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How to use two HDDs combined?

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#1
This is my PC config:

Processor & mobo : Intel core 2 quad Q6600 @ 2.4GHz / DG33FB
RAM : DDR2 Kingston 2 GB
HDD : 250GB WD caviar blue
Graphic Card : XFX Geforce 9600GT 512MB

I have been using an external storage of 1tb...
Now i am going to buy WD 20EARX caviar green for media files storage...not OS or game installation....

How to use both my 250Gb WD(AS Primary) and 2Tb WD as secondary.... but i donot want more than 5-6drives shown at my computer screen....
How do i partition both HDDs?
I want following partition...
OS drive: 50GB & 1 180GB drive of my primary.....

4 500Gb drives of secondary...is it possible??
I realize that it will require complete formatting of my primary HDD...

Is it possible to partion secondary HDD without doing complete formatting of both HDDs...?
 

manofthem

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#2
Easiest way I can think of it is to pop in only your 250gb and install windows to a 50gb partition. After install is done, you can create a partition with the rest of the unallocated space in Disk Management. Then, add in your next hdd, obviously with the 250gb installed, and partition is accordingly in Disk Management. Should work :)

However, doing so will show up as 6 drives that will show up in Windows, not sure if that's what you were talking about not wanting....
 
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#3
I think you want spanned volumes. It'll combine various partitions even on different drives into one single logical drive.

So you'll see this...
Drive C: OS (50GB of your 250GB drive)
Drive D: Storage (200GB of your 250GB drive + your new 2TB drive)

The problem with spanned volumes is the lack of fault tolerance.
 
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#4
thanks guys....
What i am asking is...
Now my primary HDD of 250GB has 5 partitions (3 partitions of 30GB, 1 of 90GB,& 1 of 60GB)
When i put the new HDD of 2TB it should be showing its partitions on my comp screen if its possible & not like a complete 2 TB drive...
In short it should not be like an External drive...but behave like a partition of my Primary HDD....is it possible....because my PC gives pathetic transfer & access speeds for external devices....
Like my 4 & 8GB PD it gives transfer rates of 6-7 MB/s even tho it is capable of much more than that....
 

_Zod_

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#5
If you're not running Linux or multiple OSes, why do you have such a small drive partitioned into 5?
 
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#6
To clarify, you want to split your new 2TB drive into 4 partitions with 500GB per partition?

As far as I know, you don't have to format your primary (OS) HDD if you're only dealing with your 2TB HDD. Just connect your 2TB drive, go into Disk Management, and create four simple volumes that divide the 2TB equally.
 
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#7
I want following partition...
OS drive: 50GB & 1 180GB drive of my primary.....

4 500Gb drives of secondary...is it possible??
Copy everything from each of OS drive's partitions to the 2TB disc, then format and repartition the OS drive. Install OS. Format and partition the 2TB disc. Copy the stuff where ever you want.

But I beats me why you'd want such partitions or even why would you even want to use the old 250GB drive anymore.. I'd just ditch the 250GB'er and make a small OS+installations partition on the 2TB and use just one disc.
 
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#8
Think your using this partition stuff a bit much.

I would usethe 250 as a single OS and games. Second as data. Use folders not partitions

Unless your using a SSD there's is no reason to only hace 50Gb as OS

Remember when installing W7 detach all other drives
 
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#9
If you're not running Linux or multiple OSes, why do you have such a small drive partitioned into 5?
I am from India... Six years ago 250 or 320 GB was considered more than sufficient....
If we asked for more than 250 GB it was very difficult for dealers to find a single HDD.
& at that time it was sufficient for me....
Now I bought a new LED monitor res 1920*1080...so 700 MB files of movies looks pixelated so i have to use larger media files...Games are too big now-a-days...26GB for max payne 3...
Even softwares like photoshop use a lot of space .....
Also i use multiple OS now ...win 7 & linux...
 
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#10
Ok so you need two partitions for the two OSs. Not 5
 
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#11
I can see why you'd want windows on its own partition... comes in handy should a virus get in there and you have to re-format but don't want to lose everything else.

I would like to know the current "layout" of the partitions on your computer currently... such as is one for programs, another for docs, another for video, etc.

The best I can think of at the moment... is to go ahead an split the 2TB into 4 partitions. You can do this without messing with your current setup. Just connect the drive and you can configure it in Windows' Drive management. Connect the drive with the computer powered off, boot the computer and make sure the 250 is set as the primary boot device and load windows as usual. Upon booting to the desktop you may notice windows "installing new hardware". Just let it do its thing, restart if needed. if it asks to do anything with the drive like using as ready boost, etc, ignore the window that comes up. Click Start, right click computer, go to and click manage. When the program loads, look over to the left and under storage click on disk management.

At this point you should see your new drive, and should be able to split it up into 4 equal partitions/volumes. please note that windows does not measure 1GB the same way as HDD manufacturers, so the total size will "appear" to be smaller than it actually is. take the total that windows says is available, and divide by 4. use this amount for the partition size and all 4 should be the same size of roughly 480-500gb... somewhere in between.

once done you can start cloning or moving the partitions from your current drive over to the new one using a program like Acronis. If i remember correctly... you can have acronis mirror the drive settings and erase the current partitions at the same time. once all the partitions aside from the one with windows are moved over, you can then start a process of deleting all the other partitions on the 250gb, while leaving the windows partition intact. You can then format about 180GB of the now free space on the 250 into one partition. this should then leave some free space, around 18 or so gb (this is assuming windows is on a 30gb partition). You can then extend the windows partition to include this left over space if i remember correctly. once everything is all set up... i'd suggest a good defrag.

It can be a bit tricky to do and time consuming, but it can be done without having to re-install everything the old fashioned way. Just a little game of musical partitions lol. Hope this helps.

edit: just saw a new post... having Linux in there may complicate things a bit.
 
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#12
hey guys... Thanks for the responses...

So i just installed the new 2TB WD 20EARX HDD...
On booting win7 it installed the necessary software....
On Disk Management screen it showed 18XX GB of unallocated space...
On right-clicking it showed simple,spanned,striped & mirrored volumes options....
I know that
Spanned Volume - A dynamic spanned volume consists of two or more subdisks (contiguous disk regions) on one or more disks. With a spanned volume, you can combine sections of unallocated space from multiple dynamic disks into one large volume. The areas of unallocated space used to create spanned volumes can be different sizes. Spanned volumes are organized sequentially—that is, Array Manager sequentially allocates space on each disk until that disk is full and then continues with the next disk until the volume size is reached.

Spanned volumes can be extended. After a volume is extended, no portion of it can be deleted without deleting the entire spanned volume. Spanned volumes by themselves are not fault tolerant, but you can add data redundancy to a spanned volume by mirroring it to another disk.

Striped - Striped volumes are created by combining areas of free space on two or more disks into one logical volume. Data is divided into blocks and spread in a fixed order among all the disks in the volume. With a striped volume, data is written to multiple disks, similar to spanned volumes. However, striping writes files across all disks so that data is added to all disks at the same rate.

I certainly dont like simultaneous filling up of HDD.....So no striped volume..... What is the best option???
Simple,Spanned or mirrored. I hv no idea what mirrored is....& what simple partition does...

So which one is the best???I do not want simultaneous filling of HDDs....
 
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#13
just saw a new post... having Linux in there may complicate things a bit.
Thanks a great response in detail...
I am thinking about managing linux in the 60GB partition of my primary HDD with all installations & apps...& the rest 150 or so available space in two drives...50gb OS(win7) & 100GB installations & apps....
 
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#17
OK guys just did Simple volume partitions..
2 drives of 500 GB, 1 of 320 GB (These three are Primary Partitions..)
Last 1 Drive of 540 GB(Logical Drive..)
Is this setup good???
I am going to copy files from my old HDD & merge partitions of my old drive (ie..i had 5 partitions on old drive...i am going to reduce it to two....50GB(OS) and other for software installations...)..

I have a doubt about the no of primary & logical drive...


Primary means it can be used as a boot drive... Now i have 4 primary partition and 5 logical partition..
After merger it will be 4 primary partition & 1/2 Logical Drive...Is it okay???
 

_Zod_

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#18
Main Drive should be 1 Partition for Windows 7 and 3 for Linux, Linux will take care of itself. How you go about this is to use a live OS disk of some kind, such as Knoppix or UBCD4Win to create, format and make active the first partition ntfs where Win7 will reside. Install Win 7 to it. (Win 7 doesn't need a small boot partition unless you plan on using bitlocker.)

Then you should be able to install linux afterwards to the empty space which it will walk you through to setup it's 3 partitions.

Do all of this with the new hard drive unplugged otherwise Windows will eat it.

Basically what I am suggesting is to use about half of that drive for Win 7 and apps, give Linux the other half.

Once that's done you can connect the new drive and partition it up through Win 7 as basic disks with primary and extended partitions. I'm pretty sure most Linux distros these days can read and write to ntfs so Linux should be able to access these partitions. The difference between basic and simple partitions is that windows can do more with simple volumes, such as re-size and software raid.