Ok. Long story follows. I'm a Windows dude, but have started playing around a bit with Ubuntu. I had Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10 installed on my notebook until a couple of days ago. Ubuntu's GRUB was the boot loader, and it took care of the whole dual boot thing in a nice way, allowing me to switch back and forth between the two OSes.

Then a couple of days ago I decided to flip another hard drive into my machine, use software Raid-1 on one of my existing partitions and use the remaining space of the new drive for new data partitions. In order to use software mirroring I had to convert the boot hard drive to a dynamic disk in disk manager. When I did that, disk manager popped up a "file not found" error dialog with no other details, and also assigned drive letters to the two Ubuntu partitions that had previously been without drive-letters in Windows. I unmounted the Ubuntu paritions again, waited for the mirrored partitions to sync up, checked that everything looked ok, and rebooted. Boom.

Next, after booting, grub would load and then immediately reboot the system. So apparently something along the way (I'm guessing converting from basic to dynamic disks wasn't grub/Ubuntu compatible in some way) screwed up the MBR and/or grub. So I used the Windows 7 DVD to just "bootsect /nt60 sys" it back to a plain Windows machine. (didn't dare trying the same with Ubuntu as I'm a Windows dude and not very familiar with the Linux world... :) )

Now that everything is back to normal I am thinking about doing a clean install of Ubuntu on some unpartitioned space, and get back to the dual-boot Windows 7+Ubuntu setup that I had before. Both hard drives in my machine (a notebook) are dynamic disks, and there is unfortunately no space for a third hard drive. Is it safe to install Ubuntu on a Windows 7 'dynamic disk', or will I risk screwing up something for Windows?

1 Answer 1


"dynamic" disks are a Microsoft Windows solution and are not compatible with anything else, including some other versions of Windows (Home Edition, for example). They don't use any hardware assist either. I can't imagine any Linux supporting dynamic disks.

I have successfully used Windows XP and Windows 7 with Intel SATA RAID motherboards in a mirrored configuration. RAID mirrors have saved my patooty on several occasions, but I also faced a situation where I lost a disk and the other disk partition was damaged, so I recommend using RAID mirrors with a partition imaging backup, to protect against total loss.

That said, I haven't tried Intel SATA RAID controllers with ubu-9.10. I DID try to dual-boot a Ubuntu/WinXP configuration on the last major release of Ubuntu, but despite many tutorials purporting to show how to configure Intel RAID for Ubu, none of them worked.

If you don't have a RAID hardware assist, then don't do RAID. If you do have a RAID controller, you'll need to convert your Windows install to RAID first (not really very hard) and then see if you can find a tutorial for ubu-9.10 that actually works.

  • Thx. This is a notebook so hardware raid is unfortunately not an option.
    – KristoferA
    Feb 1, 2010 at 5:59

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