Disk space not showning up under Windows XP (3x 1.5TB RAID5 on PERC 5/i)

Posted on 2009-04-27
Last Modified: 2013-11-14

It is a Dell PERC 5/i controller installed on Supermicro X7DCL-i (Supermicro CSE-743TQ-865B chassis, 8x hot-swappable SATA/SAS bays). I have 4x 1.5TB Seagate SATA drives set in RAID 5 + 1 hot spare. I did the setup by entering card's BIOS configuration utility (CTRL+A). The volume has been initialized (took more than 5 hours) and I do see in Virtual disk Properties that its size is 2.727TB, RAID status: Optimal.

However, under Disk Group 0 properties Space Available is 0.000MB and when I boot to Windows XP which I have on separate dedicated HDD, I can't see the volume, and, obviously, cannot initialize it and create partitions on it. VD count: 1, PD count: 3.

The same controller was used in conjunction with Supermicro Expander (SAS drives) and the volume was recognized under Windows XP right away. I don't remember what was listed under Disk Group 0 Properties at that time.

I found one menu in the tree (Space Allocation) but it does not allow me to do anything.

Of course, I do have the driver installed under Windows XP.

Package: 5.1.1-0040
FW: 1.03.10-0216

Any suggestions? Thank you.

Question by:MACROLEVEL
    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    In windows XP, you can only use 2TB partition sizes maximum.

    You MUST go to a 64bit Vista version or a Linux type os to use bigger than 2TB.
    That could be your problem as well.

    You need to partition the virtual drive into smaller chunks to use it inside XP.
    (This may need to be done in the init of the array instead of specifying 1 2.xtb drive that XP Cannot address due to a limitation with 32 bit OS.)


    I'm not sure that the Dell Perc5/i controller will process over 1 tb drives in this array without a firmware update.

    Have you checked out your firmware revision to be certain you can use 1.5 TB drives with this version you are using?

    Chuck House
    Core Data Recovery.

    Author Comment

    I am aware about 2TB partition limit, but this is not the case - I do not see the volume under Windows at all so I cannot create partitions on it. And the controller does recognize the drives and I see VD. It looks like I'm missing something on RAID BIOS level but I don't know what. It is not my first build, but I was using mostly Areca and Adaptec cards, so no experience with PERC/LSI.
    LVL 12

    Accepted Solution

    That's why I suggested the second part of my above comment.

    I've never been able to see a virtual drive in windows xp over 2TB to partition it into smaller chunks.

    I've got a 4tb external raid array for scratch space on data recovery jobs, Right now I'm using linux as I cannot use the space in XP Pro 32 bit.

    (not even partitioned, because I cannot see the raid box in XP if I configure it as striped (4tb), even in drive manager it shows up as  0 space available, no partitions.)

    If I configure it as mirroring (2X2tb) Then It shows up and I can partition it.

    I just assume it's because of the 2 TB thing.

    (XP 64 bit and Vista 64 bit as well as windows 7 show up fine)

    (But then I can't plug my scratch drive into an XP box at all unless it's running a 64 bit version.)


    Author Comment

    OK, I'll install 64-bit OS on my system drive to see if I can access the entire volume. I can probably split it on two partitions that will be accessible under Windows XP later.

    Author Comment

    Finally installed Windows 2003 Standard 32-bit on the system drive and then RAID 5 volume showed up in Disk Manager. Thank you, Chuck!

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