What Is The Difference Between Striped And Spanned Volumes?

When it comes to creating RAID arrays or structures in Windows, the two most commonly used terms are striped volumes and spanned volumes. Both striped and spanned volumes are used to increase the size and performance of disk storage, but they have different characteristics and are used for different purposes.

Striped volumes, also known as RAID 0, involves spreading data across multiple physical drives for improved speed and performance. This means that multiple disks are combined together and data is distributed in an alternating pattern, which improves read and write speeds. Whereas, spanned volumes can be created by merging two or more disks together, with the aim of creating a single large volume. The key difference between striped and spanned volumes lies in how the data is stored on the disks and the level of redundancy offered. In this article, we will discuss these differences in detail to help you decide which option is best suited for your data storage needs.

What is the Difference between Striped and Spanned Volumes?

Striped and spanned volumes are both techniques used in computer storage, but they differ in a few key areas:

1. Definition – A striped volume is a type of disk storage that spreads data across multiple physical disks, while a spanned volume is a logical volume that encompasses multiple disks and uses all available space to create one larger volume.

2. Performance – Striped volumes can improve read and write speeds because data can be read from or written to multiple disks simultaneously. Spanned volumes do not offer performance benefits because they use only one disk at a time for read and write operations.

3. Fault tolerance – Striped volumes do not provide any fault tolerance, meaning that if one disk fails, all data on the volume will be lost. Spanned volumes can provide fault tolerance if they are set up using RAID (redundant array of independent disks) technology, which helps protect data in case of disk failure.

4. Management – Striped volumes can be managed more easily because they are a single logical volume that spans multiple disks. Spanned volumes may be more difficult to manage because they are made up of multiple separate volumes.

In summary, striped volumes offer better performance, but no fault tolerance, while spanned volumes provide fault tolerance but do not offer performance benefits. Choosing the appropriate volume type depends on the specific needs of the user or organization.


1. What is a striped volume?
A striped volume is a storage configuration that uses multiple physical disks, where data is distributed across them evenly in order to increase performance.

2. What is a spanned volume?
A spanned volume is a type of logical volume that combines multiple physical drives into one logical drive, allowing for an increase in available storage space.

3. What is the main difference between striped and spanned volumes?
The key difference between striped and spanned volumes is that striped volumes distribute data across multiple drives for improved performance, while spanned volumes combine multiple drives into a single logical drive for increased storage capacity.

4. Which type of volume is better for improving read/write performance?
Striping is better for improving read/write performance, as data is distributed across multiple disk drives, allowing for multiple read/write operations to occur simultaneously.

5. Can a striped volume still function if one of the drives fails?
If one of the disks in a striped volume fails, then the entire volume is compromised, resulting in data loss. It is important to have a backup in place and to consider redundancy options such as mirrored volumes.


In summary, striped and spanned volumes are two methods of utilizing multiple hard drives in a computer system. While both methods involve combining multiple drives, there are some key differences between the two. Striped volumes increase performance and provide additional storage capacity, while spanned volumes offer redundancy and fail-safe capabilities. Ultimately, the choice between striped and spanned volumes depends on the specific needs and preferences of the user. Regardless of which method is chosen, however, it is important to always back up important data and files to avoid any potential loss in case of hardware failure.

Leave a Reply