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Windows 7: Show multiple drives as one folder?

17 Feb 2010   #1

Windows 7 x64
 
 
Show multiple drives as one folder?

Hello!
I have been searching for a smart way of dealing with movies on several HDD, but yet to find something that fits me. I have a big archive, and want it to be visible in 1 directory.

Sofar I have been ok with running 2x 750gb in raid0, for a big nice movie directory.
Now is that I am totally out of space on the raid, and installed a 1tb drive for 2.5tb storage.

I store all the HD material on one machine (general use, gaming, etc) connected to my living room tv, and share it to a Dvico Tvix media extender for the bedroom tv, another desktop pc and to a laptop. (might seem overkill, but it is what it is)

Problem now is that i share the movies across the house on a few diff setups, and players like xbmc doesnt really help me, since for ex the Tvix uses something called "Netshare", and shares the folders i want, but i have to know where they are, and swap from hdd to hdd in the menu to access them, since they are handled separately.

Is there any way for me to use some kind of virtual folder/directory that i can share across the network, and will be seen as just 1 big folder of movies?
I tried using the "library" folder of videos in Windows 7, but does not work well for sharing over the network, netshare wont let me select it.
Only other thought I had is using "extended volume", to extend the current 1.5gb raid. But having a raid0 combined with a "virtual raid" in windows sounds like problems in itself..

My googeling hasnt really payed off, so I dubt there is any way I can solve this.. But still hoping for someone to have an idea!

I can delete the raid, and make 3 separate drives if it would help in any way.
I also tried to mount drives as directories, but it wont let me mount 2 partitions into the same folder..


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Feb 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit
 
 

Well in Disk Management you could always mount Disk 2 in a folder on Disk 1.

right click Computer>Management>Storage..Disk Management..in the right window pane right click on the 2nd Disk>Change Drive Letter and paths..Add..>check Mount in the empty NTFS folder..>Browse> make sure the destination folder is REALLY empty (no hidden files or folders).

Hope this is what ur after.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2010   #3

Win7 Home Premium 64x
 
 

Hmm might try sharing and then mapping network drive letter to the shared folder:

Share folder: Set shared name to: Movie$

on second computer, go to networks, Map network drives. Select an unused drive letter and set it to the folder and computer name: \\<computer-name>\Movie$

Then try and copy files from drive letter and sending things to drive letter.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Feb 2010   #4

Windows 7 x64
 
 

I tried it a bit, but problem with mapping a drive into a empty folder, means just that, it has to be empty :/

I have 2TB of movies spread along 3 drives, and i want it to be seen in only one folder :/

The only possibility i thought of, is to make 1 folder with only tons of shortcuts to all the movies seperatly.. but it doesnt really feel like a good solution

Any other ideas?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Why not just use the existing Videos Library folder (or create a new one if so desired), and add all the folders/drives/partitions to it,

New Library - Create

Library - Include a Folder

and for adding a network drive to a library,

Libraries - Include a Network Folder
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #6

Windows 7 x64
 
 

I did try the Video Library folder, but the sharing apps i need to use (netshare) to share the videos on my media box (dvico tvix 6600), wont let me set up that folder as a network folder.
I am guessing the Video Library is some kind of virtual folder that is not really compatible with most sharing utilities.. :/
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Dec 2010   #7

7 64
 
 

I am having the exact same issue. Wish Tvix would recognize Libraries\Videos. This would be the solution!! Any luck yet??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jul 2012   #8

Wondows 7 Home 64 bit
 
 
Figured it out..

I know this thread is old, but I though I'd share the way that I solved it.
I haven't found a single instance of anyone else successfully getting this to work.


VIEW MULTIPLE FOLDERS IN ONE WINDOW (Windows 7)

1. Type “*” into the search box in any window.

2. Click the “Organise” tab located towards the top left of the window.

3. Select “Folder and search options”.

4. Click the “Search” tab.

5. Un-tick the “Include subfolders in the search results when searching in file folders” option.

6. Click “OK”

7. Scroll down to the bottom of the window and where it says “Search again in:” and select “Custom”.

8. Use the file tree to select the folders you want to appear in your ‘multiple folder’ folder.

(This will bring up EVERY file and subfolder, which is not quite what we want, we’ll fix that now).

9. Click the “Save search” button, located next to the “Organise” tab.

10. Save the search to desktop and name it whatever you like.

11. Right click on the saved search and select “open with...”.

12. Select “Notepad”.

13. Push “Ctrl” + “F”.

14. In the “Find what:” box, type: include

15. Find all instances of include (there should be one for each folder you selected in step 8).

16. After the word “include”, type: nonRecursive=”true”
It should read as:
<include nonRecursive="true" path=
or
<include nonRecursive="true" knownFolder=
depending on whether the folders are indexed or not.

17. Push “Ctrl” + “S”

18. Close Notepad

Done

You might like to re-tick the option as outlined in steps 2-6 (This won’t affect your new folder).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2013   #9

Windows xp and 7 x86 and x64 pro versions to ultimate
 
 

While the solution of a saved search does work on win vista to win 8, it does not solve the netshare problem completely. You need a folder, that can be read, not just a file list. Some netshare programs work with the saved search method, but most do not. If you want them all in one folder, you have to create a folder that can be read by the netshare. Ultimately, you could try using the Map to folder, but this doesn't work everywhere either. To be capable of being read as one folder, you'd need a device designed to read them as one folder. You'd need to set them all up in a Virtual Drive type of listing, then have the virtual drive shared to the network via a sharing program that could read it. This would require that all videos or top level folders are named the same or similar for the purpose of reading within them, and it would require the use of a numbering scheme within the Virtual Drive driver (a binary search tree that seeks Drive Section 1, then Drive Section 2 etc where each Drive Section # entry is a separate drive). It could, theoretically, work, but you would only have reading functionality. It might also require that all drives be formatted the same.
Ultimately, you are better off with a RAID setup, but the downside is that you'll need to back everything up when increasing the size or upgrading. Raid5\6 offers you the capability to recover when one drive fails, and is easier to recover more data at a lab when two drives fail (hardware-wise it does require more, but since there really is only one real hardware setup, it's faster).
Showing multiple drives as one is a RAID setup, but if you want to show the directories in one place, you need to create a Compatible Folder List, in a separate location.
A folder list that works on windows will not always work across other systems. Finding one that does is difficult. However, you can mix and match. For Win comps, use the shared folder list as is, for anything running a *nix variant, you should create a separate file from the original list and use the URL naming conventions to list each file. This means you might have to swap the slash directions, or even add an http to use across a network. As long as the network naming is correct, you can use that file for everything on a network.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2014   #10

Windows 7
 
 

I got as far as #6 #7 says to scroll down to “Search again in:” and select “Custom”. Where?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Show multiple drives as one folder?




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