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which type of partition should i use

Dark Atheist

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basic, mbr, dynamic, gpt - its a raid drive will mostly be for storgae - will have a web site and ftp on it, and will burn dvds as and when i need to of backups of other pcs

windows 2003 standard server striped 4+0 raid0 array
how big is the array?

If its >2TB you'll have to use GPT as MBR won't be able to handle it. Otherwise any of them would probably be fine. Not sure what the diff is between the "basic" and "dynamic" options though.


Woah.. I'm still here?
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First.. a clarification.. you're not picking one option, you're picking two.

A MBR disk can be setup in windows as both a basic and dynamic disk.
A GPT disk can be setup in Windows as both a basic and dynamic disk.

So, first, Dynamic vs Basic.. personally I generally stick with basic disks as I don't care much for dynamic disk. Yes, you can do some neat stuff with dynamic disks (mount points, spanned volumes, etc..) and if you are using a software/Windows RAID, your only option is dynamic disk.
Again, I still prefer basic disk.. just be aware that while it is easy to convert from basic to dynamic, there is no easy way to convert from dynamic to basic.

The MBR vs GPT debate is a newer debate as GPT is newer on the windows side (since 2003 SP1 I believe). Personally, I've never had the need for GPT - haven't had to create partitions greater that 2TB or more than 4 primary partitions. If you are doing any microsoft clustering, don't use GPT disks.

from a performance, i don't think there is much difference between them (all other things being equal).
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No idea how Windows Disk Spanning works

if its a just the combining within Windows of two <2TB disks, C:\ and D:\ for example then sure MBR will work because the real volume size is not >2TB. If its a real combination ie C:\ or D:\ then you'll need to use GPT to use the full space
Looks like Disk Spanning is the answer to using >2TB arrays in XP 32-bit and Windows 2K, GPT is probably recommended where available. Assuming you can boot it normally then all would be fine.

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