Combining 2 HDs into one

By jtraska ·
I was just wondering if there was a way to combine 2 HDs into one in Vista. For example: I have a HD w/ only a C partition and it runs out of space. Is there a way for me to put in a second HD and just add it as more space to the already existing HD?

Many apologies if this seems rather elementary but I'm fairly new to the IT world. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Problems and Options

by TheChas In reply to Combining 2 HDs into one

Well, it is possible if you configure the 2 drives as a RAID array. However, configuring the RAID array usually means that you have to format the drives again. So, at a minimum, you need a full backup of your existing drive.

Another option is to simply buy a larger hard drive and install it using the drive manufactures utilities.

Most drive manufactures have utilities that allow you to copy your existing operating drive onto the new hard drive. Then, just change drive settings to boot from the new drive and you are set to go.

Then there is the option of thoroughly cleaning old and temporary files from your existing hard drive. Utilities such as ccleaner can help automate this task.

I myself am running with 4 physical hard drives with several logical drives configured on the physical hard drives. I use the different drives like file cabinets and store specific information on specific drives.


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Yes - but not in the way you're thinking ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Combining 2 HDs into one

You can add a second HDD to ease the strain on your C HDD, but not by adding it to the existing C space. What you would do is RELOCATE some of your existing C:\Directories to your new \ HDD.

For instance you could Relocate your 'My Documents' entirely (Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos) to your new \ HDD, thereby regaining all the drive space that is occupied at present. To know which directories are using the most space, you should download and install 'TREESIZE' - this will give you analytical views of where all your existing hard drive space has gone and which programs/data are the guilty parties.


Of course, when you only have one hard drive, EVERYTHING that you install gets installed on the same HDD. Once you have 2 HDDs to pick from you can opt to install programs to the second HDD, leaving the C drive for what it is primarily responsible for - running the Operating System ONLY.

NOTE: You won't be able to Relocate existing installed programs (like Games or Utilities) because the Registry already thinks these programs exist on the C HDD. If you wanted to save further space by 'Relocating' them to your \ HDD, you would have to Uninstall them from your C drive, then Install them again, this time choosing the \ drive as the PATH to install them to.

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by balge In reply to Combining 2 HDs into one

the way to do what you asked about is to set up a 'Dynamic Volume' see here -


bearing in mind this -


this is possible without a RAID controller or having an extra drive letter

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Tried this

by jtraska In reply to yes

in VirtualPC and it wouldn't allow me to extend my C onto the second VHD that I had created.

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I don't recall VirtualPC being part of the question ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Tried this

I was under the impression you wanted to add a PHYSICAL HDD to an actual system.

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And I was under

by balge In reply to I don't recall VirtualPC ...

the impression he wanted to add a physical hard drive and share the space across them - hence the links regarding spanning...
oh well

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Just testing

by jtraska In reply to I don't recall VirtualPC ...

it out in VirtualPC to see if it was possible to expand a C drive. The original Q was about adding a 2nd physical HD. Sorry for the confusion. Don't know if there is a huge difference b/w the two.

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very different things

by balge In reply to Just testing

however the answer to the original query is as stated either striped RAID (if you have RAID controller) or a Dynamic Volume.
I do not believe it is possible to resize a virtual drive once it has been created so not really relevant.

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I'm pretty sure VirtualPC warns you ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Just testing

That you should give due thought to what size to allocate when you create the VHD, because it can't be altered after creation.

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by balge In reply to I'm pretty sure VirtualPC ...

yes, I've only used VMware but it says size is fixed when you create the disk, makes a point of it in fact. Presumably means you can't partition the drive too.
Dynamic Volumes can be re-sized, not sure if RAID arrays can easily be resized?

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