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Windows 7: Master folder for multiple hard drives without RAID setup


18 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Master folder for multiple hard drives without RAID setup

Hey guys,

I am in the process of putting (5) 3TB HDD's into my computer (Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit) to rip my Blu-ray collection to for playback in my home theater room via a Popcorn Hour player. Each drive is independent and I will be systematically filling one drive before going onto the next.

The problem is that the Popcorn Hour players communicate with the PC by specifying one folder via SMB that contains all of my media. Since I am doing independent drives, there will be one master folder on each drive containing all of the media for that said drive. Meaning, in terms of the Popcorn Hour/SMB setup, there are five folders I need it to *see* and catalog.

Without doing a RAID setup, and without using something like FlexRAID, is there a way to make a folder in Windows 7 that I can point the Popcorn Hour player to via SMB but that contains the five master folders from the five independent hard drives?

I.E. - I need a folder that can hold all five media folders from my five hard drives but without that master folder taking up any space on my C drive. Is this possible?

Thanks!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Jul 2012   #2

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

Look up Junction Points
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

I don't mind researching as much as possible on my own.....but from all the reading I have done so far I am still not sure how I would actually go about setting this up to work for my scenario.

Any in-depth input?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Jul 2012   #4

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

Open a command prompt, type in:
Code:
mklink /J C:\some\folder\Movies\Drive1 D:\Movies
mklink /J C:\some\folder\Movies\Drive2 E:\Movies
mklink /J C:\some\folder\Movies\Drive3 F:\Movies
...repeat...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, BackTrack Linux 5 R2, Windows XP
 
 

With that many drives, you may want to consider JBOD (Just a bunch of disks) setup. While technically not RAID, it is set up in the same sort of way. If you post the make and model of your motherboard, we can verify that it supports JBOD.

With JBOD it will show as one volume on your system when really it is your 5 disks, and will systematically fill them up as you go. I don't recommend this for reliability of your data, however.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

If it was me, I'd build a separate box and run WHS 2011 from it, or wait until Windows 8 / Server 2012's Storage Spaces. I run a WHS box now to keep my shared/streamed content separate from my primary box.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by doubled822 View Post
With that many drives, you may want to consider JBOD (Just a bunch of disks) setup. While technically not RAID, it is set up in the same sort of way. If you post the make and model of your motherboard, we can verify that it supports JBOD.

With JBOD it will show as one volume on your system when really it is your 5 disks, and will systematically fill them up as you go. I don't recommend this for reliability of your data, however.
Motherboard is Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 GIGABYTE - Motherboard - Socket 1155 - GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 (rev. 1.3)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

After looking into JBOD/SPAN (thanks Wikipedia), I see that it would be exactly what I am looking for.

Question: If my motherboard does support it and I end up going that route, will I still be able to access each drive independently in My Computer?
I.E. - Will Drive E,F,G,H, and I still appear separately so that I can make individual file changes to each drive if need be or will they only appear as one large unit that will not allow independent file changes to one of the specific drives?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2012   #9

XP / Win7 x64 Pro
 
 

I have no clue how Popcorn Hour works or what it allows (if it allows pointing to junction folders), but could you just simply add all of your drive folders to your Movies Library and just point Popcorn Hour to your Movies Library folder?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

In a nutshell:

On the PC end, I can have movies spread out over 100's of different folders and drives and the PC software for Popcorn Hour will scan and catalog all of these movies despite them not being under one master folder.

On the Popcorn Hour end, however, it can only be shown one network folder at a time on the PC. This folder can contain hundreds of sub folders but it has to be one master folder that the Popcorn Hour is directed to.

Basically, no matter what I do on the PC end everything ultimately has to be able to be accessed/read/directed to from one single folder on the Popcorn Hours end. Junction points, JBOD, FlexRAID, an actual RAID setup.....anything that allows all of the data to be accessed from one starting folder.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Master folder for multiple hard drives without RAID setup




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