HDG Guide – Storage Spaces and Pools in Windows 8

Windows 8 offers a new feature called Storage Spaces that gives you more drive setup options than before. If you utilize external drives, multiple internal drives or even network storage, you can use the Storage Spaces feature to not only manage the drives, but also customize the setup of the drives.

Storage Spaces

Here are a few additional details regarding storage spaces, from Microsoft.com.

To get started with Storage Spaces in Windows 8, first launch the Control Panel using the path Charms > Settings > Control Panel. Once at the Control Panel, scroll down the page to find the Storage Spaces listing. Click Storage Spaces to launch the Storage Spaces utility.

Storage Spaces Window

If you’ve not used the Storage Spaces option before, you will be presented with the option Create a new pool and storage space. Select it to navigate to the Create a storage pool screen.

The Create a storage pool screen lists all of the available drives that are eligible to be used as storage space. It also prompts to let you know that anything on the drives will be deleted during configuration.

Create a Storage Pool

Proceed to click (check) any drives that you would like to utilize in the storage pool and click the Create pool button to proceed with adding a Storage Space.

Create Pool External Hard Drive

The next screen is the configuration page, which allows you to define which type of storage space to setup. The selectable options will vary, depending on how many extra drives you are using. Lets run through the options quickly.

Create a storage space

Name and drive letter

Name: – Enter a name for the drive. For example: External hard drive 1, External Hard Drive 2, or Storage Drive, etc…

Drive letter: Choose a drive letter/identifier for the particular drive so that Windows can assign it.

Resiliency

Simple (no resiliency) – A simple storage space writes one copy of your data to the drive, and doesn’t protect you from drive failures. A simple storage space requires at least one drive. – Basically, the drive is used for an extra storage volume.

Two-way mirror – A two-way mirror storage space writes two copies of your data, helping to protect you from a single drive failure. A two-way mirror storage space requires at least two drives. – A mirrored solution that utilizes one drive and then mirrors the data to another drive, protecting your from data loss should one of the drives fail.

Three-way mirror – A three-way mirror storage space writes three copies of your data, helping to protect your from two simultaneous drive failures. A three-way storage space requires at least five drives.

Parity – A parity storage space writes your data with parity information, helping to protect you from a single drive failure. A parity storage space requires at least three drives.

RAID and protected backup has never been simpler. Depending on how many external hard drives you have connected to the PC, you can choose one of the resiliency options based on your needs.

Once you’ve configured the options for the Storage Space, click the Create storage space button.

Create Storage Space

From here, Windows will configure and format the storage space.

Formatting Storage Space

Once that has completed, the Storage Pool will be active in the main window.

Storage pool

Now, you can simply navigate to the Computer pane and the freshly added Storage Space should be active and ready to use.

Storage Space complete

That’s basically all there is to it for using the Storage Spaces feature. In this tutorial, we used one external hard drive and set it up as a Storage Space. Thus, the drive is simply being used as an external storage solution, or extra volume. However, if you utilize multiple drives, you will be able to configure the drives using more options and structures. Enjoy!

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