Physical Hard Disk

Windows Server operating systems support two types of hard disks, basic and dynamic.

Disk storage is managed using the Disk Management Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in.

mmc disc manager

Basic and Dynamic disks were originally introduced in Windows 2000. All disks are initially basic disks until an administrator converts them to dynamic disks, one physical disk at a time.

The biggest advantage that dynamic disks have over basic disks is that you can create software-based fault-tolerant volumes (mirrored volumes or RAID-5 volumes) from volumes stored on dynamic disks. This cannot be done with partitions stored on basic disks, although it is possible to implement a hardware RAID solution using a RAID controller with basic disks, however this has additional expense as you would need to purchase a RAID hardware controller.

You can format partitions with the FAT16, FAT32 or NTFS on a basic disk, but you can only format a dynamic volume as NTFS from the Disk Management console.

Next: Logical Disks