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[Article] How to create a spanned volume in Windows XP


Staff member
A spanned volume allows you to combine several hard drives/partitions to create a new single 'volume'. Why would you want to do this? I personally needed this for my home built DVR/HTPC. I have a 60GB drive and an 80GB drive, but my OS only requires around 10 gigs. Since most dvr software packages don't support storing the video files to multiple drives, I would have to either choose the 80GB drive, or the remaining 50GB on my first drive. As recording in mpeg2 can take up several gigabytes per hour, depending on the quality settings, you really want to grab every gigabyte you can.

With spanning, you can combine the 50GB on the first drive with the 80GB on the second drive, and have one single 150GB drive. You are also able to increase the size of the spanned volume by extending it onto additional dynamic disks. Windows supports 5 types of dynamic volumes: simple, spanned, striped, mirrored and Raid-5. In order to get the most space out of our hard drives, we will use spanned. You can extend a spanned volume onto a maximum of 32 dynamic disks.

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