Single Partition Over Two HDD's?

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Maltor124

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Hi, I recently got an HP m8120n, which comes with 2 hard drives. It also came with a neat little program called Intel Matrix Storage Console, which allowed me to put these two hard drives into a RAID 0 configuration (I'm assuming the motherboard came with native support for this program, can't really think of how else this worked). I'm very happy with that, but I'm trying to get an added bonus. Now that the two HDD's are in RAID 0, Windows and any other program recognizes the two as one continuous virtual disk that's 640GB, while I still have two physical disks. However neither Windows or Paragon Partition Manager allow me to extend my (C: ) Partition to more than the size of one of the hard drives. I contacted Intel support about this and they said that Partition Magic and Partition Commander both would be able to stretch one partition across both drives. However, I know for a fact that Partition Magic in it's normal state doesn't work properly in Vista, and Partition Commander I can only try out if I pay for it.

So I want to know, is there any way (free would be best) I could extend one partition across the entire virtual drive/2 physical drives?

If you need any more info I'll be happy to give it.
 
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Not sure how this would work in your configuration, but you seem to be asking about dynamic disks which would contain a single "volume", not a partition. You can usually create dynamic disks in Vista's Disk Management.
 

Maltor124

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I think that's what I'm looking for. A way to create one (C: ) volume out of the two disks. Where would I find that under Disk Management?
 

crjdriver

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How big are the individual drives? Raid0 is 2X the size of the smallest drive in the array. Raid1 is the size of the smallest drive in the array.

What exactly are you trying to accomplish with raid and why do you want raid?
 

Maltor124

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Both drives are exactly 320GB, and I am using RAID 0, so I get 640GB, which is the same if I just had the two hard drives, which is why I used RAID 0. Free performance boost without any storage loss.

But that's not really what I'm asking about, I'm asking if there is a way I can create a single volume over the two drives.
 

DoubleHelix

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Setting this up as a dynamic disk essentially doubles your chances of data loss and corruption. If something fails with one drive, it takes the whole system down. This is generally a bad setup and not at all recommended for a home user.
 

Maltor124

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How would I go about doing it, though? Even if I decide not to do it for safety reasons, I'd like to know for future reference.

Thanks for everyone's help, by the way.
 
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Having never done it (I don't trust drives enough to make my data dependent on 2 drives working properly), I can't give you details, but if you right-click on a drive in Disk Management, the option to make it dynamic is there. Click on the drive and not one of the partitions.
 
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So your problem is not inability to create a partition bigger than 320Gb. It is to "resize" the C partition.

Resizing a partition is a specialised operation and needs a specialised software like Partition Magic (proprietary Windows based) or Parted Magic/Gparted (free Linux based).

If the operating system is Vista then it has an internal resizing function.

To resize your C partition you may need to either delete the D partition first or move it to the right so that the boundary of C can be extended. This is fairly easy with the Linux resizing tools but I can't vouch it for a system with RAID 0.

I also think it is unsafe to run RAID 0 myself becauase if one disk goes down there is nothing to be recovered. My personal data deserves a more secure arrangement than that.
 
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You have a recovery partition and (probably) an EISA partition on that drive. That means that you have a partition type used only by your manufacturer. Normal tools don't work on such partitions and I'm sure they have disabled many options. The MBR is also non-standard.
 

Maltor124

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So your problem is not inability to create a partition bigger than 320Gb. It is to "resize" the C partition.
No, I can do that, my question is if I am able to create a volume or partition larger than one of my 320GB hard drives, hopefully to the size of both hard drives.

Elvandil said:
You have a recovery partition and (probably) an EISA partition on that drive. That means that you have a partition type used only by your manufacturer. Normal tools don't work on such partitions and I'm sure they have disabled many options. The MBR is also non-standard.
EISA? And how did you find out that the MBR is non-standard?
 
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Have you made changes to the partitions on that drive? Normally, there is a special keypress sequence that allows you to access the recovery partition on boot. If you have made changes to the partitions, you will no longer be able to recover your machine because the MBR will no longer allow booting to the recovery partition.

What partition setup did you have originally?
 

Maltor124

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I briefly had the second hard drive in a third partition, but other than that, I haven't changed anything.

And there is a recovery button on startup. I don't plan to remove that partition, just edit the C: partition.
 
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