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Stupid newbie RAID 5 question

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December 11, 2009 3:34:28 AM

Can I boot to a RAID 5 array? I have 5 1.5 TB HDD's, and I'd like to create one RAID 5 array out of them, and boot to that. I have the array all initialized already, and Windows 7 install shows one ~5.8TB drive, but I can't install to that drive... why? Can you not boot on a RAID 5 array?

If I can't do that, what can I do? I have the 5 HDDs as mentioned, and a Asus P6T. I'd like to increase the system performance while also maintaining some level of data security (ie, RAID0 won't work). Is RAID 10 my only shot? I'd prefer to use RAID 5 so I don't lose 2 of the drives, but I can't get it to work on this... any pointers?
December 11, 2009 1:42:20 PM

Have you added the raid driver to the windows install?

Personaly I would not install an OS to a RAID 5 array of that size, I'd have dedicated disk (maybe RAID 1) for OS - personaly I dont use raid for OS on personal PCs but I dont save data to my OS drive either.

How much data are you saving? remember running RAID of a motherbord is only protecting you from disk fail - not motherbord fail or virus, user error etc - if you're not using all the storage I'd be tempted to use the disks for manual backups.

Thats just me tho
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December 11, 2009 4:28:25 PM

I'm not sure where to get the RAID driver, and Windows can recognize it and see its size, it just says it can't install there. On my RAID control screen, it says they're not boot-able, so I think that's my problem, I just don't know how to fix it.

I'm really not saving that much data, but I would also like to have this act as a home server so it does need a lot of space for music/pictures/video. I'm only going with RAID to provide some level of data protection (I'll be backing up the critical files on the array on separate drives), but I don't need the one to one parity of RAID 1. I'd also like to get some extra performance out of it without springing for SSD's. So, its mainly performance with a little data protection. RAID 5 seemed like the best choice for that.
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December 11, 2009 4:40:31 PM

the raid driver should be on your MB CD or downloadable from the company site
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December 11, 2009 11:11:27 PM

So I grabbed all the drivers off the disk and found the right one and loaded it, but windows still says that it can't install to the drive. It says that its not enabled in the hardware and to check to make sure the controller is enabled in the driver. However, I don't see anything in the BIOS about how to enable the controller in the BIOS. There's only one setting about how to configure the drives, but its set to RAID already... any thoughts?
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a b G Storage
December 13, 2009 1:01:08 PM

You cannot boot from a 5.8 tb partition. This size partition is only supported by GPT which is not bootable in windows. You have to partition this drive as MBR which means you are limited to 2 TB partitions. My raid is separate from my boot drive so I'm not sure the workaroud in the windows install. You could create a small raid 0 for boot and raid 5 for your data, just remember to setup windows backup correctly and create a boot CD so you can be back up quickly if you lose a disk. Umm, just read that windows install says your drive is not enabled in hardware. Have you tried putting it in your boot order in your bios?
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December 14, 2009 2:25:06 AM

Well, It says that it can't boot to it, and its says the reason why is that it might not be enabled, but if Windows can't handle 2TB partitions, that would probably be why. I'll try partitioning it down lower and seeing what that gets me.
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December 17, 2009 12:19:49 AM

So, trying to create a smaller partition for just the OS didn't work... I created a 200GB partition for just the os, but it still says it can't boot to this. I know I've given it the correct driver, so it can't be that... but why can't I install to these drives?
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a b G Storage
December 17, 2009 2:02:53 PM

How do these "drives" show up in your bios? I am able to see mine on the menu where I select a boot order. It could be a issue of not seeing it in here, or not having these drives in your boot order.
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December 17, 2009 7:09:07 PM

The drives show up as one drive now that they're in RAID 5. Interestingly though, it says "Hard Drive" rather than the model number or the name of the array. I kinda figured that this was just because of the RAID controller though. That item is first in the boot order though.
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a b G Storage
December 19, 2009 12:46:09 AM

That must have been what you labeled it. I'm at a loss. My setup with the raid was easy. Is this with windows 7? One thing to try is to install to an old hard drive and then use something to copy that install your raid. Just make sure the RAID is recognized after the install. Its a little ugly, but it might just work
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