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Windows 8 Storage Spaces to Offer HDD Crash Recovery

On Monday new Windows 8 screenshots surfaced providing additional details about a feature leaked back in September called Storage Spaces. Based on the images, it will be found within the Control Panel and require at least two hard drives, allowing consumers to quickly restore their system if the primary hard drive suddenly crashes.

"Use Storage Spaces to help protect yourself from a drive failure," reads the service's description. "You first need to create a storage pool of two or more drives, and then you can create Storage Spaces from the free pool capacity."

As described, the user first selects each drive locally attached to the motherboard and then hits the "Create" button. After that, the Storage Space can be assigned a name and a drive letter. There's also an option to set the pool's provisioned size, and a means to determine how much space can actually be reserved.

According to the images, a 2-way Mirror Space stores two copies of the user's files and can tolerate one drive failure. A 3-way Mirror Space stores three copies and can tolerate two drive failures -- this latter method is actually more fault tolerant but comes with the cost of using more pool capacity to store a third copy.

As an example, the screens depict a 2-way Mirror setup with one drive setting 930 GB aside and a second drive setting aside 595 GB of space, totaling a Storage Space size of 2 GB. Storage Spaces will also visually keep track of the drives' overall health, and offer an option to rename each if needed.

With CES 2012 just around the corner, we expect to hear more about this feature -- along with additional Windows 8 details -- next month. In the meantime, check out the full batch of Storage Spaces screenshots here.

  • Marco925
    So.....it's RAID 1.....Dummified?
    Reply
  • emike09
    This is nothing but a re-branded software RAID 1/5. But it will help Win8 sell nevertheless.
    Reply
  • warmon6
    Kinda confusing ATM of how this all works..... It sounds like raid 1 but you can use different size drives and it's set up by windows....

    Hmmmm i'll have to look at it some more when it becomes available.

    Reply
  • jwcalla
    Reminds me of ZFS... except without all the awesome checksums.
    Reply
  • molo9000
    I don't see the point of this.
    Don't most motherboard chipsets provide RAID 1 or even RAID 5 these days?
    Reply
  • I have no need for this, Acronis does an awesome job for me now. My hard drive could get erased and I restore it in 15 min
    Reply
  • tearsana
    I don't think it's exactly RAID since not everything will be mirrored.
    most likely it only focuses on backup of the system.
    A bit confusing since apparently you can use different sized drives...so maybe same sized pools? Kind of like a virtual drive spanning across 2+ drives?
    Reply
  • _Cubase_
    molo9000I don't see the point of this.Don't most motherboard chipsets provide RAID 1 or even RAID 5 these days?
    Yes, but would your average user understand the first thing about implementing one of those controllers? I doubt it. This is a good basic solution for your average user, not a regular Tom's Hardware subscriber like you and me.
    Reply
  • de5_Roy
    didn't microsoft promise a new typw of file system with windows 7 - winfs iirc? what happened to it?
    Reply
  • quixilver1
    otacon72Um 930GB plus 595GB equals 2GB?WOW! Now THAT'S what I call compression!
    Reply