Using Storage Spaces To Combine Drives In Windows 8

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Windows 8 is Microsoft’s latest operating system in the Windows series. It was designed to compete with mobile operating systems like Android and features a better user interface than Windows 7. One new feature of the OS is storage spaces. It allows users to setup flexible and fast data storage.

Storage spaces is a technology which users can use to combine the data storing capacity of multiple disk drives into a pool and craft many virtual disks. Users can also mirror data across many multiple disk drives with this technology.
This tutorial includes the procedure to use this technology to mirror and combine drives.

Creating a storage space in Windows 8

  • Step 1: Connect two or more additional storage drives to your computer. You may add internal or external drives of your preference
  • Step 2: Log in to Windows
  • Step 3: Hit the Windows key and bring up the Start menu
  • Step 4: Select Control Panel
  • You may also access the Storage space settings by searching ‘Storage spaces’ in the Start menu search field. Now click on the Settings category and select the ‘Storage Spaces’ shortcut from the left pane.
  • If you haven’t created Storage spaces before, a link will appear in the Storage spaces settings in Control Panel, to create a new storage space.
  • Step 5: Click on the link to create new storage space. Now a new window appears asking you to select drives to create the Storage pool.
  • Step 6: Select the drives you want to use to create the Storage pool.
    NOTE: Make sure you copy and backup all important files in the drives you select for the storage pool. Files already in the drives will be erased during the process. It’s recommended to format the drives before using them to create the storage space.
  • Step 7: After selecting the drives, click on ‘Create pool’ button. You will be able to add additional drives in a storage pool after creating it.

Configuring the storage pool

  • Step 1: Give a name for the storage pool and select a drive letter. Windows will display the name and drive letter you provide, for the storage space.
  • Step 2: Select a Resiliency type. The Resiliency type you specify will be used by Windows to handle data in the pool. The resiliency types and their descriptions are as follows:
    None: Data will be stored as a single copy. If one of the drives fails, you will lose the data. However, no backup space will be used.
    Two-way mirror: Requires at least two drives. Two copies of the data will be saved and won’t be lost if one of the drives fails.
    Three-way mirror: If one or two of the drives fail, you will not lose data as Windows will save three copies.
    Parity: Parity information is stored with the data protecting it from failure of a single drive. Efficient for storing video files, but time for accessing files will be slower.
  • Step 3: Specify a logical size of your preference regardless of the size of the drives
    For instance, you can combine two 30 GB drives and specify logical size of 300 GB rather than 60 GB. Windows will notify you upon reaching the 60 GB limit, to add additional drives.
  • Step 4: Click the ‘Create Storage Space’ button

Conclusion

Your storage space will appear as an ordinary drive in Windows Explorer, with the name and drive letter you specified. You can encrypt this space and use it as any other normal drive. You can manage and configure storage spaces from the Storage spaces control panel.

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imira

A research and content development firm based in India providing solutions for various corporate firms, academic institutions and online portals.
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