My original goal for my Server was to have one giant Storage Pool with separate folders for Videos/Pictures/Documents/VM img/etc... After using this model for the past year, I have found some operational deficiencies with this methodology. For starters with one Storage Pool that meant I would have 16HDD's spinning 24/7 which is an excessive waste of energy and component lifecycle. Another issue was heat, when these HDD's were all in my desktop case I actually had to remove the side cover and cool them with a 12" desk fan (Ive since moved to a Norco 4224).

My new goal is to break up the server into 4 separate Pools. The problem comes in when I'm trying to dismantle my huge Storage Space and reallocate the HDD's to a completely separate Storage Pool. FYI Storage Spaces is not designed to reduce drives/capacity, it only works great when adding drives/capacity. Currently I have shuffled some drives around and managed to separate the main folders into their own Storage Pools. After I copied all the data from my original Storage Pool to the new, I would then delete the original files (10+TB) on the original Pool. Here's the bug; The files would be deleted from the Storage Space (the virtual disk), but the space would NOT be released from the Storage Pool.

What I mean by that is, my Storage Space (E:\ drive) shows that it only has 8TB of files (since the Pool is in parity that would take up 12TB in the storage pool) However, my Storage Pool (made up of 12HDDs) is showing that it is using 27TB out of 31TB! Meaning I have 15TB of wasted space! When Storage Spaces is full it will not let you (it can't) release a HDD (you cant store 27TB of data on 12TB of actual capacity). I have just enough space in the pool to release 1 4TB drive, but that isn't big enough to transfer all of the files to.

I have ran powershell and typed the following command "Optimize-Volume E -ReTrim -SlabConsolidate -Verbose" which showed that there was space that needed to be trimmed, but did not actually correct the problem. I saw a blog post where someone with Win Server 2012 used Diskshadow. Win 8 does not come with diskshadow and even though microsoft shows that its compatible with 8 I was told my techsupport that it is not. Can anybody verify if diskshadow can run on 8?

I also ran Disk Optimization, which had no effect.

After explaining my issue 3 times to 3 different Microsoft chat support people, they determined my only course of action was to reformat the storage pool. Which puts me in a Catch22. I need to release HDD's from the storage pool to transfer the content off of the pool, but I can't release enough HDD's because Windows thinks the pool is full. I have plenty of storage, but currently it's inaccessible.

If there's anybody that has Storage Spaces experience and can offer up any suggestions I am all ears. This is running on Win 8.1 pro, and all HDD can be hotswapped.