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Windows 7: Win7 Ultra64 + 4TB RAID0 = Failed installation

14 Sep 2010   #1

Win ULT 7 64, PN: GLC 00736 Build Date: 06/16/10
Win7 Ultra64 + 4TB RAID0 = Failed installation

Hello, newbie to the forum!

First, I'd like to say this is an awesome forum! It's nice to see people willing to help others... Too many forums out there are just a place for people to attack and belittle each other for no good reason instead of helping them!

I sure hope I can find the help I'm seeking too.

You can look at the system hardware involved in my profile if needed. It is all brand new hardware. But for now, here's the nature of the installation problem:

The BIOS is currently set mostly for defaults/auto except for where I needed to specify RAID for the respective SATA ports connected to the two drives I want to stripe and to boot from CD for Windows 7 installation so I adjusted these settings accordingly.

The motherboard has an onboard AMD 890FX based RAID controller. I have two 2TB SATA3 drives configured for RAID0 using the onboard RAID controller software. The RAID controller software reports slightly over 4TB as logical drive #1. Everything seems fine at this point.

Next step: Boot from the DVD to install Windows 7 Ultra 64. This attempt is a clean install, full (non-upgrade) version, to be installed onto a 4TB RAID0 array using two brand new HDDs.

During the installation I supply the device drivers as specified by the mobo's owner's manual. Windows7 installation accepts them no problem.

Suddenly, there is a problem... Instead of showing the available drivespace as just under 4TB, after the RAID hardware driver is supplied the list will then show two partitions, one barely over 3TB and another one roughly 1 TB. It does not show one 4TB drive after the driver has been provided from the mobo's driver CD.

If I continue to install on the 3+TB drive anyway, the installation routine seems to go through the usual motions... But then comes up with an error... Something about not being able to prepare the drive for booting and to try to re-run the installation program again. It always ends at the same point with the same errror. I will post the exact error message after I give it another try. I should've written it down already, but it's no problem for me to re-create it.

So... If someone posts that Windows 7 cannot be installed on a 4TB partition for whatever reason, like it cannot address over 3+TB of drivespace or other reason, then I can just forget about using the two drives in a RAID0 array and use them as 2 single drives.

Or... If there is a known fix or work-around, please enlighten me!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Sep 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello Happy Neighbor, welcome to Seven Forums!

We've been seeing issues with people getting Windows to install to a single 1TB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) let alone a "volume" of that size; once the size is reduced the install usually goes forward.

I'm not really sure if I would want to have to deal with the issues a volume that size would generate not to mention the installation issues; it may be easier/better in the long run to get Windows installed to a smaller space.

Hang out though and get other's opinion to see what is sugggested.

As I'm sure you're aware ... YMMV.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2010   #3

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate, Server 2008 R2, Ubuntu 8.04 & 10.04 LTS Server

The disks would need to be GPT rather than MBR IIRC and you need an EFI BIOS to be able to boot from a volume this size.
Not sure how you would change to GPT, maybe a tool like GParted.
You should be able to get the EFI BIOS and update tool from Gigabyte.

EDIT: Personally, I like to have a 400 - 800GB Win 7 Partition, then divide the rest between a DATA and a Media Partitions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

15 Sep 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP


Unless there is some reason you need a System Drive that large, I would break the RAID on first boot screen, unplug one HD, boot Windows 7 DVD to use Custom>Drive Options to Create partition around 100gb max to format and install upon.

If you had GRUB on target HD, wipe it first with at least one set of zeroes.

Later plug in other HD to format for data partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Win7 Ultra64 + 4TB RAID0 = Failed installation

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