Storage Spaces in Windows - Microsoft Support (2023)

Windows 11Windows 10

Storage Spaces helps protect your data from drive failures and extend storage over time as you add drives to your PC. You can use Storage Spaces to group two or more drives together in a storage pool and then use capacity from that pool to create virtual drives called storage spaces. These storage spaces typically store two copies of your data so if one of your drives fails, you still have an intact copy of your data. If you run low on capacity, just add more drives to the storage pool.

You need at least two extra drives (in addition to the drive where Windows is installed). These drives can be internal or external hard drives, or solid state drives. You can use a variety of types of drives with Storage Spaces, including USB, SATA, and SAS drives.

  1. Add or connect the drives that you want to group together with Storage Spaces.

  2. Go to the taskbar, type Storage Spaces in the search box, and select Storage Spaces from the list of search results.

  3. Select Create a new pool and storage space.

    (Video) Windows 10 Storage Spaces (RAID) // Easy step by step guide

  4. Select the drives you want to add to the new storage space, and then select Create pool.

  5. Give the drive a name and letter, and then choose a layout. Two-way mirror, Three-way mirror, and Parity can help protect the files in the storage space from drive failure.

  6. Enter the maximum size the storage space can reach, and then select Create storage space.

  • Simple spaces are designed for increased performance, but don't protect your files from drive failure. They're best for temporary data (such as video rendering files), image editor scratch files, and intermediary compiler object files. Simple spaces require at least two drives to be useful.

  • Mirror spaces are designed for increased performance and protect your files from drive failure by keeping multiple copies. Two-way mirror spaces make two copies of your files and can tolerate one drive failure, while three-way mirror spaces can tolerate two drive failures. Mirror spaces are good for storing a broad range of data, from a general-purpose file share to a VHD library. When a mirror space is formatted with the Resilient File System (ReFS), Windows will automatically maintain your data integrity, which makes your files even more resilient to drive failure. Two-way mirror spaces require at least two drives, and three-way mirror spaces require at least five.

  • Parity spaces are designed for storage efficiency and protect your files from drive failure by keeping multiple copies. Parity spaces are best for archival data and streaming media, like music and videos. This storage layout requires at least three drives to protect you from a single drive failure and at least seven drives to protect you from two drive failures.

After you upgrade to Windows, we recommend that you upgrade your existing pools. With an upgraded pool, you can optimize drive usage and remove drives from pools without affecting the pool's protection from drive failure.

Note:Upgraded pools aren't compatible with previous versions of Windows.

When you add new drives to an existing pool, it's a good idea to optimize drive usage. This will move some of your data to the newly added drive to make the best use of the pool's capacity. It'll happen by default when you add a new drive to an upgraded pool in Windowsyou'll see a check box for Optimize to spread existing data across all drives selected when you add the drive. However, if you cleared that check box or added drives before upgrading a pool, you'll need to manually optimize drive usage. To do so, type Storage Spaces in the search box on the taskbar, select Storage Spaces from the list of search results, and then select Optimize drive usage.

(Video) Windows 10: Create Storage Pool and Space in Storage Spaces

If you created a pool in Windows or upgraded an existing pool, you'll be able to remove a drive from it. The data stored on that drive will be moved to other drives in the pool, and you'll be free to use the drive for something else.

  1. Go to the taskbar, type Storage Spaces in the search box, and select Storage Spaces from the list of search results.

  2. Select Change settings > Physical drives to see all the drives in your pool.

  3. Find the drive you want to remove and select Prepare for removal > Prepare for removal. Leave your PC plugged in until the drive is ready to be removed. This could take several hours, depending on how much data you have stored there.

  4. (Optional) To speed up drive preparation, prevent your PC from going to sleep. Select Start > Settings > System > Power & battery >Screen and sleep.Next to When plugged in, put my device to sleep after select Never.

  5. When the drive is listed as Ready to remove, select Remove > Remove drive. Now, you can disconnect the drive from your PC.

Note:If you run into problems when you try to prepare the drive for removal, it might be because you don't have enough free space in the pool to store all the data from the drive you want to remove. Try adding a new drive to the pool that's as large as the drive you plan to remove and then try again.

Storage Spaces helps protect your data from drive failures and extend storage over time as you add drives to your PC. You can use Storage Spaces to group two or more drives together in a storage pool and then use capacity from that pool to create virtual drives called storage spaces. These storage spaces typically store two copies of your data so if one of your drives fails, you still have an intact copy of your data. If you run low on capacity, just add more drives to the storage pool.

You need at least two extra drives (in addition to the drive where Windows is installed). These drives can be internal or external hard drives, or solid state drives. You can use a variety of types of drives with Storage Spaces, including USB, SATA, and SAS drives.

  1. Add or connect the drives that you want to group together with Storage Spaces.

  2. Go to the taskbar, type Storage Spaces in the search box, and select Storage Spaces from the list of search results.

  3. Select Create a new pool and storage space.

  4. Select the drives you want to add to the new storage space, and then select Create pool.

  5. Give the drive a name and letter, and then choose a layout. Two-way mirror, Three-way mirror, and Parity can help protect the files in the storage space from drive failure.

  6. Enter the maximum size the storage space can reach, and then select Create storage space.

(Video) How To NEVER LOSE DATA Again, Use Windows Storage Space

  • Simple spaces are designed for increased performance, but don't protect your files from drive failure. They're best for temporary data (such as video rendering files), image editor scratch files, and intermediary compiler object files. Simple spaces require at least two drives to be useful.

  • Mirror spaces are designed for increased performance and protect your files from drive failure by keeping multiple copies. Two-way mirror spaces make two copies of your files and can tolerate one drive failure, while three-way mirror spaces can tolerate two drive failures. Mirror spaces are good for storing a broad range of data, from a general-purpose file share to a VHD library. When a mirror space is formatted with the Resilient File System (ReFS), Windows will automatically maintain your data integrity, which makes your files even more resilient to drive failure. Two-way mirror spaces require at least two drives, and three-way mirror spaces require at least five.

  • Parity spaces are designed for storage efficiency and protect your files from drive failure by keeping multiple copies. Parity spaces are best for archival data and streaming media, like music and videos. This storage layout requires at least three drives to protect you from a single drive failure and at least seven drives to protect you from two drive failures.

After you upgrade to Windows, we recommend that you upgrade your existing pools. With an upgraded pool, you can optimize drive usage and remove drives from pools without affecting the pool's protection from drive failure.

Note:Upgraded pools aren't compatible with previous versions of Windows.

(Video) 04. How to configure Storage Spaces on Windows Server 2016 (Step by Step guide)

When you add new drives to an existing pool, it's a good idea to optimize drive usage. This will move some of your data to the newly added drive to make the best use of the pool's capacity. It'll happen by default when you add a new drive to an upgraded pool in Windowsyou'll see a check box for Optimize to spread existing data across all drives selected when you add the drive. However, if you cleared that check box or added drives before upgrading a pool, you'll need to manually optimize drive usage. To do so, type Storage Spaces in the search box on the taskbar, select Storage Spaces from the list of search results, and then select Optimize drive usage.

If you created a pool in Windows or upgraded an existing pool, you'll be able to remove a drive from it. The data stored on that drive will be moved to other drives in the pool, and you'll be free to use the drive for something else.

  1. Go to the taskbar, type Storage Spaces in the search box, and select Storage Spaces from the list of search results.

  2. Select Change settings > Physical drives to see all the drives in your pool.

  3. Find the drive you want to remove and select Prepare for removal > Prepare for removal. Leave your PC plugged in until the drive is ready to be removed. This could take several hours, depending on how much data you have stored there.

  4. (Optional) To speed up drive preparation, prevent your PC from going to sleep. Type Power and sleep in the search box on the taskbar, then select Power & sleep settings. Under When plugged in, PC goes to sleep after, select Never.

  5. When the drive is listed as Ready to remove, select Remove > Remove drive. Now, you can disconnect the drive from your PC.

Note:If you run into problems when you try to prepare the drive for removal, it might be because you don't have enough free space in the pool to store all the data from the drive you want to remove. Try adding a new drive to the pool that's as large as the drive you plan to remove and then try again.

FAQs

Can storage spaces be used in Windows PC? ›

Storage Spaces helps protect your data from drive failures and extend storage over time as you add drives to your PC. You can use Storage Spaces to group two or more drives together in a storage pool and then use capacity from that pool to create virtual drives called storage spaces.

Does Windows 10 home support storage spaces? ›

The Windows 10 Storage Spaces feature in Windows 10 allows you to group three or more drives together into a storage pool and use capacity from that pool to create Storage Spaces. It is a software-configured RAID setup in OS.

Does Windows 11 have storage spaces? ›

Creating a Storage Space might sound like a complicated process, but it's easy to do so on Windows 11. Unlike the earlier versions of Windows that relied on the Control panel, Windows 11 makes creating Storage Spaces a much simpler task thanks to its new and improved Settings app.

What type of storage layout does storage spaces support? ›

Storage Spaces provides three storage layouts (also known as resiliency types): Mirror. Writes data in a stripe across multiple disks while also writing one or two extra copies of the data.

Does Windows 11 support RAID? ›

Windows 11 has the same resiliency settings as Windows 10, but in Windows 11, they added double parity from RAID 6. You need to understand these flex settings, so I took a screenshot of it from Windows 11. I hope it helps you.

Does Windows 2022 Standard Edition support storage space? ›

Windows Server 2022 Standard and Datacenter editions share the same hardware requirements. Both require a 1.4 GHz, 64-bit CPU and 512 MB of RAM; for the Desktop Experience GUI-based version, the system needs 2 GB of RAM. Additionally, 32 GB of disk space are required.

How many terabytes can Windows 10 recognize? ›

Because the maximum number that can be represented by using 32 bits is 4,294,967,295, it translates to 2.199 TB of capacity by using 512-byte sectors (approximately 2.2 TB). Therefore, a capacity beyond 2.2 TB isn't addressable by using the MBR partitioning scheme.

Does Windows 10 have a memory limit? ›

Remember that 64-bit Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education will support up to 2TB of RAM, while the 64-bit version of Windows 10 Home is limited to only 128GB.

Do you need 64gb free space for Windows 11? ›

Hardware requirements

RAM: 4 gigabytes (GB) or greater. Storage: 64 GB* or greater available storage is required to install Windows 11. Extra storage space might be required to download updates and enable specific features.

Why is C drive full in Windows 11? ›

Virus or malware issues can cause your files to fill up the system space. As mentioned above that by default, most files are saved in the C drive. So you may have saved a huge file that you are not aware of. Windows may have generated cache, temporary downloads, or junk in the Local disk C.

What is the difference between a storage pool and a storage space? ›

Creating a Pool and a Storage Space

A pool is simply a logical grouping of physical disks, whereas a storage space is a virtualized disk that can be used like a physical disk.

What are the 4 main types of storage? ›

There are four types of primary storage:
  • read only memory (ROM)
  • random access memory (RAM)
  • flash memory.
  • cache memory.

What are the 3 types of storage methods? ›

Data can be recorded and stored in three main forms: file storage, block storage and object storage.

How do I add more Storage to Windows 11? ›

If you find unallocated space on your drive, follow the below steps:
  1. Press Windows + R keys and type diskmgmt. ...
  2. Right-click on the disk C drive, and click on "Extend Volume".
  3. Now, select any number of disks in the Available column and click on add to select the disks for extending the C drive space.
Sep 22, 2022

How do I increase D drive space in Windows 11? ›

Type and search [Computer Management] in the Windows search bar①, then click [Run as administrator]②. In Computer Management, select [Disk Management]③. In Disk Management, right-click the existing volume you want to extend④, then select [Extend Volume]⑤.

Why is my Spacebar not working Windows 11? ›

Open Windows 11 settings by pressing Windows + I shortcut key. Click on the “Accessibility” option. Choose the “Keyboard” option under Interaction. Turn off the toggle of “Sticky keys.”

What is not compatible with Windows 11? ›

Windows 11 will only be released for 64-bit systems, so computers with a 32-bit processor will not be able to upgrade. However, 32-bit programs can still be used in the 64-bit environment.

What Windows 10 features do not work in Windows 11? ›

The following parts of the Windows shell are no longer available in Windows 11.
  • Lock Screen's quick status.
  • Tablet mode.
  • The Timeline feature in Task View.
  • The Save Search option in File Explorer.

What can Windows 11 not do? ›

You Can't Move the Taskbar

The software giant wants you to have your taskbar at the bottom of the screen and, if you want it on the top or side (as you were able to in previous Windows versions, that's just too bad. Windows 11 does not provide any officially-supported way to move the taskbar.

How do I upgrade Windows storage space? ›

Get more space with external storage
  1. Select Start > Settings > Windows Update .
  2. From the Windows Update page, select Fix issues. ...
  3. Before you use an external storage device for updating, make sure you back up any important files.
  4. Connect your external storage device and select it from the drop-down menu.

What happens if your Windows storage is full? ›

A hard drive that's too full can slow down your computer, causing freezes and crashes. Think of it this way -- if you have a storage trunk that's jam-packed with stuff, taking up every available inch of space, it'll make it harder, and take longer, for you to find what you're looking for.

Can I upgrade my Windows storage? ›

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to increase a computer's performance is to remove a hard disk drive and upgrade to a solid-state drive. You can also upgrade your HDD or SSD to a larger storage capacity; Kingston Technology's consumer SSDs now come with up to 2TB of storage.

Can Windows 10 support 8TB hard drive? ›

Windows 7/8 or Windows 10 Maximum Hard Drive Size

Like in other Windows operating systems, users can only use 2TB or 16TB space in Windows 10 no matter how large the hard disk is, if they initialize their disk to MBR.

Does Windows 10 support 3TB hard drives? ›

Windows 11/10 supports large disk capacities, such as 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, and 6TB. For a hard drive that is larger than 2TB, you need to initialize it to GPT or convert it to GPT (when data have been saved).

Can Windows 10 see 4TB drive? ›

4TB hard drive only shows 2TB in Windows 10. One of the most common seen issues is Windows 10 recognizes 4TB or 3TB hard drive, yet it only shows up 2TB in the device manager. The unused space beyond 2TB showing up as unallocated space, which can be neither used for new simple volume nor allocate to other partitions.

How much RAM does Windows 11 allow? ›

RAM: 4 GB. If your PC has less than 4GB of memory, there are sometimes options for upgrading to get additional RAM. You may want to consult your PC manufacturer's website or with a retailer to see if there are easy and affordable options to meet the minimum requirements for Windows 11.

Can Windows 10 handle 32 GB RAM? ›

The OS support doesn't change about supported RAM size. Your laptop can have up to 32 GB (2 block of 16 GB) RAM. If you have Windows 10 64 bit, all the RAM has to be read.

How big should partition be for Windows 11? ›

Windows partition

The partition must have at least 20 gigabytes (GB) of drive space for 64-bit versions, or 16 GB for 32-bit versions. The Windows partition must be formatted using the NTFS file format.

Is 50gb enough for Windows 11? ›

If you're upgrading directly from Windows 10 to Windows 11, the download size is about 3.5 GB. And, you need to make sure that you have at least 64GB of free space. If you install Windows 11 using an . ISO file, plan on having 25 GB of free space at least.

How much GB is required to update Windows 11? ›

Free updates are available through Windows Update in Settings>Update and Security. 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC). 4 gigabyte (GB).

Why can't I extend C drive in Windows 11? ›

If you want to extend C drive volume but you find that extend volume is greyed out in Windows 11, that's because there is no free or unallocated space after the drive C partition. Thus, you need to delete a blank or useless partition. It will leave free space or unallocated space next to the primary volume.

Is there any problem if C drive is full? ›

In case the C drive memory space is full, then you have to move the unused data to a different drive and uninstall the installed applications which are not used frequently. You can also perform Disk Cleanup to reduce the number of unnecessary files on the drives, which can help the computer run faster.

Why is my local disk C full but no files? ›

Causes for Hard Drive Full But no Files on Windows

You can find the reasons for this issue below: The presence of a virus on a hard disk might create the issue. If you've hidden the files on your hard drive, it can also eat up a lot of memory space. A logical or a system error might also cause the issue.

Is Windows storage spaces the same as RAID? ›

Storage Spaces is a technology in Windows and Windows Server that can help protect your data from drive failures. It is conceptually similar to RAID, implemented in software.

What are the 5 types of storage? ›

Types of storage devices
  • SSD and flash storage. Flash storage is a solid-state technology that uses flash memory chips for writing and storing data. ...
  • Hybrid storage. ...
  • Cloud storage. ...
  • Hybrid cloud storage. ...
  • Backup software and appliances.

What's a limitation of storage spaces? ›

Also: The Storage Spaces virtual disk cannot be used as a boot disk. Only SAS, SATA and USB drives can be used. RAID controllers' volumes, iSCSI, FC and other volumes are not supported.

What are six common storage devices? ›

What is a storage device?
  • Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
  • Solid State Drive.
  • Random Access Memory (RAM)
  • CD, DVD and Blu-Ray Discs.
  • DVD-RAM.
  • ROM.
  • USB Flash Memory.

What are the 3 main types of secondary storage in a computer system? ›

Although many forms of backup storage such as tape drives and floppy diskettes have been long abandoned, secondary storage devices include: Solid-state drives (SSDs). Hard disk drives (HDDs). Cloud storage.

What are the six storage devices? ›

And if you want to transfer files from external drives to the cloud, you can use external drive backup and access your files from anywhere.
  • External HDDs and SSDs. ...
  • Flash memory devices. ...
  • Optical Storage Devices. ...
  • Floppy Disks. ...
  • Primary Storage: Random Access Memory (RAM)

What are the two 2 main types of storage? ›

Hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs) are now the primary forms of storage.

What types of PC storage is there? ›

All about SSD, HDD, and storage types
  • Solid-state drives (SSDs) are the most common storage drives today.
  • SSDs are smaller and faster than hard disk drives (HDDs).
  • SSDs are noiseless and allow PCs to be thinner and more lightweight.
  • Hard disk drives (HDDs) are more common in older devices.

What are the 3 principles of storage? ›

Principles of storage
  • Control of respiration. Respiration is a breakdown process; hence storage method should provide a means to minimize this metabolic process. ...
  • Control of transpiration. ...
  • Prolonging the Dormancy period/Control of sprouting and rooting. ...
  • Control of spoilage.
Dec 15, 2011

Can I just add more storage to my PC? ›

A drive cannot have additional space added to it, making it impossible to upgrade an existing drive. Replacing an existing drive or installing an additional drive are the only options for adding more storage space in a computer.

What part of PC is storage space? ›

The hard drive is where your software, documents, and other files are stored. The hard drive is long-term storage, which means the data is still saved even if you turn the computer off or unplug it.

Can I use a USB for storage on PC? ›

A USB drive, also referred to as a flash drive or memory stick, is a small, portable device that plugs into the USB port on your computer. USB drives are commonly used for storage, data backup, and transferring files between devices.

Does Windows have built in RAID? ›

1. Does Windows 10 have a built-in RAID? No, Windows 10 does not have a built-in RAID. However, Windows 10 and 8 do have a feature known as Storage Spaces that allows you to combine multiple HDDs or SSDs into a single RAID array.

Do I need a RAID if I have a SSD? ›

Storage systems generally do not use RAID to pool SSDs for performance purposes. Flash-based SSDs inherently offer higher performance than HDDs, and enable faster rebuilds in parity-based RAID. Rather than improve performance, vendors typically use SSD-based RAID to protect data if a drive fails.

What do I do if my computer doesn't have enough storage? ›

You can temporarily gain extra space by using an external storage device like a USB drive, an SD card, or an external hard drive. Here's what you'll need: An external storage device with 10GB or more of free space, depending on how much additional space you need.

What to do if you run out of storage on PC? ›

7 Hacks to Free Up Space on Your Hard Drive
  1. Uninstall unnecessary apps and programs. Just because you're not actively using an outdated app doesn't mean it's still not hanging around. ...
  2. Clean your desktop. ...
  3. Get rid of monster files. ...
  4. Use the Disk Cleanup Tool. ...
  5. Discard temporary files. ...
  6. Deal with downloads. ...
  7. Save to the cloud.
Aug 23, 2018

What happens if you run out of storage on PC? ›

A hard drive that's too full can slow down your computer, causing freezes and crashes. Think of it this way -- if you have a storage trunk that's jam-packed with stuff, taking up every available inch of space, it'll make it harder, and take longer, for you to find what you're looking for.

What are the 3 types of computer storage? ›

Forms of data storage

Data can be recorded and stored in three main forms: file storage, block storage and object storage.

What are the 3 main types of computer storage? ›

solid state storage devices, such as USB memory sticks. optical storage devices, such as CD, DVD and Blu-ray discs. magnetic storage devices, such as hard disk drives.

Is a USB OK for long term storage? ›

Memory cards and USB drives are NOT designed for long term storage. You should always backup your data on to another device. The data will normally stay valid for a period of up to 10 years if stored under normal conditions. The data cells inside carry a charge which can dissipate over time.

Why should you never plug a random USB in your computer? ›

Malware-infected USB devices are a real problem

After all, phishing emails and texts can be sent directly to marks, while a USB device must be first picked up then plugged in order for it to work. As it turns out, the chances of someone plugging in a strange USB are pretty high.

How do I transfer everything from my computer to an external hard drive? ›

Connect the external drive to your computer, then select the Start menu. In Windows 11, type file history and select File History. In Windows 10, type backup and select Backup settings. Select Add a drive to choose the external hard drive you want to use for your file history backups.

Videos

1. The trick to faster parity speeds on windows storage spaces
(ElectronicsWizardry)
2. MicroNugget: How to Use Storage Spaces in Windows 10
(CBT Nuggets)
3. Windows 11/10 Storage Spaces: Use ReFS, build resiliency and data protection
(TechsavvyProductions)
4. Software Defined Storage with Storage Spaces Direct in Windows Server 2016
(Microsoft Mechanics)
5. Configuring Windows 10 Storage Spaces!
(BTNHD)
6. 100TB setup on Windows Storage Spaces on Server 2016 - 863
(My PlayHouse)
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