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Thread: Win 7 64bit not showing full capacity of Raid 0




  1. #1
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    Default Win 7 64bit not showing full capacity of Raid 0

    Hello Everyone!

    New to the forum, hoping for some help. Building new rig with ASRock 990FX extreme3 mobo, AMD FX8350 cpu, 2-2TB Toshiba 6gbs sata drives. Have succesfully set raid 0 array in bios and loaded win 7. After windows setup only 2TB disk capacity shows under my computer. In windows disk management disk 0 is split in 2 parts showing the full 4TB capacity. Primary partition as 2047gb and unallocated 1677gb. Does anyone know how to make it full 4000gb??? Thanks for any help.
    Last edited by idoubtit; 03-04-2013 at 10:41 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Win 7 64bit not showing full capacity of Raid 0

    I can tell you why your RAID 0 volume has a reduced size, but you'll need to experiment to see if the full capacity can be used.

    You didn't really state this, but it seems clear you have two identical, 2TB HDDs. Your RAID 0 volume is just over 2TB, instead of the total of 4TB, which would be the usual sum of two drives in RAID 0. If this is not correct, fill in the details.

    The problem is caused by the standard way Windows formats drives. The default MBR partition table only uses 32 bit logical block addressing, regardless of using a 64 bit OS. The maximum capacity that 32 bit addressing can deal with is ~2.2TB. A single disk drive of over 2.2TB capacity has the same restriction. That is a known limitation of the standard MBR disk formatting.

    The way to overcome this is to use GPT formatted disks that have 64 bit addressing. Windows disk formatting allows selecting GPT, which you could have done when you were installing Windows. Changing it now that an OS is installed and keeping your OS installation intact may not be possible.

    Otherwise, ASRock has a utility called "ASRock 3TB+ Unlocker Utility ver:1.1" on your boards download page: ASRock > 990FX Extreme3

    What exactly this utility does, I don't know, I've never used it. It might reformat your RAID 0 volume to GPT, or cause large disks to be formatted to GPT by default. You may get lucky and this will work on your existing OS volume, but it also most likely will wipe it out as a format usually does. So be careful!

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    Default Re: Win 7 64bit not showing full capacity of Raid 0

    Thanks Parsec for replying.
    I do have two identical drives. I have set them up using the UEFI 3TB unlocker that came with the ASRock mobo. After I set up my RAID array using that utility. I cannot boot with my Win 7 disk while still in the UEFI mode. This forces me to set back to legacy mode in the bios. After that Windows installs with no trouble until I look at the size of my drive, expecting 4TB, only having 2TB. Checking disk management shows that my drive is set as MBR not GPT. Perhaps caused by changing the bios from UEFI? Have read that you can covert MBR to GPT in disk mangement, but that option is grayed out. Emailed ASRock Tech. Hopefully they will have a solution if no other reveals itself first. also you mentioned being able to setup GPT during Windows install. How do you do that?
    Last edited by idoubtit; 03-04-2013 at 10:43 AM.

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    Default Re: Win 7 64bit not showing full capacity of Raid 0

    Ok, so you've already tried the unlocker program. Your experience with it seems strange to me, since you would think it would format the disks as GPT. But, Windows 7 won't boot from a GPT formatted disk except in UEFI boot mode, which you know.

    I've done some UEFI booting with Windows 7 and a GPT formatted RAID volume, and it worked for me. But, I did not need to use the Unlocker since I was not using large drives. Windows 7 supports booting from a GPT formatted disk in UEFI boot mode. The potential problem with that is how UEFI booting is enabled in the UEFI/BIOS. My ASR board has the Secure Boot setting, and CSM enable/disable. How did you enable UEFI booting on your board? I'm asking simply because there seems to be some differences in various ASR (and other) board's UEFI's, and really not any documentation from ASR that I can see.

    Setting up GPT formatting during a Windows 7 install is not difficult, but there are a few details that are important. Did you ever see this guide at SevenForum for creating a USB bootable installation drive? You must manually adjust the location of a .efi file for it to work correctly. This is it: UEFI Bootable USB Flash Drive - Create in Windows

    IMO, the SevenForum guides are great. There are others listed at the bottom of each guide, before the forum questions. They also have GPT and MBR formatting guides I believe.

    The problem you had might have been using the unlocker program, since I'm not sure what it actually does. But you could of not used it, formatted the volume as GPT yourself, which solves the capacity limit issue, and figured out how to boot in UEFI mode.

    The following assumes you have a bootable Window 7 64 bit USB installation flash drive set up for UEFI booting, and your UEFI/BIOS set up for UEFI booting:

    Create your RAID 0 volume with the AMD Option ROM available during POST, or do you use AMD software in Windows? Either way, you just create the RAID 0 volume, but do not format it. The Intel RAID software works that way, I don't know about AMD's version.

    Only have the RAID 0 volume connected to the SATA ports, no other disk drives should be connected. The USB installation flash drive should be connected and first in the boot order to start the installation.

    When the installation step appears that asks you where to install Windows, you'll see your RAID 0 volume, but you need to format it. The UEFI installation setup steps I mentioned above will cause the volume to be GPT formatted. You'll see a button on the screen, NEW. Click that and you should see the full size of both drives listed together. Just click Ok once or more to finish the format. When complete, you'll see the four partitions created for GPT format. Choose the largest one for the installation. If you load the AMD F6 RAID driver, you do that on that screen too. From there you just finish the installation.

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    Default Re: Win 7 64bit not showing full capacity of Raid 0

    Parsec, thanks for your continuing help. At this point I'm not sure what I know. As far as I can tell the 3Tb Unlocker program only allows me to set up a RAID array larger then 3Tbs and not setting the drive to GPT. During my Windows setup I can see this using DISKPART. After using DISKPART to set up the drive as GPT, I continued to install Windows straight with no modification to the GPT drive, and also after allowing Windows setup to reformat the drive as you have stated and then choosing the larger partition to install on. In both cases after the install Windows only shows a 1.99TB drive in My Computer. When I go to Disk Management Disk 0 is shown as 3726GB split in two parts. One part of the drive is 2048GB primary partition, the other 1678GB unallocated space. When I look at the properties of the unallocated drive it says MBR. Thinking this is a Windows issue as opposed to something to do with UEFI bios or 3TB Unlocker issues.

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    Default Re: Win 7 64bit not showing full capacity of Raid 0

    It's my pleasure to help (?) you with this, since I learn things too.

    Sorry to hear it didn't work, as I said I've never used two large drives like that in RAID 0. I only have one 2TB HDD, and a few 1TB HDDs, but experimenting with those won't be the same. It seems clear that the RAID 0 volume was not formatted as GPT during the installation.

    If you formatted it with Diskpart as GPT, and let Windows format it again, it should have worked but didn't. That is one thing that went wrong, but also tells me something else. The instructions I wrote assumed an unformatted volume, and also that you were going to UEFI boot with the specially prepared USB flash drive for UEFI installation. Unless you have already done this, you really must prepare your installation media for UEFI booting, as the link to a guide I provided explains. I'm guessing that is why the format you did in the installation ended up being MBR. The installation media set up for Windows 7 UEFI booting causes the Windows installer to format the volume as GPT. A file in the Windows 7 installation media must be moved to a different folder in order for a UEFI booting installation to work correctly. You also must enable UEFI booting in the BIOS/UEFI.

    I know with Intel RAID software, you cannot boot a volume larger than 2TB unless you are UEFI booting. Once again, that is because the RAID Option ROM used in standard BIOS booting only has 32 bit addressing, while the UEFI booting RAID Option ROM has 64 bit addressing. The question is does AMD have a UEFI boot RAID Option ROM that meets GPT requirements?

    You should check if the AMD RAID software has a limit of the size of the size a volume can be.

    Given the above, you can also test a GPT format if you don't mind wiping out the latest Windows installation, and have another OS installation on the same PC or one with the same RAID software, so you can experiment with it, I would try this:

    Create the RAID 0 volume of the two, 2TB disk. It should be unformatted at that point. It should be seen as 4TB of unallocated space. Then use Disk Management or Diskpart to format the disk as GPT. Check that the default size of the partition is actually the full size of the two disks, and that Windows or Diskpart is not using the correct value. When complete you will see if you can format a 4TB volume as GPT. If Windows seems fine with it, run the RAID software in Windows, and see how that recognizes it. Don't forget you cannot boot from this volume with Windows 7 unless you are UEFI booting.

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    Default Re: Win 7 64bit not showing full capacity of Raid 0

    And the beat goes on ...
    So STILL trying to get this machine up and running correctly, but to no avail.
    After following Parsec's instructions, along with Seven forum's guide, no joy.
    Made my bootable USB, created my raid 0 array raw, and now during Win 7 setup it wants drivers.
    This was not an issue previously as the ASR setup disk allowed me to make a USB 64bit driver disk to use during install.
    Now for some reason it is no longer accepted during setup.
    The drivers appear to be loading, progress bar and hard drive light activity, but not.
    Message reads: "no new devices could be found. Make sure the driver files are correct and located on the driver installation media."
    I then tried to install directly from the ASR setup DVD. Not happening. Same message.
    I am booting via UEFI mode and my RAID array says "functional" during POST screen.
    I have even tried to format the array as GPT using DISKPART.
    This is my first time using UEFI BIOS. Also my first large RAID array.
    It is kicking my butt!
    Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!

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    Default Re: Win 7 64bit not showing full capacity of Raid 0

    You have made progress, but are now stuck on the AMD F6 driver loading during the installation.

    Personally, I use a USB flash drive to install F6 RAID drivers, which I have done during a UEFI boot installation. In my case, I create the F6 driver USB flash drive before the installation, and have it ready for use.

    Your board's F6 driver on the download page is: SATA RAID Driver (For system to read from floppy diskette during Windows installation).

    Download that file, and unzip it (right click the .zip file, click Extract), you want the folder with "W7Vista" in its name, and from there the X64 folder. The three files in that folder are copied to the root folder of a blank USB flash drive.

    You'll need two USB 2.0 ports free on the board's I/O panel, one for your Windows 7 installation USB drive, and one for the driver.

    Note: When the UEFI install USB drive is connected to the PC, and you are setting the boot order to that USB drive in the BIOS/UEFI, are you seeing two entries for that USB drive? One should be be labeled "UEFI...", whatever the USB drive is seen as. You must be booting from the "UEFI..." entry.

    When you are on the installation screen with the Load Driver option, insert the USB drive with the AMD RAID driver, and click Load driver. The driver should be found, highlight it if necessary, and click Next/Ok. Do NOT remove this USB drive with the driver, leave it in place as Windows continues and completes the installation.

    When the Windows installation reboots for the first time after these steps, remove both USB drives, and let the PC reboot. Windows should boot at that time with your new installation.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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    Default Re: Win 7 64bit not showing full capacity of Raid 0

    So I've decide to opt out of this RAID configuration.
    Primarily because I still can't get the install I want.
    Secondarily, while trying to find a solution to this problem I decided RAID 0 is not a good choice for this computer.
    I am building this for someone else and the computer will be used for movies, pictures, and regular use such as surfing and email.
    My concern is over the possibility of one drive failure, and loss of data, since there would be no backup in this case.
    If it were my machine it wouldn't matter.
    I'll install both drives separately and use one for the OS and one for storage.
    Perhaps split one drive into two partitions.
    I want to sincerely THANK YOU Parsec for all your help and time.
    Your instructions taught and helped me learn more than I would have otherwise.
    Hopefully I can contribute something back to this forum in the future.
    Thank You again.

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    Default Re: Win 7 64bit not showing full capacity of Raid 0

    Thanks, but sorry to hear it failed. Yes, I agree using RAID 0 for a build for someone else that may not understand what the reality of it is, is not the best idea.

    I've never used the AMD RAID software, so there might be a limitation to the size of the disks. Or it may be some aspect of the UEFI booting with the AMD RAID Option ROM. If you're doing this type of booting for the first time, there is a fair learning curve, and throwing the disk size limitation into it is a lot to deal with at once.

    I have seen in Intel's RAID documentation, a mention of a 2TB limit to the size of a RAID volume, but I forget the details. The RAID software may not be able to deal with these large volumes.

    Nice try though, and thanks again!

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