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. You can remove an existing drive from the Storage Pool of Storage Spaces in Windows 10, so it will be possible to use that drive for something else.
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. Also, if you run low on capacity, you can add more drives to the storage pool.
You can create the following storage spaces in Windows 10:
- 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.
If you remove a drive from a Storage Pool, the data stored on that drive will be moved to other drives in the pool. Here is how it can be done.Before proceeding, ensure that your user account has administrative privileges. Now, follow the instructions below.
To remove a drive from Storage Pool of Storage Spaces in Windows 10
- Open the Settings app.
- Go to System -> Storage.
- On the right, click on the link Manage Storage Spaces.
- In the next dialog, click on the button Change settings and confirm the UAC prompt.
- Under Physical drives for the Storage Pool, click on the link Prepare for removal next to the drive name for the drive you want to remove.
- On the next page, confirm the operation.
- Windows will now move the data from the drive.Do not turn off your PC until the drive is ready to be removed. It will take some time to move the data stored on the drive to other drives in the pool.
- After that, click on the Remove link to remove the drive.
- Confirm the drive removal and you are done.
If you are using a two-way mirror spaces configuration, you may need to add a new drive to the pool of the same capacity as the drive you are going to remove.
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