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Bootdrive larger than 2TB

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March 9, 2010 2:40:25 AM

So I have 6 Samsung F3 1TB hard drives in a RAID 0 config. I am using RAID 0 because I want maximum performance. I don't care about storage or failure on this computer because I store all my files on a home server. This computer is for pure performance. I already have all 6 hard drives and I'm not looking to get into buying SSDs right now because I'm waiting for them to improve some more and also they don't support TRIM on a RAID config yet either.

I know that there is a 2TB limit to the boot drive so striping them in this RAID 0 puts the full volume at just under 6TB which is non-bootable.

The first part of this question is; Would I get better performance by even using the total 6TB or should I make the volume smaller 2TB or even less, maybe 300GBs? (Currently I have about 120GB installed) I've heard something about using a smaller portion of the disk for access times or something because it keeps the arm from having to move so much across the disk.

The second part of my question is, maybe even just for future reference; How do I make a large boot drive work greater than 2TB? I know about making the volume a GUID or GPT partition. But that wouldn't make the RAID volume the main partition drive. I've also heard someone mention something about installing the MBR on a seperate smaller drive and then installing the OS and application on the Primary partition or something. But how do you do that?

Thank for the help and suggestions.

More about : bootdrive larger 2tb

a b G Storage
March 9, 2010 5:08:56 PM

The correct way to boot from a >2TB volume is to format the volume as GPT, and boot from a motherboard that uses EFI (rather than BIOS). You'll need Vista or 7 as well - XP doesn't support GPT booting.

As for performance, you would get the best performance (if you don't care about storage capacity) by only using the first several hundred GB of the volume and leaving the rest unpartitioned. This effectively short-strokes the drives, speeding up their access time and average transfer rate.
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July 8, 2011 4:24:48 PM

CJ,
I am dealing with this issue at this very moment, and I am at my wits end. I have the newest motherbaord with EFI bios. I have two 3TB dirves set up in a 6TB Raid 0. The Intel raid controller allowed me to set up the 6TB stripe with no problem. And it even lists it as bootable. Now, how do I install the OS (Win 7 64Bit)? Help!
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a b G Storage
July 9, 2011 4:55:13 AM

joemama613 said:
CJ,
I am dealing with this issue at this very moment, and I am at my wits end. I have the newest motherbaord with EFI bios. I have two 3TB dirves set up in a 6TB Raid 0. The Intel raid controller allowed me to set up the 6TB stripe with no problem. And it even lists it as bootable. Now, how do I install the OS (Win 7 64Bit)? Help!


You need the RAID driver while installing. I haven't done this, but when you boot from the Windows 7 disc there's a point where you can load drivers - the driver you need to load at that point is the driver for the RAID hardware. You might be able to load it from optical disc, or you might have to put it onto a USB thumb drive to load it.

That should be all that's needed to make it possible to install the OS on the RAID.

On a personal note, I wouldn't use a huge RAID 0 for my boot drive - I'd install the OS on a small RAID 1 (or even a small single drive, like an SSD), and I'd reserve the monster 6TB RAID 0 for data - that would be rather cool for video editing, for example. I prefer to keep the system drive smallish so system I/O doesn't interfere with data I/O, and so I can have different backup policies for system vs data. You don't have to do what I do :D 
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