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How to Configure Raid 5 on Perc 6i

Posted on 2009-04-06
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Hello all,

I have just bought a new Dell Poweredge Server. The Server has a Perc6i Raid Controller. The server also has 8x450GB HotPlug SAS drives.

To my knowledge if I setup Raid5 I should have approx 3TB of useable space. When I setup up the raid, reboot and start installing W2k8 at the hard-disk section I do get 2.9TB of space.

Now I partition the drive to have 300GB and was going to leave the rest for the other partition. The moment I do so I get the 3 partitions, the 300GB I created, a 1.7TB useable partition and an 800GB unuseable partition.

Can some of you tell me why this is happening? I have setup the Raid from the onboard controller and all looked fine. It also told me I would have about 2.9TB space but maybe I am missing something.

Thanks in advance. Cheers
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Question by:devereandpartners
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BigSchmuh earned 2000 total points
ID: 24097212
I think the problem comes from the MBR 2TB partition limit.
This MBR partition format does not allow enough sectors to be accounted for more than 2TB (even if it displays the correct number of sectors from your 3TB volume)
   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_boot_record

Another partition format named GPT allows for larger partition ... but it allows booting only on EFI compatible motherboard (Itanium and some rare others...but no PowerEdge servers)

May be, you can set 2 arrays of less than 2TB each:
-1 raid 5 using 3x450GB (900GB)
-1 raid 5 using 5x450GB (1.8TB)
OR
-1 raid 5 using 8x290GB (<2TB)
-1 raid 5 using 8x160GB (1.1TB)
OR
-1 raid 10 using 4x (2x 450GB) (1.8TB) which would be really easier to manage and won't have the write performance problem you will got with raid 5
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by:BigSchmuh
ID: 24203056
Thanks !

By the way, which raid conf did you choose finally ?
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by:devereandpartners
ID: 24203104
I made the entire Raid 5 Partition. In the Bios I then split into 2 virtual disk of 150Gig and 2.9TB.

During Windows setup I formatted the installed on the 150Gig Parition.

After installation I went into Disk Management and formatted the other parition as GPT and it used all the space. During installation windows just makes it MBR which doesn't support more then 2TB as stated.

Thanks again for you help!
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