How to manage disk spaces in Windows 10 to back up data.
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If your computer has a lot of data, you may not always have enough space to store it. Sometimes you need extra storage for large files or cloud storage, but even that fills up quickly.
With Windows 10 Storage Spaces, you can organize and consolidate all your files using software-configured technology like RAID.
We’ll walk you through how to use the Storage Spaces feature in Windows 10 to back up your data.
What is Storage Spaces on Windows 10?
The Windows 10 Storage Spaces feature helps you increase the amount of storage on your computer while protecting your data and storage from disk read errors or driver failures.
This feature is implemented in software similar to RAID and can be used to group hard drives into one virtual disk. It can also mirror data across multiple drives for redundancy.
From this pool, you can create Disk Spaces that store additional copies of your data. That way, if one drive fails, you won’t lose all of your data, but you will still have intact copies available.
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In addition, you can add additional disks to the storage pool in case you run out of disk pool capacity.
How Storage Spaces on Windows 10 Works
The Storage Spaces feature helps you consolidate multiple hard drives with duplicated file mirrors into a single storage pool instead of spreading all files across multiple drives. This way you have one unified volume and redundancy is added. If one drive fails, you can add another and restore storage without losing data.
Disk Spaces works like RAID, except that you don’t need another hardware RAID card because this is completely software-based. It won’t run as fast as a RAID card, but it is easier and cheaper to implement if you are using it for the first time.
In addition, Windows sees your Storage Spaces like any other hard drive – a single volume with one drive letter and folders that work just like any other folder. This means that you can add your folders to libraries or share them with others on your network.
How to Create a Storage Space in Windows 10
To create disk space in Windows 10, start by connecting drives to your computer.
- Then enter Storage Spaces in the search box and select Manage Storage Spaces from the search results.
- Select Create New Pool and Storage Space.
Note. You can use an internal or external hard drive or solid state drive (SSD) to create storage spaces in addition to the drive that Windows 10 is installed on. Other drive formats you can use include USB, ATA, SATA, and SAS drives. However, you cannot use a microSD card to create storage spaces.
- Then select the disks you want to add and then select Create Pool.
- Name the drives and assign a letter.
Select a persistence type. You can choose from three different layouts: Plain, Mirror, or Parity.
- The Plain Space layout requires at least two disks and is designed to improve performance. Plain spaces are ideal for temporary data, so they are not recommended to protect data from errors or driver failures.
- The mirrored spaces layout is also designed to store a wide range of data and to increase performance. Unlike plain spaces, you can use mirrored spaces to protect data from disk failure. This layout contains multiple copies of your data and is classified into two-sided or three-sided mirror spaces.Double-sided mode creates two copies of your data, requires at least two disks to work, and can handle a single disk failure, while tri-sided mode creates three copies of your data, requires at least five disks. to work and can handle a dual drive failure.
- Unlike plain and mirrored spaces, which are designed to improve performance, parity spaces are designed to improve storage efficiency. Not only that, but parity spaces store multiple copies of your data and protect the data from driver failure. Plus, it works best with media and archived data and requires three or more drives to protect you from a single drive failure, and seven or more to protect against a two drive failure.
Note. Once you have configured Fault Tolerance or the file system, you cannot change it. You can rename the pool or space, add more disks, and update disk space on demand. In addition, for a drive to be available in Disk Spaces, it must be about 5 GB in size.
- Select Create
Note. Each time you add new disks to the Storage Spaces pool, optimize disk usage to move some of the data to the new disk. This way, you make optimal use of the total storage capacity. If you add a disk before updating the pool, you will need to manually optimize disk usage.
How to Add a Drive to Storage Spaces
Now that you have a storage space, you can use your computer normally. However, if you are running out of space again, you can easily add additional storage space to the storage pool.
- To do this, go to the “Disk Spaces Management” page and select “Change Settings”.
- Click the Add Drives button next to the current storage pool.
- Back up the drive and select it, otherwise it will be deleted and you will lose data. Select the “Optimize disk usage” checkbox to move some data to the new disk.
- Select Add Disks.
Windows will finish migrating your data and you will have a much larger disk pool.
How to Disconnect a Drive From a Storage Space
After configuring the disk space, you can remove the disk in use from the pool. If you simply remove the drive, you can lose your data and cause other problems, but there are steps to do this by moving data from the drive to other drives in the storage pool, and then removing the drive from your PC.
- To disconnect a disk from the pool, open “Storage Spaces” and select “Physical Disks” to expand the partition. Select Prepare for Removal.
- Find the drive you want to remove and select Remove.
- Then select “Remove Disk” to complete the removal process.
Note. Once the drive is disconnected, you will not be able to access it in File Explorer. To do this, you need to right-click on Start> Disk Management and find the drive labeled “Unused”. Right-click the disk, select New Simple Volume, and follow the instructions to reformat the disk in the Disk Management utility.
How to Delete a Windows 10 Storage Space or Storage Pool
If you no longer need storage space, you can remove it by following these steps.
- Open Storage Locations, find the location you don’t need and click Delete. If you have not backed up data in this space, you will lose all of it, because deleting a space permanently deletes all the data it contains.
- Then select Remove Storage Space.
- To remove a storage pool, open Storage Spaces, find the pool you want to remove, and select Remove Pool.
- Select “Remove Pool” to complete the removal process.
Note. You cannot delete a pool that has storage space. To do this, first delete all storage in the pool and then delete the pool. After deleting the storage pool, the drive in use will be recovered on your PC and you can reformat it using Disk Management.
Add More Storage to Your PC
Creating and using storage spaces in Windows 10 may seem a little confusing, but with the steps above, you can do it yourself.
Share with us your experience creating and using Windows 10 Storage Spaces by leaving a comment below.
How to manage disk spaces in Windows 10 to back up data
How to manage disk spaces in Windows 10 to back up data.
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- Dell Optiplex 990 SFF Desktop – Intel Core i7 3.4GHz, 16GB DDR3, 2X New 1TB SSD in Raid1 (Mirror Backup), Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit, WiFi, DVDRW (Renewed).
- How to manage disk spaces in Windows 10