All the editions of Windows 8 and 10 are capable of doing one thing, and that is mirroring data across multiple drives to reduce the redundancy. What Windows does is, it clumps various physical hard drives and converts them into a single virtual Storage Spaces which can be used by you. In this post, I will share how you can Create, Use, Manage, and Delete Storage Spaces in Windows 10.
But before getting into the nitty grittiness of how to do it, let’s look at the basics. Storage Spaces creation is possible in a Windows device with the presence of two hard drives. They might either be internal in nature or external.
How to Create, Use, Manage and Delete Storage Spaces in Windows 10
- What is Storage Spaces feature
- How to create new Storage Space
- Using the Storage Spaces
- Manage Storage Spaces
1) Storage Spaces: What is It?
Storage Spaces are the creation of “storage pools” by the utilization of more than one physical storage. It can be useful 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,” and if the drive fails, then the data will be lost, or it will corrupt as there is no backup for the data stored.
Mirror Space: This is more suited for the storage of permanent data as the data is available across the drives in multiple copies. Hence, even if one or multiple of your drives, which creates the storage pool, fails, your data will still be intact.
Parity Space: If you have a habit of archiving your data without having to use them very frequently, then Parity space is ideal for you. It is usually slower than the mirror spaces, and Windows creates a single copy of your data along with parity of the information. But this kind of storage pool will provide you with a bigger Storage Space as compared to mirror space.
When you are formatting your Parity or Mirror space with the help of ReFS or Windows Resilient File System, then your files are usually protected against corruption.
Related: How to manage storage partitions in Windows 10
2) How to Create Storage Spaces
Creating Storage Spaces is easy and consumes very little time. Let’s see how can it be done by checking the below method.
- Connect all the drives which 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 which states Create a new pool and Storage Space, select the same.
- From the available menu, select all the hard drives that you want to join together 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 backup before pooling them.
- Once pooling is complete, you will be allowed to name the new storage you have formed and assign a Letter to the drive, once done, your new storage will appear on your device by the said name and drive letter. Depending on the type of space usage, you can either use the NTFS file system or switch to ReFS in case 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,” which will protect the data from a single drive failure.
- Next, on the type of storage that you have created, you will also need to decide upon the amount of storage that you need, and that will depend on the type of storage pool that you have created. Once the available space on the physical drive is full, you can add another physical storage device and use the same.
- Once you have configured the amount of Storage Space required, you now need to click on Create Storage Space to create the pool.
3) Using the Storage Spaces
Using Storage Spaces is no big deal as it appears as normal userspace just like any other physical drive that is present on Windows. It will appear with the name and the letter you have assigned to the drive you have created. You can use it like any other drive present on your Windows device.
4) Managing Storage Spaces in Windows 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 to. The limitation comes in the form of the number of physical storage spaces that are available to you.
- Change the name of the storage pool created by going to the Rename Pool option.
- In case you have been using the storage pool on your Windows 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, which will increase the whole space related to your Storage Spaces.
Windows 10 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 can be tuned after upgrading.
- To remove particular physical storage creating the pool, all you need to do is expand the physical storage and select the drive you want to remove and click on the Prepare for Removal link, which is present with it. Once the Windows has moved all the files to some other space, it will show 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 on 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.