Multiple disk volume created in Disk Management vs Storage Spaces


  1. Posts : 4
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #1

    Multiple disk volume created in Disk Management vs Storage Spaces


    I would like to create a spanned volume of two hard drives, I have already found out that there is a difference between use of the Disk Management and the Storage Spaces, we can create an ordinary Spanned Volume (like JBOD) or a Striped Volume (like RAID-0) in the Disk Management, while the Storage Spaces allow us to chose only resiliency type, that is Simple (no resiliency) (which seems to be striped writing, so again like RAID-0), Two-way mirror (RAID-1), Three-way mirror and Parity (RAID-5). So if we actually want a JBOD like solution and no striping, we should create a Spanned Volume in the Disk Management, if we need mirroring and parity options, we have to do it through the Storage Spaces. However, if we ask for the RAID-0 like option, we can chose either the Disk Management or the Storage Spaces. Is there actually any difference between using the two utilities in the OS in this particular case, any advantages or disadvantages of either utility?
    I also have a question since it is not a proper hardware RAID/JBOD but just a Windows software solution, if we decide to create a spanned or striped volume using either of the above-mentioned system options, will a different or a new OS installation know how to read the volume split accross multiple drives (for example, we would attach all the needed drives to a different PC or we reinstalled the OS or changed the system disk), or is it only the system (the particular installation) in which that spanned or striped volume has been created that is able to properly read the drives and in the case of fresh OS installation we would need to wipe them, create a new spanned/striped volume in the new system and copy all data from back up?
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  3. Posts : 913
    CP/M
       #3

    will a different or a new OS installation know how to read the volume split accross multiple drives
    Storage Spaces - yes
    Dynamic Group - common answer is Not so easy (disks are marked as Foreign), but
    - if you need to perform one-time migration, you can use the Import option (which disables access from the originating OS installation by changing Dynamic Group GUID), or
    - you can manually synchronize Dynamic Group GUID in Registry (necessary for multiboot system with Dynamic Group storage).

    Both technologies can be combined, see Windows needs RAID (software) file systems
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  4. Posts : 4
    Windows 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter
       #4

    I remember I read an article on some site that described how to join multiple drives into a large volume, on Windows 7 they of course mentioned how to do that in the Disk Management, but also said that if we are on Windows 8 or 10 we should use Storage Spaces instead, but not telling why (as the old option is still available). I read here that somebody lost their data using Storage Spaces and that there are also issues with it when Windows Update upgrades the system. Not sure which of the two options is actually better, I have believed the Disk Management option might be safer.
    I also have an option to use RAID on my system, which might be the best, but the thing is I would have to change AHCI mode to RAID ON in UEFI/BIOS. (I think that it is also possible to change some values in registry without the need to reinstall the OS.) However, while Intel recommends keeping RAID ON on their motherboards even if you do not use it, I read that we should definitely switch it to AHCI if using an SSD as there may be some issues with the TRIM function on RAID. That is why I would rather use one of the options offered by the OS.
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  5. Posts : 913
    CP/M
       #5

    I remember I read an article on some site that described how to join multiple drives into a large volume, on Windows 7 they of course mentioned how to do that in the Disk Management, but also said that if we are on Windows 8 or 10 we should use Storage Spaces instead, but not telling why (as the old option is still available).
    (...)
    Not sure which of the two options is actually better, I have believed the Disk Management option might be safer.
    Dynamic Groups and Storage Spaces are different technologies, Dynamic Groups are compatible with many earlier versions of Windows, but have also drawbacks - difficult storage sharing in dualboot environment (Foreign disks) and lack of mirroring in Home version. Storage Spaces are much more complex, highly configurable in powershell, however insufficiently documented regarding internal structure, "upgraded" pool (an option in nearly each version of Win10) is not backward compatible, and troubleshooting may be difficult for regular users. There is no unambiguous recommendation what to use - it depends on many conditions.

    I read here that somebody lost their data using Storage Spaces
    Many Storage Spaces problems are resolvable, for example:
    Cannot access Storage Space
    How do I recover/repair my storage space?
    On the other hand, afaik here exists only one person who claims he knows someone who lost data from Storage Spaces (see the link from post #3); imo not so credible statement due to many reasons.
    And for RAID 0, if one disk fails, you definitely lose data independently on chosen technology.

    and that there are also issues with it when Windows Update upgrades the system.
    "Upgrading" Storage Pool is option only, however user is not warned that the action cannot be taken back and Storage Space will not be accessible anymore from lower Win10 version; beware if you use dualboot with more Win10 versions; see this: Any way to downgrade ver. of MS Storage spaces volume w/o data loss?
    (Apologies for not fully correct sentence "Storage Spaces do not include RAID0 functionality") which is true only for graphical console, not for powershell).

    I also have an option to use RAID on my system, which might be the best, but the thing is I would have to change AHCI mode to RAID ON in UEFI/BIOS. (I think that it is also possible to change some values in registry without the need to reinstall the OS.) However, while Intel recommends keeping RAID ON on their motherboards even if you do not use it, I read that we should definitely switch it to AHCI if using an SSD as there may be some issues with the TRIM function on RAID. That is why I would rather use one of the options offered by the OS.
    Sure for data storage (Storage Spaces cannot be used for system disk, not sure for Dynamic Groups), storage will be transferrable to very different hardware (no Hardware RAID lock-in), no problems with TRIM, SMART etc. And as I linked above, you can have software-based two-tier RAID 1+0 independent on disk controller used, even in Win10 Home. Of course, monitoring at both levels (and SMART) is necessary.
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