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Windows 7: How to merge 2 ext HDD into one partition?

08 May 2014   #11

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there

I USED to SPAN HDD's - but be careful especially with EXTERNAL HDD's as now you need ALWAYS to have ALL the HDD's in the spanned group connected and they HAVE to be dynamic disks. Beware also that any error and you lose data in the entire spanned group.

A better solution might be to use Libraries.

I've solved this particular issue by actually using Linux as you can "mount" these into a single "mount" directory or create soft symbolic links.

Windows spanning works fine but be aware of consequences - I wouldn't recommend it for EXTERNAL drives - but fine for INTERNAL ones. Wit a Spanned volume set it's EVEN MORE IMPORTANT to take regular backups of your data or you'll be regretting say the loss of your "6.7 TB Multi media file" with 100's of your ripped CD's / DVD's / iTunes etc all down the toilet !!!!.

Your spanned drives should look like this when working. - For example spanned two volumes -- it will show two F drives but properties will list a single "composite F drive" with the total space aggregated.

Windows explorer now treats the F drive to a single aggregated drive.

(I think for spanning you also need to make them GPT drives) - can't remember as I don't use this method any more.

Finally DO NOT BOOT from a spanned volume it won't work !!! - If you've got a small HDD (or better an SSD) use that for the OS partition. Also I have to disagree with Greg above -- Logical Partitions are a MEGA PAIN and in any case you don't need them with GPT drives.


Attached Images
How to merge 2 ext HDD into one partition?-span2.png How to merge 2 ext HDD into one partition?-span3.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2014   #12
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by derekimo View Post
From a previous post by the OP Jack,

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by teky View Post
i encrypted my 1TB External HDD took backup of my laptop on it (including recovery keys backup files). formated my laptop reinstalled windows and now forgot the password for External HDD.

Any suggestions in recovering the key which is already backed up in the encrypted HDD.

thinking to format HDD and than attempt data recovery but not sure if i will be able to recover all or nothing.

It's only Disk 0 that is Dynamic, the other two in the screenshots are the externals they are trying to combine to be able to move 500GB of data from the 1TB drive mentioned in the previous post.

I don't remember all drives being Dynamic, just the system drive Disk 0.
Post #3 this thread. All are Dyanmic/Simple

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2014   #13

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 10 Pro x64

All the partitions on Disk 0 are Dynamic, making Disk 0 Dynamic.

A couple of the screenshots show one of the externals formatted NTFS Basic during the attempt to create a spanned volume.

I was taking your term "Drives" to mean "Disks", maybe that's where the confusion started.

I think you are waiting for someone else to answer anyway, I'll let them take it from here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

08 May 2014   #14
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

I'm going to keep watching. This could be interesting.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2014   #15

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 10 Pro x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
I'm going to keep watching. This could be interesting.
Did that answer your question?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2014   #16
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

Sure did, thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2014   #17


I think the disk management utility in Windows won't allow you to merge your system partition.For this reason,it semms that you can only use some third-party software to do this.
There is something you must know before you merge 2 ext HDD into one partition:
1: This operation may change the original location of your data, so we suggest you to learn the tutorial “How to Safely Partition” before executing this operation.
2: You can only merge 2 partitions every time, and the two partitions must be adjacent. On the contrary, you can merge any unallocated space into a partition.
3: You can merge data partition into system boot drive, however, you cannot merge system boot drive into data partition.
4: "System Reserved" partition could not be merged.
After knowing this ,you can use a third-party partition software like Aomei Partition Assistant to merge you partition,here is the steps: How to Merge Partitions with AOMEI Partition Assistant?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2014   #18
Microsoft MVP


Not exactly a Merge operation which is done on the same disk.

Across multiple disks it becomes a Spanning Operation requiring Dynamic Disks:
Create a Spanned Volume in Disk Mgmt - Technet
What's spanned volume and how to create spanned volume with Partition Wizard
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to merge 2 ext HDD into one partition?

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