Windows Storage Spaces

So I've found all the old external USB HDD's that I had lying around and connected them up.

My main question is, has anyone else used this tool to store their large files on, I know the write speed will be terrible I plan on adding 2 X 2TB ATA drives soon.

Is the only solution to an expensive RAID card and disks having to be the same? So far I'm getting 18MB/s write speed putting a SSD in there would speed things up?


I have not used whatever tool that is, but windows can do a software raid, never used it, never looked at how it works, just know it can.

is that the windows raid?

USB is going to be slow I just don't know how slow

Yeah I can add HDDs to it whenever and I've set it up with parity so I should all be good. I'm thinking of adding a USB 3.0 hub like this one....

Then I can add 5 more HDDs and make use of the USB 3.0 since I only have two of those ports on my motherboard.

What are you using this for? Honestly I think you would be better served getting a nas instead of funding more into a bad idea.

I use this PC for storage of all my Blu-ray seasons and movies that I've ripped. Each movie is ~25GB and I have quite the collection to digitize. I'd then point Kodi at the Storage Drive it's made and then I have my HTPC.

I've looked into a NAS solution and also USB drives that include RAID such as a drobo but they're far too expensive for me.

Adding a USB 3.0 hub and attaching a 3.5" HDD into a USB 3.0 enclosure seems like the cheapest option. (Not got too much to spend on it )

You could do FreeNAS if you have an old pc laying around. I haven't set it up before but i think it too can do software raid i think it calls it zfs instead of raid because it is different(better). using usb is really bad solution, sure it will work but in the long run do it right don't have to futs with it later.

Yeah software RAID is the only cheap way without buying a NAS unless you have a spare PC lying around. If you do and it supports RAID on the chipset then you could take the external drives from their enclosures and chuck them all in their. Software RAID is really not recommended and also I notice you are running RAID 0 which has no redundancy. If one drive dies, everything goes poof. The problem for you doing a hardware RAID if you have a PC is that all the drives in the array need to be the same model.

Thanks for the replys, I did notice it was in a software "RAID0" so I've made a new one which will allow one of my drives to fail.

I do need an upgrade on my motherboard, but that'll mean more suited RAM and CPU. Currently pulling 70MB/s off the software storage space solution, it's just the write times that are a little slow but I can deal with that for now.

Once I do upgrade I'd be putting the HDD's into the computer case and using onboard SATA.

Sounds like a good solution for now and maybe I'll write up my findings when the HDDs and the USB hub come. Looks like a RAID5 setup I have now.

Thanks for the heads up regarding the config, would have been a mess if one of the older drives died.

Windows Storage Spaces was introduced with Server 2012 and improved again in 2012 R2. This is actually the same technology Windows Storage Server is based upon. Stoage spaces uses ReFS which is Microsoft's replacement to NTFS and this is. This is basically Microsoft's answer to zfs. ReFS is self healing. I have not used it on the consumer level, but this is used in the enterprise. On Server 2012, it is surprisingly nice. It is slower than hardware raid, however it does give you the ability to use SSDs as caching drives, which speeds things up dramatically.

Don't be afraid of storage spaces. Microsoft is moving in this direction.

If you want a good top level understanding of Storage Spaces check out John Savill's video on YouTube

Yeah I suppose you could add it to the pool - set as a journal disk... May increase write speeds but as for reads, well you probably wont see any difference.
Best thing to do is to pool together drives with similar read & write speeds.
If you were wanting to speed things up overall a ssd as a cache for your whole system would be an option (intel smart response caching - that is of course you have a supporting chipset).

Thanks for the video JCat, Linus didn't cover much in his video about storage pools. I've just ran a quick test with these results...

Currently writing 700GB to it at ~12MB/s just 16hrs to go!

I have windows on a 64GB OCZ Vertex 3 and the Page file / programs are on a 120GB HyperX.

5 days later and I thought I might as well share my findings if anyone else in the future is looking for a cheap way out of a NAS / Storage Server.

It just turns out that the USB 2.0 drives were bottle-necking the write times to the pool. I've taken the USB 2.0 drives out of the pool but left in 2 USB 3.0 drives and things are running nice and smooth now!

If you guys had some HDDs lying around I would seriously recommend trying this solution. I've got Plex Media Server running on this machine now and can watch my TV shows / Movies downstairs on my TV.

Whenever I start to run out of space it'll tell me to add another disk, so looks like I'll be spending a few dollar on some 4TB drives :P