Combine 2 hard drives as 1

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by core2kid, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. core2kid

    core2kid Senior member

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    I have my primary hard drive as a C: and D: partitioned. Then I have a secondary drive as E:. My D: and E: drives are my media drives and I would like to combine them to become 1 D: 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.
     
  2. BushLin

    BushLin Member

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    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)
     
  3. blackangst1

    blackangst1 Lifer

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    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.
     
  4. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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    RAID 0 :^P
     
  5. Raduque

    Raduque Lifer

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    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.

    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.
     
  6. Nothinman

    Nothinman Elite Member

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    Sure it will, you can use software RAID on partitions.
     
  7. redbeard1

    redbeard1 Diamond Member

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    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 D: drive, though it will be F: to start with. You can copy the data over from the original D: drive. Then you would use Gparted, or whatever partitoning software you have, to delete the original D: 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 D: and E:.
     
  8. KentState

    KentState Diamond Member

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    My suggestion would be to mount the second drive as an NTSF folder inside of the D partition.
     
  9. Nothinman

    Nothinman Elite Member

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    But that's purely cosmetic and won't combine the free space.
     
  10. theprodigalrebel

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    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 D: 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 D: 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.:
     
  11. Raduque

    Raduque Lifer

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    Spanning required using the whole disk. I doubt there's a way to kludge it to work with half a drive.
     
  12. Nothinman

    Nothinman Elite Member

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    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.
     
  13. JohnOfSheffield

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    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.
     
  14. Raduque

    Raduque Lifer

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    Well, I stand corrected. I had understood it as only working with drives, like JBOD RAID.
     
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