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creating partition off of a 3.74 TB RAID array

Posted on 2013-10-23
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Last Modified: 2013-10-23
I created a RAID 6 array with 6 x 1 TB SATA disks...  When presenting this disk to Windows during the install I allocated 80 GBs for the system volume and left the remaining space unallocated.  Once Windows 2008 R2 SP1 was installed I saw two unallocated partitions.  I created a partition and that worked just fine...  But now... I don't see an option to allocate the second partition.  When I right click all options are gray'ed out.  Why is this?  Attached is a screen shot of computer management MMC.

computer management screen shot
computer management screen shot 2
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Question by:gopher_49
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Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 39594607
Your problem is because your computer is not using UEFI instead of BIOS.  There may be an option to switch from BIOS to UEFI, but if not, then you cannot do EXACTLY what you are doing.  Even if you can, you'll probably have to reinstall since the disk doesn't contain the right partitions for a UEFI system.

Basically, Windows cannot boot from a disk larger than 2 TB unless the system supports and uses UEFI.  The the RAID controller combines the drives and presents them to Windows as a single drive much larger than 2 TB.  You CAN use a drive larger than 2TB for data if it's configured as a GPT (GUID Partition Table) disk instead of MBR (Master Boot Record) disk.

The solution is to do one of four things (as I can think of):
1. Switch the BIOS to UEFI (check the computer manufacturer/motherboard maker to see if this is possible) and re-install.
2. *IF THE RAID CONTROLLER SUPPORTS*, reconfigure the array so that it presents TWO disks to the system, ONE that is less than 2 TB (I would probably do 200GB) and a second for data containing the rest of the space.
3. Get one or two more drives and setup a small mirror for the OS boot volume.
4. Sacrifice the remaining space and never use it (I wouldn't do this, but it is TECHNICALLY an option).
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Author Closing Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 39594665
I ended up going the route of creating 3 x VD's on the Perc 6i controller.  One at the size of 100 GBs, the other at 2 TBs, and then then last one the remainder which is under 2 TBs.  I didn't realize that I could create multiple VD's on the same RAID 6 array..  Loading Windows now and will end up seeing 3 x drives.

Thanks!
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