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Windows 7: Installing Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 on 2TB Drives


30 Mar 2010   #1

Windows 7 Enterprise (x64); Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64)
 
 
Installing Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 on 2TB Drives

I would like to discus everyoneís failures and success with type of install.

In other Threads we have disused partitioning out the drive into 3 partitions to overcome problems.

So letís hear about your installs.

:::Here is Mine:::

I want to put 5 2TB SATA drives in my Windows 2008 R2 server but while I was test installing Windows 2008 R2 refused to see the full space correctly. I am worried there is an issue with the Windows 7/2008 R2 code in relation to 2TB SATA drives. Seems to work great on SAS or SCSI.

Typically when I install 5 data drives in a server I use RAID 5. This typically shows up as 5 x size of drive. So when I have 5 500GB drives I see 2.5TB of space. (Note: I understand RAID and I know about parity and that it is NOT all useable space, but letís just count it as space for the sake of this test).


Note: My OS is on a 2 mirrored 10K drives and not part of the RAID for data. When I install 5 2TB drives you would expect to see 10TB of space, however Windows Server R2 only shows it as 4TB of space. After checking settings and making lots of changes I finally got it to show as 2 partitions of 4TB and no hint of the 2TB of leftover space.

I switched between 250GB and 500GB drives (same machine, same Windows Server 2008 R2) just different drives. With the 250GB I get 1.25TB of space and with the 500GB again I get 2.5TB of space. Back to the 2TB drives and I only get 4TB of space.

I tried 3 different SATA controllers including the one on the motherboard (built-in). All do the same thing. In the controller BIOS I see all drives and can create a 10TB RAID but when I boot to Windows Server 2008 R2 it only see 4TB.

Side test: I replaced my 2 OS (Windows Server 2008 R2) drives with one new 250GB SATA fresh out of the factory box. I installed Windows 7 on the drive and then tried to access the 5 x 2TB drives with the same results, I see the 5 x 250GB drives fine and I see the 5 x500GB drives fine.

Is it possible there is an error in the SATA drivers or is there a code problem in Windows 7/2008 R2??

Please note: if I use SAS or SCSI drives I do not have any problems everything works as expected.

@DocBrown how did your 2TB drive install go??

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 May 2010   #2

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)
 
 

Had this 2_tb HD running for 1 month now, No Problems.
Full format, No Partitions.


Attached Thumbnails
Installing Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 on 2TB Drives-disk_management_2tb.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2010   #3

Windows 7 Enterprise (x64); Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64)
 
 

Bump
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 May 2010   #4

Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

What's the partition table type? I bumped to the same problem when mounting my 6TB iSCSI volume, it needed the other partition table type (GUID? I forgot..), but it's not MBR for sure. By the way, when you said about using SAS controller, do you mean that you connect the 5x2TB disks to a SAS controller? And where did you create the RAID-5 volume? At the RAID controller BIOS? Or in Windows?

zzz2496
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 May 2010   #5

Windows 7 Enterprise (x64); Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zzz2496 View Post
What's the partition table type? I bumped to the same problem when mounting my 6TB iSCSI volume, it needed the other partition table type (GUID? I forgot..), but it's not MBR for sure. By the way, when you said about using SAS controller, do you mean that you connect the 5x2TB disks to a SAS controller? And where did you create the RAID-5 volume? At the RAID controller BIOS? Or in Windows?

zzz2496
All RAID is done in the BIOS of the RAID Controller (so far):

SAS = 5 x 2TB drives (Non-GUID) works perfectly.
SCSI = 5 x 2TB drives (Non-GUID) works perfectly.
SATA = 5 x 2TB drives (Non-GUID) does not work, limited to 2 (2TB) partitions. ???
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2010   #6

Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Is it controller limitation? Or the storage controller driver limitation? I don't see this weird issue in my SAN (running Linux) hosting total of 8TB storage pool...

zzz2496
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2010   #7

Windows 7 Enterprise (x64); Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zzz2496 View Post
Is it controller limitation? Or the storage controller driver limitation? I don't see this weird issue in my SAN (running Linux) hosting total of 8TB storage pool...

zzz2496
Is it? What I don't understand is why this only affects SATA drive controllers. I have tried 5 different setups and they all have this limitation. I would like to have one large 5TB partition (minus parity with RAID 5).

So you are saying your SAN 8TB does the same, forces you to have 4 x 2TB partitions?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2010   #8

Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

No, my SAN volume is using GPT partition style, so it sees all 6TB of it (the other 2TB is used for NFS/SMB/FTP shares). When I format the 6TB volume with MBR, it shows 2TB volume with ~4TB unusable space, which then I change it to GPT, then everything is fine... Btw, you can't boot up a partition more than 2TB in size, it's BIOS limitation, if you have EFI, then you might be able to boot it (depends on the EFI version and drivers).

zzz2496
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2010   #9

Windows 7 Enterprise (x64); Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zzz2496 View Post
No, my SAN volume is using GPT partition style, so it sees all 6TB of it (the other 2TB is used for NFS/SMB/FTP shares). When I format the 6TB volume with MBR, it shows 2TB volume with ~4TB unusable space, which then I change it to GPT, then everything is fine... Btw, you can't boot up a partition more than 2TB in size, it's BIOS limitation, if you have EFI, then you might be able to boot it (depends on the EFI version and drivers).

zzz2496
Ok....but what I am asking is why SCSI and SAS let you use MBR partitions over 2TB (in fact I have 1 20TB MBR partition on a server at work) but SATA limits you to 2TB partitions?

Even when I change to GTP on my SATA RAID devices I am still limited to 2TB partitions
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 May 2010   #10

Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Here's the thing, most SATA RAID controller is implementing a "fake" RAID, SAS/SCSI implement "proper" RAID...
Maybe that's the reason...? Btw, my volume in Linux is RAID-ed using Linux RAID + LVM...

zzz2496
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Installing Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 on 2TB Drives




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