All the editions of Windows are capable of doing one thing, and that is mirroring data across multiple drives to reduce redundancy. Windows merges various physical hard drives and converts them into a single virtual Storage Spaces that you can use. In this post, I will share how you can Create, Use, Manage, and Delete Storage Spaces in Windows.
But before getting into the nitty-gritty of how to do it, let’s look at the basics. Storage Spaces creation is possible in a Windows device with two hard drives. They might either be internal in nature or external. Here is a complete guide on Storage spaces Windows 11 and Windows 10.
How to Create, Use, Manage, and Delete Storage Spaces in Windows 11/10
- What is the Storage Spaces feature
- How to create new Storage Space
- Using the Storage Spaces
- Manage Storage Spaces
You will need an administrator account to execute these.
1] Storage Spaces: What is It?
Storage Spaces are the creation of Storage pools by utilizing more than one physical storage. It can be helpful in three ways:
Simple Space: Ideal for temporary data, Simple Space allows you to store your data just once across all the hard drives. Windows will only copy the data once on the “storage pool,” if the drive fails, the data will be lost or corrupted as there is no backup for the data stored.
Mirror Space: This is more suited for storing permanent data as the data is available across the drives in multiple copies. Hence, even if one or multiple of your drives, which create the storage pool, fail, your data will still be intact.
Parity Space: Parity Space is ideal for you if you habitually archive your data without using them very frequently. It is usually slower than the mirror spaces, and Windows creates a single copy of your data and parity of the information. But this storage pool will provide you with a bigger Storage Space than mirror space.
When formatting your Parity or Mirror space with the help of ReFS or Windows Resilient File System, your files are usually protected against corruption.
2] How to Create Storage Spaces
Creating Storage Spaces is easy and consumes very little time. Let’s see how it can be done by checking the below method.
- Connect all the drives you want to clump together to create the Storage Spaces.
- Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Storage Spaces or type Storage Spaces in your Start menu.
- You will get a link that states Create a new pool and Storage Space; select the same.
- From the available menu, select all the hard drives you want to join to create the pool and click on the Create Pool option.
- Once you do the above steps, it will erase all the data available on the selected drives. Make sure to back up before pooling them.
- Once pooling is complete, you can name the new storage you have formed and assign a Letter to the drive. Once done, your new storage will appear by name and drive letter on your device. Depending on the space usage type, you can use the NTFS file system or switch to ReFS if you are going for a mirrored or parity space.
- If you are creating the file in the resiliency mod, you have to choose the type of resiliency you want to use while using the drive. You can select between:
- Simple, which will maximize your Storage Space without any backup,
- Two-Way Mirror, which will allow you to create two copies,
- Three-Way Mirror will create three copies and “Parity,” protecting the data from a single drive failure.
- Next, on the type of storage you have created, you will also need to decide upon the amount of storage you need, depending on the type of storage pool you have created. Once the space on the physical drive is complete, you can add another physical storage device and use the same.
- Once you have configured the amount of Storage Space required, click Create Storage Space to create the pool.
3] Using the Storage Spaces
Using Storage Spaces is no big deal as it appears a normal userspace, just like any other physical drive on Windows. It will appear with the name and the assigned letter to the drive you created. You can use it like any other drive present on your Windows device.
4] Managing Storage Spaces in Windows 11/10
Once you create Storage Spaces, you can always head back to the control panel and create more Storage Spaces. You might as well have as many Storage Spaces as you please. The limitation comes in the number of physical storage spaces available to you.
- Change the name of the storage pool created by going to the Rename Pool option.
- If you have been using the storage pool on your Windows 11/10 device, you can easily use the Upgrade Pool option to upgrade the storage pool. Once you upgrade, use the pool to remove drives as and when you wish to, which will, in a way, optimize the available storage space with the pool.
- Go to the Add Drives option to add new drives, increasing the space related to your Storage Spaces.
Windows also has an Optimize Drive option, which allows you to optimize the Storage Spaces. Although it is a new feature added to the Windows 10 version, you can optimize the pool in Windows 8, which can be tuned after upgrading.
How to Delete Storage Pool Windows 11/10?
- To remove particular physical storage creating the pool, all you need to do is expand the physical storage, select the drive you want to remove, and click on the Prepare for Removal link, which is present with it. Once Windows has moved all the files to some other space, it will show a Ready for Removal message when you can remove your physical storage.
- You can use the Disc Management partition for the empty spaces available.
- A storage pool can be deleted from the system by clicking the Delete option. But you will lose all the data saved in the pool once you delete the Storage Spaces. Also, you have to click on the Delete Pool option to delete the pool.
Thus, you are entirely briefed about how to go about creating, using, managing, and deleting Storage Spaces. Go ahead and have fun with unlimited Storage Spaces created by putting a host of physical drives in connection with each other. Windows 11 storage spaces are an excellent way to keep storage management simple.