Storage Spaces: FAQ

Here are answers to some common questions about Storage Spaces.

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What is Storage Spaces?

Storage Spaces lets you group drives together in a storage pool. Then you can use pool capacity to create storage spaces.

  • Storage spaces are virtual drives that appear in File Explorer. You can use them like any other drive, so it’s easy to work with files on them.

  • You can create large storage spaces and add more drives to them when you run low on pool capacity.

  • If you have two or more drives in the storage pool, you can create storage spaces that won't be affected by a drive failure—or even the failure of two drives, if you create a three-way mirror storage space.

What do I need to create a storage space?

All you need is one or more extra drives in addition to the drive on which 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.

How do I create a storage space?

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

  2. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)

  3. Enter Storage Spaces in the search box.

  4. Choose Storage Spaces in the search results.

  5. Tap or click Create a new pool and storage space.

  6. Select the drives you want to add to the new storage space, and then tap or click Create pool.

  7. 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.

  8. Enter the maximum size the storage space can reach, and then tap or click Create storage space.

    Choosing the settings for a new storage space
    Choosing the settings for a new storage space

What are the best uses of simple, mirror, and parity spaces?

There are three different kinds of Storage Spaces with unique characteristics that make them better or worse for storing different kinds of files.

  • Simple spaces are designed for increased performance, but don't protect your files from drive failure by keeping multiple copies. 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 one drive.

  • Mirror spaces are designed for increased performance and protect your files from drive failure by keeping more than one copy. 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. They're 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 more than one copy. 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.