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Old 09-13-2009, 10:52 AM   #1
core2kid
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Default Combine 2 hard drives as 1

I have my primary hard drive as a C: and partitioned. Then I have a secondary drive as E:. My and E: drives are my media drives and I would like to combine them to become 1 drive. Is that possible to do without losing data? If not I can copy all data to another drive as backup.
I have a picture of my disk management screen but I don't know how to upload it here.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:34 AM   #2
BushLin
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Default Combine 2 hard drives as 1

There is always a slight risk you could lose your data without a backup but Partition Magic and Acronis Disk Director are tools which can do exactly as you ask... Combine, move, re-size, not a problem.

EDIT: whoops, just noticed the partitions you want to combine are on different disks. You're going to have to copy the data over after setting the partitions. (obviously having the data elsewhere while partitions are created)
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:34 AM   #3
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Default Combine 2 hard drives as 1

so let me get this straight. You have 2 drives: C and D are the first one, and E is the second? If thats the case then no you cant. In your disk management snap in it will show one drive as drive 0 and one as drive 1. Cant combine em.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:37 AM   #4
lxskllr
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Default Combine 2 hard drives as 1

Quote:
Originally posted by: blackangst1
Cant combine em.
RAID 0 :^P
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:39 AM   #5
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Default Combine 2 hard drives as 1

You can't combine partitions across drives like that (one drive into two partitions and one full drive). You'd have to have two drives, each with only one partition, and then use some weird-ass JBOD software raid, and if a drive failed, you'd probably end up losing EVERYTHING.

Highly not recommended.

However, you CAN use the windows disk management snap-in to mount a drive as a folder on another drive. I've never done it, so I don't know if you can do that if the drive already has data on it.

Quote:
Originally posted by: lxskllr
Quote:
Originally posted by: blackangst1
Cant combine em.
RAID 0 :^P
RAID0 still won't do what he wants, which is to take one logical partition on a physical drive and combine it with a primary partition on a separate physical drive.
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:11 PM   #6
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Default Combine 2 hard drives as 1

Quote:
RAID0 still won't do what he wants, which is to take one logical partition on a physical drive and combine it with a primary partition on a separate physical drive.
Sure it will, you can use software RAID on partitions.
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Old 09-13-2009, 02:12 PM   #7
redbeard1
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Default Combine 2 hard drives as 1

Gparted should be able to resize the second drive so you can make space at the beginning of it, to then create a partition that would be come the drive, though it will be F: to start with. You can copy the data over from the original drive. Then you would use Gparted, or whatever partitoning software you have, to delete the original and add that space to the C: drive, though the resizing of the C: will usually need to done from a bootable cd. Once you have the first drive changed, then you would use Windows Disk Management to change the drive letters around on the second drive to get them to be and E:.
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Old 09-13-2009, 08:57 PM   #8
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Default Combine 2 hard drives as 1

My suggestion would be to mount the second drive as an NTSF folder inside of the D partition.
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:28 PM   #9
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Default Combine 2 hard drives as 1

Quote:
My suggestion would be to mount the second drive as an NTSF folder inside of the D partition.
But that's purely cosmetic and won't combine the free space.
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:57 AM   #10
theprodigalrebel
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Default Combine 2 hard drives as 1

1. Computer Management -> Disk Management
2. Convert Disk0 and Disk1 from 'Basic' to 'Dynamic'
3. Computer will reboot, convert disk type (this does not affect your data), your partitions will now be referred to as 'volumes'
4. Right-click the volume, select 'Extend Volume'. Now this only works with unallocated space (as seen here on my computer), you can 'add' that empty space to your volume.
5. Note that when you right-click unallocated space to create a new volume, you get options for Simple, Spanned or Striped. I tried it with the 10GB unallocated space you see on my Disk1 but the 'Create Spanned Volume' option was grayed out for me. I'm assuming that's because I only have unallocated space on one disk at this time. Throwing in another disk in my system would (I guess) allow me to create spanned volumes from the get go.

Note: I've never actually extended volumes across drives or created a spanned volume.

Copypasta from the Windows Help file on spanned volumes, how they work, how they fill up all usable space on disk-n before heading to disk-n+1 etc.:
Quote:
Using spanned volumes
Spanned volumes combine areas of unallocated space from multiple disks into one logical volume, allowing you to more efficiently use all of the space and all drive letters on a multiple-disk system.

When you need to create a volume but do not have enough unallocated space for the volume on a single disk, you might be able to create a volume of sufficient size by combining sections of unallocated space from multiple disks into one spanned volume. The areas of unallocated space used to create spanned volumes can be different sizes. Spanned volumes are organized so that the space allocated to the volume on one disk gets filled up and then, starting at the next disk, the space allocated to the volume on that disk gets filled up.

Spanned volumes allow you to get more data on a disk without using mount points. By combining the space used by multiple disks into one spanned volume, you can free drive letters for other uses and enable the creation of a large volume for file system use.

Increasing the capacity of an existing volume is called extending. Existing spanned volumes formatted with the NTFS file system can be extended by the amount of unallocated space on all disks. However, after a spanned volume is extended, no portion of it can be deleted without deleting the entire spanned volume. Disk Management formats the new area without affecting any existing files on the original spanned volume. You cannot extend spanned volumes formatted with the FAT file system.

Before making any changes to spanned volumes, you should first back up all the information on the volume.

For procedures on working with spanned volumes, see Manage spanned volumes.

Caution

Spanned volumes cannot be mirrored or striped and do not offer fault tolerance. If one of the disks containing a spanned volume fails, the entire volume fails and all the data on it is lost.
You can create spanned volumes on dynamic disks only. You need at least two dynamic disks to create a spanned volume. MS-DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0, Windows XP Home Edition, and other operating systems lacking dynamic storage capability cannot recognize any spanned volumes created by Windows 2000 or Windows XP Professional. Therefore, if you create a spanned volume on a dual-boot computer, the disks that make up that volume become unusable by those operating systems.
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Old 09-15-2009, 05:55 AM   #11
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Default Combine 2 hard drives as 1

Spanning required using the whole disk. I doubt there's a way to kludge it to work with half a drive.
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:34 AM   #12
Nothinman
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Default Combine 2 hard drives as 1

Quote:
Spanning required using the whole disk. I doubt there's a way to kludge it to work with half a drive.
Actually, I'm 99% sure it works just fine with partitions in Windows software RAID but I don't have a machine handy to test it on.
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:45 PM   #13
JohnOfSheffield
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Default Combine 2 hard drives as 1

Quote:
Originally posted by: Nothinman
Quote:
Spanning required using the whole disk. I doubt there's a way to kludge it to work with half a drive.
Actually, I'm 99% sure it works just fine with partitions in Windows software RAID but I don't have a machine handy to test it on.
You can make that 100% if they haven't changed it since NT4 Server which i seriously doubt, in fact, that was the only way, you couldn't do it with whole drives because it only works with partitions and NOT boot partitions.
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Old 09-17-2009, 01:05 PM   #14
Raduque
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Default Combine 2 hard drives as 1

Quote:
Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield
Quote:
Originally posted by: Nothinman
Quote:
Spanning required using the whole disk. I doubt there's a way to kludge it to work with half a drive.
Actually, I'm 99% sure it works just fine with partitions in Windows software RAID but I don't have a machine handy to test it on.
You can make that 100% if they haven't changed it since NT4 Server which i seriously doubt, in fact, that was the only way, you couldn't do it with whole drives because it only works with partitions and NOT boot partitions.
Well, I stand corrected. I had understood it as only working with drives, like JBOD RAID.
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