Which is better - a Dynamic or Basic disk?


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RayG
RayG
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Which is better to use Dynamic or Basic disks. I ask because I just realized a couple of things. Dynamic disks cannot be used with Bitlocker. Does this mean it is less likely that ransomware will be unable to encrypt a volume? (Does ramsomeware use its own encryption software?)

I appreciate the with Dynamic disks you can have volumes spread over different disks along with the other facilities offered.

I also noticed the it is not possible for Macrium to copy a Volume to another part of a disk (which has enough free space) as when a dynamic volume is selected (1 volume with a partition on 3 different disks) and the copy option is selected the next screen says "Select a disk to clone to"  rather than "Copy" to. When I click on that link no targets are offered.

The reason to make a copy/clone was that I wanted to move this volume to a single drive and also take up substantially less space, (I deleted a whole load of stuff I no longer require) and now I have approx 100GB on a 900GB volume so it seemed sensible to reduce the size an move it to a single physical disk.

I also appreciate that I can do a full backup and restore to resolve the issue but having found the above limitations I wondered what the best option would be as at this time I could also arrange for the dynamic disks (now potentially no longer necessary) to be changed to basic. All the disks on the system are GPT.


Regards
RayG
Windows10 X64 V1803 B17134.48 MR v7.1.3196

jphughan
jphughan
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I personally avoid dynamic disks since for all of the additional features and flexibility they offer, they also impose restrictions and create other hurdles.  I've also never needed any of the features they offer, so my "keep it simple" mentality has kept me from them.  When I need more storage, I just buy a larger disk rather than spanning onto a new one, the latter of which means your file system is now dependent on the proper operation of more than one disk.  But Macrium has a KB article about dynamic disks here that you may find interesting.

I don't know of any ransomware that uses BitLocker specifically.  Some ransomware encrypts individual files (rather like EFS) instead of the entire volume, which would of course still work on a dynamic disk, but even the ransomware that performs full volume encryption wants to retain a way to explain why your drive is now encrypted and where to send payment to regain access to your data, which BitLocker would not provide.  So I would not consider a dynamic disk an effective ransomware deterrent.  But you're capturing Reflect backups and storing destination disks offline or at least running Macrium Image Guardian, aren't you? Smile

You may also want to look into the newer Windows Storage Spaces technology, since I believe that's meant to supplant at least some of the use cases for dynamic disks, or possibly even all of them.  I'm not sure since again I tend to avoid these technologies since I have little use for them and generally try to keep things as simple as my use case allows.  Storage Spaces has its own set of issues though, including availability in WinPE.  I remember seeing threads about Storage Spaces volumes created in Win10 1709 not being visible in Rescue Media.  That could be because Rescue still uses WinPE 10 1607 as of this writing and that release doesn't support Storage Spaces (or a sufficiently new version of it to see 1709-era Spaces), in which case that limitation will presumably disappear eventually -- or it could be some other issue that may not be resolved so quickly.

RayG
RayG
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JPH, Thanks for your words of wisdomSmile

Regards
RayG
Windows10 X64 V1803 B17134.48 MR v7.1.3196

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