How to use the Storage Spaces feature on Windows 11

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All storage devices tend to fail after years of constant wear and tear, whether it’s a hard disk drive (HDD) or an SSD (Solid State Drive). Although replacing a broken drive is quite easy, drive failures are still one of the worst things that can happen to your Windows 11 PC. You might lose all your essential data in a heartbeat.

Luckily, you can avoid such scenarios and protect your data from disk failure using Windows 11’s Storage Spaces feature. And here’s a guide explaining everything you need to know about using it on your PC.

What are Storage Spaces in Windows 11 and why should you create one

Storage spaces is a Windows built-in feature that allows you to create an array/group of two or more physical hard drives to create a larger virtual disk or storage pool that you can use to store and protect your data.

Virtual disks created with Storage Spaces may seem to work like standard hard drives, but the main reason why you should create Storage Spaces on your Windows 11 PC is its resilience and scalability.

  • Resilience refers to the ability of storage space to create one or more copies of data spread across multiple disks, which helps protect your valuable data from disk failure.
  • Scalability refers to the ability of a storage space to expand its combined storage space by adding new disks, which essentially allows you to expand the storage space of a virtual disk, which is difficult with physical disks.

How to create a storage space on Windows 11

Creating a Storage Space might seem like a complicated process, but it’s easy to do on Windows 11. Unlike earlier versions of Windows that relied on the Control Panel, Windows 11 makes creating Spaces much simpler storage thanks to its new and improved Settings app.

Here’s how to easily create a storage space using the Settings app on your Windows 11 PC:

Step 1: Press Windows key + I to access the Settings app. Then click on Storage.

2nd step: In the Storage screen, click on the “Advanced storage settings” drop-down menu.

Step 3: In the “Advanced storage settings” drop-down menu, click on “Storage spaces”.

Step 4: Next, click “Create storage pool and storage space”.

Step 5: Type a name for the storage pool by clicking the text box under Name. Then select the disks you want to add to the pool.

Step 6: After assigning a name to the storage pool and selecting the appropriate disks, click Create.

Windows will then create a storage pool by merging several disks together. In addition, Windows will ask you to create a storage space from it to activate the data protection mechanism.

Step 7: Type a name for the storage space by clicking the text box under Name. Then type a number to determine the size of the storage space you will create.

Step 8: Select the type of resiliency or method of data protection by clicking the “Two-Way Mirror” drop-down menu. Here’s what each option does:

  • Selecting Simple allows you to merge two disks without any data protection.
  • Selecting Two-Way Mirror creates a single mirrored copy of the data and allows you to merge two disks with data protection in the event of a single disk failure.
  • Three-way mirror selection creates two mirrored copies of data and allows you to merge five drives with data protection for up to two drive failures.
  • Selecting Parity allows files to be stored on three drives with parity information. Windows can use parity information to reconstruct data in the event of a single disk failure.
  • Selecting Double Parity allows files to be stored on seven drives with parity information. Windows can use parity information to reconstruct data if two drives fail.

Then click Create to save the changes and create a new storage space.

Step 9: Type a name for the new volume by clicking the text box under Label. Next, click on the Drive Letter drop-down menu to assign a new drive letter to the new volume.

Step 10: Click the file system drop-down menu to select a file system for the new volume. Then click Format.

  • Select NTFS (New Technology File System) if you plan to use the storage space to store data with standard protection against data corruption.
  • Select ReFS (Resilient File System) if you plan to use the storage space to store a large amount of data with enhanced data protection against data corruption.

After clicking Format, a new disk partition with drive letter D should appear in File Explorer. Meanwhile, if a disk fails or you want to expand the storage space by adding a new hard disk, you can easily click the Physical disks drop-down menu and click the “Add disks to storage pool” button. “.

Protect your data against sudden disk failures

The solutions mentioned above will help you store all your files on the newly created storage space. It’s quite similar to getting another physical disk, except you can organize the storage space more efficiently. Meanwhile, your Windows 11 PC should be ready to protect your valuable data from sudden disk failure.

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