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

29 May 2015   #1
sfwul

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
2x 4TB as RAID0, Unallocated space, GPT limits and initiliazing issues

Over the last couple of days I have been puzzling how to setup 2x4TB to 1 RAID0 partition.

Up front: I know.. about the 2TB limit, GPT and stuff and Windows having issues with that.

However, I could not figure out why all things are looking fine, i.e. RAIDs created,
Windows shows them but the next day, the RAID is gone and I have to re-initialize it.

Hardware configuration: 2x SSD, 2x 2TB (RAID0), 2x4TB (RAID0), Asus X99 DeLuxe/U3.1 - Windows 7 x64 SP1


1) When booting the RAID BIOS correctly shows the 2 SSD and 2 RAID-sets (one for 2TBs, one for 4TBs), so that looks alright. I have created the RAIDs over and over again, in an attempt to solve the issues.

2) The HDDs are all GPT

3) Windows Drive Management a large volume shows up as unallocated (about 1700GB..)
It cannot be removed/formatted/resized whatever, even not using Paragon's Harddisk Manager Suite

Except for this unallocated space, everything lookED fine.

Then again, today, the large RAID did not show up in Explorer.

Had to go into drivemanagement, got the GPT question, tagged and clicked OK, assigned a driveletter,and the RAID showed up.

Question: How to avoid this?
Do I have to set the unallocated space 'offline' ?

Thanks
-

Meanwhile... I have screenshots of all steps (10) but adding them here would result in a post of 5 feet.
I don't think there is a way to add them as thumbnail, neither to add a link to an album on OneDrive
I'll be happy to post the screenshots, but I don't want to get flames or get banned


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 May 2015   #2
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

I don't think I have understood your problem correctly yet..

You have no problems with the RAID 0 2X2TB right? and you have problems only with the 2 x4TB drives with it showing only as a 6TB drive. Almost 2TB shows as unallocated.

Are those all internal drives? Are you using any dock? Describe the complete setup and all hardware associated with it including the make, model number of the 4 TB drives.

"Had to go into drivemanagement, got the GPT question, tagged and clicked OK ......." Please elaborate. What GPT question? tagged what?

Please post the following two screenshots:

1. Windows Disk Management showing all your drives with no truncation of any sort. Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image

2. How all the disks appear in Minitools Partition Wizard Home Edition - the first screen when you launch the application. Best Free Partition Manager for Windows | MiniTool Partition Free
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 May 2015   #3
sfwul

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

They involve 2x 4TB internal HDDs in RAID getting a volume of 7.2TB.

Drivemanagent shows a unallocated space of 1700GB on top of the 7.2TB

Likely the only way getting around this is to set that partition offline..?

I have added screenshots below, hopefully nobody will start complaining.

=


==








My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 May 2015   #4
gregrocker

 

Why did you cover up the Disk Mgmt window? It clearly says in the tutorial for Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image to maximize the window and make sure every column is fully expanded so its readable. Instead you put other boxes on top of it? Hello?

What is the reason for wanting undesirable RAID which isn't even redundant (the first letter in its name!) because you lose all data if you lose one hard drive? The only possible reason to want this outdated failsure technology is if you work with huge files like video editing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 May 2015   #5
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Since you won't be booting from it, why don't you create the RAID0 set within Disk Management (I don't know if you can RAID with GPT disks with Windows though, you will have to try). It should be similar performance as BIOS raid.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 May 2015   #6
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
I don't think I have understood your problem correctly yet......

Are those all internal drives? Are you using any dock? Describe the complete setup and all hardware associated with it including the make, model number of the 4 TB drives......


Please post the following two screenshots:

1. Windows Disk Management showing all your drives with no truncation of any sort. Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image

2. How all the disks appear in Minitools Partition Wizard Home Edition - the first screen when you launch the application. Best Free Partition Manager for Windows | MiniTool Partition Free
Are you even reading the posts in reply?

Keeping your own track does not help us to help you.

Please answer the queries still remaining unanswered.

Before posting the screenshots requested, read through Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image from the start letter to the end letter. Your screenshots should comply with all the guidelines enumerated there on presenting all the information in it.

The crux of your problem seems to lie in the Unallocated space which appears as another drive. If the raid has been created properly the two 4TB raid 0 drives should only appear as one single drive of 8TB.

We can't take it further in the absence of the requested information.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2015   #7
sfwul

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Sorry for the delay. Note that I am using another pc to reply on this thread so my feedback may come with a slight delay.


Will try to answer the questions as best possible.

a) @GokAy ".. why don't you create the RAID0 set within Disk Management .." : I created the RAID using ctrl-I at boot (Intel Rapid Storage Technology), don't know if creating RAID within Windows is possible at all. Could be, I don't know.

b) @gregrocker - " Why did you cover up the Disk Mgmt window?": The screenshots taken, they were in fact for my own purpose, I have now added one that shows more information.

c. @gregrocker - "What is the reason for wanting undesirable RAID..", well, that's the way I would like it, but actually, it has not really anything to do with the 'unallocated' space issue.

d. @ jumanji - "The crux of your problem seems to lie in the Unallocated space which appears as another drive. If the raid has been created properly the two 4TB raid 0 drives should only appear as one single drive of 8TB. " I honestly wouldn't know how else create a RAID.

e.@jumanji - ""Had to go into drivemanagement, got the GPT question, tagged and clicked OK ......." Please elaborate. What GPT question? tagged what?" If I do -not- change the unallocated to a 'offline' , each time I go into drivemanagement I get a popup window "You must initialize a disk before Logical Disk Manager can access it" (see 2nd/3rd screenshot in my earlier post)


f.@jumanji - "2. How all the disks appear in Minitools Partition Wizard Home Edition" - I am using Paragon Harddisk Manager Suite (v15), attached a screenshot of a photo I made. The quality may be poor, I launched Paragon from a rescue CD, so, I could only create a screenshot of a photo. Here you can see the 2 RAIDs and the 2 SSD's. It all look okay, within Paragon and within ctrl-I at boot (Intel Rapid Storage Technology


-


Attached Thumbnails
2x 4TB as RAID0, Unallocated space, GPT limits and initiliazing issues-capture-30052015-062544.png   2x 4TB as RAID0, Unallocated space, GPT limits and initiliazing issues-creating-raid-set-30052015-065659.png   2x 4TB as RAID0, Unallocated space, GPT limits and initiliazing issues-raid-booting-30052015-063520.png   2x 4TB as RAID0, Unallocated space, GPT limits and initiliazing issues-paragon-hdm-raid-30-05-2015-07-09-24.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2015   #8
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

You still did not install Partition Wizard Home Edition and post the screenshot of how your drives appear in Partition Wizard.

1. Are your drives connected to SATA ports 1-6 in the motherboard? Yes/no

2. Is the SATA Controller 1 Mode Selection set to RAID in the UEFI Bios? Yes /no

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)

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 .)

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.)

3. Now format both the drives as GPT drives using Windows Disk Management - no Paragon, no Partition Wizard or any other formatting utility.

4. Make your RAID with IRST.

Does it now show it as a single 8TB drive?

If it doesn't contact ASUS Tech Support. They should be knowing much better. I don't work for ASUS.

Good Luck.

Edit: There is no RAID 0 limitation on the number of drives or capacity of the drives that can be Raided as such. However consumer grade equipments/Sata Controllers /drivers may have limitations. Reason why you should contact ASUS Technical Support. You may also consider installing the latest IRST driver from Intel website and check whether it helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2015   #9
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Hey, it is quiet simple to create RAID0 inside Disk Management.

Here is a step-by-step tutorial. Just create the striped volume (RAID0) when you have to chose: How to Create a Software RAID Array in Windows 7

Here is a test I just made: a simple one that is (RAID0 are Windows RAIDs)
From my Samsung 850 Pro to other drives - 3.07 GB (3D Mark Folder)
- Single drive - 640GB WD Cavier Green - 1:05.19 s
- RAID 0 - 2x640GB WD Caviar Green - 24.76 s
- RAID 0 - 2x1TB WD Cavier Black - 18 s
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2015   #10
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Hi Gokay, with IRST in, I am not sure it is a good proposition to go with Windows striping. Further he already has one RAID array created with IRST.

ASUS in its support site says, for creating a RAID refer to the manual bundled in motherboard support DVD that comes along with it. The OP has to check on it and will be better off going with the manufacturer's recommendation. His motherboard UEFI BIOS is tied with IRST.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 2x 4TB as RAID0, Unallocated space, GPT limits and initiliazing issues




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