I have a number of NTFS disks with unused capacity. They are leftover external hard drives with a Windows history. I have a very limited number of USB ports on my machine, and want to find a cheap way to combine these disks as one logical disk, as it appears to the OS. Are there any methods in Linux to implement this?

Is this like RAID or span arrays?

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    Title says NTFS, body says NFS? Also, what does the filesystem type have to do with this (assuming NTFS is what you meant)? – Mat May 23 '13 at 7:50
  • There is no such thing as an NTFS disk. There are disks with partitions that contain NTFS filesystems. Can we assume that you have a dual boot machine as combining the unused space would make it impossible to just remove one drive and use it on another machine? – Anthon May 23 '13 at 8:08

You'd have to find some kind of enclosure for several disks (unlikely) or an USB hub (preferrably one with external power) to connect all your disks in enclosures (again, preferrably with independent power). The machine/operating system will see them all as separate disks, perhaps you could build a RAID over them. But USB is much slower than directly connected disks, more so if several share the same path to the machine. Performance will most probably suck. And due to vagaries in the order in which the machine sees the disks comming on line or such they might get shuffled around each boot.

  • Detection ordering can be worked around on Linux (and I assume by similar means on other *nixes as well) by using /dev/disk/by-uuid/* or the likes. – a CVn May 23 '13 at 13:50

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