Difference between Basic Disk and Dynamic Disk

Both basic disk and dynamic disk are disk configurations available in Windows Operating System. A basic disk is from initial days of DOS, Windows to till date. Dynamic Disk is available from Window 2000 onwards.

Basic Disk

Basic Disk Configuration works on the concept of partition, partition table, and logical drives. A disk can have up to four partitions or three partitions and one extended partition with multiple logical drives. The following operations can be performed in basic disk configuration.

  • Create/Delete primary/extended partition.

  • Create/Delete logical drives within an extended partition.

  • Format a partition and mark as active.

Dynamic Disk

Dynamic Disk Configuration works on the concept of volumes. It is more flexible than the basic disk configuration. A partition can be extended using dynamic disk configuration. The following operations can be performed in dynamic disk configuration.

  • Create/Delete simple/spanned/striped/mirrored and RAID-5 volumes.

  • Extend a simple/spanned volume.

  • Reactivate a missing/offline disk.

The following are some of the important differences between Basic Disk and Dynamic Disk.

Sr. No.KeyBasic DiskDynamic Disk
1ConceptIn Basic Disk, a hard drive is divided into fixed partitions.In Dynamic Disk, a hard drive is divided into dynamic volumes.
2LimitsA hard drive can have at max 3 or 4 partitions with one secondary extended partition.
Dynamic Disk has no such limitation.
3TypesPartitions are of two types: MBR partition and GPT partition.Volumes are of the following types: simple volumes, spanned volumes, striped volumes, mirrored volumes, and RAID-5 volumes.
4ConversionBasic Disk can be converted into Dynamic Disk Configuration without losing any data.To Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk conversion, we have to delete all volumes of a dynamic disk.
5UpdatesIn Basic Disk, partitions once created cannot be changed.In Dynamic Disk, volumes can be extended.
6MultibootBasic Disk supports multi-boot configurations.Dynamic Disk does not support multi-boot configurations.
7CompatabilityBasic Disk is supported on old windows operating systems as well.Dynamic Disk is supported from Windows 2000 onwards only.

Updated on: 15-Apr-2020

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