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Lets say I have 2 folders on 2 separate drives:

d:\movies
f:\movies

Is it possible to have 1 network share which includes both folders (as read only!)

\machine_name\all_movies for example?

I'm setting up sharing for my media tank, so this would eliminate a lot of hassle.

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without using sub-folder i don't think so....if you can i'ld be interested to see it –  hbdgaf Nov 13 '10 at 12:03

7 Answers 7

Distributed File System, it's a Server 2008 role that makes logical shares from multiple paths.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753479%28WS.10%29.aspx

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"...the folder named Tools has two folder targets, one in London and one in New York ... A user who browses to \\Contoso\Public\Software\Tools is transparently redirected to the shared folder \\LDN-SVR-01\Tools or \\NYC-SVR-01\Tools, depending on which site the user is currently located in." - Overview of DFS Namespaces –  Chris Shouts Jul 26 '11 at 19:22

NginUS gave the best option with DFS. But if a server OS is not available to you and you simply want a single congregation point of files on 2 seperate physical drives, striping or spanning would be the way to go. If the drives are a similar you can stripe (RAID0) them but this will be very susceptable to fault. if one HDD dies all of the data is corrupt. The other option is spanning using JBOD in which drives are grouped end to end and are seen as one drive in the OS. If one drive fails you loose only the data on that drive.

If you use Linux as your file server (which is an excellent option) you can easily share multiple folders on different drives as one share and restrict user access.

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No I don't see how it's possible using Samba. However you can put together your two drives into one single volume. I got 3 1TB drives in ”Spanned" mode, which gives one drive letter with 3TB.

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2 completely unrelated SATA drives, even from differant manufacturers? And is this model upgradable, or would I have to wipe data first before merge? –  JL. Nov 13 '10 at 12:07
    
I think you have to wipe your data, you will find more info here. technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc772180.aspx –  Amir Rezaei Nov 13 '10 at 12:12

Add your movies to the Windows 7 Video Library. Then you can share the Library with your Home Group as a "Read Only". This is an option in the top bar of the library window.

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This is a good solution, but would only work for clients on the network who have windows media player. Mac, Linux and other platforms wouldn't be able to use it, which makes it a bit more difficult to use. –  nhinkle Nov 14 '10 at 2:50
    
Sounds good in theory, but windows creates multiple shares for each folder in the library, not 1 as you might expect. –  JL. Nov 14 '10 at 17:33
up vote 0 down vote accepted

NO, its not possible.

I've added this answer, but I think that with the current tech, it might not be possible. I'll remove this answer, if anyone figures out how to do it.

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NginUS has already told you how it is possible using Distributed File System with a Windows Server on the network, which is the best way to do this.

There are some other ways I can think of:

First of all, have you considered using the HomeGroup feature of Windows 7? It was made exactly for the sort of thing you are trying to achieve, although it requires Windows 7 on all the computers you want to use it on. I've not used HomeGroup as I have a domain network, but I think you can use Libraries with it.

Another way is to use Libraries on the client computer. You just add individual network shares to it, and they all appear as one in the resulting virtual folder. The client computer(s) needs to be running Windows 7 for this.

The other way is by using a kludge that I have just thought of, but not tested. You should be able to make a folder somewhere on the server computer and share it. Then make two Junction Points [mklink /j] pointing to the two movie folders in that folder. The only problem with that is that you will see the two folders contained in the single network share, instead of all the files being shown together, like when using Libraries.

You can also do the same, but on the client computers, using Symbolic Links [mklink /d], pointing to the remote network shares on the server computer, but this requires it to be done all on the client machines and I cannot see any point in this method.

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It IS possible using NTFS junctions for folders and hardlinks for individual files. Unfortunately mklink doesn't support using wildcards so you either need to create each individual junction manually, OR you can install a tool to make them for you.

  1. Install Link Shell Extension

  2. Create a new folder for your share named "all_movies"

  3. Navigate to "d:\movies" and select all folders or files that you are sharing (only select a group of files OR a group of folders at a time, not a combination of both)

  4. Right-click and choose "Pick Link Source"

  5. Navigate to your "all_movies" folder.

  6. Right-click and choose "Drop as > Junction" for folders, or "Drop as > Hardlink" for files

  7. Repeat steps 3-5 as necessary until links have been made for all files/folders from each location ("d:\movies" "f:\movies" etc.) If you have any duplicate names they will be appended with "- Junction"

  8. Create a share for your "all_movies" folder and enjoy.

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