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Using NTFS mounted drives

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Using NTFS mounted drives

NTFS mounted drives are a convenient way to add additional volumes to a computer when you no longer have any drive letters remaining. In addition, you can add more space to a volume without having to recreate the volume on another, larger disk by mounting other disks as folders on the volume. Growing the folder structure with mounted drives gives the volume a scalable, larger capacity. You can use Disk Management to mount a local volume at any empty folder on a local NTFS volume. You can format a mounted drive with any file system supported by Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003 operating systems.

When you mount a local drive at an empty folder on an NTFS volume, Disk Management assigns a drive path to the drive rather than a drive letter. Mounted drives are not subject to the 26-drive limit imposed by drive letters, so you can use mounted drives to access more than 26 drives on your computer. Windows ensures that drive paths retain their association to the drive, so you can add or rearrange storage devices without the drive path failing.

For example, if you have a hard disk drive with the drive letter D and an NTFS-formatted volume with the drive letter C, you can mount the hard disk drive at an empty folder with the following path: C:\datadisk. You can then access the hard disk drive directly through the path C:\datadisk. Also, you can choose to remove the drive letter D from the hard disk drive and continue to access it through the mounted drive path.

Mounted drives make data more accessible and give you the flexibility to manage data storage based on your work environment and system usage. For example, you can:

  • Make the C:\Users folder a mounted drive with NTFS disk quotas in order to track or constrain disk usage without doing the same on drive C.

  • Make the C:\Temp folder a mounted drive to provide additional disk space for temporary files.

  • Move the My Documents folder to another, larger drive when space is low on drive C, and mount it as C:\My Documents.

When using NTFS mounted drives with server clusters:

  • Make sure that you create unique mounted drives so that they do not conflict with existing local drives on any node in the cluster.

  • Do not create mounted drives between disks on the cluster storage device (cluster disks) and local disks.

  • Do not create mounted drives from the cluster disk that contains the quorum resource (the quorum disk). You can, however, create a mounted drive from the quorum disk to a clustered disk.

  • Mounted drives from one cluster disk to another must be in the same cluster resource group, and must be dependent on the root disk.

    For more information on server clusters, see Server clusters overview.

  • Use Event Viewer to check the system log for any Cluster service errors or warnings indicating mount point failures. These errors would be listed as ClusSvc in the Source column and Physical Disk Resource in the Category column.

    For more information on how to use Event Viewer to check the system log, see Event Viewer.

    For more information on how to resolve errors with mounted drives on server clusters, see Cluster disk and drive connection problems.

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