Basic disks and dynamic disks are two types of hard disk configurations in Windows. Most personal computers are configured as basic disks, which are the simplest to manage. Dynamic disks can make use of multiple hard disks within a computer to duplicate data for increased performance and reliability.
A basic disk uses primary partitions, extended partitions, and logical drives to organize data. A formatted partition is also called a volume (the terms volume and partition are often used interchangeably). In this version of Windows, basic disks can have either four primary partitions or three primary and one extended partition. The extended partition can contain an unlimited number of logical drives. The partitions on a basic disk cannot share or split data with other partitions. Each partition on a basic disk is a separate entity on the disk.
Dynamic disks can contain an unlimited number of dynamic volumes that function like the primary partitions used on basic disks. The main difference between basic disks and dynamic disks is that dynamic disks are able to split or share data among two or more dynamic hard disks on a computer. For example, a single dynamic volume may actually be made up of storage space on two separate hard disks. Also, dynamic disks can duplicate data among two or more hard disks to guard against the chance of a single disk failing. This capability requires more hard disks, but improves reliability.