Please help solve storage capacity issue (storage drive filling up).

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PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Oct 22, 2020
I have a desktop computer with two drives, one is an SSD with OS and programs, and the other is a regular HD which is only used for storage. The HD is 4 TB. I have a lot of video and photo files on there, among other things. I am running out of storage on the 4TB drive. One thing to note is that I use Adobe Lightroom 5 (the older desktop version) and video editing software and whatnot, and the catalog and files and everything are linked up. So, if I move them elsewhere, crap will hit the fan. I am not sure the best plan of action and thought I would get some feedback on my ideas.

Here is what I want to accomplish:

- Increase the storage capacity to rectify the problem of running out on the 4 TB. Ideally I'd like to go to 8TB+

- Keep everything basically at the same "path" / "location" so when I use Lightroom and other software it will still see all the things where they are expected and literally nothing will change, except having more space.

My thoughts are to maybe:

- get an 8TB HD or whatever, and then somehow copy all of the files off of the 4 TB. Then, replace the 4 TB with the 8TB. Then, update the drive Letter of the new drive to the same letter as the old drive, theoretically keeping everything set up the same but just with a larger drive now. I am not sure if this plan would work how I think it would, and I'm not sure the best way to accomplish it. The files need to be copied over without error, obviously.

- or somehow do something more complex but more scalable, like set up a special external storage system which can be expanded indefinitely with more drives. The problem with this option is that A. it's way beyond my knowledge, and beyond my ability to spend much time on figuring it out, and 2. It seems like it might cost more up front.

Not sure if this is relevant to the storage increase need, but note that the drives or whatever solution needs to be "fast" (not SSD fast, but just better quality HD fast) since I am editing HD video and browsing thousands of photos, etc. Currently I use the WD black performance drive and it's decent. Someday I'd love to get a huge SSD but the cost is too high right now.

I think that's it. If I forgot anything I'll add it later or answer any questions. I appreciate any help you can offer.


PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Oct 22, 2020

Hopefully some of our members will chime in soon..


Thanks. After a couple of days, I posted in a FB group to see if anyone there could help.

Some suggestions I received:

- One option is what I was thinking, which is to clone all the files off the 4TB onto a new larger drive, then adjust the letter mapping of the larger drive to what the old drive was. This option seems the most logical and straightforward to me, however...

- Another suggestion was to just install a 2nd storage drive in addition to the 4TB. I told them I need all the files to be in the same drive and the same places. They told me what I really need is for all the files to be on the same partition, not necessarily the same drive, and that partitions can span multiple drives. I didn't know that, and I don't know how to do that. It seems like a pretty good solution, assuming there are no drawbacks I'm unaware of.

Some questions I have about multi-drive partitions:

Can an existing drive and partition can be expanded onto a 2nd drive without having to reformat / without risk of losing my existing data?

If this can be done, what is the process? Do I need to prepare or format the new drive somehow before the partition is expanded onto it?

In the future, if for some reason I need to backup, or clone the data, or move it somewhere else like brand new drives (if the old ones are failing or something, for example), how do I keep all of the information associated and setup in the same partition, when doing the backup, clone, or move to new drives?

I asked them about some of this and am waiting, but I am not holding out hope that they will give detailed helpful responses, as most of the replies have been one sentence as if they assume I already know all of these things and how to do them.

Maybe someone on here can guide me on these from this point. I would appreciate any help I can get. Thanks


Forum Regular
Support Team
PCHF Member
Oct 8, 2017
Yeppoon, QLD, Australia.
not so much to answer your immediate issues but I'd be taking this chance to think long term.
if you have filled up a 4TB drive, and you are obviously a photographer, it would only be a question of when, not if, you fill up the 8TB drive.
and you'll be right back where you are now.
I've had people with just this situation and profession - always adding more drives or replacing them with bigger units.
and over-arching all that is what are you doing about backing up all those TB's???

our solution (yes it will be expensive) was to get an 8-bay NAS, 4x4TB drives set to one volume for storage and the other 4 bays with another 4TB drives each set to another volume for backups. all set as RAID. so if any one of the storage volume drives failed, just swap in a new one, and same for the backup volume, one fails, get another, push it in and wait for the NAS to re-sync.

from memory it was about $1000 for the Synology 8bat NAS and $180 each for the 4TB drives.
so yeah, big hammer solution, but it'll be a long time before it's ever touched again.
and when it is, you just upgrade one drive at a time until you fill all the bays again.

and as to Lightroom, there is a setting in its preferences where you tell it where to look for and keep the scratch areas, catalogues, temp files etc.
we copied the current folders over to the NAS, told Lightroom the new location and voila!


PCHF Administrator
Support Team
Sep 9, 2016
Thread closed due to lack of feedback from the OP.
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