Create and manage

How to create parity volume with Storage Spaces in Settings on Windows 10 

Storage Spaces is now available from the Windows 10 Settings app, and this is how you can create and manage a parity volume with the modern experience.

Parity storage space on Windows 10

On Windows 10, Storage Spaces is a feature designed to group drives to create one virtual storage with different protection levels and the ability to extend the capacity by adding more drives. 

Storage Spaces offers five types of resiliency options, including “simple” (no resiliency), “two-way mirror,” “three-way mirror,” “parity,” and “dual parity.”

This guide will help you to use Storage Spaces to create and manage a parity volume, which, similar to a RAID 5 level, requires at least three drives. It provides storage efficiency and protection against one drive failure by copying data in multiple places. If a drive fails, you can replace it, and the data will regenerate from using the parity information available on the remaining drives. This option is more suited to store long-term data (like backups) since it offers the most storage capacity when combining drives with protection, but performance is not ideal for files you use every day.

In this guide, you will learn how to create a parity space using the modern Storage Spaces experience in the Settings app of Windows 10 (build 21286 or higher).

How to create parity volume with Storage Spaces on Windows 10

To create a parity space with Storage Spaces, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 10.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Storage.

  4. Under the “More storage settings” section, click the Manage Storage Spaces option.

    Settings manage storage spaces option
    Settings manage storage spaces option
  5. Click the Create a storage pool and Storage Space option.

    Create storage pool and space option
    Create a storage pool and space option
  6. Confirm a name for the storage pool.

  7. Select at least three drives to create a pool for parity storage. 

    Create a storage pool settings
    Create a storage pool settings
  8. Click the Create button.

  9. Confirm a name for the storage space.

  10. Specify the size of the space.

    Quick tip: If you plan to dedicate all the available capacity to the storage space, you can leave the default size. You can also make the storage larger, and when space starts to run low, you can add more drives to extend the storage.
  11. Select the Parity option for resiliency.

    Create a storage space with parity
    Create a storage space with parity
  12. Click the Create button.

  13. Specify a label for the drive.

    Create new volume
    Create a new volume
  14. Specify a letter for the drive.

  15. Select the NTFS option for the file system.

    Quick tip: You can also access the Advanced settings to mount the drive as a folder, specify the allocation unit size, and enable compression.
  16. Click the Format button.

Once you complete the steps, the new drive will appear in File Explorer to store data. If a drive fails, the storage and data will be available, but you will need to replace the hard drive in question as a second drive failure will cause data loss.

How to manage parity volume with Storage Spaces on Windows 10

In addition to creating a pool and parity space, the Settings app also allows you to manage many other aspects of Storage Spaces. You can extend, take it offline, delete, or rename spaces, and you can destroy pools. 

Extend parity storage space 

To extend a parity space on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Storage.

  4. Under the “More storage settings” section, click the Manage Storage Spaces option.

  5. Expand the “Physical disks” section, click the Add disks to storage pool option.

    Add disks to storage pool option
    Add disks to storage pool option
  6. Select the new drives.

    Add disks to pool option
    Add disks to pool option
  7. Check the Optimize disk usage option.

  8. Click the Add button.

  9. Expand the “Storage Spaces” section, select the storage space you want to extend, and click the Properties button.

    Parity space properties option
    Parity space properties option
  10. Under the “Size” section, click the Extend button.

    Extend storage space option
    Extend storage space option
  11. Confirm the new logical storage capacity.

    Extend storage space logical capacity
    Extend storage space logical capacity
    Quick tip: If you added a new drive and want to extend the space by the amount of space of the new drive, specify that amount by looking at the “Storage pool capacity (Storage pool)” information. You can always prevision and make the size larger than the physical storage. Then when storage runs out of space, you will need to add another drive.
  12. Check the Extend volume to match the new size option.

  13. Click the OK button.

After you complete the steps, the space and volume will extend to the size you specified. If you are using a capacity number larger than the physical space available, as soon as the storage begins to run out of space, you will need to add another drive to make the remaining space available.

Take parity space offline or online

To take offline or bring a space online, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Storage.

  4. Under the “More storage settings” section, click the Manage Storage Spaces option.

  5. Under the “Storage Spaces” section, select the storage space you want to take offline or online and click the Properties button.

    Parity space properties option
    Parity space properties option
  6. Under the Status section, click the Take offline button to take the space offline.

    Take offline storage space option
    Take offline storage space option
  7. Click the Bring online button to bring the space online.

Once you complete the steps, the space and volume will go offline or online, depending on the action.

Delete parity storage space

To delete a parity space, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Storage.

  4. Under the “More storage settings” section, click the Manage Storage Spaces option.

  5. Under the “Storage Spaces” section, select the storage space you want to delete and click the Properties button.

    Parity space properties option
    Parity space properties option
  6. Under the “Delete” section, click the Delete button.

    Delete parity storage space option
    Delete parity storage space option
  7. Click the Delete Space button.

After you complete the steps, the parity storage will be erased from the pool and any data previously stored in this storage space.

Rename parity storage space 

To rename the parity space, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Storage.

  4. Under the “More storage settings” section, click the Manage Storage Spaces option.

  5. Under the “Storage Spaces” section, select the storage space you want to delete and click the Properties button.

    Parity space properties option
    Parity space properties option
  6. Click the Rename option.

    Rename storage space option
    Rename storage space option
  7. Confirm the new name.

  8. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, the storage space will reflect the new name you specified.

Delete storage pool

To delete the storage pool, you need to delete the spaces and remove the drives from the pool using these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Storage.

  4. Under the “More storage settings” section, click the Manage Storage Spaces option.

  5. Under the “Storage Spaces” section, select the storage space you want to delete and click the Properties button.

    Parity space properties option
    Parity space properties option
  6. Under the “Delete” section, click the Delete button.

    Delete parity storage space option
    Delete parity storage space option
  7. Click the Delete Space button.

  8. In the storage pool, under the “Physical disks” section, select a drive.

  9. Click the Properties button.

    Storage spaces drive properties option
    Storage spaces drive properties option
  10. Click the Prepare for removal button.

    Prepare for removal option
    Prepare for removal option
  11. Click the Remove button.

    Remove drive from pool option
    Remove the drive from pool option
    Quick tip: If you want to undo the change, click the Unretire button.
  12. Repeat steps 8 through 11 to remove all the drives from the pool.

Once you complete the steps, the pool will be automatically deleted from the drives. Now, you can remove the drives from the system, or you can create another pool.

If the feature is not available in the Settings app, you are not using the release of Windows 10, which includes the modern version of Storage Spaces, which is available starting build 21286. However, the feature still available in Control Panel.