2TB is too much for XP

| RAID | Windows XP

I just got a new motherboard and 4 new shiny 750GB Samsung F1 hard drives. So I thought I would use the Intel Matrix Storage feature of my motherboard to create a RAID 5 array from these drives.

A day or so later I finally managed to get an array set up, however it was not larger than 2 Terabytes. The problem appears to be the lack of support of partitions in Windows XP (32 bit edition) which are greater than 2 TB in size. If I was using Windows XP (64 bit) or Vista I would not have had this problem. In fact there didn’t even seem to be a problem, which is why it took me so long to figure this out.

Within the Intel application I could see my nice larger than 2TB drive; however inside Windows’ Disk Management the array would not appear. Oddly it would appear in Device manager under the Disk Drive heading. After thinking something was wrong with a drive, or my new windows installed, I set to Google. However that proved useless as I couldn’t find anyone reporting their RAID would not appear. Also the Intel docs were not helpful, not once pointing out that a single partition of over 2TB was not supported on XP.

Finally the solution to my problem was found on Carlton Bale’s blog. I could either buy a piece of software, upgrade to Vista, or make multiple 2TB sized arrays. I finally decided to go with option 3, multiple 2TB arrays. This Microsoft article has more information.

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