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Using two drives as one?

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August 31, 2011 5:50:24 AM

How can I make two different hard drives act as one?

I just bought a new hard drive (WD Caviar Black 2tb) because my older one (WD Caviar Black 500gb) is just about out of storage. Is there any way to make it so they act as one 2.5tb drive? I have tried some partitioning and volume tweaking, but I'm not able to expand a volume over both drives. I have an option to convert them to Dynamic Discs but am not very confident with what might happen if I do this (completely loose everything on my existing hard drive).

Do I convert both drives to Dynamic Discs, or do something else?

Thanks!

...if I was too vague on my question let me know

Windows 7 x64
WD Caviar Black 500gb
WD Caviar Black 2tb
MSI Radeon 6970
AMD Phenom ii x4 965 B.E. @3.4ghz
ASRock M3A790GXH/128M
OCZ 800w

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a c 383 G Storage
August 31, 2011 12:16:54 PM

If your motherboard supports raid, you can set up a raid array. Since you only have two drives your only raid options would be raid 0 and JBOD.

I don't recommend raid 0 because your drives are of a different size and also if one drive dies, you'll lose all data on both drives.

JBOD should make it look like one large volume, but if a drive dies you should have no problem with file recovery.

That said, if the boot drive is part of an array, you will most likely need to reinstall your OS and supply the necessary raid drivers during installion of the OS.
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August 31, 2011 5:11:06 PM

I tried setting up raid in my bios with JBOD and my system failed to boot about 6 times so I had to reset my bios. Is there just a simple way to set up a multi-drive volume?
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August 31, 2011 5:20:46 PM

JBOD can work. You just need to install the RAID drivers from within windows before you configure RAID in your bios. Alternatively, you can run a Repair install after configuring RAID. But there is an easier way.

Dynamic Disks work well for this purpose. Converting them will not erase your data. If you are concerned, copy all of your data from your 500GB drive to your 2TB before converting, so that you have a fallback. Once they are both converted to Dynamic Disks, you will be presented with the option to extend your 500GB partition to across the 2TB one.

If you are still concerned, you can always mount your 2TB drive as a directory on your 500GB partition. All of the files you want stored on the 2TB will need to be contained within that directory, but its far easier and straightforward than Dynamic Disks or RAID arrays.
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August 31, 2011 5:29:17 PM

Thank you! When I try to change my 500gb to Dynamic Disk, it say: "After you convert these disks to Dynamic, you will not be able to start the installed operating systems from any volume on these disks (except the current boot volume)."

Will I still be able to boot my operating system?
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August 31, 2011 5:38:08 PM

Yes, you should still be able to boot off of it. Although I have never tried it, someone else apparently has:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/767-63-convert-window...

Have the Windows 7 installation DVD (or other sort of rescue media) ready in the event it does not work, so that you can at least convert it back to a basic disk.

Good luck with that.
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