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Windows 7: Help with dual hardrive config.

27 Jul 2009   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate retail // Windows 7 build 7264 x64, Vista Home Premium SP2 x64
 
 
Help with dual hardrive config.

ok, so I just put an 80gig hard drive into my laptop, alongside my 320gb hard drive. My question is, is there a way to have a partition spread across both hdd's, because since the second drive is only 80 gigs, its nowhere near big enough to hold my media partition, yet I really don't wanna hafta reinstall my win 7. I'm putting in the second hard drive because I'm running out of space. Is there any RAID level that makes the two hard drives act as one drive so I can accomplish this? If there is, my laptop supports RAID so it wouldn't be a problem to setup. I just need some help with figuring out what I should do, again, I really don't wanna hafta install my Windows 7 on the new hdd and use my 320 solely for my vista and media, cuz reinstalling 7 would be a hassle. I will do it if there is no way to accomplish what I want with some sort of RAID, but I reallly dont want to lol.

Here are my partition sizes and whatnot:
320gb= 38gb Vista part. - 131gb media part. - 128gb Windows 7 part.
80gb= clean for now.

Thanks guys, any help is much appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Jul 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit RTM
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by grouchpunk08 View Post
Is there any RAID level that makes the two hard drives act as one drive so I can accomplish this? If there is, my laptop supports RAID so it wouldn't be a problem to setup.
Yes, for RAID it's called JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks).

Are you sure your laptop supports a RAID configuration? How are the two drives connected to the laptop?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2009   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit RTM
 
 

On that note, not all RAID controllers support JBOD (it's not really a RAID level, just a feature). And even so, you might have to copy the partition you want to save over to another drive before you configure a JBOD on disks with active partitions. On most controllers it's going to be a destructive process for any data on the drives.
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27 Jul 2009   #4

Windows XP MCE (Soon to be 7)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ciphernemo View Post
Yes, for RAID it's called JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks).

Are you sure your laptop supports a RAID configuration? How are the two drives connected to the laptop?
Yes, you must have hardware suport within your laptop for a RAID array... Its just a shot in the dark, but I dont think you laptop supports RAID... As far as 3rd party software to concatenate 2 HDs into 1 logical drive, I am unsure...maybe a google or two will yield something...unless someone here knows of 3rd party software that will do this...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2009   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate retail // Windows 7 build 7264 x64, Vista Home Premium SP2 x64
 
 

In the BIOS there is a RAID controller, and there is also a RAID controller installed in my hardware manager, so I would only assume that I can do it. As for how they are connected, not exactly sure what you are asking, but they are connected through SATA ports, if that is anything at all what you are asking
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2009   #6

Windows XP MCE (Soon to be 7)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by grouchpunk08 View Post
In the BIOS there is a RAID controller, and there is also a RAID controller installed in my hardware manager, so I would only assume that I can do it. As for how they are connected, not exactly sure what you are asking, but they are connected through SATA ports, if that is anything at all what you are asking
Hmmm...I have never heard of anyone putting a RAID array into a laptop before, but maybe I have just been living under a rock for a while...lol. Well, if that is the case, then I would go to your vendor's web site and see if they have any clues on how to do this, as this is something pretty uncommon for laptops...in my experience...

EDIT: I just checked 2 of my 3 laptops (1 is a year old Toshiba and the other is a new HP) and neither has any RAID setup... I will check the 3rd once my girl gets back from her class up at the university to see if I can get some further insight into this...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2009   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate retail // Windows 7 build 7264 x64, Vista Home Premium SP2 x64
 
 

If I can't setup the JBOD thing, anyone know of anything else? or would just biting the bullet and reinstalling Windows 7 on the other disk be the best bet?

EDIT- found my manual, and it only covers a RAID 0 setup, so I assume thats the extent of the capability of the raid controller in this computer

Another EDIT- Eh... my manual for my laptop says that RAID 0 only gives each hard drive half the capacity, so a 320 + a 80 would only give me a total capacity of 240 gb, im not a fan of that... I guess I'll just bite the bullet and reinstall Windows 7 on the other drive... i was hoping I wouldn't have to. Thanks for the help guys
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2009   #8

Windows XP MCE (Soon to be 7)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by grouchpunk08 View Post
If I can't setup the JBOD thing, anyone know of anything else? or would just biting the bullet and reinstalling Windows 7 on the other disk be the best bet?

EDIT- found my manual, and it only covers a RAID 0 setup, so I assume thats the extent of the capability of the raid controller in this computer
"RAID 0 (striped disks) distributes data across several disks in a way that gives improved speed at any given instant. If one disk fails, however, all of the data on the array will be lost, as there is neither parity nor mirroring."

Looks like that is what you would need, but you would most likely need the 2 HDs to be identical in specs., as that is my past experience with RAID setups... I don't know of a way to do 2 different spec. HDs like this unless there is some sort of 3rd party software that can essentially "fool" windows into thinking the 2 disks are 1 logical partition...

EDIT: ...but then it would not be setup in hardware as a RAID array, but just 2 separate HDs, where a 3rd party program would load up prior to windows boot and set up a logical partition/drive consisting of the 2 separate HDs...or something to that effect. That would be pretty cool... Maybe there is something out there that does something like this...now I am curious and will do some poking around...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2009   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate retail // Windows 7 build 7264 x64, Vista Home Premium SP2 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HotCarl View Post
"RAID 0 (striped disks) distributes data across several disks in a way that gives improved speed at any given instant. If one disk fails, however, all of the data on the array will be lost, as there is neither parity nor mirroring."

Looks like that is what you would need, but you would most likely need the 2 HDs to be identical in specs., as that is my past experience with RAID setups... I don't know of a way to do 2 different spec. HDs like this unless there is some sort of 3rd party software that can essentially "fool" windows into thinking the 2 disks are 1 logical partition...

EDIT: ...but then it would not be setup in hardware as a RAID array, but just 2 separate HDs, where a 3rd party program would load up prior to windows boot and set up a logical partition/drive consisting of the 2 separate HDs...or something to that effect. That would be pretty cool... Maybe there is something out there that does something like this...now I am curious and will do some poking around...
Thanks mate, my HD's arent identical in size, so I'm going to forget trying to setup a RAID, it woulnd't give me what I need at this point. Thanks for your help tho, mate. I'll look for a program that treats the two as one, and if I have no luck there, I'll just install Windows 7 on the new drive and delete it off of my old drive and just make my media partition use the space that my Windows 7 used to take. Thanks for all your help anyway
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2009   #10

Windows XP MCE (Soon to be 7)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by grouchpunk08 View Post
Thanks mate, my HD's arent identical in size, so I'm going to forget trying to setup a RAID, it woulnd't give me what I need at this point. Thanks for your help tho, mate. I'll look for a program that treats the two as one, and if I have no luck there, I'll just install Windows 7 on the new drive and delete it off of my old drive and just make my media partition use the space that my Windows 7 used to take. Thanks for all your help anyway
Yah, no problem buddy . Sorry I couldn't answer your question right off. If it was a desktop PC RAID setup then I would be of more use as I hae never done it on a laptop...but that would be kind of cool...although in past instances when I needed more space, it was always about 6 months, or so, after I had bought my current HD (or PC), so by then a HD that was almost twice as big was out, so I would just buy a new HD . Worked out pretty cool in one case though where I was able to take the old 250GB HD out and replace it with a 320, like yours, then I was able to stick the old 250 into my PS3...even got lucky the RPMs matched up perfect at 5400 too...lol. It was pretty awesome as all I had in there before was a 40gig drive, and I was always deleting stuff off of it to put other stuff on ... Now I wont have that problem for a while .

A bit off topic I guess, but it was pretty cool... Anyways, glad I was able to give you some info, and who knows, maybe someone will see this thread who knows of a good solution...

BTW, on one of my laptops, I have a 320 internal, and 2 external 250's...lol I know, I know, I should just get a 1tb drive, but I got a great deal (at the time) on the two 250gig ones...$45 each... Dont ask my why, I just like to use my laptop more than my desktop, since I can unhook the drives and take it to school with me...or just bring the external drive(s) somewhere with me...it like portable media...its awesome.
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 Help with dual hardrive config.




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