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Combining Hard Drives

Old 10-31-04, 10:52 AM
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Combining Hard Drives

Okay, I'm slowly but surely filling up a 200 gig drive with music. I use iTunes, so all of my music needs to be under one folder. e.g. "G:\ITunes" And then all of the artists and albums are under that.

I have numerous drives lying around (40-60-120 gig sizes). I'm wondering if there is a way that I can somehow make the computer think that the multiple drives are one. Unfortunately, I have no RAID functionality. I know you can mount a hard drive as a folder in another hard drive, but I don't think you can have data from both drives in one folder, although, this is what I want to do. Also, I don't really want to buy a 400 gig drive for about $1/gig when you can get smaller ones for $0.40/gig

I back everything up with an external hard drive (250 gig), and I'm sure it will will up sooner or later. I don't know how I'm going to backup after that.

Eventually, I'd like to just build a small computer/music server I can put in a closet, so every computer I have can play off of it. I'm assuming to do this, I would just need a RAID mobo, and put a few drives in. I've heard though that it is best to have all of the same type/size for RAID. Also, if I did the server, I would have no idea how to back up say, 300-500 gigs of data.

Any suggestions?
Old 10-31-04, 11:33 AM
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raid is a pretty cheap option these days ...
look at ebay. if the cards seem expensive, you can hack a promise ultra ata 100 card (i've done that) to work as a raid card.

i remember reading if you use dynamic disks, you can span multiple discs. not really sure about that, but you might want to check it out.
Old 10-31-04, 12:34 PM
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Re: Combining Hard Drives

Originally posted by Xanager
Any suggestions?
Yes, tell us your OS.

http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;EN-US;175761

http://www.windows-help.net/WindowsXP/howto-20.htm
Old 10-31-04, 02:23 PM
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Re: Re: Combining Hard Drives

Originally posted by X
Yes, tell us your OS.
Sorry about that, using XP Pro. After reading a few articles, I think the dynamic disks may work out. I'm under the impression though to do spanned volumes, you have to start from scratch. So, I suppose I'll back everything up and then format the drive and span them.

I do have a Promise Card, but it seems this may be easier. Do either of you have experience in backing up such a large amount of data? I think I have seen some external enclosures I believe that have room for more than one drive.
Old 10-31-04, 02:46 PM
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I believe you do have to start from scratch.

I wouldn't do the volume spanning though. If one drive goes bad it all goes bad. I would bite the bullet and go RAID 5. Just get yourself a RAID controller card and a larger enclosure that can hold the drives. Five 120GB drives would give you 480GB.

Of course you should back it up because even RAID 5 can fail. I think a couple 250GB drives would be your best bet for that. I used to use tape but I've gone to using hard drives for backup because they're generally cheaper than tapes of the same capacity.
Old 10-31-04, 06:30 PM
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that'll be one expensive music collection
Old 10-31-04, 06:34 PM
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with RAID5, do I have to use drives of all the same size?
Old 10-31-04, 06:59 PM
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Originally posted by nomaan
that'll be one expensive music collection
Not necessarily. But generally the smallest drive will determine the maximum usable size of the others.
Old 11-01-04, 10:34 AM
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Re: Combining Hard Drives

Originally posted by Xanager
I use iTunes, so all of my music needs to be under one folder. e.g. "G:\ITunes" And then all of the artists and albums are under that.
This is not true. You can have music in multiple files across multiple drives, in fact I have music from 2 hard drives and 2 networked drives in my itunes playlists.

You need to change the setting in itunes that says "copy all music to itunes folder" or something like that... this way, it will play the music where it is, NOT import all your music into the default "itunes" folder

no more hard drives, no spanning, no raid, etc... simple solution!
Old 11-01-04, 10:42 AM
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I used to have it set up like that, but then I found myself not being able to take advantage of certain things. e.g. when I wanted to delete music, I had to delete it from the iTunes interface, and then actually delete the file from the folder.

Letting iTunes control everything, I just import the music, and then it automatically organizes it based on the tag. I never have to mess with the actual music files in Explorer. It took me awhile to convince myself to let iTunes 'destroy' all of the organized folders I had created over the years, but I definitely prefer it like this.
Old 11-01-04, 11:30 AM
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Originally posted by Xanager
I used to have it set up like that, but then I found myself not being able to take advantage of certain things. e.g. when I wanted to delete music, I had to delete it from the iTunes interface, and then actually delete the file from the folder.

Letting iTunes control everything, I just import the music, and then it automatically organizes it based on the tag. I never have to mess with the actual music files in Explorer. It took me awhile to convince myself to let iTunes 'destroy' all of the organized folders I had created over the ears, but I definitely prefer it like this.
lol! i still have not given itunes that power, leave my neat little directories alone!
Old 11-01-04, 11:55 AM
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Originally posted by jasonr114
lol! i still have not given itunes that power, leave my neat little directories alone!


Yeah, it took a lot of thinking. I actually backed up my entire directory structure before doing it. However, it is much more convenient now. The only downside to me is that if I ever decide to use anything else, it might be a hassle. However, hopefully that won't be happening anytime soon.

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