Question Broken Spanned Volumes ?


Jun 29, 2009
[Moderator note: moving thread from Windows 10 to Storage. More applicable.]

Hey guys,

My Plex server is a Windows SFF PC. In it is a SAS HBA card. SAS card has a mini-SAS SFF-8087 to (4) SFF-8482 breakout cable. This cable connects to an external hard drive cage where I have 2 14TB drives and 2 8TB drives. I spanned the 14TB hard drives to the 8TB hard drives. These showed up in Windows as (2) 20TB hard drives. I used 1 spanned 20TB volume to copy the other for back-up reasons. I just moved. I disconnected the hard drives during the move. I'm trying to get everything up and running but am having issues. All hard drives are online (in disk management) but the 8TB hard drives are showing up as unallocated and the 14TB hard drives are showing up as failed.

I just learned that spanning volumes is a bad idea. So, questions. Do the hard drives need to be connected in the same configuration as before? The breakout cables are designated P1, P2, P3 & P4. I can't remember which HD went to which cable. Could that be a reason for the spanned volumes not showing up? I've tried every configuration possible, still no dice. In addition to the 8TB HDs showing up as allocated in disk management, disk management also lists (2) 8 TB HDs as missing. Are the 14TB HDs looking for their 8TB partners to complete their respective spanned volumes? When I right click on the unallocated 8TB HDs, the only options I have are, New Spanned, Striped or Mirrored Volumes and convert to Dynamic or MBD disk. When I right-click on the 14TB failed HDs, the only option I have is to reactivate disk. When I try to reactivate disk, nothing happens.

I really, really hope I haven't screwed up and lost all my media. It's taken years to amass close to 3K movies and tons of TV shows.

Please help!

Your help is much appreciated!

Last edited by a moderator:
From far back in memory, I think I remember that for Windows spanned drives, the risk of data loss is/was problematic. I.e. if one hdd is lost, then you're loosing all data (i.e. cannot be retrieved w/o purchasing very specific recovery software).

I don't find any official statement from MS on this issue, but in several forums out there support this : when one disk fails, all data get lost.

Btw: If you ever consider Linux instead of Windows for this, then there are more modern/advanced file systems that can be set up in such a way for multiple disks joined together, that when one disk fails, then only data contained on that disk is lost. BTRFS is one such file system.