How to set up RAID 5 storage with parity on Windows 10

You can create a striped storage with parity (RAID 5) for efficiency and fault tolerance on Windows 10, and in this guide, you'll learn how to perform this task.

Windows 10 RAID 5 setup using Storage spaces
Windows 10 RAID 5 setup using Storage spaces

On Windows 10, you can combine multiple drives to create one big logical storage using a “RAID 5” configuration to improve performance and protect your files from a single drive failure.

While there are many RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) levels that you can use, when using the striped volume with parity (RAID 5), the data is spread across three or more drives using parity. In the event of a hardware failure, you can replace the drive, and the data will be regenerated from the data on the remaining drives.

Although you can use a hardware-based solution on Windows 10, if you try to set up a software-based RAID 5 with the Disk Management application, you will notice that the option is grayed out because it’s only available on Windows Server. However, you can use Storage Spaces to create a striped volume with parity that works just like a RAID 5 configuration.

This guide will teach you how to set up a RAID 5 storage on Windows 10 using Storage Spaces.

Create a RAID 5 storage from Storage Spaces on Windows 10

To set up a RAID 5 storage from Storage Spaces on Windows 10, 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.

    Storage settings on Windows 10

  5. Click the “Create a new pool and storage space” option.

    Windows 10 Storage spaces

  6. Select the drives (at least three) to create a storage pool.

    Select drives to create the RAID 5 storage array

  7. Click the Create pool option.

  8. Under the “Name and drive letter” section, specify a name, letter, and file system for the storage array.

  9. Under the “Resiliency” section, use the “Resiliency type” drop-down menu and select the Parity option, equivalent to the RAID 5 level.

    Storage spaces parity (RAID 5) option

  10. Under the “Size” section, specify the maximum size as needed.

    Important: Change the size option carefully because a pool can be larger than the actual physical capacity, and if you run out of space, you will need to add more drives. You can refer to this Microsoft TechNet page to calculate the parity of the storage space. For this guide, I’m dividing the total pool capacity by three, and multiplying it by two, because I’m using three drives. Also, on a RAID 5 configuration, you will permanently lose one drive for parity.
  11. Click the Create storage space button.

Once you complete the steps, the RAID 5 storage will be created to start storing files with fault tolerance, and if one of the drives fails, the data will still be accessible.

You can technically use any drive, but traditional hard drives are usually not designed for this setup. If you’re building a storage array to store a lot of files, or you plan to share the storage in the network with other users, you should try drives designed for storage arrays, such as the 4TB drive from Seagate IronWolf or 4TB Western Digital (Red).

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].