The “dynamic disk invalid” error is a fairly common issue normally faced by Windows users who recently performed an operating system upgrade to a different version. Essentially, people facing this problem will find that they’re unable to access data on the affected storage device, despite it being recognized by Windows.
This, of course, can be a major headache, especially if you have important files saved on the disk. The good news is that there are multiple ways you can repair invalid dynamics disks, allowing you to get them fully functional once more.
Table of Contents
What is a Dynamic Disk
A dynamic disk is a form of hard drive configuration with enhanced features that first surfaced alongside Windows 2000. It functions by utilizing a database to track info regarding dynamic volumes in a drive, and it’s generally implemented by experienced users or for software that requires it. However, dynamic disks are not as widely used as basic disks, especially for the layman user, and are supported by the following versions of Windows:
- Windows 2000 Professional/Server
- Windows Server 2003
- Windows Server 2008
- Windows XP Professional
- Windows Vista Business/Enterprise/Ultimate
- Windows 7 Professional/Enterprise/Ultimate
- Windows 8 Professional/Enterprise
- Windows 10 Professional/Enterprise
- Windows 11 Professional/Enterprise
Why is Dynamic Disk Showing as Invalid?
There are a few reasons why a dynamic disk status is invalid. You may have recently upgraded your Windows to an unsupported version or moved a dynamic disk hard drive to another computer. Another cause could be that the database of the dynamic disk was corrupted due to a bad sector, a virus or malware attack, or a Windows crash. You cannot read data from invalid dynamic disks, nor can you write to them.
How to Fix an Invalid Dynamic Disk
There are various ways to solve the dynamic disk invalid issue, ranging from changing your Windows version to converting your disk. Below is a list of the most effective methods to alleviate the problem, along with some step-by-step guides for you to follow.
Fix 1: Check your Windows Edition
As previously mentioned, dynamic disks aren’t supported by all versions of Windows. For Windows XP and above, the “Home” editions are all unsupported. That being said, you may have installed a version of Windows that simply doesn’t work with dynamic disks. So you should start by checking which version of Windows you’re currently running. Here’s how:
- To get started, click the start button and head to “Settings” > “System” > “About.”
- After that, turn your attention to the “Windows specifications” section, and you’ll see your Windows version next to the “Edition” label. If it’s not a part of the list of supported editions listed earlier in this article, then that’s what’s causing your dynamic hard disk problem.
If you have a Windows version that doesn’t support dynamic disks, the only remedy is to install a different version that does. For more recent Windows variants, you’ll need the “Professional” edition or higher.
Fix 2: Reactivate Disk through Disk Manager
If your Windows version isn’t causing the issue, then the next dynamic hard disk problem solution you should try is to reactivate the disk in Disk Management. Follow the steps below to accomplish this:
- First, press the Windows + R keys simultaneously to bring up the “Run” command, then type in “diskmgmt.msc” and hit Enter. This will bring up Disk Management.
- Next, in the bottom half of the window, locate the disk that’s encountering the “dynamic disk is invalid” issue, then right-click it and select “Reactivate Disk.” If the option is greyed out, then your hard disk is not in need of reactivation.
Fix 3: Reactivate the Invalid Dynamic Disk with DiskPart
An alternative to using the Management to reactivate your invalid dynamic disk is to use the DiskPart tool instead.
- Press the Windows + R keys simultaneously to bring up the “Run” command, then type in “diskpart” and hit Enter. This will launch diskpart.exe.
- Next, type in “list disk” and hit Enter. You’ll see a list of the available disks connected to your computer. Locate the one with the invalid problem and take note of the disk number on the left. You should be able to differentiate between disks by taking a look at their sizes.
- After that, type “select disk” followed by a space and the number of the affected disk. A sample string would be “select disk 0”. Hit Enter when ready.
- Finally, type “online disk” to complete the reactivation process.
Fix 4: Manually Mark Disk as Basic via Hex Editor
If the dynamic disk failed to reactivate and showed the “this operation is not allowed on the invalid disk pack” error, you can use a hex editor program to manually mark the disk as basic and solve the problem without data loss. Below are the steps on how to do this:
- To get started, download and install a good free hex editor, like HxD.
- Launch HXD with administrator privileges, then head to “Tools” > “Options” and untick the “Open disks as readonly by default” option. Click “OK” to confirm and head back to the home screen.”
- Next, press the Ctrl + Shift + D keys simultaneously to bring up the “Open disk” command and double-click the invalid dynamic disk.
- After that, scroll down to sector “00000001C0” and take a look at column “02”. It should show “42,” which denotes a dynamic disk. Change it to “07,” which is for basic disks.
- Press Ctrl + S to save the changes, then go ahead and reboot your PC.
Note: It may take a few reboots for conversion to be successful. If you still don’t have access to your hard drive after the third reboot, just undo the changes to your disk by editing the “07” back to “42”.
Fix 5: Convert to Basic Disk Using Disk Manager
If your disk is invalid in disk management, the tool offers an easy way to convert it from dynamic to basic. This should effectively solve your issue. The problem is, doing so will delete all the volumes on your disk, wiping out all your data in the process. A good idea would be to use a data recovery program to retrieve your files before you pull the trigger on the disk conversion.
Recover Data Using Disk Drill:
Disk Drill is a superb PC data recovery app known for its quick scans, accessible UI, and top-notch recovery rate. It’s also compatible with pretty much all storage devices and file formats. Plus, there’s a trial version available for free that lets you test out all of the program’s features and rescue up to 500MB worth of data.
Here are the instructions on how to recover invalid dynamic disk data using Disk Drill:
- Download Disk Drill from the Cleverfiles website and install it on your computer to get started.
- Launch the program, then select the storage device affected by the dynamic hard disk problem and click “Search for lost data.”
- Upon clicking, Disk Drill will start scanning your drive for all recoverable files. You can click the “Review found items” button at the top-right corner to move to the results page while the scan continues. Alternatively, you can wait for the scan to finish first, then click the same button to continue to the next step.
- When you get to the results screen, search for the files you want to recover and highlight them by ticking the checkbox next to their file names. You can also narrow down your search by using the category filters on the left and the search bar at the top right. Once you’re ready, click the “Recover” button.
- After that, a small pop-up will appear where you’ll have to choose the storage location of your recovered files. Of course, this has to be on a different drive than the one you’re recovering from. Click “Recover” when you’re ready.
- Disk Drill will now start recovering your lost files. Once done, you’ll receive a completion message, along with a button labeled “Show recovered data in Explorer,” which you can click to open the folder containing your retrieved files.
Convert Disk Using Disk Management tool:
- Press the Windows + R keys simultaneously to bring up the “Run” command, then type in “diskmgmt.msc” and hit Enter. This will bring up Disk Management.
- In the bottom half of the window, locate the dynamic disk that’s invalid in disk management, then right-click it and select “Convert to Basic Disk.”
The “dynamic disk invalid” error is a serious issue that prevents users from accessing the contents of an entire hard drive. It generally occurs if you’ve upgraded to an unsupported version of Windows or moved your hard drive to another PC, though it can also be caused by device corruption. Fortunately, it isn’t a difficult problem to fix. Just follow the methods we’ve outlined above, and your drive should be running normally in no time.
How do I fix a missing dynamic disk?
To fix a dynamic disk that’s marked as “missing,” all you have to do is open Disk Management, then right-click the affected disk and select “Reactivate Disk.”
Can disk 0 be converted to a dynamic disk without loss of data?
It’s possible to convert any disk into a dynamic one, and the conversion process doesn’t result in data loss. But it’s worth noting that disk 0 is generally designated as the “System” drive, and dynamic disks come with limitations which include no support for boot loaders and multi-boot configurations. This means that turning the drive into a dynamic disk could get in the way of the drive’s OS-related functions. And if you decide to reverse the process and return the dynamic disk back to basic, there’s a good chance you’ll encounter data loss.
What will happen if I convert to a dynamic disk?
Converting a basic disk into a dynamic one allows for more flexibility in managing the disk and provides access to more options overall. For example, you’d be able to create as many partitions/volumes as you want, and you’d be able to perform volume migration. In addition, the conversion process can be done without losing any data in the process. Dynamic disks do come with limitations, however, and should be generally avoided if you’re downgrading your version of Windows, installing a version that doesn’t support dynamic disks, or planning to create a multi-boot environment.
How do I fix invalid dynamic disk? ›
- Shut down the computer.
- Remove the dynamic disk from your computer and unplug the SATA cable and power cable.
- Reconnect the dynamic disk to your computer correctly with the SATA cable and power cable.
- Reboot PC to check if the dynamic disk still displays as invalid in Disk Management.
Does Windows 11 support dynamic disk? Yes, Windows 11 supports dynamic disk. There are two types of computer hard disk drive in Windows 11 that are basic disk and dynamic disk. Note that Windows 11 system disk can only use basic disk, while for the data disk drive, you can use it as dynamic in Windows 11.How to convert invalid dynamic disk without losing data? ›
- Press Win + R and type diskmgmt.msc.
- Click OK.
- Right click on Dynamic volumes and delete all the dynamic volumes one by one.
- After all dynamic volumes are deleted, right-click on the Invalid Dynamic Disk and choose ? Convert to Basic Disk. ?
In Disk Management, select and hold (or right-click) each volume on the dynamic disk you want to convert to a basic disk, and then choose Delete Volume. When all volumes on the disk have been deleted, right-click the disk, and then select Convert to Basic Disk.How do I reactivate a dynamic disk? ›
In Disk Management, select and hold (or right-click) the disk and then select Reactivate Disk to bring the disk back online. If the disk status remains Offline, check the cables and disk controller, and make sure that the physical disk is healthy. Correct any problems and try to reactivate the disk again.How do I run chkdsk on a dynamic disk? ›
For this task, you just need to execute the command: “chkdsk x: /f” (where x is the drive letter of the volume you want to check and /f option is used to tell CHKDSK to fix any errors it detects) in the Command Prompt window. Till now, you will be able to get rid of dynamic disk missing problem.How do I enable D drive in Windows 11? ›
Double click "This PC" icon on the desktop to open Windows File Explorer.In the window, click on "View" and choose "Options - > "Change folder and search options". Step 2. In the popout window, access to "View" tab. Under "Advanced settings", select "Show hidden files, folders, and drives", and then select OK.How do I enable disk in Windows 11? ›
To open Disk Management, right-click (or long-press) the Start button and select Disk Management. If you need help freeing up space on your PC, see Disk cleanup in Windows or Free up drive space in Windows.What disk format is best for Windows 11? ›
Select the NTFS option for the “File System” setting. Quick note: You can also use the FAT32 file system, but if you use the drive exclusively on Windows, it's recommended to use NTFS.Why can't i convert disk to dynamic disk? ›
Not enough space
For this problem, you need to know that you must have at least 1MB of unallocated space at the end of the MBR disk that you want to convert to create the database for the dynamic disk.
Can you boot from a dynamic disk? ›
If you convert the disk(s) to dynamic, you will not be able to start installed operation systems from any volume on the disk(s) (except the current boot volume).How to repair HDD without losing data? ›
- Run Antivirus Scan on your Hard Disk.
- Run Command Prompt to Check for File System Errors and Bad Sectors.
- Run SFC Scan.
- Check Hard Disk in Disk Management.
- Launch EaseUS file recovery software on your Windows computer. ...
- The software will immediately start scanning the drive, and the deleted files will be displayed soon. ...
- Select files, such as Word, Excel, PDF, photos, videos, or emails and click the "Recover" button.
Basic VS Dynamic disk
Basic disk is the storage types most often used with Windows. Dynamic disks has the ability which basic disks not supported to create volumes that span multiple disks like spanned and striped volumes, and is capable of creating fault-tolerant volumes like mirrored and RAID-5 volumes.
- Install and AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Go to Convert > Dynamic Disk Converter.
- In the pop-up window, click “Next” to continue.
- Choose a Way to convert disk and clcik "Next".
- Select the dynamic disk that you want to convert to basic disk. Click "Next".
- Click Proceed to start the operation.
Each Windows 11/10 upgrade comes with some hardware compatibility issues. If the device driver is incompatible with your current Windows version, it is very likely to cause a hard drive missing problem. To fix the problem, you need to update your disk driver to the latest version or reinstall it in Device Manager.Do I need to convert to dynamic disk? ›
Yes, converting to a dynamic disk will enhance the performance of your Windows computer. It will help you to create countless volumes to save a massive amount of data if you use the dynamic disk as a boot drive to run heavy programs. The dynamic disks are compatible with Windows 7 and all the higher Windows versions.What does it mean when it says convert to dynamic disk? ›
WHAT DOES "CONVERT TO DYNAMIC DISK" MEAN? A dynamic disk is a flexible option when it comes to storage and memory. Converting to a dynamic disk means changing the basic disk into a more manageable version. This will generally improve your PC's performance.How to repair corrupted hard disk using CMD? ›
- Close the Error Checking dialog.
- Open the Command Prompt by typing cmd into the desktop search field and selecting Run as administrator.
- Type the command chkdsk C: /f. If the drive you're trying to repair isn't the C drive, replace “C” with the letter of the relevant drive.
To repair errors without scanning the disk for bad sectors, at the command prompt, type chkdsk volume: /f, and then press <Enter>. To repair errors, bad sectors, and readable information, at the command prompt, type chkdsk volume: /r, and then press <Enter>.
How to Convert basic disk to dynamic disk using CMD? ›
- Type Command Prompt on the search bar and click to run it.
- Input Diskpart and press Enter.
- Input commands: lisk disk. select disk n. Convert dynamic.
- Enter exit and hit Enter.
- Open File Explorer on Windows 11.
- Click on This PC from the left pane.
- Under the “Devices and drives” section, right-click the hard drive to check and repair and select the Properties option.
- Click the Tools tab.
- Under the “Error checking” section, click the Check button.
Step 1: In the Windows search box on your Windows 11/10, type Disk Management and open the same. Step 2: Choose the Actions option from the menu bar in the Disk Management window. Step 3: Finally, from the list, select Rescan Disks which will re-identify all the connected drives/devices with the system.What is a dynamic disk Windows 11? ›
Dynamic disk is an enhanced partition table in Windows that enables enhanced features such as software raid. Also, every time you want to use it on a new computer, or even if you just remove and put it in, you will have to manually import the disk.Should I use FAT or NTFS for Windows 11? ›
There are three file systems to choose from—FAT32, NTFS, and exFAT. Use the latter if you plan on using the drive on macOS and Windows. For Windows 10/11, use the NTFS system. FAT32 has a 4GB limit and isn't optimal in modern computing environments.Should USB be FAT or NTFS Windows 11? ›
FAT32 is the best option for compatibility, but it only allows file sizes up to 4GB. exFAT and NTFS don't have this size limit, but may not be compatible with older devices, particularly NTFS. exFAT is likely the best middle ground for modern devices.Is Windows 11 installation FAT32 or NTFS? ›
Which USB Format to Boot Windows: FAT32, NTFS, or exFAT? Set the Best File System Format- FAT32 as USB Format to Boot Windows. Choosing the right file format for your bootable USB drive ensures that you successfully install an operating system to your new computer.How to convert basic disk to dynamic disk without data loss? ›
Convert to dynamic disk via Disk Management
Type in “diskmgmt. msc” and hit on "Enter" to launch Disk Management. Right-click on the target basic disk and choose “Convert to Dynamic Disk”. In the pop-out window, select the target disk and click on “OK” to confirm this operation and wait for the process to be done.
Dynamic disks provide features that basic disks do not, such as the ability to create volumes that span multiple disks (spanned and striped volumes) and the ability to create fault-tolerant volumes (mirrored and RAID-5 volumes).What is difference between basic disk and dynamic disk? ›
Basic disks support multi-boot configurations, and it means you can easily select between multiple operating systems on a computer. Dynamic disks do not use boot loaders which do not allow you to select between multiple operating systems. This is why this cannot be used as the only drive in a multi-boot environment.
How do I make a dynamic disk bootable? ›
To make a boot and system partition dynamic, you include the disk that contains the basic active boot and system partition in a dynamic disk group. When you do that, the boot and system partition is automatically upgraded to a dynamic simple volume that is active - that is, the system will boot from that volume.How to convert dynamic disk to basic free? ›
- Open Disk Management, right-click each dynamic volume and select Delete Volume. Repeat this until all volumes are deleted.
- Then right-click on the dynamic disk and choose “Convert to Basic Disk”.
- After that, the dynamic disk will convert to basic disk.
- Restart the computer.
- Open the BIOS. ...
- Go to the Boot tab.
- Change the order to position the hard disk as the 1st option. ...
- Save these settings.
- Restart the computer.
Yes, files can be recovered from a failed hard drive by using a skilled data recovery service. Failed hard drives cannot be salvaged with recovery software since the operating system cannot access the device to allow the application to recover the data.How to repair corrupted internal hard disk without formatting? ›
- Go to Computer/This PC >> Select Hard Drive >> Choose Properties.
- Select Tools >> Error checking >> Check now >> Check local disk >> Start.
- Shut down all open and running programs >> wait for the system to check upon the next boot >> restart the PC.
To recover data from a damaged hard drive, you will need to use data recovery software. Such applications include features that specialize in recovering data from a damaged hard drive. Failing this, your next best option is using a data recovery service.Which Windows supports dynamic disk? ›
- Windows 7.
- Windows Server 2008 / 2008 R2.
- Windows Vista.
- Windows Server 2003.
- Windows XP.
- Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. ...
- Select the unallocated space you want to extend the partition to and hit "OK".
- After returning to the home interface, hit "Apply" on the upper left to commit the operation.
CHKDSK is Windows' built-in disk check tool for free partition recovery. To perform partition recovery, follow these steps: Type "CMD" in the Windows Search Box. Right-click the "Command Prompt" app and select "Run as administrator"What is the disadvantage of Windows dynamic disk? ›
For example, it's not possible to install dual systems and you cannot install or reinstall the OS on any volume except the current system volume. In addition, after moving the dynamic disk from one PC to another, it won't go online automatically after startup.
Can I dual boot with dynamic disk? ›
After converting, the system disk is still bootable. However, if you have a disk with dual boot, it's not advised to convert it. You cannot install Windows operating system on a dynamic disk. When installing Windows on a dynamic disk, you can the error Windows cannot be installed to this hard disk space.Do you need Windows 11 for direct storage? ›
DirectStorage is built into Windows 11, so you don't need to do anything to enable it. If your PC has the necessary specifications for DirectStorage to work, and you play a game that's compatible with DirectStorage, Windows 11 will automatically leverage this feature to improve your load times and game performance.How to convert dynamic disk to GPT using CMD? ›
At the DISKPART prompt, enter list disk . Make a note of the MBR disk number that you want to convert to GPT format. At the DISKPART prompt, enter select disk <disk-number> , where <disk-number> is the MBR disk number to convert. At the DISKPART prompt, enter clean to delete all partitions and volumes on the disk.What happens if I convert MBR to GPT? ›
Caution: Converting a disk drive from MBR to GPT or vice-versa will erase all data from the drive. Please ensure all important files have been saved to a different hard drive or storage device before following the instructions below.What is a common cause of the error message invalid system disk? ›
The boot disk is not set correctly. Your hard disk might be infected by a virus. The master boot record of the system drive is corrupted. Your hard drive could be physically damaged.Why can't i convert dynamic disk to basic? ›
Not Enough Space Available on the Disk
If you are unable to convert dynamic disk to basic, you may receive a note: "there is not enough space available on the disk(s) to complete this operation" because you need to have at least 1MB of unallocated space at the end of the MBR disk for the dynamic disk.
Dynamic disks provide features that basic disks do not, such as the ability to create volumes that span multiple disks (spanned and striped volumes) and the ability to create fault-tolerant volumes (mirrored and RAID-5 volumes).