Many people are complaining about the failed Storage Spaces and said that they need to recover files from the broken storage. Besides, they prefer to know the effective way to repair the Storage Spaces. Here, I’d like to offer some useful steps to help you get back the important data and settle down the failed Storage Spaces in a proper way.

What is Storage Spaces? Actually, it is a technology which has been applied widely to Windows 10 for protecting data from hard drive failures (click to learn how to recover data from a failed hard drive). It’s a little bit like RAID: Redundant Array of Independent Disks (acquire this RAID recovery software to finish RAID data recovery when necessary).

Yet, there are some cases in which the Storage Spaces was broken and people want to recover data from failed Storage Spaces. Certainly, this is possible. And you can make it easy to recover files from Storage Spaces as long as you have a mighty recovery tool. That’s what I am going to focus on today: recovering data from Storage Spaces and repairing the failed Storage Spaces.

recover data from failed Storage Spaces

Failed Storage Spaces: Typical Error Messages

Let’s start this part with a true example:

I recently configured two hard drives as a mirrored Storage Space "DATA drive" and placed all me data (files, pictures, videos) there. A couple days later, after booting up the computer, a message popped up asking what I wanted to do about the Data drive. When I looked, all my files were missing. Looking at the drives under Storage Spaces, they show both drives empty. After doing a little research, I bought R-Studio and have recovered about 40% of my data. The other 60% is there, but unreadable. Can someone help me recover all my data?- asked by RickAkers in Microsoft Community

There is no denying the fact that data is one of the most precious assets of any individual, enterprise and organization. One of the main reasons why people use Storage Spaces is to protect data. Thus, it's obvious that people will think of data firstly after they found failed Storage Spaces.

Considering this, I will list the common Storage Space errors and show you how to rescue data from broken Storage Spaces in this part.

Storage Space Errors

In general, you may see the following error messages when encountering failed Storage Spaces.

Error 1: Inaccessible; reconnect drives.

This is a common error that many people have seen in Storage Spaces. Though it can be caused by many reasons, the most possible one is the changes in storage pool configuration. This error is caused by either adding a new drive or reconnecting any of the drives in the pool.


Please note: there are 3 typical cases in which the drive becomes inaccessible.

Error 2: No capacity; add * drives (* stands for the number of drives that is needed).

This is an error that you can see only on the Storage Spaces provided with thin provisioning. It occurs when there is no more disk space available. The No capacity; add * drives error can be fixed easily by adding the required number of drives.

No capacity

Please note: you may also see the warning message – Low capacity; add * drives (* also represents the number of drives that is required) – when the disk space left is not sufficient.

Error 3: Inaccessible; check the Physical drives section.

Some people reported that they come across this error after installing new Windows Updates. When they come back to the system after the update, they find the Storage Pool is dead and they got the Inaccessible; check the Physical drives section error message.

check the Physical drives section

Error 4: Reduced resiliency; check the Physical drives section.

If one or more drives that are included in the redundant spaces (mirror or parity) lose connection, you will receive this error. If more than one drives are failed, you’ll receive Degraded; check drive health error message. You can fix the problem by reconnecting the drives or adding required number of drives to replace the failed ones.

Reduced resiliency

Storage Pool Errors

These are the common error messages indicating problems have been found on the virtual disks included in Storage Pool. Yet, if there’s something wrong with the Storage Pool itself, you may see the following errors:

  • Inaccessible; check the Physical drives section (all the drives may appear to be Okay in the Physical drives section, indicating that the system can't identify the problematic drive).
  • Drive issues; check the Physical Drives section for Warnings or Errors (you’ll see this error when the drive is failed totally or the connection is lost permanently).
  • Drive or storage space issues; check the Physical drives and Storage spaces sections (this could appear in both Storage Pool section and Storage Spaces section after you removed a drive from the pool and then brought it back).

How to Recover Data from Failed Storage Spaces

Some people choose to run CHKDSK on the Storage Spaces in order to fix the disk problems. But this may fail. Even if it succeeds, to say the least, you may find files get missing from the disks. I advise you to do data recovery before trying to fix the Storage Spaces problems. Taking that into account, I’ll teach you the way to rescue your data from the crashed hard drive on Storage Spaces.

Look here to know how to do when you find CHKDSK deletes your data:

CHKDSK Deletes Your Data? Now Recover Them In Two Ways
CHKDSK Deletes Your Data? Now Recover Them In Two Ways

Does CHKDSK utility delete your important data? Here are ways to help your recover CHKDSK deleted files in few steps.

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Recover Files from Storage Spaces without Any Delay

Firstly, you need to find a data recovery tool that is able to recover data from a Storage Pool. Why not try MiniTool Power Data Recovery? The trial edition won’t charge you any fees.

Free Download

Secondly, get the setup program of certain recovery software and then follow the instructions to finish the installation process. (You can install it on a local drive that works well or on a removable disk after connecting it to the computer.)

Thirdly, run the recovery utility to see its main interface (as shown in the following picture). Since all the drives contained in the Storage Spaces are hard disk drives, you should select the third option – Hard disk drive – from the left panel.

select the third option

Fourthly, you’ll see all the hard disk drives mounted to the computer as long as the system can recognize them (there are also some cases when external hard drive cannot show up on the computer). In this step, you need to finish the following tasks:

  1. Confirm which drive (in Storage Spaces) is failed and contains files to recover.
  2. Select the failed Storage Spaces drive and click on the Scan button to start a full scan (you can also start to search for files by double clicking on the target drive in the right panel).

Fifthly: the full scan may last for a period of time (from a few minutes to even a few days). You should wait for the scan, but you can browse the Scan Result with care to see whether it contains the files you need. Add a checkmark in front of any files you need in the scan result.

browse the Scan Result

During the scan, you will find the following three values are changing all the time:

  • Total Files Found
  • Remaining Time
  • Percentage of scan completed

Last but not least: confirm the files you need and click on the Save button. Then:

  • A limitation window will pop up if you’re using the trial edition. It says that you should Upgrade to the full version to save the recovered files. (You can also click here to get a license suitable for you.)
  • If you are using a full version, you’ll be able to choose a storage path for the selected files. After clicking on the OK button in the pop-up window, the software will recover those files for you.

limitation window

When the process is over, a window will appear in the software to inform you that the failed Storage Spaces data recovery is finished.

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How to Repair Storage Spaces in Windows 10

When you find the Storage Spaces unresponsive or have other problems, you must want to recover Storage Spaces Windows 10. In this part, I’ll show you the common steps to repair failed Storage Spaces.

Step 1: Backup Your Data

In order to prevent expected data loss and the losses that may be brought by it, I suggest that you make a backup of all data on the Storage Spaces. Though the repair process may not damage your data, please do this unless you want to bear the risk. (Backup tool suggest: MiniTool ShadowMaker)

MiniTool ShadowMaker

Step 2: Delete the Pool

In order to troubleshoot the individual disks which are failed among the Storage Spaces, you’ll have no choice but to delete the pool.

  1. Open Settings on the target Windows 10 computer in the way you like (you may click on the Windows key and click on the settings icon).
  2. Choose System (Display, notifications, power) from the Settings window.
  3. Navigate to the Storage option in the left pane.
  4. Scroll down to select Manage Storage Spaces option under More storage settings part.
  5. Click on the Change settings button in the upper right corner.
  6. Choose Yes in the User Account Control window.
  7. Navigate to the click the Delete pool link after the storage pool you want to delete.
  8. Click on the Delete pool button to confirm the delete operation.

Delete pool

Step 3: Identify the Problematic Disk

In general, the Storage Spaces and Windows will help you to identify the disk that is failed. Yet, there are some cases in which the disks are mounted and users are not able to see the identifying information. At this time, you should do the following things:

  1. Restart the computer.
  2. Look at the computer firmware.
  3. Shutdown the computer and trace cables around to locate the suspect disk.
  4. Unplug the suspect disk and check the list.
  5. Plug power in and see what happens.
  6. Change a SATA cable to see whether the disk can be found by firmware.

Then, you should make sure if the disks are ok or not. You can run chkdsk /f /r /b to see whether the disks are able to be read or not.

I Find CHKDSK Deleted My Data – How To Recover Them?

Step 4: Create the Pool Again and Copy Data Back into It

  1. You also need to open the Settings app.
  2. Select System (Display, notifications, power) option listed in the main Settings window.
  3. Shift to Storage option from the Display option (which is selected by default).
  4. Also, you need to click on the Manage Storage Spaces option on the right.
  5. Click on the Create a new pool and storage space link in the Storage Spaces window.
  6. Choose Yes in the User Account Control window.
  7. Then, you’ll be brought to the next window. Here, you should select all the disks that are contained in the pool before Storage Spaces failure.
  8. Determine the drive letter, name, and size for your new pool.
  9. Specify the Resiliency type.
  10. Click on the Create storage space button to finish creating the pool.
  11. The last step is to open your backup got by step 1 and copy all data back to the new Storage Pool.

Create a new pool and storage space

Now, hope you enjoy the Windows 10 Storage Spaces improvements.

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Final Words

One of the most important reasons why the Storage Spaces technology is adopted in Windows 10 is to protect users from hard drive failures. This is way similar to RAID, which is often configured at the hardware level (you may want to know more about the hardware RAID data recovery). By just combining three or more drives into a single logical pool, you can get your Storage Spaces (you can format the drive by using NTFS or the ReFS file system).

Just like any separate hard disks, the disks in Storage Spaces may also fail due to a lot of factors. Sometimes, you just feel the disks are failed, but you don’t know what happens exactly. Well, in other cases, the system will offer an error message to inform you of the actual situation (please see part 1 to know the common error messages of Storage Spaces and Storage Pool).

When encountering a failed disk in Storage Space, the first thing you should consider is data recovery, instead of repairing the drive. Please follow the tutorial given in part 2 to recover lost data from failed Storage Spaces completely.

After that, you may try to repair the Storage Spaces. And the last step is to copy data back to it.

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