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Install Windows on large partition

Posted on 2010-11-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I am installing WIndows 2008 on a server with four 2TB drives setup in a RAID 5 config (Adaptec 2420). I load the drivers and the drives appear as 2 separate blocks of "unpartitioned space" - one is right at 2TD and the other is at 745 GB or so. I created a partition on the 2 TB space of 200 GB for the O/S to install (might be overdoing it a bit, but I want plenty of room). Is there a way (if I leave the rest of the space unpartitioned) to make that one single large drive after the O/S installs? I read about the GPT drive formats but it seems that it need "clean drives" to convert to GPT.

So how would you use a large drive like that to install the O/S or are you just out of luck?
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Question by:djerryanderson
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6 Comments
 
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David earned 400 total points
ID: 34208410
The firmware most likely does not support a logical device > 2.09 TB.  The 2420 is pretty old, so don't hold your breath that they have an update for you that fixes this.

If you want to use that space, you are simply going to have to reconfigure as a pair of 2TB RAID1s.
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Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 100 total points
ID: 34208423
You cannot install Windows onto a disk/drive larger than 2 TB UNLESS:
1. It's a GPT disk AND
2. Your system uses EFI instead of a BIOS AND
3.  You are installing a 64 bit operating system

If you need a drive larger than 2TB, I suggest you put a couple of smaller drives in a separate small RAID and then install Windows to that.  Then you can use a GPT based disk for data
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Author Comment

by:djerryanderson
ID: 34208426
Well, with that said, could I just make several logical drives on the 2 sets of "unallocated space" and leave it at RAID 5?
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Author Comment

by:djerryanderson
ID: 34208472
I guess if I go to two RAID 1's it solves the problem, but I lose 1TB of space. The biggest issue is having several partitions of various sizes. What I need this server for is a Backup 2 Disk location for my VMs. I can backup various VS to each partition, but it would be a whole lot easier to have one big partition (with or wothout the O/S on it). The server I have though only holds 2 drives so I can;t add any more than that and 1TB is the max that the RAID card will recognize.
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Expert Comment

by:David
ID: 34208555
If you built a RAID5 and repartitioned it, then it would *KILL* performance.  every write on every virtual machine would require a minimum of one I/O on every physical disk drive.  Real-world, I wouldn't be surprised if it run about 1/8th as fast as 2 x RAID1s.
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Author Closing Comment

by:djerryanderson
ID: 34208576
Thanks folks. Appreciate all the very good info. I'm going with the two RAID 1's.
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