NTFS and storage question

lighthousekeeper used Ask the Experts™
Hi,  We have a HP DL380 G7 with a fully populated RAID array with a combined storage total of roughly 3.5TB.  Ideally, we'd like to install Windows Server 2008 R2 with say a 200GB "C" partition and a 3+TB storage array.  I'm wondering how I should go about partitioning the server to gain access to all this usable space.  I've heard GPT may be the way to go.  If this is the case--how do I go about configuring this through the HP Smart Start CD.

What would be the safest direction to go in to gain access to all this storage?

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Darrell PorterEnterprise Business Process Architect

I presume your RAID is configured as either level 5 with a hot spare or level 6 with a hot spare (I hope)
GPT is the only way to go to access a partition greater than 2.19 TB when using 512-byte sectors.
Is it save to presume this is a file server or some other large data respository?
What is the typical size of the data objects or files you plan to store on this server?


RAID was configured as RAID 50.  We aren't married to that and could switch to RAID 6 if it helps anything.

It will be a file server.  Documents an average size of 1-5MB.

If GPT is the way to go, how would I go about provisioning that type of file system from the HP Smart Start CD?

Thanks a lot.
kevinhsiehNetwork Engineer

I am not familier with the HP specifics with the Smart Start CD, but you need to create TWO RAID arrays: a 200 GB RAID array for the OS which will be initialized as standard MBR, and then a second array initialized as GPT for your data.

It sounds like your RAID is always configured, in which case you will probably need to delete it and start over. I suggest just creating the 200 GB RAID disk for the OS and installing the OS first, and then go back and configure the rest.


That's helpful--thanks.  Two last questions:

Can I install the OS under NTFS?

Once the OS partition has been created, do I just use disk management to configure the GPT partition--if yes, what is the magic in creating this type of volume?  I don't see the option under disk management.

Thanks again.
Network Engineer
Sorry, should be "Sounds like your RAID is ALREADY configured."

NTFS is your only option for the OS.

GPT refers to disks, not partitions. Yes, you use Disk Management for it. Disk Management should ask you to initialize the disk. If not, right click on the multi TB disk and you should be able to convert it to GPT before you put your partition on it.

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