In order to upgrade the disk to dynamic, it must have at least 1 MB of unallocated space available. While Windows 2000 will allow for this when you format a disk, other operating system-created partitions may not. Only Windows 2000 can access a Dynamic Disk locally, so if you have a dual boot, other OSes will not be able to read the disk. By default, Windows 2000 creates Basic Disks during an installation. Changing a Basic disk to Dynamic is a one-way operation. Note that there is also an option available called
Revert to Basic Disk, but what this really involves is deleting all volumes, and then changing the disk back to Basic. If you upgrade a disk from Basic to Dynamic that contains the boot or system partition, or the active page file, you will need to reboot. A couple of additional quick notes on what happens when you upgrade from Basic to Dynamic Disks:
– Both types of disk support the FAT, FAT32 and NTFS file systems.
– All existing, regular partitions (including logical drives) become Simple volumes (areas on only one physical disk).
– A mirror set (RAID 1) becomes a Mirrored volume. (not available on Pro)
– A stripe set (RAID 0) becomes a Striped volume.
– A Stripe set with parity (RAID 5) becomes a RAID-5 volume (not available on Pro)
– A Volume set becomes a Spanned volume (areas on more than one physical disk).
Any Simple or Spanned volume formatted with NTFS can be extended, as long as it does not contain system or startup files, or the active paging file. The same rules apply for deleting a volume or partition.
Disk status is also listed for disks and volumes. The settings you will find are listed below:
– Healthy (volumes) and Online (disk) require no action. If the disk is dynamic and marked Missing or Offline, right click and choose Reactivate Disk.
– Failed: Incomplete Volume requires that additional disks in set (such as volume or stripe set) must be added.
– Foreign. If you see this, it means that you have added a disk from another system to the machine. You must right click and choose Import Foreign Disk in order to make the disk accessible. (only exists for dynamic disks)
– Failed Redundancy means that a volume in a Mirrored or RAID 5 volume has failed and needs to be replaced.
If you do replace a disk, choose the Rescan Disks option to have the system register the disk.
Another thing that has changed from NT 4 is how drive letters and paths are managed. First off, the system will not change drive letters when you create new volumes, and will even edit the
Boot.ini file for you (thank goodness). You are no longer constrained by local drive letters either. Windows 2000 supports mounting local drives to an empty folder instead of a letter, similar to Unix. Only local mounts are supported. Drive letters can be changed to mount points and vice versa using Disk Management. One last note about the Disk Management program is that it also supports the remote management of disks, by focusing the tool on other machines instead of the local system. Only Administrators or Server operators can use this functionality, and it still cannot be used to remotely delete a volume/partition containing boot or system files, or the active page file.
DVDs and Removable media
Windows 2000 supports a variety of DVD drives from a variety of different vendors. These devices (as with all hardware) should appear on the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) in order to guarantee support. DVD drives and their properties are configured from Device Manager under DVD/CD-ROM devices. If the device is not automatically configured via Plug and Play, you can use the Add / Remove Hardware wizard to manually install the device.
Windows 2000 also supports removable media, such as tape devices. Again, these should appear on the HCL and will be detected and configured automatically if Plug and Play compliant. If not, again use the Add / Remove Hardware wizard to install manually. Note that unlike NT 4, the Backup program in Windows 2000 supports backing up to different media such as disk, CDR/W, Zip drives, and so forth, with the ability to span media.