Windows 8 – Storage Spaces and File History Backups
The purpose of this blog is to introduce two new features “Storage Spaces” and “File History” that are available and built-in to Windows 8. These features are great additions to Windows 8 individually and if used together, you can easily put in place a backup system very much like what is available in Mac OSX called “Time Machine”. Hopefully with my advice and using my configuration as a guide, you too can setup backups for your PC. Backups are something that can be a pain to configure and are often forgotten, until your hard drive dies. If you’ve ever been in a situation where your hard drive has died and you have NO backup, you know how painful this is! These new features look to take the pain out of setting up backups. Friends don’t let friends neglect their backups!
First we’ll cover Storage Spaces. The idea behind Storage Spaces is that you can create a Storage Pool that includes one or more hard drives and present them as a single volume. That may sound complicated, but let’s take a look at my setup so you can see what this looks like. Let me explain what I have setup. I bought a Media Sonic USB hard drive enclosure from Amazon for ~$130 that holds four hard drives and connects to my computer via a simple USB connection. You can find that unit here, I highly recommend it:
I have 2x 1TB Samsung drives and 2x 2TB Hitachi drives in that unit. I created a single Storage Pool in the Storage Spaces Manager that puts all those physical drives together into a single Storage Space. I named the pool “Storage_Space” and assigned the F: drive letter to it. Below is a screenshot from Storage Spaces Manager followed by what it looks like in My Computer.
Setting up a Storage Space is easy, just connect up the drives you want to use for backups or storage of your data (I highly recommend a USB enclosure for this) and go to Control Panel > System and Security > Storage Spaces. Then select, Create New Pool and Storage Space.