can't do any thing with gigas of un allocated space

gitagc
gitagc used Ask the Experts™
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We have windows server 2008 Ent installed on R710 Dell server. The server is supplied with 6 hardisks each with a cpacitiy of 450 GB. We planned to use this server for our recently upagred to exchange 2010. As so, we decided to go with RAID5 which means that about 2.2 TB of space will be used and partioned on the server. We have exactly gone with this plane:
- 150 GB is the C drive which contains boot,page file etc...
- 2 TB to be allocated to different partitions used by the Exchange (we planned to go with two partitions)

Our main issue is actually with about 45.12 GB which is show as unallocated space but for some reasons we can't do any thing with it!!! any body could explain what is the use of this additional partion?? why it was automtically created and nothing can be done on it!!
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are all the drives in the Raid 5 equal in size?

Author

Commented:
They are all in equal size

Author

Commented:
See the attached image from the server
unallocated-space.jpg
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Mike ThomasConsultant
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
You have 2 unallocated partitons, 1901gb and 45gb

I think you will not be able to do anything with the 45gig untill you do something with the 1901

I would be inclined to make your 500gig volume and see if then the others can be merged, then keep creating your volumes.
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
Is this new configuration? The problem is that you have exceeded the limit of MBR style partitioned drive which is 2048GB. Only GPT style partitioned HDD can have size bigger than 2TB.
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
I suggest you the following. Backup the installed copy of Windows (or if it is new installation reinstall it). Reconfigure the RAID the way you have standalone drive with Windows on it and RAID5 large configuration for data. Then you will be able to use all capacity of the drive.
Or ignore this 45GB space loss and continue using 1901GB space as data partition. You must be able to format this free space block. The fact that your free space is split into two blocks point to the fact posted in my previous comment. As you see the MBR partitioned drive cuts off the space that exceeds 2048GB limit border.
Noxcho beat me to it :)

It does look like you have hit the limit on the MBR partition size, and once the 1st partition is initilized, the spare 45gb should be able to be used.

As you mentioned it is going to be an exchange box, they tend to be happier with the logs being stored on a physically different disk, rather than just a different partition.
So unless you have plans for using all of the space, ideally you would want 2 disks Raid-1 for the OS and logs, and then 4 disks raid 5 for the datastores.
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
"It does look like you have hit the limit on the MBR partition size, and once the 1st partition is initilized, the spare 45gb should be able to be used." - I think he will not be able to use this 45GB till he uses GPT partitioning style on this configuration. MBR will not exceed its limit even if first partitions start working. =)
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
As noxcho has already noted, the problem here is the 2TB limit for an MBR-based hard drive. You do not, however, have to use a GPT drive to use all of the space. You can simply create two different logical drives on your RAID array --> you do this in the RAID management software. I do not know if the controller on your R710 allows dynamic reconfiguration or if you'll need to wipe the array and reconfigure it ... but in any event this would let you retain your MBR based disk structure. If the R710 has an EFI you don't need to do this; but if it's a BIOS-based system you'll need at least one MBR based disk to boot from, so you may want to simply keep everything MBR-based.
Retired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
... I took at look at your hardware manual  ==>  your system supports both BIOS and UEFI boot modes, so you could create a single GPT disk if you'd prefer, since you're using Server 2008, which will boot from a GPT disk with EFI support.

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