Dynamic Disk Shows Multiple Free Space Regions

When you upgrade a basic disk to dynamic disk in Windows 2000, the legacy partition table entries, called hard-linked entries, are still retained in its MBR. Windows use these entries to recognize them while performing a new installation. But this behavior sometimes causes errors for Disk Management Tool to incorrectly represent partitioned and free disk space. Such errors are more prominent when you delete different partitions containing hard-linked partiton table entries.

To solve related issues, you will need to covert this hybrid dynamic disk to a pure dynamic disk by removing all hard-linked partitions. Since the process causes data loss, you need to use your backup to restore the data or scan the disk using a powerful Partition Recovery software.

For an instance, consider that are using a hybrid dynamic disk with multiple hard-linked partition enries. You observe any of the following symptoms:

You deleted one or more dynamic volumes. You observe multiple contiguous free space regions and when you try to combine or remove them, you fail to do so. You find that the size of these regions matches exactly with the remaining hard-linked partition table entries.
You try to install Windows 2000 and observe one or more volumes being displayed as ‘unformatted or damaged’. This is observed only if you have previously deleted one or more partitions with hard-linked partition table entries using Disk Management.


A Windows 2000 system exhibits this behavior as Disk Management doesn’t delete the hard-linked partition table entries after you delete the corresponding dynamic volume.


To solve the issue, you will need to delete all the dynamic volumes that contain hard-linked partition table entries. This changes a hybrid dynamic disk to a pure dynamic disk. To do so, consider the following points:

Partition table entry with multiple 0×42 entries or a 0×05 entry represent a hard-linked partition.

Dskprobe.exe tool can remove all partition table entries leaving the first 0×42 entry, which is essential for a dynamic volume to be recognized by LDM (Logical Disk Manager)

After all the hard-linked partitions are removed, restore data from backup

Scan the disk using an efficient Windows Partition Recovery utility to recover the lost partitions while any backup concerns. A Partition Recovery application can recover all the lost, deleted or corrupted partitions without harming any contents.

Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery is an advanced recovery utility designed for Windows 7 RC1, Vista, XP, 2003 and 2000 based systems. It is a non-destructive Partition Recovery Software tool with high-end scanning algorithms and self-descriptive interface. The tool supports FAT32, VFAT, NTFS and NTFS5 file systems.