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merging two hard drives onto one hard drive

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July 12, 2013 4:16:29 PM

I've looked around for a couple hours and have not found a similar problem or solution to a problem like mine (I'm sorry if there is a fix somewhere already).

My Goal: I want to upgrade the storage in my PC to two 2TB hard drives in RAID1.

My Situation: I currently have a 120GB SSD for my OS (C:\), a 1TB hard drive for my programs (D:\) and another 1TB hard drive for my personal files (E:\). My libraries (My Documents, My Videos, etc.) are mapped to the E:\ drive.

Combined, I do not have close to 1TB of space between both drives, so they could be merged. but...

The Problem: ...I don't know how to merge the two 1TB drives so that the the library paths, and other paths from programs, links, etc. will be intact.

Back to Why I Want to do This: If I merge the 1TB drives, I will have a single volume to mirror over to a fresh RAID1 array on the 2TB drives. This way, I might be able to accomplish a seamless switch over. Windows won't know anything changed.

Does this make sense? Is this possible? I want to try as hard as I can to not wipe my computer and start over or manually copy things and change paths as programs, shortcuts, and links error because they can't find the proper drive anymore.

Worst comes to worst... I can wipe and reinstall my programs, and just mirror my E:\ (personal files and libraries) drive over to the RAID1.

Feedback would be appreciated! Thank you in advance.

Best solution

July 12, 2013 4:37:02 PM

My suggestion would be to create two partitions on the new RAID array, then clone each drive over to one partition.
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July 12, 2013 5:07:54 PM

jakjawagon said:
My suggestion would be to create two partitions on the new RAID array, then clone each drive over to one partition.


I agree.

1. UNHOOK both cables from the 1TB drives temporarily.
2. Physically add the two, 2TB drives (whichever SATA controller is best for RAID. See motherboard manual)
3. Boot into the BIOS to setup the drives as RAID1 (I didn't want the 1TB drives installed in case you accidentally created RAID on them instead and lost your data)
4. FORMAT and Partition (Disk Management, and may need free partitioning software)
5. HOOK UP the 1TB drives
6. Clone D: to 1st partition of RAID, and Clone E: to 2nd partition of RAID (copy and paste might work as well)
7. UNHOOK the 1TB drives with PC off
8. Change the PARTITION LETTERS if if they don't match up (Disk Management)

You should NOW have:
C: SSD
D: 1st partition of RAID
E: 2nd partition of RAID

*Your DVD drive normally is D-Drive and likely HIDDEN if no DVD is inserted (I show C, then E, F etc.). You may really be E and F instead of D and E, but I think you get the point.

I hope that makes sense.
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July 12, 2013 6:46:06 PM

photonboy said:
jakjawagon said:
My suggestion would be to create two partitions on the new RAID array, then clone each drive over to one partition.


I agree.

1. UNHOOK both cables from the 1TB drives temporarily.
2. Physically add the two, 2TB drives (whichever SATA controller is best for RAID. See motherboard manual)
3. Boot into the BIOS to setup the drives as RAID1 (I didn't want the 1TB drives installed in case you accidentally created RAID on them instead and lost your data)
4. FORMAT and Partition (Disk Management, and may need free partitioning software)
5. HOOK UP the 1TB drives
6. Clone D: to 1st partition of RAID, and Clone E: to 2nd partition of RAID (copy and paste might work as well)
7. UNHOOK the 1TB drives with PC off
8. Change the PARTITION LETTERS if if they don't match up (Disk Management)

You should NOW have:
C: SSD
D: 1st partition of RAID
E: 2nd partition of RAID

*Your DVD drive normally is D-Drive and likely HIDDEN if no DVD is inserted (I show C, then E, F etc.). You may really be E and F instead of D and E, but I think you get the point.

I hope that makes sense.


This solution makes perfect sense, very practical. I will probably shrink my programs partition down to about 400-500MB, since I never have many large programs installed at once. I mostly need more personal storage space.

I will credit jakjawagon with the answer, but am replying to you (photonboy) since you went to the trouble of laying out a safe and clear method of doing what jakjawagon suggested. I know a few people who have/have had my problem and I will be sure to pass on this straightforward and easy solution. I was preparing myself for the long-haul here.

Thanks to the both of you!

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