Preparing Disks for Use
3. The “Perform a quick format” checkbox allows Windows Vista to format the
volume without checking the partition for errors. While this option can save you
a few minutes, it’s usually better to allow Disk Management to check for errors
and mark any bad sectors it finds on the disk so that they aren’t used.
4. The “Enable file and folder compression” checkbox turns on compression for
the disk. Built-in compression is available only for NTFS. If you select this
option, files and folders on the volume are compressed automatically. See the
“Compressing Drives” section, later in this chapter, for more information.
5. Click Next and then click Finish. Disk Management will create and format the
Creating Spanned or Striped Volumes
When you are partitioning and formatting dynamic disks in Disk Management, you
can create spanned and striped volumes as well as simple volumes. If you have
unallocated space on two or more dynamic disks, you can combine this space to
create a spanned volume or a striped volume.
With spanned volumes, the only benefit is being able to combine multiple disks to
create a single volume. Files are written to the entire spanned volume randomly and
there are no read/write benefits. There is a huge downside, however. If any disk in a
spanned volume fails, the entire volume fails as well, and all data will be lost.
With striped volumes, you also can combine multiple disks to create a single vol-
ume. You get faster read/write access to data because data is read from and written
to multiple disks. For example, with a three-disk striped volume, data from a file will
be written to Disk 1, then to Disk 2, and then to Disk 3 in 64 KB blocks. However,
like a spanned volume, a striped volume has no fault tolerance. If any disk in a
striped volume fails, the entire volume will fail as well, and all data will be lost. Addi-
tionally, although you can extend simple and spanned volumes to increase their vol-
ume size, you cannot extend striped volumes.
In Disk Management, you create spanned or striped volumes on dynamic disks by
completing the following steps:
1. In Disk Management’s Graphical view, right-click an unallocated area and then
choose New Spanned Volume or New Striped Volume as appropriate. When the
wizard starts, click Next.
2. On the Select Disks page, shown in Figure 19-10, available dynamic disks are
shown in the Available listbox. Select a disk in this listbox and then click Add to
add the disk to the Selected listbox. If you make a mistake, you can remove disks
from the Selected listbox by selecting the disk and then clicking Remove.
3. The “Maximum available space” text box shows you the largest area of free
space that can be used on a selected disk; the “Total volume size” text box
shows you the total disk space currently allocated to the volume.