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My Windows 7 Release Candidate is about to expire, so I'm going to do a clean install of a retail version. I have two volumes, on four physical drives, as follows:

Disk 0: Spanned Volume (D:)
Disk 1: Primary Partition, Boot/Windows Install (C:)
Disk 2: Spanned Volume (D:)
Disk 3: Spanned Volume (D:)

If I install Windows to a formatted drive 1, will it still recognize the spanned volume in Disks 0, 2, and 3? The spanned volume is not redundant in any way, so the volume is 1.5TB consisting of three 500GB disks.

I don't have the space to do an external backup, and I thought it was impossible to convert a spanned volume back to a basic volume.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

The expiration date is closing in, so I did a lot of extra googling, and finally found this thread.

To sum it up:

  • Yes, the spanned volume will be preserved.
  • Unplug the dynamic disks while installing windows to be sure.

Updated (read the comment below): However, I also found this article, saying that if you have to import foreign disks, this will convert them back to basic disks, destroying your data.

Additionally: It's not too hard to convert your disks back to basic disks if you can free enough space, have a look at this article.

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edits done. i think you're misreading the second article; it's saying if the "import foreign disks" option isn't present (eg, because you're on XP Home), your only option will be to "convert to basic disk", in which case you'll lose data. if "import foreign disks" is present, no problems. – quack quixote Feb 24 '10 at 12:48

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