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Windows 7: 8TB 4-way BIOS RAID setup nightmare

28 Jun 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
8TB 4-way BIOS RAID setup nightmare

I recently purchased Windows 7 Ultimate Full Version and have been trying to set it up on my 8TB 4-way AMD SB850 BIOS RAID array to no avail. I've been in contact with Microsoft support -- Today is my third call -- and my case has been elevated past initial phone support, to 2nd level support, and then today from initial phone support to 2nd level support, to 3rd level support and then to 4th level support and finally to level 5 ( does it end with Bill Gates when you get to 9? ) who talked with level 4 but could not resolve my case and I will be getting a call from him Jun 30.

The initial problem I had when installing Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit was that I could select advanced setup, load the driver for the BIOS RAID off of a USB key, partition the logical disk and format it but when I selected the partition and clicked "Next" I would get an error stating "Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition. See the setup log files for more Information." I soon found out by googling that this is an old bug in the Windows 7 installer that has been present since RC1 and that I needed to remove the USB key immediately after Windows was finished loading the driver.

That worked and Windows said It may have to create additional partitions and indeed it did create an 87MB system partition. After pressing "Next" installation proceeded normally, that is, until it got to the end of the installation process.
Now I receive an error stating "Windows could not prepare the computer to boot into the next phase of installation. To install Windows, restart the installation." -- infinite loop etc. And no my system is not overclocked and neither is my hardware bad nor are my disks bad.

Also, I've been an exclusive Linux user for years and this is my first encounter with Windows 7. I bought Windows to run some games and my previous Linux installation is backed up and if I can get Windows to install then I'll be dual booting. Furthermore, Linux has *no problems whatsoever* with my RAID configuration, either relating to installation or booting off the array so I know it's not my hardware.

So, I'm completely stuck. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

jdb2

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Jun 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Hello jdb2, welcome to Seven Forums!


Windows has issues with RAID.


Have a go at using diskpart to create the Primary partition(s) before the install actually starts, I would suggest you create a 100GB partition to do the install to and that partition can be extended after the install completes.

Have a look at the information starting at Step Two of this tutorial at the link below and be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.


SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation

DISKPART : At PC Startup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

Windows 7 doesn't much like outdated RAID. We see nothing but problems with it here.

Why do you want to run RAID? It is hardly redundant since if you lose one HD you lose everything in most RAIDs, with modern SSD's now there is no performance advantage with RAID, and with built-in drive imaging you can store a backup image which can be reimaged to HD or replacement in 20 minutes.

Further, not sure why you would try to install an OS to a Logical data partition. Windows 7 needs a Primary partition on a Basic HD to install correctly, although in an already-configured HD it will install to Logical if a Primary partition exists to write the System boot files onto, preferably marked Active to flag the installer. But if your RAID is formatted Logical there is no place to place the System boot files and asking the installer to create Primary space out of Logical for this purpose is more than I've ever seen it be able to do, therefore possibly problematic if that's what it did.

What I would do is unRAID and install to one HD with others unplugged, then plug back in the others as data HD', or perhaps configure into a data RAID if you need bigger file space for video editing, etc.

If you keep the RAID I would wipe it with Diskpart Clean All and format Primary to try install if this is possible on such a mammoth RAID.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Jun 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Hi,

Which type of RAID are you referring to? RAID0, RAID5 etc.? I completely agree with Greg, especially the RAID0 (I am a victim of this myself).

My solution was to:

1. OS drive - install to an SSD
2. Data drive - 2TB hardware RAID0 through the BIOS

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2011   #5

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

I've not had the problem myself, but does your motherboard support uEFI?

If not, you can't install Windows to a drive larger than 2TB. (That includes RAID arrays larger than 2TB.)

GUID Partition Table - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Linux apparently does not have this limitation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bobkn View Post
I've not had the problem myself, but does your motherboard support uEFI?

If not, you can't install Windows to a drive larger than 2TB. (That includes RAID arrays larger than 2TB.)

GUID Partition Table - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Linux apparently does not have this limitation.

Thanks mate, I thought that was the case but I didn't bother to google.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 8TB 4-way BIOS RAID setup nightmare




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