Two Hard Drives into one



I have a 120gig IBM ATA/100 HD that I have been using to store backups of all my CD's, plus all my downloads.

But the drive is now near full so, for Christmas I was given a Maxtor 120gig ATA/133 Drive.

Is it possible to make both drives work together to form one 200gig + drive ?

I would like to keep it all organized, and not have to go from drive to drive looking for content.

Btw, could RAID 0 do this ? I don't know much about RAID :huh:
Since the drives are equal in size you could use RAID 0 (striping). But you must have RAID hardware to do it. Some mobo:s have this.

1. You must empty the disks first in order to set up the array. You cannot keep the data you have now (unless you have a third drive to store it on in the meantime).
2. RAID 0 is a bit dangerous. If one drive or the mobo or something should fail, you will loose all data indefinately. Sometimes upgrading the BIOS will have the same effect. However, you do gain some performance.

I'd keep them as two separate drives.

If you only want one partition, mount the second drive in a folder. For instance, C:\bigdrive\ could be the second drive.


Hmm, I read alot of stuff on RAID 0, and how it can fail. It's risky though you would get a big Read/Write speed increase.

I have built in RAID on my Soyo, but I think I might keep them as two seperate drives.

My main HD is a 60 Gig WD so I could transfer about 50 gigs onto that . XP and software took up the other 5 gigs, + 5 are lost just cuz of bit to byte ratio.

I still might try it. I dont see any of these HD's going dead on me any time soon.

Perhaps I should look into a DVD burner so I could make physical backups of my backups ;)


One last question.

How stable is RAID 0 ? Is it something that just goes bad after some time for no reason ? Or if you use it normally, will it last for a long time ? (The Data)

I would like to try it out not just becuase I would like two hard drives merged into one, but because I have never used RAID before so I would love to see how it works. It's like a toy I just cant keep my hands off of ;)

I no longer overclock my system, if that is a factor at all. I don't know if it would be. Data never went corrupt before.

I am not really worried about losing all this stuff. It's mostly video which I can get later on, though I am now thinking about keeping a backup of some of the important stuff on my C drive.

+ The drives don't need to be the same brand right ? They are both 120gig HD's 7,200 RPM so that is good enough ? One is ATA 100, one is ATA133

Finally, what would I need to do for the slave / master settings ?

I have a Yamaha F1, and Three Hard Drives. I want to keep the Windows HD as master, but I also want to keep my Yamaha F1 as master. What do I do about the other two Hard Drives ? Or perhaps someone knows off a good guide for doing this ? thx:)
Its stable, but thats not the real worry. Ive had arrays fail and you can simply reinstall windows, load your raid drivers, and use the repair option and your datas all there and good again as long as you dont delete your original array. The big worry is one of the drives physically failing. All data gone..(poof) unretrievable. As far as performance goes, Its good, but not as great as one might think. If you use it BACK UP EVERYTHING. OFTEN.


Hmm, this would not be for Windows, but for my storage drives.

I would just be putting information onto it. I format my HD, and install Windows about once a month anyway so I am used to that.

Ill be sure to backup everything I want, and then Ill give this a try.

Though I still need help on how to set it up. My MB has built in RAID, though I dont know how to configure the drives and such.
First make a floppy of the raid drivers. You gotta have this to give to windows at installation. This is easy if your system is already up and runnin.(I had to go to a friends and use his floppy) Put in your MB cd and go to d:\raid\hpt372\ and copy all the files and directory to a disk. Hook your drives up as masters to Ide 3 and 4. Enable raid in your bios. At boot youll be asked to hit control + H to enter raid setup. Select performance or raid 0. Designate which drives you want to use for the array. Name them if you want and chose a block size. Default is 64 but the bigger you go the better performance you supposedly get. Select which drive will be bootable. Save you settings and exit. Normally youd set your bios to First boot SCSI, but if the array doesnt hold your os then first boot HDD0. Put in your windows cd and hit F6 when it asks at startup. Follow the windows instructions from there and you should be good to go. I assume your using xp. If not this works for 2000 too but anything older is done differently.
I should add that its a good idea to make 2 floppies. On 1, copy just the hp372 folder and on the 2nd open the hp372 folder and highlight all folders and copy them. Only one of the floppies will work and I cant remember which one it will be. Also when windows asks where to install be sure to format the 200+ empty space it sees but install to a different drive if you dont want the os on your raid array. This will give you a local disk E on your computer though and isnt that what you didnt want?


Thx a bunch. Ill get right on it now :)

Though I am going to lose about 30 gigs of stuff cuz of this. But it's nothing I dont already have on CD :)

And finally, is it better to use a PCI RAID card ? Or will this built in one live up to the job. I read that PCI cards usually do a better job so I thought I should ask.
Damn Im forgetful * Youll need to enable first boot device as cd rom to boot your windows cd. After the raid is installed youll no longer set your boot devices in bios. If you want to boot from a different device you have to enter raid setup(control+H) then escape and a boot device screen comes up. Mind you that this is only after youve installed the raid.
The onboard works great! But if you ever decide to add more than 2 drives,(very risky) Then Id go with a pci add on card and run 3 or 4 masters. You can run 4 drives with 2 masters and two slaves with your onboard but its really not much faster than just running 2 masters. Makes one big huge drive though. Good luck.


Opps, I almost forgot to ask

After RAID 0 is all set up and running, what do I do if I need to format my XP drive (c:) ?

I would guess that after the format, I would reload the Raid Drivers into the new copy of XP and it would pick up the Data on the other drives ?
Yup, doesnt matter which drive you have xp on. Just reformat and reinstall with the raid drivers again. The important thing is to never break or delete your existing raid array in raid setup or all is lost and you start from scratch again. Even if windows gets wiped out your array still stays intact and will be there for future reinstalls.


Hehe, I keep thinking of new questions to ask :(

So lets say RAID 0 works great on my storage drives, and I decide to use it on my Windows Drive. I woul need to get another 60 gig drive, but thats not a concern.

It's possible to do this ? I would just load the RAID drivers as with the storage drives ? Then I would have two seperate RAID 0 configs running right ?
Ummm? Technically you might be able to add two more drives as slaves to Ide 3 and 4 but I really dont know if you can have more
than one type of array running in your setup. Thats a good question though. Im gonna do some investigating. I wonder if running a separate raid card would allow this? Damn, looks like Im gonna be up all night scratchin my head.

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