One of the surprising features in Windows 8 is Storage Spaces that works much similar to LVM on Linux or RAID. Through this feature, you can create bigger storage pools than the physical ones available, combine several hard drives to obtain a big virtual drive or a single storage pool, and reflect (mirror) data across many drives as separate backup copies.
Photo Credit: Muywindows.com/2011/08/30/windows-8-contara-con-soporte-nativo-para-archivos-iso-y-vhd
The feature is not only flexible to offer you so many functionalities, but is also scalable enough to accept an extra plug-n-play drive at any time without any extra configuration. This means that you can save your files on more than one drive in Windows 8, so that you can fetch them from another drive if one of the drives fails. So, does this sound interesting? If yes, then do read ahead to know how to use the storage spaces in Windows 8.
Accessing the Storage Space Configuration Window
While creating a storage space, the first thing to bear in mind is that you cannot utilize the system drive. This means that you need to connect more internal or external drives for making your own storage space.
Now, open the Control Panel to access the Storage Spaces configuration window or use the Start screen, enter Storage Spaces, select Settings, and click the shortcut to Storage Spaces. In the configuration window, only a link for forming a new storage space is seen. Kindly note that the information of your novel storage space will be displayed here once you create it.
Understanding the Settings of Your Own New Storage Space
Now click the link, select the desired drives, and click Create pool. But before you click, ensure that the drives are empty, or else, all the files on drives will be lost while pooling. Next, you need to configure your storage space by entering a desired name, drive letter, resiliency, and size.
Photo Credit: Kevingilmour.net/2012/howto-use-windows-8-storage-spaces/
The resiliency specification indicates how Windows deals with the data. Because there are four ways, this option has four options: None for storing a single copy, Two-way mirror for storing two copies of data on two different drives, Three-way mirror for storing three replicas of data on three separate drives, and Parity for storing parity details along with the data to safeguard the user from a solo drive failure.
Photo Credit: Mswhs.com/2012/03/creating-using-and-managing-a-storage-space/
Note that the first three options for mirroring are different from the last option of parity that ensures efficient utilization of drive space although the access time is slower. So, the last option is perfect for drives with huge, occasionally used files.
Talking about the size, the maximum physical capacity will be displayed, but it is possible to set up an arbitrary logical size that is big. For instance, you can pool three 30GB drives and specify a total pooled size of 600GB that will appear to the different programs. However, when the drive reaches its 90GB limit of physical storage, you will receive a warning in the Action Center for adding additional space.
Once you have specified all the settings, you must click Create storage space. This will format and create a new and mirrored storage space by combining the space from different drives. The new storage drive is displayed as a normal drive. From the configuration window, you can see the details of the available space on your new pool, add more drives, view data stored on it, rename the pool, and create new spaces.