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View 2 (external) Hard Drives as 1?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by purplegreendave, May 1, 2010.

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  1. purplegreendave

    purplegreendave Thread Starter

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    My external HD is getting full, so in the near future I'll be looking at adding another one to the mix. Only thing is, I'd like for all my films to appear seamlessly in one folder, so I don't have to search accross 2 hard drives.

    I don't know whether this is even remotely possible or not.

    Is there a way to make Win7's Libraries show the contents of a folder but not the folder?
    Ie. now it shows up as like this:
    [​IMG]

    Is there any way not to have those 3 locations segregated, as if it were just the one folder?

    Alternatively, is there an alternative way to "trick" Windows into thinking that 2 hard drives are one single drive? Perhaps a special USB hub?
     
  2. Compiler

    Compiler

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    Don't really think so... they are two different drives.

    But you can create a short-cut to a 2nd drive and put it somewhere... like on your desktop or in the folder of your 1st drive.
     
  3. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    It is possible however NOT recommended. You would need to convert both drives to dynamic disks then span the volume across both disks.

    This makes the chance of data loss MUCH greater.
    Note this requires you to have both external drives pw ON all of the time you want to access the volume. I always recommend leaving external drives OFF unless you actually need the drive [unless the external has its own cooling fan]
     
  4. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    It's really easy .. Just get a new XHD that's twice as big .. or bigger.
    Then you still have the old XHDs for a backup in case the new XHD fails.
    That's what I did
     
  5. purplegreendave

    purplegreendave Thread Starter

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    @Noyb: A new 3TB HD isn't really financially viable... And I'd probably fill it eventually (I'm ripping DVD's/DluRays, they take loads of space).

    @crjdriver: Cheers, I'll look into it and weigh up pros/cons
     
  6. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Do they even make them ???? ... 2TB is as High as I've seen.
    Now .. I know why you're asking :D
     
  7. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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  8. Compiler

    Compiler

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    But with RAID 0 being so unreliable... backup drives would still be required.

    Best thing would be to setup a RAID-5 with 4 or more 1TB drives. (2TB drives are still the least reliable HDs on the market).

    For that, you should get a RAID controller card... a cheap one is $40 (4 drives) and isn't much different than whats built onto many motherboards... but when you change motherboards (upgrade or replacement failure), your RAID can go bye bye. Intel makes a $285 controller that'll support up to 8 drives. The controller needs an X8 or x16 PCIe slot.

    With RAID 5, you can continue to ADD hard drives and the RAID will grow. You can lose a drive without losing data... and given the chance to rebuild itself, it can lose a 2nd drive later in the same day. RAID 5 really should have at least 4 drives.

    intel controller: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...m_re=raid_5_controller-_-16-117-153-_-Product

    You'll need to put the drives in your PC case or get a large external drive bay that can hold 5~8 drives ($100~300). Many good size PC cases can hold the 8 HDs. Calculate how much BR movies you are storing and see if its really worth it. I record some TV programs, but I record in SD & compress. But I buy my media for best quality, of course. I'm hoping to someday start converting my OLD VHS tapes into digital so I can save space and find what I want FASTER (I have about 300 VHS tapes - most with TV shows, foreign and anime that is not available or rare . out of print or impossible to replace, ugh)

    Someday, you're going to need more than two 1 or 2TB drives. If you go this route, it'll be safer and faster to buy another HD and copy your content onto the RAID... then use the drive as a backup or add it to the RAID-5.

    Another option, that would be cheaper and more flexible, NAS: http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=124&name=Network-Storage-NAS There are some 4-bay units at about $300.
     
  9. purplegreendave

    purplegreendave Thread Starter

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    I'm on a student (aka mingy) budget...
    I think I'll just take the hassle of two drives on the chin, or force myself to get into one of those library programs, xbmc or boxee. I'll have the summer to tinker with them and get to like them.

    Cheers for all the input, it's appreciated :D
     
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