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Thread: Spanning HDDs - A new tough one...

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    Default Spanning HDDs - A new tough one...

    Well, seems I've hit a very serious snag. Here is the break down:

    Objective:

    • Span a total of three HDDs to create a single 4.5TB volume.

    Current Config:

    • Disk 0 = 512GB (MBR), Partition 0 = 300MB as Sys Reserved, Partition 1 = 384GB as OS drive C:, Partition 2 = 128GB as personal data protected drive.
    • Disk 1 = 1TB (MBR), Partition 0 = 1TB as shared data drive.
    • Disk 2 = 1.5TB (MBR), Partition 0 = 1.5TB as shared data drive.
    • Disk 3 = 512GB (MBR), Partition 0 = 512GB as on-line backup drive.
    • Disk 4 = 2TB (GPT), Partition 0 = 2TB as shared data drive.

    Base Hardware (excluding HDD):
    • Motherboard: ASUS Sabertooth 990FX/GEN3 R2.0
    • Memory: 16GB
    • Video: NVidia GTX 650 2GB

    Actions Taken (1):
    • Moved all data from Disk 1 and Disk 2 to Disk 4.
    • Unallocated Disk 1 and Disk 2
    • Converted Disk 1/2 to Dynamic disk - left them as MBR type disk.
    • Right clicked and attempted to create a spanned volume. Both Disk 1 and 2 were recognized as viable selections. Disk 4 was not.

    Results of Actions (1):
    • Identified total size = 2,384,410MB (2.5T
    • Maximum available space = 953,740MB (1T

    What happed to the other 1.5TB? Why wasn't it included in the Maximum Available Space?

    Actions Taken (2):
    • Moved all data from Disk 1 and Disk 2 to Disk 4.
    • Unallocated Disk 1 and Disk 2
    • Converted Disk 1/2 to Dynamic disk.
    • Converted Disk 1/2 to GPT disk (in support of > 2TB HDD addressing.
    • Right clicked and attempted to create a spanned volume. Both Disk 1 and 2 were recognized as viable selections. Disk 4 was not.

    Results of Actions (2):
    • Identified total size = 2,384,410MB (2.5T
    • Maximum available space = 953,740MB (1T

    What happed to the other 1.5TB? Why wasn't it included in the Maximum Available Space?

    I thought I'd done everything right, in accordance with MS instructions and other research on various sites. Yet, I can not get past the 1TB maximum size, much less have the system recognize Disk 4 (GPT) 2TB drive as available to include in the spanned volume (Disk 4 is also listed as a Dynamic drive).

    BIOS is set to ACHA (maybe have the letters mixed up...) and of course Windows 7 needs a registry entry to be able to recognize this port setting. Is that what's holding me up?

    Any one anywhere with any idea or knowledge - please help...

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    Default Re: Spanning HDDs - A new tough one...

    Welcome to PureOverclock not my area of expertise but I am sure someone will be along to help you out!

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    Default Re: Spanning HDDs - A new tough one...

    Thank you VinMan - Glad to be hear! In fact, this place was recommended to me from a "friend-of-the-forum". Me, I'm new to the over clock arena, and been a little leery of it in the past. I'm hoping to use knowledge gained here to get a little more info in my tool chest and eventually not be such a newbe...

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    Default Re: Spanning HDDs - A new tough one...

    Well you couldn't of come to a better place for help, plenty of knowledgeable folks to help you out

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    Default Re: Spanning HDDs - A new tough one...

    have you looked into using Parted magic instead of Windows Diskk manager? It tends to act funny when messing with the Drives with a lot of data on them or set as bootable. I had a simliar issue before. Partedmagic corrected it in no time.

    Just be care to read and not select anything that will kill data already stored.
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    Default Re: Spanning HDDs - A new tough one...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberburnout View Post
    have you looked into using Parted magic instead of Windows Diskk manager? It tends to act funny when messing with the Drives with a lot of data on them or set as bootable. I had a simliar issue before. Partedmagic corrected it in no time.

    Just be care to read and not select anything that will kill data already stored.
    Yes, I have - well, not Parted Magic specifically, my first attempt at bypassing the Windows 7 Disk Manager was the use of EaseUS Partition Master 9.2.2. The free version did not indicate the ability to create spanned volumes - to my embarrassment. I'll check out the Parted Magic option. - Thank you!

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    Default Re: Spanning HDDs - A new tough one...

    I looked at their web site, and features provided. There are a whole lot of them. None of which seemed to provide the ability to span multiple HDDs into a single volume. Using the search on their forum also came up empty (used: span, spanned, spanning, combine, multiple (referred to multiple partitions only; and then to either merge or split).

    One thing I did learn though, is that there is a product out there that is supposed to [in their words] "New! Span volume across multiple physical disks". Which is what I want to do of course. However, I didn't want to spend the $30 to do it; knowing that Windows 7 offered such a capability. What I don't know is why Win 7 fails to recognize the ability to include all [initial] 2.5TB into one volume. It is only recognizing a limit of 1TB.

    My eventual goal of course, is to add an additional 2TB to the spanned volume, making a total of 4.5TB.

    I guess I could order it but, just seems a waste to get something that Win 7 is supposed to do for free (well not free, if the OS was bought, but the idea is the same.)

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    Default Re: Spanning HDDs - A new tough one...

    Well hell. I thought it was parted magic I used. Crap. Let me try to get a hold on someone. Are you running a 64bit os? Windows pro or ultimate?
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    Default Re: Spanning HDDs - A new tough one...

    Yes, Win 7 x64 Ultimate. Originally bought for the BitLocker capability. I now use the BitLocker to protect my personal data from potential virus access (it remains locked except when data is specifically needed, and only for as long as its needed.) It just makes sure my data doesn't "accidentally" get to out to the world. It doesn't protect against malware, viruses and the like, but it does prevent them from obtaining info prior to my identification of such nasty things (at least that's the theory).

    The weird thing is, many years ago (more than a decade now); I did use Partition Magic. They actually went out of business; or was acquired by someone. Finally faded away - as far as I know.

    The one product I've found, as indicated in my earlier reply, says they can do Spanned Volumes. My main concern about buying something like that, is if it relies on Win 7 OS underpinning, and Win 7 has some "reason" it won't span or recognize the full capacity of the two (or more volumes); will that product? Advertisements are so vague now a days. They never tell you the whole story.

    In my original post I did mention that AHCI (actually my letters were mixed up) is set in my BIOS. Could that sys function (which is native one in Win 7) be the road block? I just don't know enough to know that answer. Just that none of the research I've found so far (and I've been at this for about 5 days now) indicates that AHCI (Advanced Host Control Interface) is a factor; it just permits activation/use of various HDD functions, normally dormant (as I understand).

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    Default Re: Spanning HDDs - A new tough one...

    Well, maybe something that works... Memory refresher - - - - My previous post:
    Identified total size = 2,384,410MB (2.5TB )
    Maximum available space = 953,740MB (1TB )

    Now for the fun part. The following steps were taken:
    1. Attempted to span two HDDs as indicated originally.
    2. The same Max available space was indicated (1TB ).
    3. Allowed the function to step to the next option with only the max available shown in the panel.
    4. Pressed the okay button, and a spanned volume was created. The image indicated that the two disk drives were spanned in their entirety.
    5. Exited Disk Manager; launched Win Explorer, Computer View which shows all drives, space consumed and drive size.

    Now the interesting part:
    The new drive created indicates 2.18TB available of 2.27TB. Of course, that reflects the missing 1.5TB reported earlier.

    Conclusion:
    Either the Win Explorer is "lying" to me and I only have the 1TB actually available in the spanned drive, or the Disk Management "lied" to me and I in fact have the 2.27TB space available.

    The Troubling Part:
    To determine which is which, the only way I know to test it, is to populate the spanned volume of 2.27TB with data that exceeds the size of either drive 1 at 1TB or Drive 2 at 1.5TB.

    The Real Question to ALL:
    Does anyone know what is the right answer? Specifically: a) Do I have 2.27TB of available space or do I only have 1TB of available space?

    Why this is important is because if I have to go through the "testing" effort, it will cost me hours and hours before I have a conclusive answer. I would have to:
    1) COPY all the data from my current 2TB drive to the spanned volume.
    2) Access files that are KNOWN to exceed either the 1TB + 1.5TB size.
    3) During the access, make sure all was in working order.

    I would really like to get on to the bigger effort of finishing up my server build to share the data to multiple devices at home. It is just fortunate that the data being shared is easily (though not without a high cost in time only) to recover. That is why a spanned drive is so attractive to me.

    Any help or deeper knowledge about this would be greatly appreciated!
    Last edited by JMLow54; 03-11-2013 at 10:19. Reason: Remove smiley for ease of reader.

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    Default Re: Spanning HDDs - A new tough one...

    Search how to create a large dummy file. Used to use these on wii game rips to file the 4.7gb disc limit. It will save you a lot of time. You can also save a lot of time by copy one large file to the Drive and repeatedly copy it from one that is already on the drive until you reach the 1tb that will answer your question.
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    Default Re: Spanning HDDs - A new tough one...

    Thank you for the information! I'd looked into that, and several things came up. Most however, seem to create a place holder, with no real data. I need to confirm that the data at the end of the object is valid so that a confirmation exists; the size of the spanned volume is good. I'll look a little deeper, and see what I can find.

    SIDE NOTE: Either from Skype or EaseUS Partition Master, I've picked up malware. Skype had some outfit I never heard of trying to get me to watch a video message, while EaseUS Partition was downloaded from the net to try and handle my spanned volume issue. Either way, when I click on a link in IE to review a "file creation" product, the first link is to someplace I never heard of.

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    Default Re: Spanning HDDs - A new tough one...

    The dummy file will take up real space even if there is really nothing in it. Ask my external drive full of backups. If you really only have 1tb of space you will run into issues once you go over that mark.

    Damn that sucks. Try to get malware bytes to clean up you os. Or adaware. Look in your ie settings to make sure it isn't using a proxy. Make sure home page is a real one like Google and that your search engine is one of the normal ones.
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    Default Re: Spanning HDDs - A new tough one...

    Thanks. I will.

    On the side note - yea... Very angry. I've hit this before, IE settings doesn't indicate any proxy, though the domain is some IP address of "31.xxx.xxx.xxx" (can't "see" the whole thing) or a redirection side with a URL of r.?????.????.???. My normal steps start off with the MS security scanner, followed by MalWare Bytes, followed by AdAware and finally with MS Security Essentials. I'm now tied into several hours of "fix-it" operations; otherwise, I'll have to restore my OS from backup, which may wipe everything accomplished so far. Maybe not, but it puts those drives I've been working with in jeopardy simply because there's no telling where it's buried itself on my system.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Spanning HDDs - A new tough one...

    Ok, so you are trying to span disks of different sizes?

    If yes not a good idea an probably will not work.
    Learn a lesson from your dog - No matter what life brings you, Kick some grass over that **** and move on.

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    Default Re: Spanning HDDs - A new tough one...

    Yes, I'm spanning drives of different sizes, though nothing in the research indicated it wouldn't work. In fact, another colleague has several spanned disks, all three of different sizes, and there has been no issue as of this time. This is what prompted me to consider spanning for the type of shared data I have.

    SIDE NOTE UPDATE: MalwareBytes did in fact find two objects identified as problems. After removing them, I rebooted, and so far the issue has not yet returned. Just thought I'd let you know also, that there was an folder and object found at C:\Users\<UserId>\AppData\Local\Tqmics\ff_libfaad2 .dll. Both folder and object (.dll) appears to have been the culprit. I found the start up registry entry, and removed it. Anyway, with the removal, it has not negatively affected my system - as of yet. I've just been back from a several hour absence on my system, so, I'll probably be signing off now too.

    Additionally, the only way that the malware could have gotten into my system is through one of two avenues. A partition program I attempted to use EaseUS or Skype. I lean towards Skype because of the "video" message that it said I had, and had to download some type of player. Well, didn't know who it came from, and I know of no one that would post a video message for me. So, I didn't load it or download from where audio said I should. Still happened. It seems to indicate that Skype does not have specific filters to prevent this from happening.

    I'll continue testing tomorrow.
    Last edited by JMLow54; 03-11-2013 at 21:15. Reason: Changed syntax of sentence (to > two)

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