Storage maintenance

How to remove drive from pool in Storage Spaces on Windows 10

Storage Spaces allows you to remove any drive from a pool, and here are two ways to do it on Windows 10.

Remove drive storage pool on Windows 10

When you use Storage Spaces to create a virtual hard drive to protect your data from hardware failure using one of the available levels of protection, sometimes, you may have to remove a physical drive for many reasons.

For instance, you may have to replace it with a newer drive, need the drive for another project, or have to extend another pool.

Whatever the case might be, Windows 10 has multiple ways to remove a disk using the Control Panel and Settings app (build 21286 and higher).

In this guide, you will learn the steps to properly prepare and remove a physical drive from a storage pool in Storage Spaces on Windows 10.

How to remove drive from storage pool using Settings

To remove a physical disk of a pool with Settings, 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
    Settings manage storage spaces
  5. Select the storage pool and click the expand button in the top-right corner.

  6. Under the “Physical disks” section, click the expand button in the top-right to view all the drives participating in the storage pool.

  7. Select the drive you want to remove.

  8. Click the Properties button.

    Storage pool physical disks
    Storage pool physical disks
  9. Click the Prepare for removal button.

    Storage pool prepare to remove drive
    Storage pool prepare to remove the drive
  10. Click the Remove button.

    Storage Spaces remove drive
    Storage Spaces remove the drive

Once you complete the steps, the drive will be removed from the storage pool, and it will appear as empty in Disk Management. You can now remove the drive from the system or assign it to another pool.

How to remove drive from storage pool using Control Panel

To remove a drive from a storage pool with Control Panel, use the steps:

  1. Open Control Panel.

  2. Click on System and Security.

  3. Click the Storage Spaces option.

    Control Panel storage spaces option
    Control Panel storage spaces option
  4. Click the Change settings button.

  5. Under the “Storage spaces” section, click the Change option for the volume to extend.

  6. Under the “Physical drives” section, expand the view to see all the drives.

  7. Click the Prepare for removal option.

    Storage pool select drive to remove Control Panel
    Storage pool select drive to remove Control Panel
  8. Click the Prepare for removal button.

    Control Panel prepare to remove drive
    Control Panel prepare to remove the drive
    Quick note: The drive will be labeled “Preparing for removal” until the data has been erased. You can also click the Refresh button in File Explorer to see if the process has been completed, but depending on the data, this can take a long time.
  9. Click the Remove option.

    Ready to remove drive from pool
    Ready to remove the drive from the pool
  10. Click the Remove button.

    Complete storage pool drive remove
    Complete storage pool drive remove

After you complete the steps, the physical disk will no longer be part of the storage pool. You can then remove the drive from the device, use to store files, or assign it to another pool.

If you run into issues disconnecting the drive, the Storage Space will likely not have sufficient space to accommodate the data. If this is the case, add a new drive, and then continue with the steps to remove the other drive.

Although Storage Spaces includes an option to remove physical disks from the pool, you can only remove a specific number of the drive since disconnecting more drives will break the space. This means that you won’t see the option to prepare and remove a drive in some instances.

If you must disconnect one or more drives, backup the data from the space, delete the space, and proceed to remove the drives from the pool.