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How do I connect my laptops two hard drives together to make more storage space?

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April 12, 2012 1:51:38 PM

Hey, I have a problem with my laptop. It's abit old with windows XP and two hard drives ACER (C:)  and ACERDATA (D:) . I am currently using the ACER drive to store everything but the other one says it has 97% free space whilst ACER drive has 32% space and I was wondering if I can put them together to make one hard drive. I know it's probably an easy thing to do but I'm abit of a novice when it comes to computers so if you can help me please I would be most appreciative. Oh and I don't have any money so I can't even buy any new equipment for the laptop.
Thanks even if you can't help.
Daniel Esam
April 12, 2012 2:09:23 PM

What you want is called a JBOD (Just a Bunch of Disks), a type of very simple disk array. Unlike RAID, JBOD doesn't add any performance or redundancy. I'm not sure of any software JBOD solutions you could use, but I'm betting you can find one on Google or somebody will come in and tell you.
a c 200 D Laptop
April 12, 2012 2:12:42 PM

Actually, you have 1 HDD with 2 partitions. The ACERDATA partition usually contains the files needed to restore your system to its "out of the box" configuration as when it was brand new (lets you restore your system to its original state).

If you no longer need those system files, you could delete the ACERDATA partition and then use a tool like Easus Partition Magic to expand your ACER partition to use the space previously used by ACERDATA.

Before attempting this, backup all of your saved files (typically the stuff in your My Documents folder) before making any changes.

Product link follows:
http://www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm
a b D Laptop
April 12, 2012 2:22:29 PM

They are called "partitions". Yes, you can make them into one.

The process:
- copy all files from D: to another hard drive (external, USB). It's advisable to copy important files from C: also, in case something goes wrong.
- delete D partition
- extend C partition to take up all the free space
- copy data back

Alternative:
- get out the hard drive from the laptop, and put in a suitable USB external enclosure
- connect it to another computer
- create a copy of all important files from C: and D: to another hard disk
- delete all partitions Update. Yeah, don't do this, keep the recovery partition if you have one.
- create one new partition
- reinstall operating system
- copy data back

Anyhow, you won't be able to do this without some expense, I'm afraid.

ps. I type slowly, ColGeek was faster :)  At least the OP hears the same from two different people... :) 
April 12, 2012 2:38:26 PM

Thanks for your reply all of you I will see what I can do and then will be in touch about what happens.
April 12, 2012 2:39:58 PM

COLGeek said:
Actually, you have 1 HDD with 2 partitions. The ACERDATA partition usually contains the files needed to restore your system to its "out of the box" configuration as when it was brand new (lets you restore your system to its original state).

If you no longer need those system files, you could delete the ACERDATA partition and then use a tool like Easus Partition Magic to expand your ACER partition to use the space previously used by ACERDATA.


DO NOT DO THIS - or use extreme caution before doing so! If the OP is using the ACERDATA partition to store files (and has been) it is most likely not a restore partition setup by the manufacturer. Also, it is not the ACERDATA partition that is out of space, further leading to the theory that it is not a restore partition. Recovery partitions are not normally large enough to be usable for storage, as the OP mentions he currently is.

What is the size of the ACERDATA partition? What is on it? Do you need this data?

Answer those questions before deleting the data or nuking this partition. Also, unless you have the restore software (restore/driver disks) that came with the laptop I highly recommend not removing the factory restore partition (if you laptop actually has one). This normally only recovers only a small amount of space (a couple of Gb) and could cause problems later if you ever need the recovery partition.
a b D Laptop
April 12, 2012 2:53:15 PM

Open Disk Management tool.
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/windowsxp/ht/disk-managem...
Create a screenshot, and put the image (or the link) here.

I don't think "ACERDATA" is a recovery partition, but I agree, if the disk has one (which is usually hidden), then it's important to keep it. Either if it contains the actual recovery image, or only just the recovery program, which the system relies on, when a special keyboard combination is pressed.

That said, ACERDATA can contain the recovery image, I've seen this on a Toshiba laptop: the recovery image creator used the D: partition to create the recovery disks, and didn't delete the files afterwards.

Anyways, backup, backup, backup before you do anything. Uff.
a c 200 D Laptop
April 12, 2012 5:22:25 PM

Also, if ACERDATA is not a recovery partition and just a place to keep backups/Acer provided apps (like many older Sony laptops), and it has the desired space, you can re-locate/move the location of your My Documents folder (see link below). This will free up space on the C: drive and make better use of the available space on the D: drive.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310147
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
April 24, 2012 6:16:26 PM

Sorry to jump in on your post, but have you found a solution to you problem yet?? I found this post googling the same problem. I have an ACER 80GB HDD laptop (quite old), and decided to load Windows 7 a while ago. Now, in My Computer it states that I have 2 x 40GB drives. One called - Local Disk (C:) , and another called DATA (D:) . C drive is nearly full whereas D drive is almost completely empty. Would appreciate any advise!
a b D Laptop
April 24, 2012 7:49:46 PM

It's the same.

Use Windows 7 Disk Management tool:
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/windows7/ht/disk-manageme...

Delete D, and then right click C partition. Select “Extend Volume” in shortcut menu, and add set the maximum value.

It's just a couple clicks and done, but partition manipulation is inherently risky, so it's good practice to backup your important files to another disk, instead of trying to recover them later.
!