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Windows 7: 2x 4TB as RAID0, Unallocated space, GPT limits and initiliazing issues

02 Jun 2015   #21
sfwul

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Below I will try to answer the questions in preceeding posts here.
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Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
You still did not install Partition Wizard Home Edition and post the screenshot of how your drives appear in Partition Wizard.
I tried Partition Wizard. However, as I already have a license on Paragon HDM, which is a very good tool, I did not want to buy another license and used the free version of Partition Wizard.
I tried it twice, it got me confusing information, so I left.
(e.g. GPT drive is displayed as MBR and 7.2TB RAID is displayed as a 1678GB-volume)
Maybe this is a limitation of the free version, I don't know. Frankly I had no real interest to investigate this.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
1. Are your drives connected to SATA ports 1-6 in the motherboard? Yes/no
Yes, they are (see EUFI-screenshot)
X99 has 10 SATA connectors.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
2. Is the SATA Controller 1 Mode Selection set to RAID in the UEFI Bios? Yes /no
Yes it is.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
3. Have you installed Intel AHCI/Raid Driver path for Windows? (Since it seems to be a custom-built PC I presume you should be knowing)
eh ... you got me here.
IRST was installed, I did not pay extra attention to the AHCI/RAID Driver path.
On the CD-ROM this is 1 single item, in a different section.
This AHCI/RAID driver path - there is a small, separate PDF-manual on it and it used when creating a separate RAID driver disc. Then these files should be copied.
On the other hand, I guess... if the drivr hasn't been loaded/installed, I would not have been able to create RAIDs in the first place.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
4. Wherefrom did you install the Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver version 13.1.0. 2126? ( The one listed in ASUS motherboard support site is 13.1.0.1058 alongwith the driver at 3 above. The latest IRST driver version in Intel website is 13.6.0.1012 dated 12/10/2014 .)
Asus CD-ROM
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
OK, if all these questions confuse you, given below is the general guidelines to rebuild your RAID and check.

1. Delete the RAID volume on these two 4TB drives and reset these disks only, to non-RAID. You should now be able to see those as two seperate 4TB drives in Windows Disk Management. I see that you have not stored any data on this RAID so far and hence there will be no data loss. If you do have data on it , move it elsewhere before you deRAID.)

2. Run Western Digital DataLifeguard Diagnostic for Windows - both short and long tests to check that your drives are OK. If the tests pass, then using the same program write zeroes to all sectors. This will reinitialise both the disks to factory condition prior to formatting. ( This testing and writing zeros to all sectors on two 4TB drives will take a long time. Check and recheck that you do it on the correct drives.)
Done that, WinDLG reports no errors.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
3. Now format both the drives as GPT drives using Windows Disk Management - no Paragon, no Partition Wizard or any other formatting utility.
There is -no- way I could format as NTFS. The discs are GPT but the only option I get is formatting NTFS.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
4. Make your RAID with IRST.

Does it now show it as a single 8TB drive?
Done, but no luck...

==

Further to the above, I went on to do the following:

1) Removed the RAID, created two new volumes, formatted them: everything fine, I got 2 drives of 3,6TB, as expected.

2) Now.. next... (important)
within Drive Management, I removed the volumes again.
This is because I wanted to give it a try again creating a RAID.

Once I removed the volumes the sizes immediately changed from 3.6TB into 1678GB (per drive, 2x 1678GB)
I.e. they weren't 3.6T unformatted, but 1678GB

3) I launched Paragon from CD-ROM - there the original size of 3725TB was displayed
together with a 128MB Microsoft Reserved Space partition.
(This partition has been discussed on this forum already).

4) Within Paragon I deleted that partition, created a new volume and formatted it, NTFS
Note: nowhere I found an option to format as GPT. Within Windows and within Paragon
only NTFS was offered. The drives (properties) show they are GPT though.

5) Within Drive Management I have not been able to create a RAID.
I could join the 2x 1678GB volumes. However, once the volumes were created as single drives/volumes (3.6TB) features of creating/expanding were greyed out.

6) On https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2581408
("Windows support for hard disks that are larger than 2 TB")
The 2nd screenshot shows a disksize of 2.7TB

I wonder why, in my case (drives being GPT and online) the drive shows 'overflow' capacity only, i.e. 2TB isn't displayed. Whatever I do.












=

On conclusion:

First of all, you were all very helpful here, trying to solve this 'mistery'.
Again - thank you so much.

Have spent many hours on this and in total 500+ photos and screenshots.
I started unpacking the pc 24th of may. Except for installing an AV-program, I have not been using the pc sofar.

Think I am going to let this matter rest, live with the 2 separate drives.
I believe maybe Windows has an issue with such large drives in RAID, or some there will be some patch or firmware update or whatever.
No doubt it can create RAID from many discs, but usually those drives are 1 or 2TB drives and likely there are no issues then.

=
(sorry for the delay and the long post)
=




Attached Thumbnails
2x 4TB as RAID0, Unallocated space, GPT limits and initiliazing issues-w7-2x-4tb-single-drive-correctly-setup-01062015-122555.png   2x 4TB as RAID0, Unallocated space, GPT limits and initiliazing issues-w7-removing-volumes-3.6t-turn-into-1.7tbt-02062015-070719.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Jun 2015   #22
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

You need to initialize the disks as GPT, it is not a format method. Format will be NTFS of course.

Never tried the Windows software raid I mentioned, at worst you would have to just format the drives again.

Edit: Hmm, of course you have to sort those unallocated 1.6TB issue first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jun 2015   #23
gregrocker

 

When you get your partitions formatted could we please see an unobstructed screenshot of Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image following all the steps in the blue link so that nothing is obscurred from our view. We read these like dentists read X-rays, and in the thousands I've read more than half have potential problems.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Jun 2015   #24
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

@ sfwul
Post #21 is a mess.
Please complete this tutorial by Golden exactly like the tutorials instructs you to.
You need to help us help you. If you can't or won't just let us know.


Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jun 2015   #25
sfwul

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hi folks,
well.. for more than 10 years I have been using BestCrypt (Jetico)
In the process of creating a container, which basically is more or less a one-off thing, at a certain point, the software resulted in an error. Never seen it before and I am in contact with the developers on that.
However...

It resulted into a 4TB drive (non-RAID) turn into RAW-state...

There were over half a dozen Windows image (Macrium) created whilst setting up Windows and installing applications. They are all gone now.Am now following up the thread "External HDD suddenly requires formatting, read as RAW instead of ntfs"
where jumanji suggested to run Magic Partition Wizard and run Partition Recovery Wizard.

Most likely it won't bring me much as Magic Partition Wizard shows the drive (GPT) as 1678GB only (not 3.6TB).

I just wonder, maybe there is a bug in the IRST software? (for the RAID section with drives with a higher capacity than 2TB)

Or is it Windows? for non-RAID above 2TB

Or maybe EUFI ?

Fact is, I have to use a tool like Paragon to make this 3.6TB entirely visible for WIndows (drvmgt and explorer)

However, no-one to turn to on this.

MS certainly does not directly communicate with endusers.

=
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jun 2015   #26
gregrocker

 

It seems your crypto software caused problems with the drive.

Test the hard drive to learn its exact status from Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7.

If it passes both tests then do a Clean Reinstall Windows 7 sticking with the steps compiled there which always result in a perfect install which stays that way exactly as long as you stick with the tools and methods suggested.

I would not use RAID.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jul 2015   #27
sfwul

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Have taken this matter up with Asus, suggesting that their developers may have a better contact with Microsoft developers, as I had none and I would have to contact Microsoft level 1 support by phone and most likely I would not get any further whereas this is an 'expert'-problem. They hinted to still contact Microsoft. Phonecontact does not make sense in my views. So I will not do that.

Have also contacted Western Digital, with the same suggestion. They believe it is a matter for the mobo mfr.
Have submitted the issue at https://social.technet.microsoft.com, and of course...
Have submitted the issue here

Guess this is about the best I can do.

As for installing Windows, I have done that numerous times, but I have more or less come to the conclusion that it is either Windows or IRST or the mobo BIOS, but I think it has not to do with the way I hv set things up.

=
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jul 2015   #28
gregrocker

 

We see nothing but problems here with RAID - thousands of cases since Win7 release, not a single positive report. Windows 7 does not like RAID. It confers no benefits that I have ever seen which would recommend using it. It is dated technology.

How is performance now without it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jul 2015   #29
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
We see nothing but problems here with RAID - thousands of cases since Win7 release, not a single positive report. Windows 7 does not like RAID. It confers no benefits that I have ever seen which would recommend using it. It is dated technology.

How is performance now without it?
and this thread verifies again, Raid 0 just is not for most users and Windows 7 systems.

sfwul has worked very hard and long trying many things.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2015   #30
sfwul

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
We see nothing but problems here with RAID - thousands of cases since Win7 release, not a single positive report. Windows 7 does not like RAID. It confers no benefits that I have ever seen which would recommend using it. It is dated technology.

How is performance now without it?
and this thread verifies again, Raid 0 just is not for most users and Windows 7 systems.

sfwul has worked very hard and long trying many things.
Dear both,

I hesitate and hate to say...
but eh.. frankly speaking and definitely no offense meant..,
I have been running RAID0 for at least 10 years now (wasted by 2005-pc, standing in the way here, last month and it had a few raid controllers on the P5AD2-E Premium-motherboard, viz. Silicon Image Sil3114R, ITE 8212F and the Intel ICH6R.
I used them all and never encountered any issues.
My previous pc, which I am still using - also had some RAID sets, no issues.

This time, I am sure it is either BIOS, or IRST, but most probably Windows(*) and I assume it has something to do with MBR/GPT.
1 RAID0 of 2x2TB is okay, but another one of 2x 4TB on top, well, likely that combo has never been tested? and is a little too much....

Lastly, if I -were- to create a 2x 4TB RAID and if I were set the unallocated space to 'Offline', then, basically, the issue is 'solved', that's to say, diskmgmt will still show the unallocated space but not prompt me anymore each time as to GPT-initialize it.

It is imperitive to regularly run backups when using RAID.

(*) Windows.., I guess it is Windows, because:
-BIOS reports no error
-IRST let me create a RAID set without issues
-Paragon Harddisk Manager Suite (running from DVD) shows no 'unallocated' space
But it is Windows' diskmgmt that apparently has an issue with such large discs.

Anyway.. thanks again!

=
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 2x 4TB as RAID0, Unallocated space, GPT limits and initiliazing issues




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