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Windows 7: Disk Management disc tools - can't format uneducated space RAID5


03 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1
 
 
Disk Management disc tools - can't format unallocated space RAID5

I am using Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit & I have a 2 3Ware Escalade 9500S-8 SATA controllers with four 1.8 TB drives. The 1st partition is 2 TB and is the boot partition. After that I can see the rest of my space as 5.2 TB and labeled as Unallocated Space. When I right click on it everything is ghosted out except properties. I tried splitting the 2 TB partition in half to see if I could expand the new 1 TB partition to use any of the unallocated space but could not. I have tried every partition tool I could download but none will work with the 5.2 TB partition. Any suggestions as to how I can access this space. I am trying to use it as a FTP server.

Thanks in advance,
Chris.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Dec 2011   #2

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

You will need to go to Disk Management and reinitialize the disk as as GPT disk, then create new partitions on it.

I'm assuming that currently it's formatted as an MBR disk - the MBR partitioning scheme however can only address total disk space up to 2TB. Beyond that, it's incapable of "reaching" the rest.

Here's more information about GPT for your perusal: Windows and GPT FAQ
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1
 
 

The partition is not formatted. When it is selected and I go to the actions menu and select all tasks, or right-click on it, all options are ghosted out. When I use the command line DISKPART cmd. the volume is not shown. I would not mind multiple 2 TB partitions then I could use the 5.4 TB. I have attached a screen capture. In the rectangle where it is displayed the only text is 'Unallocated'.

Thanks...


Attached Thumbnails
Disk Management disc tools - can't format uneducated space RAID5-raid5-unallocated-space.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Dec 2011   #4

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

It's not a question of what to do with the partition. You can't use that space because, as I explained before, the entire disk (all 7.2TB of it) is using the MBR partitioning scheme.

That scheme cannot address more than 2TB of space on the disk, which is what you're currently using - hence the remaining 5.2TB of unallocated space.

Maybe there are partition management apps that can convert an MBR disk to a GPT disk without destroying existing partitions. I honestly don't know; one of the other forum members who is more knowledgeable in this regard will hopefully comment on this.

EDIT: It turns out that Partition Wizard (a widely recommended free partition manager in this forum) can do this. http://www.partitionwizard.com/conve...-gpt-disk.html
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1
 
 

Now I understand the problem. Losing everything on the disk is not a problem. I just want to access all my space. At this point I could have re-installed Windows a dozen times with the amount of time I've wasted on solving this. Should have come here first.

Thanks!!!
Chris
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2011   #6

MS Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
 
 

Your 4x1.8TB hard disks are connected in RAID 5 (striped form) showing as 7.2TB single hard disk. To make use of all the space you need to break the strip set.

If there is no problem in losing the data, the easiest method is to remove the data connectors of 1, 2, 3 HDDs keeping 0 HDD. Reinstall Windows 7 on this HDD with the partitions you wanted to create. Once Windows 7 is up and running, connect Disk 1, make all the space on this Disk as unallocated and then create partitions and format in Disk Management program of Windows. Then do the same for Disk 2 and then later on for Disk 3.

Now you will have 4 independent disks with partitions available to you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1
 
 

I can't wait to give this a try. Your instructions are very detailed and sound easy enough. Unfortunately the server is not at my home but at a restaurant close by. Usually I manage it with Team Viewer but I will need to be on-site for this which will be tomorrow morning at the earliest.

There is also another problem which I will have to address later. In the BIOS for the 3Ware Escalade 9500S-8 SATA controllers (I have two cards) only four of the five 1.8 TB Hitachi hard drives are in use. The 5th says 'Not in use'.

I should have done this to start with. I have completed my profile here for system specs. and attached my Belarc system profile as a PDF document and here is my Gravator profile.
http://en.gravatar.com/sysopchris

As soon as I complete your instruction I will post a reply here to let you know how it goes. I really appreciate your time helping me out. Thanks so very much!

Regards,
Chris


Attached Files
File Type: pdf Belarc Advisor Computer Profile.pdf (539.9 KB, 24 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Dec 2011   #8

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

Good luck - let us know how things turn out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1
 
 

I am unable to initialize the disk to GPT. No matter what I do it's always ghosted out in MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro 6.0. Can you please look at my screen capture and see what I am doing wrong. I have one drive on the 1st controller with Windows and two drives on the other controller. All three are now recognized by Windows.

Thanks...


Attached Thumbnails
Disk Management disc tools - can't format uneducated space RAID5-minitool-capture.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2011   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1
 
 

I may be on to something here. Once I deleted the partition then I could select GPT. Trying it now...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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