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MineCoast
Premium
join:2004-10-06
127.0.0.1

[Parts Check] 3 TB Drive's in RAID 1

My motherboard has a Intel X38/ICH9R with onboard RAID. My tower only has two drive bay's. It's a Dell XPS 420.

I'd really like to put two 3 TB drives in RAID 1 (mirrored) but I'm a bit concerned because from my understanding the BIOS won't see drives over 2 TB's as bootable.

Any suggestions? I'd be running Windows 8.


aguen
Premium
join:2003-07-16
Grants Pass, OR
kudos:2

The question at this point isn't would the BIOS boot from a 3TB drive (who would boot from the 3TB partition?). The question is whether or not your raid controller would see the entire 3TB and then allow you to create X number of volumes, one of which would be sized to be your boot disk, the rest would be used for data, applications, etc. Because this raid controller is about 6 years old, my "guess" at this point is that it won't.



MineCoast
Premium
join:2004-10-06
127.0.0.1
reply to MineCoast

Thanks. I seem to be hitting road block after road block with this computer It's my primary system and for the most part still suits my needs despite the fact it's 5 years old. I just had someone offer me $250 for the tower... which is a Quad Core (Q6600) with 8 GB Ram, HDTV Card, Blu-Ray Reader which for me seems very low but... others don't seem to think so.


aguen
Premium
join:2003-07-16
Grants Pass, OR
kudos:2
reply to MineCoast

IF you have a free PCIe slot on that MB, you could look into adding a newer standalone RAID controller which would allow for 3TB drives if you wanted to spend approx. $200. Adaptec has their SATA II 1430SA raid controller, requires a PCIe x4 slot though.



MineCoast
Premium
join:2004-10-06
127.0.0.1
reply to MineCoast

I had thought about putting a RAID controller in the system but as expensive as they are and the age of my system, it simply wouldn't be worth it.

I could do Soft RAID through Windows, but I don't believe my BIOS would see/boot from the 3 TB drive.


aguen
Premium
join:2003-07-16
Grants Pass, OR
kudos:2
reply to MineCoast

Well... for $104 and change, you can have the card I mentioned from here »www.overstock.com/Electronics/Ad···uct.html

Just need to determine if the PCIe x4 slot on your mobo is available first.

Also, I hope those 3TB drives you have aren't GREEN drives.



MineCoast
Premium
join:2004-10-06
127.0.0.1

I don't have the drives yet. You see, currently I have:

1 TB Internal Drive
750 GB Internal Drive (5+ years old with 24/7 use)
1 TB External Drive

I am pretty much out of space and I have no backup's of my data, we are talking hundreds upon hundreds of gigs of old home videos, pictures, documents, music, movies, etc.


aguen
Premium
join:2003-07-16
Grants Pass, OR
kudos:2
reply to MineCoast

Well, I don't want to seem "preachy" BUT you would probably be better off at this point with spending about $20 on a bunch of blank R/W DVD's and a free backup software and start backing it all up. $hit happens when you least want it to.



Jan Janowski
Premium
join:2000-06-18
Skokie, IL
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to MineCoast

Actually, Though BIOS may limit this, it also depends on the buss width of the controller card.

I've a very good Supermicro Server board with embedded SCSI and SATA controllers on the motherboard, and though it's 64 bit CPU and Motherboard, each disc controller buss is limited to 2TB per drive, or 2TB Raid drive size by the hardware buss size on the controller area of the motherboard
(Not the motherboard itself, but the drive controller circuitry)...

I get around this with multiple drives & raids, and by spreading out the operations..

As mentioned, adding a newer controller will help. In my case, it wouldn't, as I now have no PCIe slots left.

--
Looking for 1939 Indian Motocycle



koitsu
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-16
Mountain View, CA
kudos:23
reply to MineCoast

Regarding the Intel ICH9R and BIOS-level RAID: as long as you're using the latest Intel RST drivers (which are what will provide you RAID capability), and an OS that uses the GPT scheme rather than classic MBR (the latter is where your "2TB" limitation comes from, by the way), then it should work. Windows 7 onward (and I believe Vista too) support GPT.

At this point my opinion is that you do not need a RAID HBA of any kind; you can use your on-board BIOS-level RAID if you wish. Just be sure to be running the latest Intel RST drivers like I said, as the older MatrixRAID-era drivers are known to have catastrophic bugs (such as drives falling off the bus for no reason).

If you're still concerned about it, contact your motherboard manufacturer and/or Intel. You will need to provide your RAID option ROM version (usually visible during boot -- this is not the same thing as your standard PC BIOS version, although the RAID option ROM does come tacked on/appended to the PC BIOS), since some option ROM versions may only support native MBR booting (sounds unlikely though).
--
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.