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I have my data stored on 2 NTFS volumes E: and F:. They both contain a directory called Storage that has multiple sub-directories, different on every drive, such as:

E:\Storage\My Stuff
E:\Storage\My Old Stuff

and

F:\Storage\My New Stuff.

I would like to have them all in one place, i.e. have a virtual drive X: that contains directory Storage whose contents is:

My Old Stuff
My New Stuff
My Stuff

Requirements:

  • the content of X:\Storage has to be the combined contents of E:\Storage and F:\Storage.
  • X:\Storage has to be a 'virtual' directory that does not contain actual data. I.e. I do not want to move the data from E:\Storage to X:\Storage.
  • X:\Storage has to be browsable using Windows Explorer.
  • changes made to the content of either E:\Storage and F:\Storage have to be visible in X:\Storage.
  • if both E:\Storage\Same and F:\Storage\Same exist, then X:\Storage should contain both these directories -- not only one of them.
  • X:\Storage is allowed to be read-only. Write access is nice-to-have though.

Should this be implemented as a virtual file system, or is it an easier way to achieve this?

  • What should happen when you attempt to store a file into the virtual folder? – John Dvorak Sep 13 '19 at 11:11
  • Do the volumes themselves need to be separate at all? – user1686 Sep 13 '19 at 11:13
  • This sounds a lot like storage spaces – Mokubai Sep 13 '19 at 11:17
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    Hi @Suiden I don't think that this is possible, but there is a very similar thing called Libraries, it allows you to see multiple folders as only one. Here you have a tutorial that seems easy to follow: digitalcitizen.life/libraries-great-feature-windows-7 you will have to check if it's available in your OS version. – Falk Sep 13 '19 at 11:25
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    You can go in to disk management and mount the drives as folders on your C: drive. You could create a folder C:\Storage with two sub folders (A and B) and then mount drive 1 in that folder as StorageA and drive 2 as StorageB. docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/disk-management/… – Appleoddity Sep 13 '19 at 12:01
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One possible solution, among others, would be to use a feature of Windows called Libraries.

It's a way of presenting the content of multiple directories in one single place as a virtual folder.

There are a lot of great tutorials on how to create and use libraries like this one: What are libraries in Windows, and how to use them for organizing your files.

  • What I don't know how it's handled is the case of duplicated names, I'll edit my answer to complete this information if it's needed. – Falk Sep 15 '19 at 20:32
  • I made a new Library and included the two directories in it. The view showed two groups, one for each directory. I removed the groups (right-click > Group by > (None)) and got the contents of the two directories merged at the root of the library. I also added the Folder Path column to the view. In case of duplicates, they have the same name but different folder paths. – Suiden Sep 16 '19 at 5:01

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