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Boot from a Raid Array greater than 2TB

Last response: in Windows 7
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July 8, 2011 4:45:47 PM

I have a 6TB raid array consisting of 2 3TB drives. I have the latest Motherboard with EFI bios. The Intel RST utility allowed me to set up this array, and it says it is bootable. I would like this to be my C: drive.

How can I get Windows 7 to install and boot from this array.
a b V Motherboard
a c 228 $ Windows 7
July 8, 2011 5:34:43 PM

During the installation of win 7 you should be able to create partitions and format them. For a partition size of over 2 gig, you will need to select a GPT partition instead of the usual MBR partition.
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July 8, 2011 5:47:52 PM

Hawkeye22,

Okay, here is the weird part. Even though I set it up in the Bios as a single volume array, when I try installing Win 7, it sees two physically separate disks, and each with only 750GB on them. Any further ideas would be appreciated. Thanks,.
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a b V Motherboard
a c 228 $ Windows 7
July 8, 2011 6:05:35 PM

Odd, as 720G is the remainder of a 3T drive minus the normal 2.2T limit for MBR. I would think that the raid bios should present itself as a single drive to the OS.

I wonder if win 7 has a 2T boot drive limitation.

More info on GPT here:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg4635...
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a b V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
July 8, 2011 6:18:06 PM

have you installed the drivers for the raid array prior to selecting the install location? its the new version of press F5 to install drivers.
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July 8, 2011 6:22:16 PM

13thmonkey said:
have you installed the drivers for the raid array prior to selecting the install location? its the new version of press F5 to install drivers.



Fair enough, but not to be flippant, my drives are Seagate, the bios raid utiliy is Intel, and the motherboard with the EFI bios is ASUS. Whose drivers am I looking for? Also, I thought the newer Windows did not require this anymore? Any further help would be appreciated.
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a b V Motherboard
a c 228 $ Windows 7
July 8, 2011 6:42:38 PM

joemama613 said:
Also, I thought the newer Windows did not require this anymore? Any further help would be appreciated.


Win 7 doesn't require AHCI drivers during the installation like XP does with the F6 function as win 7 already includes AHCI drivers. This doesn't mean they can't be limited to 2T on the boot drive.
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July 8, 2011 6:45:21 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
Win 7 doesn't require AHCI drivers during the installation like XP does with the F6 function as win 7 already includes AHCI drivers. This doesn't mean they can't be limited to 2T on the boot drive.



Everything I am reading says that with EFI Bios, and GPT formatting, and Windows 7 64 Bit, the boot drive CAN be over 2TB. I just can't seem to figure out what is wrong in my case.
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a b V Motherboard
a c 228 $ Windows 7
July 8, 2011 6:58:47 PM

I haven't found any MS documents that specify a boot size limit, but from googling around, it does appear that win 7 does have a 2T boot drive size limit. If you were to use the array as a storage array (non bootable) you should be able to utilize all 6T.
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a b V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
July 8, 2011 6:59:03 PM

The drivers you need during OS install are the CHIPSET (i.e. Z68 or Intel RST) drivers.

They should be on the Asus DVD.
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July 8, 2011 8:07:32 PM

foscooter said:
The drivers you need during OS install are the CHIPSET (i.e. Z68 or Intel RST) drivers.

They should be on the Asus DVD.



Are you saying that in certain instances, such as this one, Windows 7 needs further driver help, like the old PRESS F6 during XP installation? And will Windows 7 find the drivers on the ASUS CD by itself? Thanks.
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a b V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
July 8, 2011 8:20:40 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
Win 7 doesn't require AHCI drivers during the installation like XP does with the F6 function as win 7 already includes AHCI drivers. This doesn't mean they can't be limited to 2T on the boot drive.


But its a 2Gb raid drive (isn't it?), its the raid drivers for the chipset that are needed. I've just deraided a win7 installation, and had to uninstall the raid drivers so that windows would recognise the drives, his took me back to ahci.
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a b V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
July 8, 2011 8:22:40 PM

foscooter said:
The drivers you need during OS install are the CHIPSET (i.e. Z68 or Intel RST) drivers.

They should be on the Asus DVD.


precisely, to the OP, I fully recognise you aren't being flippant, chipset raid drivers....

However you are running in raid0, v dangerous, i've had lots of trouble on a P5B D/L your choice, but is it really worth it?
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a b V Motherboard
a c 228 $ Windows 7
July 8, 2011 8:25:11 PM

13thmonkey said:
But its a 2Gb raid drive (isn't it?), its the raid drivers for the chipset that are needed. I've just deraided a win7 installation, and had to uninstall the raid drivers so that windows would recognise the drives, his took me back to ahci.


No, he has a 6Tb RAID array (2 x 3Tb).
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a b V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
July 9, 2011 2:37:54 PM

but its still a raid array... and therefore needs chipset drivers, I know that Windows Home server (based on 2008R2) can't cope with >2Tb drives?
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July 11, 2011 2:27:09 PM

13thmonkey said:
but its still a raid array... and therefore needs chipset drivers, I know that Windows Home server (based on 2008R2) can't cope with >2Tb drives?



So, I am still at square one.....ASUS tech support is non-existent, and Windows 7 did not find any drivers on the ASUS disk to help the situation. Any other ideas at all? Thanks for all your help!
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a b V Motherboard
a c 228 $ Windows 7
July 11, 2011 7:38:40 PM

Have you checked the Asus web site for your newest drivers? You should be able to download them from there. You didn't mention the model of motherboard you have or I would have checked.
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a b V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
July 11, 2011 7:43:58 PM

if you navigate around the cd to the intel drivers one of them will be the raid driver, or you might have to run a program to create a disk or extract the drivers. Asus site should have them dowloadable though.
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a b V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
July 12, 2011 10:30:44 PM

Did you solve this? I can look into my Asus DVD, to point you to the drivers.

But like 13thmonkey said, the Asus website does have a downable driver (chipset).

Yes, you still need to do the "F6 during install" for RAID arrays, especially since yours is the Z68 chipset = newer than Win7 install disk.
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July 13, 2011 1:33:53 PM

foscooter said:
Did you solve this? I can look into my Asus DVD, to point you to the drivers.

But like 13thmonkey said, the Asus website does have a downable driver (chipset).

Yes, you still need to do the "F6 during install" for RAID arrays, especially since yours is the Z68 chipset = newer than Win7 install disk.



I have not solved it yet, but thanks to your help, we may solve it. I have the same motherboard as you, the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro. I just noticed that there is a BETA Bios update 0651, which I should probably install (your thoughts?). I do have the latest prior to that (0501). What is a bit strange is that the Bios that I have, 0501, says it enables the use of Intel's IRST version 10.5.0.1026. Inside my Bios, the version is listed as 10.5.0.1034, which I guess is a good thing.

Bottom line, opinion on going to the Beta Bios? And if you can find those loadable Raid drivers, I would appreciate it.
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September 18, 2011 2:48:04 PM

Hi joemama613
Did you resolve the issue in the meantime. I have got exactly the same problem. While trying to install Win7 on a brand new ASUS P8Z68-V Pro with BIOS 6.06 onto a RAID 5 with 3 disks. Raid creation went well in mode GPT approx 3.6 GB free space in total.
But then after having installed Win7 on the RAID Volume, Win7 had created 2 Volumes 2GB + 1.6GB in mode MBR silently and installed itself.
I have tried now several days various methods including loading the Intel Raid drivers during the Win7 install routine but no success so far. Have tried to load the chipset drivers as well but the install routine did not find anything new.

Any help very much appreciated.
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May 12, 2012 5:05:58 AM

Hey guys, when you get to the option screen during the Windows 7 install, choose "Custom" install, not Upgrade. On the next screen (new format/partition screen), press SHIFT + F10. This will bring up a command prompt.
1. Type Diskpart
2. list disk
3. select disk # (usually disk 0)
4. clean
5. convert gpt
6. exit
7. exit

Now that you are back to the format/partition screen, click on the "Refresh" option.You should now see one huge partition > 2TB. Click "New" and it will auto-create 3 parititions (System, MSR & Primary). Install on the "Primary" parition that is over > 2TB.

Reference: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/forums/en-US/winser...

"here is an opinion: I would NEVER create 1 disk of 3.6 TB to put my system on, what if the dirty bit gets set ? and upon boot it kicks off a CHKDSK ?... wait for a couple of weeks ?

create smaller disks, one for boot/system partition, and others for data." -Edwin vMierlo
url: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/hu/winserver...
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