Gigabyte EG45M-UD2H Vista installation problems

attack3
attack3 used Ask the Experts™
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I just rebuillt my media workstation with a Gigabyte EG45M-UD2H motherboard replacing an Asus P5W DH Deluxe (RAID failure). I built a 4 drive array configured in RAID 5. I've created a 500 GB partition to install the OS (64 bit Vista Ultimate), but so far have been unsuccessful. I've tried the fixes offered by MS (Article ID: 925481 for example) but no luck. All drive space has been allocated, formated, and initialized. The BIOS appears to be configured correctly, but as this is a new system I may be overlooking something.

 Error messages received: "Windows is unable to find a system volume that meets its criteria for installation" and "The computer's hardware may not support booting to this disk..."

Thanks in advance!
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Author

Commented:
FYI - I disabled the RAID function and Vista loaded fine.
when booting up vista off cd press f6 to install the raid drivers then install should go fine.

CT

Author

Commented:
The RAID drivers load fine. Vista installation can see the array, create/delete partitions, format, etc. It just won't let you install to any of the partitions on the array.

Thanks anyway!
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ok i here is a though if you have a ubcd you could us one of the disk manager to create and format the partition and install vista.

CT

Author

Commented:
CT - sorry, I don't understand what you are trying to say. ubcd = ubuntu cd?
Sorry I should have included a link http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Ct

Author

Commented:
I'll give it a shot and get back to you. Thanks!
Another idea - even though Vista loads the drivers correctly, try integrating the RAID drivers into the Vista install, using vLite (http://www.vlite.net/download.html)
Also - check for a motherboard bios update - you might even be wise to slipstream as many of the other drivers for your system into the image.

Author

Commented:
and235100,

 Good thoughts. Thanks! I'm just getting ready to jump back on this problem, so I'll try your ideas.

 I read an article on MS that stated the problem was related to the way Vista identifies discs. Apparently they don't use the old ARC methodology, and this can be problematic. No mention of how to correct this problem though. I am using a base Vista installation, I may try using one that has SP1.

Thanks again!

-Louie

Author

Commented:
Update:

 After juggling various hard drives, etc. it appears that the problem is a limitation with the Intel ICH10 RAID controller. It seems like the controller will not allow arrays over ~ 1.5 TB to be bootable. The firmware based storage manager that you access during boot does not allow you to change the boot status of arrays. Another issue seems to be Vista and it's handling of multiple arrays on this controller. I tried creating 2 arrays under 1.5 TB. The storage manager listed both arrays as bootable, but Vista gave the same message that appeared in my original post i.e. "Windows is unable to find a system volume that meets its criteria..."

 I am now checking to see if the Intel Windows based storage manager will allow me to work around some of the problems. As I mentioned in my original post I am working with 4 drives. I created a RAID 1 array using the firmware based manager and installed Vista. I then installed the storage manager application and created a RAID 0 array using that utility. It is currently creating the array, but hopefully it will work correctly. I'll post an update once the utility finishes creating the array.

Author

Commented:
A couple more thoughts.

1. When you create arrays under 2.5 TB Vista installation does not require that you load a driver in order to see them. However, when they are over that limit you must install the driver to see the array.

2. if someone can figure out how to make my original** desired configuration work on this motherboard.

** 4 x 750 GB drives configured in RAID 5.

Author

Commented:
Sorry, make that 1.5 TB arrays.
Author of the Year 2011
Top Expert 2006
Commented:
attack3 -
You should click on the "Request Attention" link in the bottom right corner of your original post and ask the Moderators to add this to the 'Hardware' Zones.
The Experts over there deal with these kinds of problems all the time.

Author

Commented:
younghv,
Will do. Thanks!
Most Valuable Expert 2015
Commented:
I'm not aware of any 1.5TB limits, but I am of a 2TB limit. You will not be able to boot from a system larger than 2TB. You can have larger arrays, but those can't be system partitions and they must use the GPT format.

Anyway, I strongly advise against using partitions that are too large, if something fails and a chkdsk starts, you'll wait for days for it to finish. It's better to split things up into smaller partitions so it gets manageable (and also if a chkdsk needs to run after a crash, it'll be faster as not the whole disk has to be checked). It is also good practice to make a small system partition on which only the OS is. The data and software should always be separated from the OS.

Author

Commented:
Rindi,

 Thanks for the quick response. I guessed at the 1.5 TB limit prior to finding documentation on that limit. Since I was working with 750 GB drives I knew the limit was between 1.5 TB and 2.25 TB.

 This setup is for a media server at home. The case limits me to 4 drives so what I was trying to do was create a large RAID 5 array, put a 500 GB system partition on it and a second 1.7 TB data partition. As I currently have it configured I'm mirroring 2 drives for the OS and striping 2 drives for the data. I'm going to see if I can squeeze another drive inside the case and make the data array RAID 5.

 The 750 GB system partition isn't optimal, but it seemed like kind of a waste to split it up into 2 smaller partitions. I'm working with large video files, so the space would get used up quickly.
Top Expert 2012
Commented:
How about a single small hard drive for the OS and 3 more drives for the RAID5? You can create an image of the OS disk for a quick restore if it ever fails, and small OS disks only take a few minutes to restore.  I do this with my video server using Acronis.

Author

Commented:
Callandor,

 I actually bounced that idea around. I opted for the mirror set so that I would have one more layer of protection. I'm going to image the system partition once I get the installation sorted out (I just wiped everything and installed Windows 7). What imaging software do you recommend? I used to use Casper, then went back to ghost, and now am looking at Clonezilla. Any recommendations that you have would be appreciated.

Author

Commented:
Based on all the input I received I was able to get the system up and running. I found that the configuration that I wanted to use was not supported by the hardware or the OS.
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
Clonezilla is a good free program; I use Acronis True Image Home 2009.  I stay away from Symantec because they ruined all Norton products, which used to be cutting edge and great before they were acquired.

Author

Commented:
I'll check it out. Thanks!

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