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mount /dev/hdax /mnt/share/diskX
mount /dev/hdbx /mnt/share/diskX
and share the folder /mnt/share with samba. if you don't like that there are two directories in this share, (one per each disk) you can use software RAID to "make multiple disks behave like one" there is a plenty of documentation written on this so just use google
You can use the Logical Volume manager to create a volume group that spans multiple physical devices. Then you create one or more logical volumes in the volume group and create filesystems on the logical volumes.
Let's say you have two physical hard drives hd1 and hd2. Through the LVM software you create a single volume group and assign both drives to it. Now that volume group has the capicity of both disks. To create filesystems with all the disk space, you create a local volume and tell it how much of the vg's disk space you want to allocate to it. Finally you create you reiserfs or ext3 or whatever filesystem on the lv and mount it.
Walla... you have one huge filesystem.
Point your windows users to it via your samba conifg and you are done.
No physical volume label read from /dev/hda3
Physical volume "/dev/hda3" successfully created
No physical volume label read from /dev/hdb1
Physical volume "/dev/hdb1" successfully created
vgcreate big_share /dev/hda3 /dev/hdb1
No physical volume label read from /dev/hda3
/dev/hda3 not identified as an existing physical volume
Unable to add physical volume '/dev/hda3' to volume group 'big_share'.
Did you get an error doing the pvcreate? If not then don't run the dd.
Yes the pvcreate will destroy data in the partiition you specify. If you speifcy a drive it _will_ modify the partitiion table and destroy the data.
You will have to mark your partitions that you want to use with the LVM as LVM partition through your partition manager like cfdisk. Type 8E
I was under the impression that these disks were not used and clean. If you in fact to have data on the disks, then it is still possible to move the entire set to the LVM parts at a time. You would need at least 50% free disk space.
Explain to me what you had before on these paritions, file system types, mount points, etc... Also what exactly you did to these paritions. Was it the pvcreate or cfdisk that screwed it up. Do you get any boot errors?
If hda1 is system it is likely mounted on /
Was hda3 on a mount like /storage?
Unless hda3 contained something important like /usr or /var I don't see why your system has difficulty booting. When you are at the machine post the output of df -k and post contents of /etc/fstab.
How are your backups?
I've never run pvcreate on a live filesystem or even a partition or disk that I cared out the data on. It's likely that your data is gone or not easily retreived. If you have good backups, great, setup the LVM as you want and restore the data. If not, well... There is always the lvm resource page and mailling list: