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Windows 7: Hey all, got a partition question...

30 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
Hey all, got a partition question...

Is it possible, through software or whatever, to combine the blank space between these three areas (the red arrows)? Or is the one attached to the boot drive going to make this venture impossible? Windows will let me group the top and the bottom disks together but the 545.51 GB partition is always left out.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

30 Apr 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP


You want to span all of the unallocated space shown on the three separate HD's into one partition? Why?

It cannot involve the OS HD or you will have problems: Creating a Spanned Volume with Partition Wizard boot disk

First off you have a problem with C which has no System flag meaning the boot files are not on the partition. Are there other HD's which are not shown? Is that not a bootable OS?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Disk 0 isn't shown. Maximize that window and adjust columns and slider bars to show max info, and post another screenshot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

30 Apr 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit

There is something called "dynamic volumes" which span separate disks, but they are complex and rarely used by home users. I think they are sometimes used in short-term situations by enterprises, but I haven't heard of a home user needing the capability.

Do you have a 2 Terabyte file of some type?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Apr 2012   #5
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

If you get C out of the way, it can be done with dynamic spanned volume. But I would strongly recommend against it.

Why do you want to do that anyhow. Those are big diskspaces by themselves already.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2012   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64

Singular consolidation. Prior to the arrangement you see now, I had the two 596.17 GB disks in a RAID0 configuration, creating a 1.1 TB partition. The 1.8 TB disk was always by itself.

The reason it's the way it is now is also why I didn't bother showing you Disk 0: Disk 0 is a 160 GB drive that is divided in half. Half of it holds a Windows 8 CP NTFS partition and the other half is an HFS+ partition I run Mac OS X on. There's no point in showing you this as half won't be important and the other half won't even show up, really (it just appears as an unnamed partition). I couldn't RAID the other disks like I had before because it makes it impossible to boot OS X if you're not running in AHCI mode.

So, I'm left with all this disparate space that I didn't have before and I'd like to just clean it up for the sake of convenience. However, if it's not really worth slamming all three partitions into one volume (I know about dynamic disks but so far I haven't found a utility that'll let me create one without paying money for a full version), then I'll just create a spanned volume between the physical disks and then extend the boot partition back into the unallocated space on its drive. I'll figure out how to make use of my space once I'm done with that.

The reason I thought all of this would be necessary is back when I was running the RAID0 array, I had more data on the striped volume than was the capacity of either drive in the array. However, much of that was also bare files that weren't part of an installation (such as videos and ISO images) and that stuff can be put onto the 2TB drive this time.

Anyway, thanks for your input.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP


Were you asking us how to do this, or posting to tell us that it can't be done without paid software?

Because you can span one partition over two of the HD's as Dynamic disks, in Disk Management: Create a Spanned Volume
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2012   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64

I was trying to find suggestions on what to do. If it required paid software and that was the only way to go about it, then I'd just drop the issue but I was hoping someone here might at least throw something my way I could use that didn't cost money (or if it did, very little).

I don't want to pay for software because I don't know how much I'd use it after that. But it looks like there's no way to combine all three unallocated partitions into one volume, no matter what you use (I don't think any third-party partitioning software is going to let me absorb the third unallocated block into a single volume).

And, yeah, I know how to make a spanned volume in Windows 7, I just can't do it with the partition that's attached to the boot drive (if you try to create the Spanned volume, it just lets you pick whole disks, not individual partitions; hence why the partition that's cut away from the boot drive can't be added to the collection). That one looks like it's always going to be by itself. I'll just have to extend the boot partition to take that back over and make the spanned volume across the other two drives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2012   #9
Microsoft MVP


Make sure that the Windows 7 on DISK0 which you hid from us has the System flag on it since the one you showed doesn't and therefore must be Dual Booting off of the one you hid.

We tend to notice these things because that's what we do better than anyone else on the net.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 May 2012   #10

Windows 7 Professional x64

"System flag"? I assume you mean the System Reserved partition that holds the BCD, which it does.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Hey all, got a partition question...

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