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I feel like there's something going wrong with my hard drives on my computer... Yesterday two I use for storage (M: and H:) stopped working altogether. Today they came back and seem fine, but now I just noticed that they're listed as DISK 1 in Disk Management.

What's going on? Why are two different physical drives, which two different drive letters, listed under "DISK 1", and is this something I need to change?

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Note: I'm not talking about my RAID array!

  • Your screenshot gave out some clues. Both disk are Dynamic. And Documents (G:) Layout is Mirror. You have somehow set both disk to mirror each other (RAID1?). So yes it looks like you lose 50% capacity (lose 1 HDD capacity), but you have a bit of extra redundancy (if either Disk2, or Disk3 fails, you still have a perfect copy). – Darius Apr 24 '14 at 15:55
  • @Darius I've made my question clearer. I'm not interested in the RAID array. – Django Reinhardt Apr 24 '14 at 17:50
  • Sorry I guess I was a bit confused. Each "Disk" are often referring to a physical disk, so Disk1 is basically a 3TB Physical Disk, which have been separated into 2 partitions (2TB and 1TB respectively). M and H are not in a separate physical disk. You can try to confirm this by booting to your BIOS to see what does the BIOS see, and confirm if there are actually a physical 3TB HDD. Note: If you have a physical RAID card (not RAID inside windows), they can make multiple HDD visible as a single HDD under windows. – Darius Apr 24 '14 at 18:22
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    @Darius facepalm I completely forgot something: I used to have four harddrives. I switched two out for one, and created a partition on the old one that mirrored one of the old harddrives. I was thinking that that the new HD was M: and I still had the old one (H:). Doh! – Django Reinhardt Apr 24 '14 at 18:26
  • Good to know you solved it. For sake of completeness can you summarise your comment ^ as an answer and accept it please? – RJFalconer May 5 '14 at 13:45
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Edit: This refers to disks 2/3 in op's original screenshot.

It probably is two different physical disks. In Windows 8+ dynamic disks can span multiple physical drives, yet still be addressed with one drive letter:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows-vista/what-are-basic-and-dynamic-disks

Dynamic disks can contain a large number of dynamic volumes (approximately 2000) that function like the primary partitions used on basic disks. In some versions of Windows, you can combine separate dynamic hard disks into a single dynamic volume (called spanning), split data among several hard disks (called striping) for increased performance, or duplicate data among several hard disks (called mirroring) for increased reliability.

  • I've updated my question. I think it was originally confusing, making it sound like I was wondering about my RAID array, which I'm not. Thanks. – Django Reinhardt Apr 24 '14 at 16:52
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This is a rather silly. I forgotten I'd removed a harddrive and replaced it, exactly as it was, as a partition on another.

I was baffled as to how Windows could see two different physical disks as one drive. Very much my bad.

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