Like previous versions of Microsoft Windows, WS2003 supports older, fixed-disk technologies, but it also supports some new technologies that increase performance and make disk management easier.

Types of Disk Storage

WS2003 supports two types of fixed-disk storage:

Basic storage

This storage technology is the same as that of legacy versions of Microsoft Windows, including NT 4.0 and 3.51, Windows 98, and Windows 95. Basic storage divides disks into a limited number of partitions and logical drives and supports advanced features such as volume sets, stripe sets, stripe sets with parity, and mirror sets.

Dynamic storage

This technology, available in WS2003 and W2K Server, divides disks into an unlimited number of volumes. Dynamic storage supports advanced features such as spanned volumes, striped volumes, RAID-5 volumes, and mirrored volumes.

In addition, WS2003 supports certain types of removable storage.

Basic Disks

When WS2003 is installed on a system, its disks are first configured to use basic storage. A disk that uses basic storage is called a basic disk. Basic disks are similar to disks in NT 4.0 and can consist of either:

  • Up to three primary partitions plus one extended partition. The extended partition can have up to 24 logical drives, and each primary partition and logical drive is identified by a unique drive letter from C to Z.

  • Up to four primary partitions and no extended partition or logical drives. Each partition is again identified by a unique drive ...

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