Configure local storage in a Windows Server 2012 R2

Configure local storage

Although Windows Server 2012 R2 is designed to take advantage of remote storage and cloud computing, the configuration of local storage remains an important consideration.
[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”365″ size=”16″ bg_color=”#1e73be” txt_color=”#ffffff”]This objective covers how to:
■ Design storage spaces
■ Configure basic and dynamic disks
■ Configure MBR and GPT disks
■ Manage volumes
■ Create and mount virtual hard disks (VHDs)
■ Configure storage pools and disk pools
■ Create storage pools by using disk enclosures[/mks_pullquote]

Planning server storage
A Windows server can conceivably perform its tasks using the same type of storage as a workstation; that is, one or more standard hard disks connected to a standard drive interface such as Serial ATA (SATA). However, the I/O burdens of a server are different from those of a workstation; a standard storage subsystem can easily be overwhelmed by file requests from dozens or hundreds of users. In addition, standard hard disks offer no fault tolerance and are limited in their scalability.
A variety of storage technologies are better suited for server use. The process of designing a storage solution for a server depends on several factors, including the following:
■ The amount of storage the server needs
■ The number of users who will be accessing the server at the same time
■ The sensitivity of the data to be stored on the server
■ The importance of the data to the organization
The following sections examine these factors and the technologies you can choose when creating a plan for your network storage solutions.

How many servers do I need?
When is one big file server preferable to several smaller ones? This is one of the most frequently asked questions when planning a server deployment. In the past, you might have considered the advantages and disadvantages of using one server to perform several roles versus distributing the roles among several smaller servers. Today, however, the emphasis is on virtualization, which means that although you might have many VMs running different roles, they could all be running on a single large physical server.
If you are considering large physical servers or if your organization’s storage requirements are extremely large, you must also consider the inherent storage limitations of Windows Server 2012 R2.
The number of sites your enterprise network encompasses and the technologies you use to provide network communication among those sites can also affect your plans. If, for example, your organization has branch offices scattered around the world and uses relatively expensive wide area network (WAN) links to connect them, it would probably be more economical to install a server at each location than to have all your users access a single server by using the WAN links.
Within each site, the number of servers you need can depend on how often your users work with the same resources and how much fault tolerance and high availability you want to build into the system. For example, if each department in your organization typically works with its own applications and documents and rarely needs access to those of other departments, deploying individual servers to each department might be preferable. If everyone in your organization works with the same set of resources, centralized servers might be a better choice.

Estimating storage requirements
The amount of storage space you need in a server depends on a variety of factors, not just the initial requirements of your applications and users. In the case of an application server, start by allocating the amount of space needed for the application files themselves plus any other space the application needs, as recommended by the developer. If users will be storing documents on the server, then allocate a specific amount of space for each user the server will support. Then factor in the potential growth of your organization and your network, both in terms of additional users and additional space required by each user and of data files and updates to the application itself.

Using Storage Spaces
Windows Server 2012 R2 includes a disk virtualization technology called Storage Spaces, which enables a server to concatenate storage space from individual physical disks and allocate that space to create virtual disks of any size supported by the hardware.
This type of virtualization is a feature often found in SAN and network attached storage (NAS) technologies, which require a substantial investment in specialized hardware and administrative skill. Storage Spaces provides similar capabilities by using standard directattached disk drives or simple external “Just a Bunch of Disks” (JBOD) arrays.Storage Spaces uses unallocated disk space on server drives to create storage pools. A storage pool can span multiple drives invisibly, providing an accumulated storage resource that administrators can expand or reduce as needed by adding disks to or removing them from the pool. By using the space in the pool, administrators can create virtual disks of any size.
Once created, a virtual disk behaves just like a physical disk, except that the actual bits might be stored on any number of physical drives in the system. Virtual disks can also provide fault tolerance by using the physical disks in the storage pool to hold mirrored or parity data.
After creating a virtual disk, you can create volumes on it just as you would on a physical disk. Server Manager provides the tools you need to create and manage storage pools and virtual disks and provides you with the ability to create volumes and file system shares, with some limitations.

Understanding Windows disk settings
When you install Windows Server 2012 R2 on a computer, the setup program automatically performs all the preparation tasks for the primary hard disk in the system. However, when you install additional hard disk drives on a server, or when you want to use settings that differ from the system defaults, you must perform the following tasks manually:
■ Select a partitioning style Windows Server 2012 R2 supports two hard disk partition styles: the master boot record (MBR) partition style and the GUID (globally unique identifier) partition table (GPT) partition style. You must choose one of these partition styles for a drive; you cannot use both.
■ Select a disk type Windows Server 2012 R2 supports two disk types: the basic disk type and the dynamic disk type. You cannot use both types on the same disk drive, but you can mix disk types in the same computer.
■ Divide the disk into partitions or volumes Although many professionals use the terms partition and volume interchangeably, it is correct to refer to partitions on basic disks and volumes on dynamic disks.
■ Format the partitions or volumes with a file system Windows Server 2012 R2 supports the NTFS file system, the FAT file system (including the FAT16, FAT32, and exFAT variants), and the new ReFS file system (covered later in this chapter, in the
“Understanding file systems” section.)
The following sections examine the options for each of these tasks.

Selecting a partition style
The term partition style refers to the method that Windows operating systems use to organize partitions on the disk. Servers running Windows Server 2012 R2 computers can use either of the following two hard disk partition styles:
MBR The MBR partition style has been around since before Windows and is still a common partition style for x86-based and x64-based computers.
■ GPT GPT has existed since the late 1990s, but no x86 version of Windows prior to Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista supports it. Today, most operating systems support GPT, including Windows Server 2012 R2.
Before Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista, all x86-based Windows computers used only the MBR partition style. Computers based on the x64 platform could use either the MBR or GPT partition style, as long as the GPT disk was not the boot disk.
Unless the computer’s architecture provides support for an Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI)–based boot partition, it is not possible to boot from a GPT disk. If this is the case, the system drive must be an MBR disk and you can use GPT only on separate nonbootable disks for data storage.
When you use Server Manager to initialize a disk in Windows Server 2012 R2, it uses the GPT partition style, whether it is a physical or a virtual disk. There are no controls in Server Manager supporting MBR, although it displays the partition style in the Disks tile.

Understanding disk types
Most personal computers use basic disks because they are the easiest to manage. Advanced volume types require the use of dynamic disks. A basic disk using the MBR partition style organizes data by using primary partitions, extended partitions, and logical drives. A primary partition appears to the operating system as though it is a physically separate disk and can
host an operating system, in which case it is known as the active partition.
When you work with basic MBR disks in Windows Server 2012 R2 using the Disk Management snap-in, you can create three volumes that take the form of primary partitions. When you create the fourth volume, the system creates an extended partition, with a logical drive on it, of the size you specified. If there is free space left on the disk, the system allocates it to the extended partition, as shown in below Figure, where you can use it to create additional logical drives.

Configure local storage
Primary and extended partitions on a basic disk using MBR

When you select the GPT partition style, the disk still appears as a basic disk, but you can create up to 128 volumes, each of which appears as a primary partition, as shown in below Figure. There are no extended partitions or logical drives on GPT disks.

Configure local storage
Primary partitions on a basic disk using GPT

The alternative to using a basic disk is to convert it to a dynamic disk. The process of converting a basic disk to a dynamic disk creates a single partition that occupies the entire disk. You can then create an unlimited number of volumes out of the space in that partition. Dynamic disks support several different types of volumes, as described in the next section.

Understanding volume types
A dynamic disk can contain an unlimited number of volumes that function much like primary partitions on a basic disk, but you cannot mark an existing dynamic disk as active. When you create a volume on a dynamic disk by using the Disk Management snap-in in Windows Server 2012 R2, you choose from the following five volume types:
■ Simple volume Consists of space from a single disk. After you have created a simple volume, you can extend it to multiple disks to create a spanned or striped volume, as long as it is not a system volume or boot volume. You can also extend a simple volume into any adjacent unallocated space on the same disk or, with some limitations, shrink the volume by deallocating any unused space in the volume.
■ Spanned volume Consists of space from 2 to 32 physical disks, all of which must be dynamic disks. A spanned volume is essentially a method for combining the space from multiple dynamic disks into a single large volume. Windows Server 2012 R2 writes to the spanned volume by filling all the space on the first disk and then filling each of the additional disks in turn. You can extend a spanned volume at any time by adding disk space. Creating a spanned volume does not increase the disk’s read/write performance or provide fault tolerance. In fact, if a single physical disk in the spanned volume fails,
all the data in the entire volume is lost.
■ Striped volume Consists of space from 2 to 32 physical disks, all of which must be dynamic disks. The difference between a striped volume and a spanned volume is that in a striped volume, the system writes data one stripe at a time to each successive disk in the volume. Striping provides improved performance because each disk drive in the array has time to seek the location of its next stripe while the other drives are writing. Striped volumes do not provide fault tolerance, however, and you cannot extend them after creation. If a single physical disk in the striped volume fails, all the data in the entire volume is lost.
■ Mirrored volume Consists of an identical amount of space on two physical disks, both of which must be dynamic disks. The system performs all read and write operations on both disks simultaneously so they contain duplicate copies of all data stored on the volume. If one disk fails, the other continues to provide access to the volume until the failed disk is repaired or replaced.
■ RAID-5 volume Consists of space on three or more physical disks, all of which must be dynamic. The system stripes data and parity information across all the disks so that if one physical disk fails, the missing data can be re-created by using the parity information on the other disks. RAID-5 volumes provide improved read performance because of the disk striping, but write performance suffers due to the need for parity calculations.

Understanding file systems
To organize and store data or programs on a hard drive, you must install a file system. A file system is the underlying disk drive structure that enables you to store information on your computer. You install file systems by formatting a partition or volume on the hard disk.
In Windows Server 2012 R2, five file system options are available:
■ NTFS
■ FAT32
■ exFAT
■ FAT (also known as FAT16)
■ ReFS
NTFS is the preferred file system for a server; the main benefits are improved support for larger hard drives than FAT and better security in the form of encryption and permissions that restrict access by unauthorized users. Because the FAT file systems lack the security that NTFS provides, any user who gains access to your computer can read any file without restriction. Additionally, FAT file systems have disk size limitations: FAT32 cannot handle a partition greater than 32 GB or a file greater than 4 GB. FAT cannot handle a hard disk greater than 4 GB or a file greater than 2 GB. Because of these limitations, the only viable reason for using FAT16 or FAT32 is the need to dual boot the computer with a non-Windows operating system or a previous version of Windows that does not support NTFS, which is not a likely configuration for a server.
ReFS is a new file system first appearing in Windows Server 2012 R2 that offers practically unlimited file and directory sizes and increased resiliency that eliminates the need for errorchecking tools, such as Chkdsk.exe. However, ReFS does not include support for NTFS features such as file compression, Encrypted File System (EFS), and disk quotas. ReFS disks also cannot be read by any operating systems older than Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.

Working with disks
Windows Server 2012 R2 includes tools that enable you to manage disks graphically or from the command prompt. All Windows Server 2012 R2 installations include the File and Storage Services role, which causes Server Manager to display a menu when you click the icon in the navigation pane, as shown in below Figure. This menu provides access to home pages that enable administrators to manage volumes, disks, storage pools, shares, and iSCSI devices.

Configure local storage
Using the File and Storage Services menu in Server Manager

Server Manager is the only graphical tool that can manage storage pools and create virtual disks. It can also perform some—but not all—of the standard disk and volume management operations on physical disks. Like the other Server Manager home pages, the File page and the Storage Services page enables you to perform tasks on any servers you have added to the interface.
Disk Management is an MMC snap-in that is the traditional tool for performing diskrelated tasks. To access the Disk Management snap-in, open the Computer Management console and select Disk Management.
You can also manage disks and volumes from the command line by using the DiskPart.exe utility.

Adding a new physical disk
When you add a new hard disk to a Windows Server 2012 R2 computer, you must initialize the disk before you can access its storage. To add a new secondary disk, shut down the computer and install or attach the new physical disk per the manufacturer’s instructions. A newly added physical disk is listed in Server Manager in the Disks tile, as shown in below Figure, with a status of Offline and an unknown partition style.

Configure local storage
A newly added physical disk in Server Manager

To make the disk accessible, you must first bring it online by right-clicking it in the Disks tile and, from the shortcut menu, selecting Bring Online. After you confirm your action and the disk status changes to Online, right-click it and select Initialize.
Unlike the Disk Management snap-in, Server Manager does not allow you to choose the partition style for the disk. A Task Progress window opens; when the process is completed, click Close. The disk then appears in the list with a partition style of GPT.
You can convert a disk from one partition style to another at any time using Disk Management by right-clicking the disk you need to convert and then, from the shortcut menu, selecting Convert To GPT Disk or Convert To MBR Disk. However, be aware that converting the disk partition style is a destructive process. You can perform the conversion only on an unallocated disk, so if the disk you want to convert contains data, you must back up the disk and then delete all existing partitions or volumes before you begin the conversion.

Creating and mounting virtual hard disks (VHDs)
Hyper-V relies on the virtual hard disk (VHD or VHDX) format to store virtual disk data in files that can easily be transferred from one computer to another. The Disk Management snap-in in Windows Server 2012 R2 enables you to create VHD and VHDX files and mount them on the computer. Once they are mounted, you can treat them just like physical disks and use them to store data. When dismounting a VHD or VHDX, the stored data is packaged in the file so you can copy or move it as needed.
To create a VHD in Disk Management, use the following procedure.
1. In Server Manager, click Tools, Computer Management. The Computer Management console opens.
2. Click Disk Management to open the Disk Management snap-in.
3. From the Action menu, select Create VHD. The Create And Attach Virtual Hard Disk
dialog box opens, as shown in below Figure.
4. In the Location text box, type the path and file name for the file you want to create.
5. In the Virtual Hard Disk Size box, type the maximum size of the disk you want to create.
6. Select one of the following Virtual Hard Disk Format options:
■ VHD The original and more compatible format, which supports files of up to 2,040 GB
■ VHDX A new version of the format that supports files of up to 64 TB but can be read only by computers running Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2
7. Select one of the following Virtual Hard Disk Type options:
■ Fixed Size (Recommended) Allocates all the disk space for the VHD/VHDX file at once
■ Dynamically Expanding Allocates disk space to the VHD/VHDX file as you add data to the virtual hard disk
8. Click OK. The system creates the VHD or VHDX file and attaches it so that it appears as a disk in the snap-in.
Once you have created and attached the VHD or VHDX file, it appears as an uninitialized disk in the Disk Management snap-in and in Server Manager. By using either tool, you can initialize the disk and create volumes on it, just as you would a physical disk. After storing data on the volumes, you can detach the VHD or VHDX file and move it to another location or mount it on a Hyper-V VM.

Creating a storage pool
Once you have installed your physical disks, you can concatenate their space into a storage pool, from which you can create virtual disks of any size.
To create a storage pool by using Server Manager, follow this procedure.
1. In Server Manager, click the File and Storage Services icon and, in the menu that opens, click Storage Pools. The Storage Pools tile then opens, as shown in below Figure.

Configure local storage
The Storage Pools tile

2. In the Storage Pools tile, select the primordial space on the server where you want to create the pool and, from the Tasks menu, select New Storage Pool. The New Storage Pool Wizard starts, displaying the Before You Begin page.
3. Click Next. The Specify A Storage Pool Name and Subsystem page opens, as shown in below Figure.

Configure local storage
The Specify A Storage Pool Name and Subsystem page

4. In the Name text box, type the name you want to assign to the storage pool. Then select the server on which you want to create the pool and click Next. The Select Physical Disks For the Storage Pool page opens, as shown in Figure.

Configure local storage
The Select Physical Disks For The Storage Pool page

5. Select the check boxes for the disks you want to add to the pool and click Next to open the Confirm Selections page.
6. Click Create. The wizard creates the new storage pool and the View Results page opens.
7. Click Close. The wizard closes and the new pool appears on the Storage Pools tile, as shown in Figure.

Configure local storage
The new pool shown on the Storage Pools tile

8. Close the Server Manager window.
After you have created a storage pool, you can modify its capacity by adding or removing physical disks. The Tasks menu in the Physical Disks tile on the Storage Pools home page contains the following options:
■ Add Physical Disk Enables you to add a physical disk to the pool as long as it is initialized and does not contain any volumes
■ Remove Disk Removes the space provided by a physical disk from the storage pool. This option is available only if all data has already been evicted from the disk.
To create a new storage pool by using Windows PowerShell, you use the New-StoragePool
cmdlet with the following basic syntax:
New-StoragePool –FriendlyName <pool name> -StorageSubSystemFriendlyName <subsystem name> -PhysicalDisks <CIM instances>
To obtain the correct designations for the storage subsystem and the physical disks, use
the Get-StorageSubsystem and Get-PhysicalDisk cmdlets. In addition to the required parameters, the New-StoragePool cmdlet also accepts the following options, which are not available in the wizard.
■ -EnclosureAwareDefault Specifies whether the storage pool is being created from disks housed in a disk enclosure that supports SCSI Enclosure Services. This enables the pool to use additional information provided by the enclosure, such as slot locations, to balance data storage among the hardware devices.
■ -ProvisioningTypeDefault Specifies the type of provisioning (Unknown, Fixed, or Thin) to be used for the creation of virtual disks from this pool
■ -ResiliencySettingsNameDefault Specifies the resiliency setting (Simple, Mirror, or Parity) that the system should use by default when creating virtual disks from the pool.

Creating virtual disks
After you have created a storage pool, you can use the space to create as many virtual disks as you need.
To create a virtual disk by using Server Manager, use the following procedure.
1. In Server Manager, click the File And Storage Services icon and, in the menu that opens, click Storage Pools. The Storage Pools home page opens.
2. Scroll down (if necessary) to expose the Virtual Disks tile and, from the Tasks menu, select New Virtual Disk. The New Virtual Disk menu opens, displaying the Before You Begin page.
3. Click Next to open the Select The Server And Storage Pool page.
4. Select the pool in which you want to create a virtual disk and click Next. The Specify The Virtual Disk Name page opens.
5. In the Name text box, type a name for the virtual disk and click Next. The Select The Storage Layout page opens, as shown in Figure.

Configure local storage
The Select The Storage Layout page

6. Select one of the following layout options and click Next.
■ Simple Requires the pool to contain at least one physical disk and provides no fault tolerance. When more than one physical disk is available, the system stripes data across the disks.
■ Mirror Requires the pool to contain at least two physical disks and provides fault tolerance by storing identical copies of every file. Two physical disks provide protection against a single disk failure; five physical disks provide protection against two disk failures.
■ Parity Requires the pool to contain at least three physical disks and provides fault tolerance by striping parity information along with data.
7. The Specify The Provisioning Type page opens, as shown in Figure.

Configure local storage
The Specify The Provisioning Type page

8. Select one of the following Provisioning Type options and click Next.
■ Thin The system allocates space from the storage pool to the disk as needed, up to the maximum specified size.
■ Fixed The system allocates the maximum specified amount of space to the disk immediately on creating it.
The Specify The Size Of The Virtual Disk page opens, as shown in Figure.

Configure local storage
The Specify The Size Of The Virtual Disk page

9. In the Specify Size text box, specify the size of the disk you want to create and click Next. The Confirm Selections page opens.
10. Click Create. The View Results page opens as the wizard creates the disk.
11. Click Close. The wizard closes and the new disk opens in the Virtual Disks tile, as shown in Figure.

Configure local storage
The new disk is shown in the Virtual Disks tile in Server Manager

12. Close the Server Manager window. By default, the New Volume Wizard launches when you create a new virtual disk. At this point, the disk is a virtual equivalent of a newly installed physical disk. It contains nothing but unallocated space, and you must create at least one volume before you can store data on it.

Creating a simple volume
Technically speaking, you create partitions on basic disks and volumes on dynamic disks. This is not just an arbitrary difference in nomenclature. Converting a basic disk to a dynamic disk actually creates one big partition, occupying all the space on the disk. The volumes you create on the dynamic disk are logical divisions within that single partition.
Windows versions prior to 2008 use the correct terminology in the Disk Management snap-in. The menus enable you to create partitions on basic disks and volumes on dynamic disks. Windows Server 2012 R2 uses the term volume for both disk types and enables you to create any of the available volume types, whether the disk is basic or dynamic. If the volume
type you select is not supported on a basic disk, the wizard converts it to a dynamic disk as
part of the volume creation process.
Despite the menus that refer to basic partitions as volumes, the traditional rules for basic disks remain in effect. The New Simple Volume menu option on a basic disk creates up to three primary partitions. When you create a fourth volume, the wizard actually creates an extended partition and a logical drive of the size you specify. If there is any remaining space on the disk, you can create additional logical drives in the extended partition.

To create a new simple volume on a basic or dynamic disk by using the Disk Management snap-in, use the following procedure.
1. In Server Manager, click Tools and click Computer Management. The Computer Management console opens.
2. Click Disk Management to launch the Disk Management snap-in.
3. In the Graphical View, right-click an unallocated area in the disk on which you want to create a volume and, from the shortcut menu, select New Simple Volume. The New Simple Volume Wizard starts.
4. Click Next to bypass the Welcome page. The Specify Volume Size page opens, as shown in Figure.

Configure local storage
Configuring the Specify Volume Size page

5. Select the size for the new partition or volume, within the maximum and minimum limits stated on the page, by using the Simple Volume Size In MB spin box, and then click Next. The Assign Drive Letter Or Path page opens, as shown in Figure.

Configure local storage
Configuring the Assign Drive Letter Or Path page

6. Configure one of the following three options:
■ Assign The Following Drive Letter If you select this option, click the associated drop-down list for a list of available drive letters and select the letter you want to assign to the drive.
■ Mount In The Following Empty NTFS Folder If you select this option, either type the path to an existing NTFS folder or click Browse to search for or create a new folder. The entire contents of the new drive will appear in the folder you specify.
■ Do Not Assign A Drive Letter Or Drive Path Select this option if you want to create the partition but are not yet ready to use it. When you do not assign a volume a drive letter or path, the drive is left unmounted and inaccessible. When you want to mount the drive for use, assign a drive letter or path to it.
7. Click Next to open the Format Partition page, as shown in Figure.

Configure local storage
Configuring the Format Partition page

8. Specify whether the wizard should format the volume and if so, how. If you do not want to format the volume at this time, select the Do Not Format This Volume option. If you want to format the volume, select the Format This Volume With The Following Settings option, and then configure the associated options as follows.
■ File System Select the desired file system. The options available depend on the size of the volume and can include ReFS, NTFS, exFAT, FAT32, and FAT.
■ Allocation Unit Size Specify the file system’s cluster size. The cluster size signifies the basic unit of bytes in which the system allocates disk space. The system calculates the default allocation unit size based on the size of the volume. You can override this value by clicking the associated drop-down list and then selecting one of the values. For example, if your client uses consistently small files, you might want to set the allocation unit size to a smaller cluster size.
■ Volume Label Specify a name for the partition or volume. The default name is New Volume, but you can change the name to anything you want.
■ Perform A Quick Format When this check box is selected, Windows formats the disk without checking for errors. This is a faster method to format the drive, but Microsoft does not recommend it. When you check for errors, the system looks for
and marks bad sectors on the disk so that your clients will not use those portions of the disk.
■ Enable File And Folder Compression Selecting this check box turns on folder compression for the disk. This option is available only for volumes being formatted with the NTFS file system.
9. Click Next. The Completing The New Simple Volume Wizard page opens.
10. Review the settings to confirm your options and then click Finish. The wizard creates the volume according to your specifications.
11. Close the console containing the Disk Management snap-in. This procedure can create volumes on physical or virtual disks. You can also create simple volumes by using a similar wizard in Server Manager. When you launch the New Volume Wizard in Server Manager, which you can do from the Volumes or Disks home page, the options the wizard presents are nearly identical to those in the New Simple Volume Wizard in Disk Management. The primary difference is that, like all Server Manager wizards, the New Volume Wizard includes a page that enables you to select the server and the disk on which you want to create the volume, as shown in Figure. You can therefore use this wizard to create volumes on any disk on any of your servers.

Configure local storage
The Select The Server And Disk page in the New Volume Wizard in Server Manager

Creating a striped, spanned, mirrored, or RAID-5 volume
The procedure for creating a striped, spanned, mirrored, or RAID-5 volume is almost the same as that for creating a simple volume, except that the Specify Volume Size page is replaced by the Select Disks page.
To create a striped, spanned, mirrored, or RAID-5 volume, use the following procedure.
1. In Server Manager, click Tools and click Computer Management. The Computer Management console opens.
2. Click Disk Management to open the Disk Management snap-in.
3. Right-click an unallocated area on a disk and then, from the shortcut menu, select the command for the type of volume you want to create. A New Volume Wizard starts, named for your selected volume type.
4. Click Next to bypass the Welcome page. The Select Disks page opens, as shown in Figure.

Configure local storage
Configuring the Select Disks page

5. On the Select Disks page, select the disks you want to use for the new volume from the Available list box and then click Add. The disks you chose are moved to the Selected list box, joining the original disk you selected when launching the wizard. For a striped, spanned, or mirrored volume, you must have at least two disks in the Selected list; for a RAID-5 volume, you must have at least three.
6. Specify the amount of space you want to use on each disk by using the Select the Amount of Space in MB spin box. Then click Next. The Assign Drive Letter or Path page opens. If you are creating a spanned volume, you must click each disk in the Selected list and specify the amount of space to use on that disk. The default value for each disk is the
size of the unallocated space on that disk. If you are creating a striped, mirrored, or RAID-5 volume, you specify only one value because these volumes require the same amount of space on each disk. The default value is the size of the unallocated space on the disk with the least free space.
7. Specify whether you want to assign a drive letter or path and then click Next. The Format Partition page opens.
8. Specify if or how you want to format the volume and then click Next. The Completing The New Simple Volume Wizard page opens.
9. Review the settings to confirm your options and then click Finish. If any of the disks you selected to create the volume are basic disks, a Disk Management message box opens, warning you that the volume creation process will convert the basic disks to dynamic disks.
10. Click Yes. The wizard creates the volume according to your specifications.
11. Close the Disk Management snap-in.
The commands that appear in a disk’s shortcut menu depend on the number of disks installed in the computer and the presence of unallocated space on them. For example, at least two disks with unallocated space must be available to create a striped, spanned, or mirrored volume, and at least three disks must be available to create a RAID-5 volume.

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