Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have a 2 TB disk in my PC right now (100 GB is for partition C: and the rest (~1.78 TB is for partition D:, which is nearly full. I have another spare 2 TB disk which I would like to use.

Due to the fact everything is mapped to my D: partition (it's my data disk) I wish to expand that without using it as a raid array. So, simply adding my other 2 TB disk and expanding the current D: partition to roughly 4 TB.

I have two questions regarding this:

  • Is this even possible?
  • If yes, what would happen if one of the disks dies? Will I lose all my data on both disks (even though it's not raid) or will simply some files not be recoverable and some are (since they reside on the other disk)?
share|improve this question
    
I think Windows 8 will have that feature, not that it helps you now. –  Moab Jun 12 '12 at 14:02
    
Since you don't want to use RAID you will have to purchase a 4TB drive and duplicate the current data on your hdd to it. What you want to do is not possible with RAID. The Windows 8 feature that Moab is a solution but is not really designed for internal storage. –  Ramhound Jun 12 '12 at 14:16
add comment

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You need to make a spanned volume, but first you have to change them to dynamic disks instead of basic disks:

  1. Open the Disk Management console (diskmgmt.msc)
  2. Right-click each of the disks in question and select Convert to Dynamic Disk
  3. Create a new volume using the free space from the two disks

Creating a spanned volume is a it's a little involved; this video helps, but some third-party partitioning tools (such as MiniTool PartitionWizard) can simplify the process.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for the answer. However I will not be using it, since all the data is lost then. I'll just use a separate volume (E:) then ;-) –  Devator Jun 13 '12 at 6:58
    
Strange, it should not erase anything. Converting a basic disk to dynamic should be non-destructive (going back is destructive), and creating a spanned volume should be likewise non-destructive since all it does is to create a virtual volume and assign the free space from the existing dynamic disks to it. Where did you see a warning about losing the data? –  Synetech Jun 13 '12 at 17:09
    
Sorry, I actually meant that if one of the disks dies, then all data is lost. –  Devator Jun 13 '12 at 17:10
    
Ah, yes. Spanned volumes are not fault-tolerant; if one of the disks go, then the whole volume could be lost (technically, you can still get the data from the other drive(s); it just won't be easy and will require a bit of work and time). Unfortunately if you want fault-tolerance AND spanning, then you have no choice but to go RAID 0+1/1+0. If the hardware support is what you are concerned about, perhaps software RAID would work. You can implement a "virtual RAID" system using software. –  Synetech Jun 13 '12 at 17:15
add comment

AFAIK it is not possible without RAID, yet. Windows 8 will add a feature called Storage Spaces that will allow you to combine multiple internal and external drives into a single pool of storage. Supersite has a good writeup of all of the features but here are some of the highlights:

  • Data Redundancy - files will be mirrored and if more than two drives are used parity bits are stored
  • Explorer integration - Windows explorer will see the space as one drive
  • Virtual Storage - You can provision more space than the physical drives actually hold and add more later
share|improve this answer
    
Thanks, even though it's no use for me it's an interesting thing to read. –  Devator Jun 13 '12 at 6:59
add comment

How about creating a junction point? That way the apps still save stuff to D:, but some of the folders are actually located on the spare disk. You can automate it with Steam Mover

share|improve this answer
    
I was thinking also about Symbolic linking / junction points but have to fiddle with it a bit more. –  Devator Jun 13 '12 at 6:57
add comment

Yes, this is possible.

You could turn the second partition on the first disk and a partition on the second disk into a RAID 1 stripe. You would have a 100GB C: and a 3.56TB D:

But...If either of the drives dies then you loose all data on D:


Another way might be with with 'new spanned volume' via windows diskmanager. I never used that myself, so I will leave the details on that to someone else.

share|improve this answer
    
RAID-1 would turn it into a 1.8TB partition, but it would be safe against a crash of either disk. What you describe (sizes added, data lost if either disk dies) is in fact a spanned volume. –  MSalters Jun 12 '12 at 14:11
    
You ignored the author requirement: "I wish to expand that without using it as a raid array." which means this option isn't a real solution. –  Ramhound Jun 12 '12 at 14:15
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.