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Can I combine two SSD together to form one disk?


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#1 sjs1978

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 10:09 AM

My current SSD which holds the OS (Windows 10) and all my programs is running out of space - I think it's a 225GB Intel SSD that i purchased 3 years ago.

Anyway I was going to buy a larger disk maybe 500GB or 1TB, however they are expensive.  and was wondering if I could get away with combining my cirrent disk with another 250GB SSD to form a 500GB SSD.

 

Can this be done in Windows 10?  If it can be done, are there any disadvantages compared to using a single larger SSD?



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#2 rotor123

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 10:36 AM

Hi
Generally You would set up a Spanned or Striped drive using two drives.
 
What I did was go for a larger drive. Their are risks if one of the drives goes bad.
Are You running the WD SSD software that will also show drive health and how much data has been written?
Here is an example from one of my computers a while ago. Depending on drive health and age a new large drive might be better, Only You can decide.

ssd-toolbox.jpg

 

Good Luck

Roger


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#3 britechguy

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 11:22 AM

rotor123 is correct about there being risks associated with spanning or striping drives.  I believe you'd be spanning if the idea is to create a grand, unified logical drive out of two physical drives.

 

However, if you routinely take a full system image backup to external media when necessary those risks are minimized.  Should one drive fail you could replace it either with its equivalent, or go for a single SSD that's as large or larger than the two as logically combined, install Windows 10 and your recovery software, then restore/recover the system from your backup.

 

I take occasional full system image backups and far more frequent user data backups so that were drive failure (whether single or spanned) to occur I can recover my system as it was and then snag any user data that was created subsequent to the date of the full system image backup.


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#4 sjs1978

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 01:16 PM

Ok thanks. 

 

I'm not worried too much about the failure of one disk, I do backup my system drive every so often, but really it only has the OS and programs on it, Reinstalling is a pain but not as big a deal since its only programs (no personal data)  But yeah I do backup my stuff regardless. 

 

I also have several more questions

 

1) I was wondering mainly about performance.  You know how when SSD drives lose performance when you fill them almost completely with data (i'm noticing it now with my current SSD, it used to be fast, now that its almost full, its slowed down a lot) - If you create spanned/striped volume  how is the data stored and do either of the disks get filled to cpacity, and if so will it slow down when trying to access data that resides on that one disk.

 

2) Can you combine disks of different manufactuers / speeds capacities etc.  Or do they have to be identical?  I definitely can't find the same SSD anymore.  



#5 rotor123

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Posted 25 September 2017 - 10:51 AM

The biggest problem with filling a SSD if You do not leave unallocated space is that it may shorten drive life as the unallocated space is used as a part of the garbage collection process and as as spare space if a location should go bad. This is different from a Hard Drive. A hard drives speed will depend on where the data is written and a SSD should stay the same speed no matter how full it is. Your speed may be impacted if the drive has little space for the garbage collection process to run.

Unallocated space you left will be treated as spare area. And it will increase endurance. It is possible that Your speed is being impacted by the drive always doing garbage collection due to a low amount of free space. Leaving space unallocated is called Over provisioning and I use a 10% setting for that on my 1Tb Samsung EVO SSDs. I also did it with the Intel drives. If You decide to Span two SSDs You should have some Unallocated space set for each drive FWIW.

 

For example using a SSD made by Intel, you can decrease performance degradation by leaving some space unallocated at the end of the drive. It will be used for temporary storage when blocks need to be erased.

 

You can combine drives from different makes and Models. If striping You will use the space on both drives as the smallest drive.

 

Good Luck

Roger


Edited by hamluis, 30 December 2017 - 07:21 PM.

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#6 sjs1978

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Posted 30 December 2017 - 05:12 PM

I have a follow up question about combining two SSD - If I go that route, I was reading that one SSD will be used up  in its entirety before the second one will start being written to.  If this is true, with one SSD fully consumed, will this affect its performance? Or will the garbage collection / TRIM use the unallocated space on the second drive to do its work?


Edited by hamluis, 30 December 2017 - 07:20 PM.


#7 jonuk76

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Posted 31 December 2017 - 11:13 AM

Disk spanning using Windows dynamic disks does fill the first one to it's entirety before the next one is written to. However there is no requirement, to my knowledge, to expand the partition to fill all of the available space on a drive.  If you leave unpartitioned space on an SSD (this is called over provisioning) the unallocated empty space can be used by the drives controller for "garbage collection".  Another disks free space can't be used for this function.  Spanned volumes don't support TRIM as far as I can make out.  

 

Reading through the thread I think if I understand correctly you are hoping to boot from, and run Windows from within a spanned volume?  Again, to my knowledge, spanned volumes can't be boot disks or system disks (system disk meaning where Windows is located) - https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc772180%28v=ws.11%29.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396


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