Got too much data for your preferred drive? Here's what to do.

Author:Collins, J. Carlton

Q. My computer has three 1 TB hard drives, but I have 1.5 TBs of data that won't fit on a single drive. In this case, should I replace one of my drives with a larger hard drive or just purchase a new computer?

A. I assume your goal is to organize all your data files on a single drive letter, such as the D drive, for example. If so, you don't need to purchase a new hard drive or a new computer to achieve this goal. You can create a single drive letter for storing your data files across all of your hard drives as follows. Right-click the Windows 10 Menu button and select System, Storage, Manage Storage Spaces, Create a new pool and storage space. Windows 10 will search your computer for all available hard drives. These drives can be internal or external hard drives, or even solid-state drives. You can also combine a variety of drive types, such as USB, SATA, and SAS drives, to accomplish this feat. For example, if you have three drives of 1 TB each, you could create a 3 TB virtual drive, officially referred to as a Storage Pool, using these three 1 TB hard drives. As if that weren't nifty enough, you could even create a 4 TB or a 5 TB virtual drive from your three 1 TB hard drives, and as the virtual drive begins to fill up, you will be notified to install more hard drives to increase your available hard disk space. To create your new storage space on a Windows 10 computer, continue by providing a Name, Drive letter, File system, Resiliency type, Size, and then click the Create storage space button at the bottom of the screen, as pictured on the next page.

Although the ability to group different drive technologies of differing sizes is a nice feature, it's not the main reason CPAs typically use the Storage Space tool. Primarily, CPAs create virtual storage spaces so they can then configure different types of data protection (referred to as "resiliency") on their hard drives, as follows:

  1. Simple resiliency: While this option will combine your hard drives into a single virtual drive, it does nothing to protect the data. It merely writes one copy of the data across all your hard drives, and if a single drive fails, you will lose at least some of your data.

  2. Two-way mirroring resiliency: This option will write two copies of the data across your physical hard drives in such a way that it protects the data from a single drive failure. Two-way mirroring requires at least two physical drives. If one drive fails, the redundant files on your...

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