About basic disk and dynamic disk
There are two kinds of disks used in Windows operating systems: basic disk and dynamic disk. Basic disk has been around since the days of MS-DOS whereas dynamic disk has been in use since Windows 2000. Then, what is a basic disk or dynamic disk? Here is a brief introduction:
◉ Basic disks are the most common storage type used in Windows. This disk contains primary partitions and extended partitions. Extended partitions can be further divided into logical drives. Those partitions are formatted with a file system, typically NTFS.
◉ Dynamic disks give more flexibility. This disk allows you to create partitions (volumes) that span multiple disks. The dynamic volumes can be noncontiguous. There are five types of volumes in dynamic disk configuration: simple, spanned, striped, mirrored, and RAID-5 volumes.
The case: cloning dynamic disk in Windows 10 failed
“Not sure how or why my current system SSD is dynamic, but the fact is that it is keeping me from cloning to a different SSD in preparation to migrate to a different box.
Acronis True Image 2016 will not clone dynamic disk and does not seem to be able to make it a simple volume. I have not been able to find any satisfactory solution yet, maybe someone in here can point the way to one.”
As you see, cloning dynamic disk to SSD fails sometimes. To solve the problem, you can convert dynamic disk to basic and then perform disk clone. However, there may be data loss during the disk conversion. Is there a safer way to clone dynamic disk?
A prime program for cloning dynamic disk on Windows PC
To copy dynamic disk without disk conversion, you will need a specialized utility—AOMEI Backupper Professional.
- It supports all Windows PC operating systems like Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP.
- It offers you the function of Disk Clone, Partition Clone and System Clone (to move OS to new drive) for basic disks, and dynamic disks are supported in the last two types of clone.
- If you plan to clone dynamic disk to SSD, it allows you to align partitions to optimize the performance of the destination SSD.
- The cloning process will run in the background, so you can work on the computer during the process.
Learn how to clone dynamic disk in Windows 10 via AOMEI Backupper in the next part.
Step-by-step guide to clone a dynamic disk in Windows 10
Bear in mind that the destination disk/partition will be overwritten in the cloning process, so backup files on the target disk/partition before clone if there are important data on it. I’ll show you how to clone dynamic disk in Windows 10 by Partition Clone in AOMEI Backupper. You can also clone dynamic disk in Windows 7/8/11 with the same steps.
Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Backupper. Click “Clone” on the left pane and select “Partition Clone”. To clone a dynamic disk with OS installed, please select "System Clone" here.
Step 2. Select the volume on the dynamic disk as the source partition and click “Next”.
Step 3. Select the destination partition to store the cloned data and click “Next”.
Step 4. (Optional) In the Operation Summary page, click “Edit Partition”, put the mouse pointer on the border of the destination partition and drag the border to adjust partition size. You can also choose partition type and change drive letter for the destination partition here.
Step 5. Confirm the operation and click “Start Clone” to begin cloning the volume on the dynamic disk.
>> SSD Alignment: you should enable this function if the destination disk is an SSD, thus improving the reading and writing speed of the SSD.
>> Sector By Sector Clone: it enables you to clone every sector on the source volume no matter whether it is used or not, which requires the destination partition has at least the same capacity as the source volume.
* AOMEI Backupper can only clone dynamic volumes on an MBR disk currently. The cloning process would fail if you are cloning dynamic volumes on a GPT disk.
* If the dynamic disk has multiple volumes and you want to clone all of them, you should choose different partitions as the destination partition. Each destination partition will be overwritten.
With specialized dynamic disk cloning software, you can clone dynamic disk in Windows 10/8/7 easily. Apart from cloning dynamic disk, AOMEI Backupper owns the backup & restore features. You can use it as an alternative when System Restore could not start in Windows 7 or Seagate DiscWizard does not detect drive. Get this excellent tool to discover more!