Volume
Extended Partition Extended Partition
Volume Set Spanned Volume Spanned Volume
Stripe Set Striped Volume Striped Volume
Disk Mirroring Mirrored Volume Mirrored Volume
Stripe Set with Parity RAID-5 Volume RAID-5 Volume
Basic disk is the disk system we have been using up until Windows 2000. And it can be still used under Windows 2000. There are two types of partitions on basic disks: Primary partititons and extended partitions. There can be up to 4 primary partitions on a disk. And only one extended partititon can be on a disk. Last constraint for them is the total number of the partitions must be 4 (4 primary or 3 primary and an extended partition). Primary partitions are the ones that can be marked as active. Extended partititons can not be marked as active. Why do we have an extended partition then? Because we can create logical drive son extended partition and doing so we can get rid off the four partitions constraint. The information about the configuration of the basic disk is stored in the Registry and this makes it difficult to port a disk to a different Windows NT or Windows 2000 system.
Dynamic Disk is new to Windows 2000. It is smarter and more flexible than the basic disks. There is no max number limit for the dynamic disks. You can create any number of sections, called “volumes”, on dynamic disks. And the configuration info is stored on the disk itself, an advantage for portability. Disadvantage with dynamic disks is that only Windows 2000 can recognize them. You can not dual boot Windows 2000 with older OSs anymore.
To be continued…