So I'm building a new system, and I am trying to install Windows 7 Professional 64-bit on a RAID 5 array of 5 Raid-class F3R 1TB Spinpoint drives. I'm using my MSI Motherboard's Intel Rapid Storage Technology utility to configure my RAID array. So when I configure it with all five drives, the Intel RST manager displays the array status as "Initialize", whereas if I leave a drive free and only configure the array with 4 drives, the status is displayed as "Normal".
Intel has explained this here (http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-029124...), but when I go to the part of the Windows 7 installation screen where you choose which drive to install the OS on, it gives an error saying "windows cannot be installed to this disk. the computer's hardware may not support booting to this disk. ensure that the disk's constroller is enabled in the computer's bios menu" when I have all five drives in an array.
Is there any way I can configure it so that I can put all five drives in the array? Or will I have to leave one drive out to install the OS on, then put the other four in RAID?
Thanks for the help!
5x SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3R HE103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
EVGA SuperClocked 012-P3-1572-AR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support
LG Black 10X Blu-ray Burner - Bulk SATA WH10LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
Rosewill BRONZE Series RBR1000-M 1000W Continuous@40°C, 80Plus Bronze Certified,Modular Cable Design,Active PFC"Compatible
MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
You can still create 2 partitions, using all the space on the drives and installing windows on one of them.
The issue is that a single disk volume > 2TB requires the use of a GUID partition table. The conventional MBR partition table maxes out at 2TB.
Windows 7 can boot from a GUID partition table as long as the motherboard supports it - the problem is that most motherboards don't have the EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) BIOS required to do this.
Partitioning doesn't solve the problem - you still need to use GUID partitions on a volume that large and even if you create a small GUID partition you'll still have the same motherboard boot issues.
What you CAN do with some RAID controllers is to create multiple RAID volumes from a single pool of physical disks. If the RAID volumes are less than 2TB then you can avoid the problems with booting. You could create one RAID volume of, say, 100GB to store an MBR-formatted OS partition for booting, with the remainder set up as a large volume using a GUID-formatted partition for data. (GUID data partitions are not an issue since you don't have to boot from them).