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Missing HDD space

Posted on 2013-05-14
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Last Modified: 2013-05-14
Hi guys,

Just built a system with 5 x 1TB drives in RAID5 (Gigabyte GA-X79-UD5).

The array sees the right amount of space. And even windows see's the correct amount but it says it's already allocated. I have the latest BIOS installed and I'm running server 2012.

Just had a quick read up and can see the storage limitations. I can see that if I create a dynamic disk, then I can do it? I don't know how to do it? And does this mean that I don't create an array in the intel RAID BIOS?

Any help appreciated - thanks.
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Question by:Talds_Alouds
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 39166599
The largest bootable RAID array with what you have is a 3-disk RAID5.  So do that, build another 2-disk RAID1.   Use the RAID1 for the O/S and write intensive apps & files.

RAID5 write performance will suck on your hardware because that controller has no caching. If you want decent performance, you'll need to buy a real controller with battery backup cache.
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Author Comment

by:Talds_Alouds
ID: 39166612
Thank you. I'm not too concerned about write speeds as it's not going to be used as an actual server but rather just a workstation with a fair bit of storage/RAM.

If I get a dedicated RAID controller, will I be able to have a 5 disk array (like I currently have)? If so, what's a decent cheap RAID controller that would do this? Remembering that I'm trying to do this on the cheap.

Thanks mate.
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Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 39166665
Sorry, but decent and cheap are mutually exclusive for RAID controllers .. assuming you are buying new.  No matter what you need a controller with battery backed up cache and dedicated CPU from one of the major players that is writing device drivers and maintaining them for your O/S.

As such, my suggestion is to go with a family of products such as LSI MegaRAID, 3Ware, or late-model Adaptec and try to pick something up used on ebay.
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Author Comment

by:Talds_Alouds
ID: 39166887
So by doing this, I'll be able to run a 5 disk RAID5 and have a volume bigger than 2TB?
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dlethe earned 500 total points
ID: 39166897
No.  the 2TB limit on a bootable volume is a BIOS/hardware constraint with your motherboard.    May I suggest buying a pair of cheap SATA SSDs, mirroring them with windows (plugging them into the 2 local SATA ports).   Then you can go with a 5-disk RAID5, and make that the 'd' drive.

Native windows software RAID1 is very fast & reliable, plus you get read load balancing, so in perfect world, reads are 2X faster.  (Almost no performance penalty for writes).
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Author Comment

by:Talds_Alouds
ID: 39166927
Awesome thanks. Just realised you said bootable.
I'll probably just use a std. HDD for OS and 5x RAID5.
Ps. isn't RAID1 bad for SSDs?
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Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 39166931
Nothing wrong with W2K12 software R1 for SSDs.  The O/S does TRIM, so it works quite well.
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