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'Merging' hard drives in XP?

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June 20, 2011 11:59:14 AM

How do I combine two (or more) physical drives into one on an XP based machine? I have an older machine I want to essentially use as a NAS type device over my home network to stream content from, but want all the installed drives to essentially be "merged" together to show as just one if possible. I think its sometimes referred to as "disk pooling".

I have XP Pro available to install so maybe this has something built-in that can easily handle this task. It also needs to be done on an XP based machine (not Linux) due to some other specialized software that will be running on it for another reason and is for XP only.

Basically, any suggestions on how to have some sort of 'disk pooling' for 2+ drives on an XP machine? Can it simply be done within XP Pro? Or maybe there is some sort of free software out there that can handle this. This machine currently doesn't have any important data on it so experimenting and wiping something out can be done if needed.

More about : merging hard drives

a b G Storage
June 20, 2011 12:09:11 PM

Spanned volume is supported in window xp professional. Use disk management to do it.
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June 20, 2011 12:18:22 PM

perfect. Sounds like something I can easily do. One other quick question I thought of. Can USB attached drives be included in this "spanning" with the internal drives? I realize it would probably wipe any data out on the USB drive (if possible) so would get anything off of them first. Or is this 'spanning' simply for internal drives only?
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a b G Storage
June 20, 2011 12:20:25 PM

Yes but quite tricky. I attempted it myself about 2 years ago hoping to build a flash usb disk raid array but the performance is not very good so I abandon project.
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a b G Storage
June 20, 2011 12:21:21 PM

I am going to dig up the driver you need and the instruction I wrote for myself in my storage hdd.
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a b G Storage
June 20, 2011 12:23:17 PM

My attempt was with 4 8GB flash giving me 32GB in total. Since flash is now even cheaper and usb 3.0 is here I suspect the array will work better now with more drives in parallel. I think I deleted the drivers and instructions after the attempt fail and I move to window 7.
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a b G Storage
June 20, 2011 12:31:39 PM

mcf57 said:
I found this on how to disk span in XP Pro. Looks like a pretty good tutorial:

http://www.cocoontech.com/portal/articles/tutorials/mis...


Yes, internal disks are easy, follow the tut. But usb require more steps. I found out the driver now, I just need to dig up the instruction again. Never thought after two years someone will be interested. OK found the program and instruction for usb creating usb raid array in window. People can do that in linux as well, but since I wasnt playing with linux, I have to do it in window.
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a b G Storage
June 20, 2011 12:51:25 PM

For the usb raid, you basically install a driver which manage virtual drives on the usb sticks and the window read this virtual drives as if they are internal drives enable them to be spanned. I compile the instruction again and the driver was found. Although I have to say, when you assign space of the virtual drive in the usb, it is not straight forward in MB. You need to play around with the numbers to get the most usb space into the virtual drive.
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