Tag Archive: Galaxy

How to Convert a Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk in Windows 7

How to Convert a Windows 7 Dynamic Disk to Basic Disk When  Microsoft says It’s Irreversible!

Firstly, Do Not Dance with the Devil!

I made the mistake (again!) of trying dynamic disks with my new Windows 7 installation.  I must have been asleep – the use of this system is seriously frowned upon for most users.  It has several pitfalls not least that it’s high-end Windows specific (i.e not home, basic etc), and it’s impossible to clone partitions for backup or moves, say.

But mainly, it’s supposed to be irreversible AND un-do-able!

Dynamic Disk Option

Dynamic Disk Option

To convert from basic to dynamic is frighteningly easy (see screen shot).  The reversing option disappears once it’s done and in virtually all Disk Partition Software,  any ‘partitions’, now called volumes, just show as one big monolithic slab of pale yellow disk that has any possible action greyed out!  This was really bad as it was on the system drive…

You’ll see in the screen-shot that there are 3 disks.

Disk 0 & disk 1 were an effort at user-data mirroring originally until I realised what I pile of poo I’d just landed in.  All the initial  recommendations were negative and the prognosis didn’t look good.  See:

Solution

HxD Screenshot

HxD Screenshot

However, this post gave me a pointer which eventually led to here and the HxD disc editing tool, here.   The Dynamic Disk Converter is a paid for solution and would have worked.  But I tried the Hex Editor approach after a bit more reading around the subject….  WARNING: See my comment on Dynamic Disk Converter here – added 27/7/2010(SP)

The trick, as in Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, is 42!

Specifically, all 42‘s must be converted to 07.

The highlighted area contains the bit to edit and the numbers to edit in this area are those in column 02 that are 42.  So change all the 42’s to 07’s in column 02 in the four highlighted lines.  (n.b. The screendump was taken after I’d fixed the disc, so all the 42s are now 07 and some partitions have been deleted.)

That’s all.

Do NOT twiddle anything else.

Caveat

This post in the thread says to just alter one line – this is wrong!  (There’s a confusing addition at the bottom.  This relates directly to my experience, so yes, all real primary partitions are numbered 07)

And this post says to do them all – this is right.  It shows 3.

In my original pre-editted state, I had 4!  Handily, this shows the reason (I think), why you can only have 4 primary partitions on a drive.

Finale and Actual Actions Summary

Current Disks

Current Disks

Now you’ll see I have only two 07’s in the column (in the screenshot above).  These map to the two partitions showing in my Disk Management full screen-shot here.  For some reason, it had ‘remembered’ other volumes I’d made on the disk – that’s why I had 4 to do.

I was quite prepared to buy the paid-for software.  It looked good and worth the cash.  Instead:

  1. I very tediously moved ‘volumes’ into ‘partitions’ onto a third disk I entered into the system.
    1. This later disk needed it’s partitions resizing first to make room.
    2. It was hot-plugged using it’s SATA into the wire from the DVD as I didn’t have any spare SATA wires!  Doh!
  2. The moved data was from disk 0 & disk 1, all relevant stuff going to disk 2.
  3. Deleted all the volumes from Disk 1
  4. I could then set Disk 1 to basic using Windows as per Microsoft instructions.
  5. Moved all user data back to C-Drive volume (I had been in the process of separating data from programs).
  6. Backed up C-Drive volume and system state using Windows 7 Backup tool to new partition ‘BACKUP’ using all of Disk 1
    1. This was in case the following hex stuff failed.  It would allow an easy restore by:
      1. Install windows from DVD onto Disk 0
      2. Use Windows backup to reset system state and all the files & programs on the C-Drive on Disk 0
  7. Now used the Hex editor to edit the disk sector information as described above.
  8. REBOOT (fingers crossed!)
  9. WAHAY! It worked.
  10. Removed pseudo partition remaining on Disk 0 to leave unallocated space  – I think this was due to the invisible 1Mb database that exists on dynamic disks.

Plans

I’ve now got two new hard drives in the post.  When these have arrived and are installed, I’ll use standard tools to move partitions and get user data onto a RAID mirror assembly.  This will increase data integrity and give me a better backup.  You’d think that outboard backups would be fine, wouldn’t you?  Well I bought a Western Digital 1TB Studio Edition which worked okay for a while….

But it ran so hot the eSATA/USB circuitry failed!  I dismantled it and found the drive to be okay – this is the third disk, Disk 2 in the screen-shots!

Now, I have a new system with a better,  heavy-duty power supply, adequate (and quiet cooling), with the whole thing protected behind an APC UPS which I’ve had for a year.  Sticking to basic disks should make backups simpler and the whole thing should be more reliable – certainly more so than the WD Studio thing which is a pile of hot plastic pants.

p.s. added 5/12/2010: read this for my new recommended fast backup solution: http://strangelyperfect.tv/10155/what-is-the-best-backup-for-windows-in-a-small-home-or-office/

p.p.s. added 01/03/2012: I now recommend that folks use the free Easeus software, http://www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm  This will fix dynamic discs using a familiar graphical user interface so is way less scary.  Thanks to those that pointed this out.

p.p.p.s. added 11/11/2014:  I now find AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition works very well and I use it very much.  It has a large feature set for a free utility.

Stick to basic Disks – you know it makes sense!

Further Reading

Enhanced by Zemanta

Related Posts:

Dr Who and the Death of Self

Galaxies in Coma Berenices

Galaxies in Coma Berenices

Each one of the fuzzy white bits in the photo above is a galaxy containing billions of stars and thus many, many life-forms, all at various stages of evolutionThis statement is derived from the work of thousands of intellectuals using the powers of observation and deduction available to us all.

Journey's End (Doctor Who)

Journey's End (Doctor Who)

Tonight there was a show highlighting bits of the top BBC show, Doctor Who.

It was a reminder, for me, of the most cataclysmic scene, from the final (proper) episode called Journey’s End, where “The Doctor”  has to wipe the mind of Donna, his companion, to save herself from going mad.  (this was because she’d inherited his Time-Lord powers in the picture here, which are too much for a human).

Flowers For Algernon (S.F. Masterworks) (Paperback )by Daniel Keyes

Flowers For Algernon (S.F. Masterworks) (Paperback )by Daniel Keyes

This scene I can fully empathise with because of my own experience of an under-active thyroid gland which removed my powers of intellect and concentration, and almost removed my concept of “self”, before I was diagnosed.  At the time, when I was recovering, I called it my “Flowers for Algernon” experience.

“Flowers for Algernon” is an all-time great science fiction story.  Charlie Gordon, the story-telling diarist, like Donna Noble in Doctor Who, and like myself earlier, we were all crushingly aware of the powers we once had, but now were losing, visibly.

Socrates

Socrates

In many respects, it’s much worse than death.  People sometimes worry about death and try not to think about it, hoping it will go away.  Myself, I’ve always pondered it, sometimes to gloomy distraction.  It’s like the great unknown.

Socrates said;

Ordinary people seem not to realize that those who really apply themselves in the right way to philosophy are directly and of their own accord preparing themselves for dying and death.

With this, I fully agree, and can thus explain away my gloomy dallyings with the words of one of the greatest thinkers of all time.

Nichiren, the Buddhist monk of a later age said;

Life at each moment permeates the entire realm of phenomena and is revealed in all phenomena. To be awakened to this principle is itself the mutually inclusive relationship of life at each moment and all phenomena. – WND page 3, On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime

I think that with this in mind, for my next existence I’ll go somewhere different to this Earth….

Since I’ve been born I’ve always felt ‘old’, as if I’m returning here to ‘fix’ something, a devoir-faire.

Maybe I’ll be in these red centres of creation, a truly glorious image emphasising the hydrogen clouds.

"Mountains of Creation" by Spitzer. These towering pillars of cool gas and dust are illuminated at their tips with light from warm, embryonic stars.  The pillars in the Spitzer image are part of a region called W5, in the Cassiopeia constellation 7,000 light-years away and 50 light-years across. In the image, hundreds of forming stars (white/yellow) can seen for the first time inside the central pillar, and dozens inside the tall pillar to the left.

"Mountains of Creation" by Spitzer. These towering pillars of cool gas and dust are illuminated at their tips with light from warm, embryonic stars. The pillars in the Spitzer image are part of a region called W5, in the Cassiopeia constellation 7,000 light-years away and 50 light-years across. In the image, hundreds of forming stars (white/yellow) can seen for the first time inside the central pillar, and dozens inside the tall pillar to the left.

It’s truly a great privilege to be able to go out on an evening and stare at our night sky and the Milky Way, pondering on the gems that must exist, both in front of our eyes and those ones hidden by vast distance.

Our Milky Way by Spitzer Telescope - click for source page with VERY high resolution pictures!

Our Milky Way by Spitzer Telescope - click for source page with VERY high resolution pictures!

Related Posts:

Comments are closed

US Debt and Richard Feynman, a reprise

Richard P. Feynman related to US Debt in Today’s News

Richard R Feynman

Richard R Feynman

Yet again, I’m reminded about the late, great Feynman.  Not only did he give incredibly accessible and incisive open lectures, he also left the world a legacy of humorous and yet accurate quotes for us to ruminate on…

In the latest development from “The Credit Crunch“, in New York, there is an electronic wall display that monitors the US Debt…

Well, it’s ran out of numbers! (US debt clock runs out of digits) – You can’t make it up, can you?

_45093029_debtclock226[1]

National Debt Clock

And so to Feynman’s quote, from a time when the debt was considerably less than now, but he still pointedly observed as he turned a common figure of speech on it’s head:

There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy.   That used to be a huge number.   But it’s only a hundred billion.   It’s less than the national deficit!   We used to call them astronomical numbers.   Now we should call them economical numbers.   –  Richard Feynman,  US educator & physicist (1918 – 1988)

Related Posts:

Comments are closed

Another Positive Use for the Computer to Human Interface

Strangely post on August 18th, 2008
Posted in Technology Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In a recent post, http://strangelyperfect.tv/629/hannys-voorwerp-shows-what-ordinary-people-can-do/, I mentioned the power that can be gleaned from combining massive computer power and the pattern recognition capabilities of 3 million years of evolution on the human brain/eye system.

Now another use has just surfaced…

Many web-using people will be used to filling in forms with the deciphering of some partially obscurred text as part of the process.  A common one is called “Captcha“.

This same technique is being combined with a burgeoning project to digitize many old and new printed works.  This project uses OCR software to scan and digitize the books – but it makes mistakes.

These mistakes are farmed out by the reCAPTCHA service so that people’s eyes are used to fix the mistakes.

It’s a statistical compounding process so like SETI and the galaxy zoo project, multiple similar answers mount up to prove the “correctness” of the required answer.

It’s absolutely fantastic and a really positive use of computers in the service of mankind.

Related Posts:

Hanny’s Voorwerp shows What Ordinary People can Do

Hanny’s Voorwerp is a new type of astronomical object that’s been found by a Dutch woman as part of the Galaxy Zoo project.  The BBC were the first English speaking news outlet to pick up on this, here:

Teacher finds new cosmic object

Hanny Van Arkel,started this caper after she read a book by Queen guitarist, Brian May, of all things.

The Galaxy Zoo uses the pattern recognition ability of us humans, to catalogue all the zillions of galaxies in the sky into various classes; ellipical, spiral, barred spiral, etc.  Humans are very good at this – it’s part of our make-up that allows us to recognise faces and predators in the trees, say.  Machines can do the work automatically, but because not all objects are presented to us in the most optimum orientation, they fail on the hard stuff, of which there are many examples.

Hence the Galaxy Zoo started with loads of people volunteering to peer at pictures of galaxies and classify them.

It’s a fantastic communal effort that puts most nations and narrow-minded national governments and organisations to shame.  The projected 30,000 folk has actually panned out at 150,000 so far!  Kevin Schawinski is one of the people who devised the project.  A very simple idea with big results.  But like all great ideas, only obvious after the event!

So fair play to Hanny and well done, Mr May.  I bet you never saw that coming when you decided to complete your astronomy degree!

It’s that “interconnectedness of all things” thing again.

As for the object, big brains will be thinking about that one.  It’s one of a kind, so far.

Related Posts:

© 2007-2017 Strangely Perfect All Rights Reserved -- Copyright notice by me