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  1. #1
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    Can W8 Storage Spaces external disks be attached to another PC?

    Can external disks be removed from W8 Storage Spaces and attached to another PC?

    Iíve been reading about the new Windows 8 Storage Spaces feature and trying to decide whether it will do what I would like to do. Thereís lots of information about setting up Storage Spaces but not much thatís clear to me about how to remove a disk from Storage Spaces. Iíll describe what I would like to do and then ask if anybody knows whether Storage Spaces will do it.

    What I would like to do is to attach an external hard disk to a PC, then have Storage Spaces create and maintain a copy of the data from the PCís hard disk on the external hard disk. As far as I can tell, this is part of the purpose of Storage Spaces, and so I assume that this is possible (and perhaps even easy).

    Then, at the end of the week, I want to remove this external hard disk with the backup data intact and store that hard disk in an off-site location. After removing the external hard disk, I want to attach a second external hard disk and have Storage Spaces create and maintain a backup copy on the second external hard disk.

    Then, at the end of the 2nd week, I want to swap the external hard disks, and continue with that procedure so that there is always an external hard disk with a backup copy of the data intact and offsite.

    This procedure implies that the data on the backup disks would be accessible if necessary on another PC where the other PC might be running Windows 7 or Windows XP.

    Will Storage Spaces do all of the above procedure, part of it, or not much of it at all? Thanks in advance for any comments.

  2. #2
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    This how-to article describes how to create a Windows 8 System Image and how to restore Windows 8 from a backup image.

    I prefer to use thrid-party backup and recovery software, specifically Macrium Reflect Free with the WinPE download and Rescue CD. I have set up my laptop's BIOS to boot first from CD/DVD and then try the internal hard drive. I use a dual-boot with Windows 8 as the Lead OS and Boot Manager.

    Storage Spaces are not yet supported by Macrium Reflect Free, so I don't recommend using Storage Spaces if you need extra off site copies of your System Image Backups.

    Storage Spaces has built-in redundancy, with files stored and mirrored across more than one of the drives in the Storage Pool. So it is not possible to remove individual drives from a Storage Spaces pool and continue to use that Storage Spaces array. All the drives must be present. If one drive fails, it can be recreated from the mirrored data onto a new drive, but this takes time and has a slight risk of data loss.

    So your scheme will not work with Storage Spaces. The drives are a single unit, and cannot be dissected into individual drives. Not only that, but files do not reside on just one drive in the pool. So it is not possible to select the drive on which the Backup Image resides and copy that drive for off site storage. The file simply does not exist on a single drive, nor does its mirror(s).

    For maximum utility, I would stick with a traditional pair (or triplet) of hard drives for making and restoring System Images and off site copies.

    Data backups (also not capable of being cloned) can be made using the new File History backup method, described in this article. The same caveats and rules about Storage Spaces apply to File History as apply to a System Image Backup.

    Storage Spaces can be networked and can be remotely accessed, if you set up your network for remote access.

    One of the best ways to share data from a Storage Spaces array with other computers is to use the Windows 8 Homegroup. Even Windows XP SP3 32-bits can connect to a Windows 8 Homegroup, and Vista and Windows 7 are even easier to connect in this way. This gives all the computers in the Homegroup access to everything in the Storage Space, and may even allow backups to be stored from these earlier OS versions into the Storage Space.

    So you don't need to dissect the Storage Space just to share data with other computers. Just use standard Windows 8 networking. I just use a CAT 5 or CAT 6 Crossover Ethernet Cable to connect my two laptops, one of which is Windows 8 RP 64-bit and the other is Windows XP Pro SP3 32-bit. Logging in from the XP laptop requires only that I know the User Name and the Password of any Windows 8 Administrator Account on the Windows 8 laptop which has Sharing enabled. Works just fine with any external drives which are joined with the Homegroup through the Windows 8 Share options.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-10-15 at 13:01.
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    If all you want to do is continuously backup your data (not the OS and programs), File History will do it for you. See:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2...e-history.aspx

    It includes version control where you can restore different versions of a frequently modified file.
    Jerry

  4. #4
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    File History is great for data backups. But the OP was asking about Storage Spaces, and whether one drive can be removed or its contents copied for off-site redundancy. This is not directly possible, so I presented a variety of alternative approaches. The OP may now pick and choose as suits his/her needs.
    Last edited by Medico; 2012-10-16 at 16:53.
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    Thanks to bobprimak and jwitalka for your responses. You have confirmed my suspicion that Storage Spaces will not do what I would like to do. After reading the description of File History, it DOES sound like it might be able to do it. But after reading the blog that jwitalka mentioned above, I have several questions about how it works, so if I can’t figure those out, I’ll start another thread about File History (I assume that questions about File History probably shouldn’t just be added onto this thread). Thanks again.
    Last edited by Medico; 2012-10-16 at 16:53.

  6. #6
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rfarmer View Post
    Thanks to bobprimak and jwitalka for your responses. You have confirmed my suspicion that Storage Spaces will not do what I would like to do. After reading the description of File History, it DOES sound like it might be able to do it. But after reading the blog that jwitalka mentioned above, I have several questions about how it works, so if I can’t figure those out, I’ll start another thread about File History (I assume that questions about File History probably shouldn’t just be added onto this thread). Thanks again.
    This Article may get you started with File History.

    As stated above, if you need more help here, you may start a new thread.
    -- Bob Primak --

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