Create and manage

How to create parity volume with Storage Spaces in Settings on Windows 11

Storage Spaces is now available from the Windows 11 Settings app, and this is how you can create and manage a parity volume with the modern experience.

Windows 11 parity storage space

On Windows 11, Storage Spaces is a feature designed to group drives to create one larger virtual storage with different protection levels with 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 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 on Windows 11.

Create parity volume with Storage Spaces on Windows 11

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

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Storage.

  4. Under the “Storage management” section, click the Advanced storage settings option.

  5. Click the Storage Spaces option.

    Windows 11 Storage spaces

  6. Click the Create a storage pool and Storage Space option.

    Create storage space

  7. Confirm a name for the storage pool.

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

    Select parity drives

  9. Click the Create button.

  10. Confirm a name for the storage space.

  11. 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.
  12. Select the Parity option for resiliency.

    Windows 11 space parity settings

  13. Click the Create button.

  14. Specify a label for the drive.

  15. Specify a letter for the drive.

    Create parity drive

  16. 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.
  17. Click the Format button.

Once you complete the steps, the new drive will appear in File Explorer. 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.

Manage parity volume with Storage Spaces on Windows 10

In addition to creating a pool and parity space, you can also 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 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Storage.

  4. Under the “Storage management” section, click the Advanced storage settings option.

  5. Click the Storage spaces option. 

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

    Add disks to storage pool

  7. Select the new drives.

    Select drive to extend space

  8. Check the Optimize disk usage option.

  9. Click the Add button.

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

    Storage space properties

  11. Under the “Size” section, click the Extend button.

    Storage space extend

  12. Confirm the new logical storage capacity.

    Storage space new size

    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.
  13. Check the Extend volume to match the new size option.

  14. 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 “Storage management” section, click the Advanced storage settings option.

  5. Click the Storage spaces option.

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

    Storage space properties

  7. Under the Status section, click the Take offline button to take the space offline.

    Storage space parity offline

  8. 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 “Storage management” section, click the Manage Storage Spaces option.

  5. Click the Storage spaces button.

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

    Storage space properties

  7. Under the “Delete” section, click the Delete button.

    Delete storage space

  8. 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.

    Storage space properties

  6. Click the Rename option.

    Rename storage space

  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 “Storage management” section, click the Advanced storage settings option.

  5. Click the Storage spaces button.

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

    Storage space properties

  7. Under the “Delete” section, click the Delete button.

    Delete storage space

  8. Click the Delete Space button.

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

  10. Click the Properties button.

    Pool drive properties

  11. Click the Prepare for removal button.

    Prepare remove drive

  12. Click the Remove button.

    Remove drive storage space

    Quick tip: If you want to undo the change, click the Unretire button.
  13. 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.