Possible to span multiple drives from one single installation?

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Hi all,

Joined up here to ask my question, hoping one (or more) of you bright souls might be able to help. To try to explain succinctly:

I have a dual boot machine, in which are three separate disks. We can completely discount the NVME drive for current purposes, leaving two under consideration.

My official, licensed copy of Win 10 is on a 250Gb SSD. Due to a new found interest in digital music production, this poor old SSD suddenly has roughly 10% left free... which last I checked was about as far as one should comfortably go in terms of free space. In this PC (which I built myself) lives a 1.5Tb standard hard disk. Let's call it Disk D.

Disk D has a GPT partition label, and has two partitions only one of which is formatted (using EXT 4). It has 500Gb of non formatted space left, which I've never used for anything. I wrote boot entries myself direct from a UEFI shell (Arch Linux being the 'daily driver'). Windows boots without complaint if I select it from the boot menu entries during start up. So naturally the "Disk Manager" app can see all these disks and other partitions but not access them.

I'm at the stage where I could, of course, just go and buy a whopping big new HDD and start again - reinstall Win 10 etc. But that would now be a massive pain, due to the now very complex web of connected accounts e.g. software licensing managers, tens of Gb of shared libraries etc. It would take days and days to get back to where I am now.

Can anyone please tell me whether I could format the 500Gb free space on "Disk D" using Windows tools (or any others?) such that when booted into my current Windows installation at C: I can rearrange things to have all the heavy storage stuff over on the 500Gb partition - the critical thing being that I can then properly reassign all the software keys, licenses etc. and everything continues working?

If things keep going as they are, then next year I'm going to have to build a whole new PC, but for now I'd like to try to make use of the free storage capacity.

I hope I explained that clearly enough :)
 
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You should be able to format the 500 GB partition with windows disk manager and have it accessable from windows without any problem, and it would be usable from windows.
 
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You should be able to format the 500 GB partition with windows disk manager and have it accessable from windows without any problem, and it would be usable from windows.
neat! I suspected this might be the case, but wanted to check because obviously the cost of screwing up the currently working installation (of all the specialised software) isn't worth the risk.

Subsequent question then: I could obviously use the original .exe installers to reinstall on the new drive. But again - that's a LOT of work and unavoidable downloads (because some of the virtual instruments are not locally installed).

Is there some sort of "move" function in Windows that will re-target already installed software at a new location?
 
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Should be as easy as copy paste your music files over to the new partition from the ssd and and save all new ones to the new partition from within the program. Once you’re satisfied all is well, then you could reclaim the space on the ssd. In addition could shrink the Ext partition if you don’t need it all and increase your new partition size. That would have to be done with third party tools such as GParted or the command line.
 
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Should be as easy as copy paste your music files over to the new partition from the ssd and and save all new ones to the new partition from within the program. Once you’re satisfied all is well, then you could reclaim the space on the ssd. In addition could shrink the Ext partition if you don’t need it all and increase your new partition size. That would have to be done with third party tools such as GParted or the command line.
nice, thank you. But I won't be resizing anything - that partition holds a 700Gb music library that's been curated within an inch of its life!

But I will now give much more serious thought to this disk space business :)
 
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My 3 main Desktops, Win11, Win10 and Linux Mint] have HDDs of 1TB as the D: drive, used for storage. All HDDs have over time been migrated to 7200RPM, replaced 5400RPM drives.
 

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