Posts Tagged ‘diskpart’

How to create a Mirrored Volume

In simple terms, a mirrored volume (RAID-1) writes the same data on two disks or partitions of separate disks. That is, any changes to data (or new data) made to the first disk of the mirror set are also made to its mirror disk. Mirrored volumes require at least two disks or two free partitions on separate disks. The free partitions or disks need to be of the same size, otherwise, the mirrored volume size would be equal to the smallest partition or disk.

The main advantage of mirrored volumes is disk drive redundancy. It provides availability of data in case one disk drive fails while it can mirror a system disk containing the operating system.  If a disk fails, the mirror set continues to operate on the remaining disk. The recovery operation of the mirror set depends on which disk fails if the set contains the system disk.  In general you would break/remove the mirror set, replace the faulty disk and re-create the set.

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by George - October 28, 2010 at 2:53 am

Categories: Devices, Disks   Tags: , , , , , , ,

How to create a Striped Volume

A striped volume (RAID-0) writes data in small blocks or stripes on two or more disks simultaneously. To create a striped volume you require at least two disks, however, having more than two disks participating in the striped volume will enhance further data access performance. That is, when data is written or read from a set of disks simultaneously the I/O bandwidth increases and hence, achieving better read and write transfer speeds. When creating a striped volume, the volume size is dependent on the disk with the smallest free space, as the portions of the disks included in the set need to be of the same size. I suggest to use full disks of the same size when creating striped volumes, otherwise, you end up with free spaces on some disks! While, the disks of a striped volume need to be converted to dynamic, remember that such volume is not fault-tolerant. If one disk fails, the entire volume fails.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by George - October 24, 2010 at 6:34 am

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How to create a Spanned Volume

A spanned volume is a volume that uses more than one physical disk. You can use any unallocated space left on disks to create a spanned volume. It also can include more than one unallocated space on a single disk while free spaces can be of any size. The only benefit of spanned volumes is the use of unallocated space that may have originated from imported disks or specific volume arrangements. The main disadvantage is the risk of losing the volume if one disk participating in the spanned volume fails. A faulty portion means a faulty spanned volume! There are no performance benefits when implementing spanned volumes.

To create a spanned volume, perform the following steps with administrator privileges:

  1. Open the Disk Management console by typing disk management in the Start search text box and click Create and format hard disk partitions or from the Computer Management console found in Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Administrative Tools
  2. Convert disks to Dynamic if they are set as Basic, right-click a Disk (left-hand side) and select Convert to Dynamic – at a later stage, the wizard prompts you to convert disks if you skip this step Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by George - October 19, 2010 at 5:07 am

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How to create a Simple Volume

In Windows 7 (and Vista) simple volumes are created on basic disks with or without partitions and on dynamic disks when no other disks are available to form a stripe set or spanned volume. Therefore, it is the default volume type that has the basic features such as, extend and shrink volumes! It is recommended to use basic disks with simple volumes if you do not require the advanced features of dynamic disks.

To create a simple volume, follow these steps with administrator privileges:

  1. Open the Disk Management console by typing disk management in the Start search text box and click Create and format hard disk partitions or from the Computer Management console found in Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Administrative Tools
  2. Right click an unallocated space on the new disk and select New Simple Volume – the New Simple Volume Wizard starts
  3. Specify the volume size in MB – the default is the maximum available space
  4. The next screen shows the default assigned drive letter, you can set any available letter from the drop-down list, while, you can also create a volume without a drive letter or mount it in an empty folder
  5. In the next format partition screen, it is recommended to leave the default file system and allocation unit size settings while type in a meaningful name in the volume label text field. If you suspect that the drive may contain bad blocks I suggest you perform a long format (uncheck the Perform a quick format), otherwise do a quick format as the process may take very long especially with large capacity drives. Also, you can enable file and folder compression for this volume
  6. The final screen is a summary of all set parameters, if no changes are required click Finish

When using the DiskPart command-line tool make sure that you create a partition on a basic disk while a simple volume on a dynamic disk, otherwise the tool fails. The Disk Management snap-in is more intelligent and adjusts itself according to the disk type.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by George - October 15, 2010 at 5:06 pm

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Disk Partitions

In Windows 7 systems we find two different partitioning systems. These are the Master Boot Record (MBR) and the Globally Unique Identifier Partition Table (GPT) styles. While MBR is supported by all versions of Windows, GPT is only supported on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Servers 2003 and 2008, and 64-bit versions of Windows XP. GPT offers several advantages over MBR such as, it can support up to 128 partitions while MBR supports only four, GPT is more reliable as it is aware of the modern disks geometries, GPT supports larger partitions – up to 18 Exabytes in theory and uses primary & backup partition tables for redundancy.

When using GPT partitions it is worth noting that larger partition sizes can have side-effects such as, take longer to check (running ChkDsk) and they are not compatible with all operating systems! Also, to boot from a GPT disk, the computer must support the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI). Remember, that all BIOS based systems must boot from an MBR disk. Removable media cannot be partitioned with the GPT style.

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by George - October 2, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Categories: Devices, Disks, Installation   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Shrink and Resize simple volumes

As most standard Windows installations format the entire disk with one partition or volume (excluding the hidden 100MB system partition), creating additional partitions without installing a new hard disk requires you to resize or better to shrink your existing volume. In certain computer setups, one would be better off with two or more partitions rather than having one large volume (sometimes referred to as the boot drive or the c: local disk). A typical case might be when creating a partition that hosts backups. Usually, backups are large files that take plenty of hard disk space and may halt your system because after so many jobs no free space may be left available for the system to operate. Also, it is by far more simpler to resize an existing volume rather than backing up all data, deleting and re-creating two or more partitions when your system is already installed.

To shrink a volume using Disk Management, perform the following procedure:

  1. Open the Disk Management console by typing disk management in the Search text box from the start menu, and click the Create and format hard disk partitions link
  2. From the Disk Management console, right-click the volume you want to shrink and click Shrink volume – the system checks and discovers the maximum available shrink size.
  3. From the Shrink dialog box specify the amount which you want to shrink the volume or leave the displayed value to shrink to the maximum amount
  4. The shrink process proceeds without further prompting and at the end you should be able to see a new unallocated space. Then, prepare this newly created space as a new volume.
  5. To revert back before you prepare the new volume you can right-click the shrinked volume and click Extend Volume and follow the Welcome to the Extend Volume Wizard
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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by George - April 26, 2010 at 3:15 pm

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Image deployment from a Network Share

This method of deployment is ideal for SMBs since its implementation is very straight forward and inexpensive as the main requirement is some storage space. This involves an installation of a reference computer (user/department configuration), creating a bootable client (Windows PE) and capturing the image onto a network share. Whenever, you need to install a new or reformatted computer system, you just need to push the image from the network share to that machine :)

Windows PE environment

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by George - March 9, 2010 at 1:29 am

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