I have a virtualized Windows 2003 Server machine with one basic disk (boot drive) and three Dynamic disks. The machine is running in an VMWare ESXi server.

I had to remove the three dynamic disks from the VM, and now I want to re-attach them. The disks now are recognized as Foreign on the Disk Management console.

When I right-click on one of those disks, I have the option to "Import Foreign Disks...", when I select it, a dialog showing "Spanned volume - Data Incomplete" appears, and when I click Ok on this dialog, the message "Some of the volumes you are importing will lose data because...".

What can I do to re-attach those disks?

Here's a screenshot of the Disk Management console:

enter image description here

Thanks in advance, Leonardo.

  • Did you remove the disks in VMware or did you remove them in Windows? – Citizen Jan 24 '15 at 2:14

Why not get yourself a cheap raid card like Adaptec or AMCC/3Ware etc, 40-50 bucks

then your "lump" will be totally independent of Windows frustrating disk management.

the only thing I do with DM is rename Volumes.

I recently added a disk to Adaptec RAID 6 to give me a bit more space, the adapec took care of my request in 7 hours (reasonable for 6Tb full to 92% of capacity).

When you go into Windows disk manager it sees the old size, with no spare space just created bt 5805 Manager

thank God for good old Paragon Disk manager.

Also go down the GPT route instead of Dynamic, from Win7 Server 2008 onwards and with current disk prices and capacities it's a no brainer.


Because you are working with a spanned volume, you need to import all of the disks in one operation in order for the volume(s) to be correctly identified by Windows. If you try importing the disks one-by-one, as you have been doing, Windows will not correctly identify the volume(s) and will only give you the option to delete the existing data on the disk.

Helpful tip: since you are working in a virtual environment, it would not hurt to make copies of your vmdk's PRIOR to reattaching them just to be on the safe side. You can do this in vSphere client using the Datastore Browser.

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