Avoid dynamic disks if…

…you’re setting up Windows Media Center Edition.  This is one of those little tidbits you only learn after it’s too late. Although Windows Media Center Edition doesn’t have a problem with dynamic disks, the extender software (both first generation extenders and the Xbox 360) can’t tolerate them for some reason.

What would really be nice is if the Disk Management tool would actually warn you of this when you attempt to convert a basic disk to a dynamic disk. In some cases you simply can’t revert back and in my case resulted in hours of wasted time backing up data and then reinstalling Windows and all the applications on newly formatted hard drives.

© 2006 Kenny Kerr


  • Yes, I found that out the hard way too :(

    I tried various disk-sector hacks to try and convert the dynamic disk back to a basic disk, and even purchased some cheap software which could do it. The software worked, but eventually the only real option for me was an OS re-install.

    Note that the extenders don't really care if you *have* dynamic disks, they just don't want your *system* disk to be dynamic.

  • Ye. But why would the extender software worry about this ?
    As we know WMCE is running fine so why can't the exender.

    Is this a serious miss from MS team for the exender software ?

    A feel happy Google put me into this forum. Raised this at MS Expert Newsgroups but only got some "don't worry about it" replies. Don't worry. I need to rebuild my WMCE for no explained raesons.

    Even worse. Some HP MCE systems are build on dynamic disks and people now find that the 360 cannot be connected as an extender.

  • Yes, I've just found this out the hard way too. First problem I had was installing WinXP MCE 2005. During install it asks for an SP2 CD, so I provided it as asked. This messes up the OS and then you can't install the WinXP rollup 2. Finally figured out, with Google's help, that during initial setup when it asks for the SP2 CD you should re-insert Disk 1. So I finally get the OS installed with rollup 2 and my new 1TB of disks using software raid (every home should have one!) only to then find I can't continue with dynamic disks. Oh well, full re-install again, hopefully for the last time ;-)

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