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Windows 7: 2 hard drives seen as one C drive

04 Feb 2010   #1
makman

win 7
 
 
2 hard drives seen as one C drive

I have a laptop that came with Windows 7 home premium and one hard drive. I purchased a second hard drive and installed. Is there anyway to set this up, even if it means wiping everything and reinstalling, so that both hard drives are seen as one C drive? My laptop does not have a RAID option in the BIOS. What about if it was Windows 7 professional?

Thanks,

Mitch


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
04 Feb 2010   #2
zigzag3143

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by makman View Post
I have a laptop that came with Windows 7 home premium and one hard drive. I purchased a second hard drive and installed. Is there anyway to set this up, even if it means wiping everything and reinstalling, so that both hard drives are seen as one C drive? My laptop does not have a RAID option in the BIOS. What about if it was Windows 7 professional?

Thanks,

Mitch
Mitch

If you need a raid controller to run those two as a raid. If you are looking just to keep your data safe you can mirror them from within win 7 disk management

Let us know what you are trying to do

Ken
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2010   #3
makman

win 7
 
 

I don't really need two separate drives within Windows. I do all my backups to Windows Home Server so I am not worried about losing data. I would just like the two 500 GB drives to be seen as a contiguous 1 TB C drive rather than a 500 GB C drive and a 500 GB D drive. I have been reading about spanning and striping but I'm still confused about this.

Thanks,

Mitch
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

04 Feb 2010   #4
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

In order to take 2 physical drives and make them appear as 1 drive within Windows you create what is called a stripe...it's also called RAID0. It takes both disks and concatenates them together into one presentable volume. With RAID0, the data is split evenly across the two drives for performance...however if either drive were to fail, you lose the entirety of the data since 1/2 is now missing.

To me, unless you want the peformance increase from running RAID0 and are willing to accept the risks, I would just run a second drive with a different drive letter. This keeps it simple.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2010   #5
makman

win 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
In order to take 2 physical drives and make them appear as 1 drive within Windows you create what is called a stripe...it's also called RAID0. It takes both disks and concatenates them together into one presentable volume. With RAID0, the data is split evenly across the two drives for performance...however if either drive were to fail, you lose the entirety of the data since 1/2 is now missing.
Striping is exactly what I would like to do. However my BIOS in my laptop does not support RAID. The two settings I have are ATA and AHCI. Is there anyway to set this up using Windows 7 home premium or professional (or perhaps if I were to reinstall the OS, during the installation)?

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2010   #6
valtonray

Windows 7 Ultimate Signature Edition
 
 

i dont think this can be done. i may be wrong although thats unlikely consider it a hardware limitation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2010   #7
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Since you cannot support RAID at the mobo level, you have to do it within Windows. A software RAID is usually slower than a hardware raid, just so you know.

Here is what you need to know;
Information regarding Windows 7 software Raid : Alan's World Famous Blog V2

And with software stripes, you have to create them after the OS is installed...so you can go from what you already have.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2010   #8
makman

win 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Since you cannot support RAID at the mobo level, you have to do it within Windows. A software RAID is usually slower than a hardware raid, just so you know.

Here is what you need to know;
Information regarding Windows 7 software Raid : Alan's World Famous Blog V2

And with software stripes, you have to create them after the OS is installed...so you can go from what you already have.
I believe I tried that (I tried several things last night). However I couldn't get it to work. I also read that the boot and system volume cannot be striped.

I did try shrinking the C volume and striping the newly unallocated space with the unallocated space on the second drive. That still gives me multiple drives in the OS.

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2010   #9
Saltgrass

Windows 7 x64
 
 

You could also map the drive to a folder in you Win 7 install. You would then use the folder (link) to access the unlettered partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2010   #10
makman

win 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Saltgrass View Post
You could also map the drive to a folder in you Win 7 install. You would then use the folder (link) to access the unlettered partition.
I was thinking of doing that and tried it last night. Windows does say there is only one drive, but it is still 500 GB. It doesn't seem to see the extra space and I am guessing that when I get close to 500 GB of stuff it will tell me that the drive is full.

Thanks

Mitch
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 2 hard drives seen as one C drive




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