1.    16 Feb 2016 #1

    Hi experts - how can I install on RAID 0 non UEFI system


    Hi there

    Any experts out there

    I've rescued an old small server(working with Red Hat enterprise -- but I can't have the OS as it's licensed by the office) from our office --was being chucked out but looks quite good to me.

    4 SATA bays populated with 4X 3TB HDD's (the HDD's were mine BTW !!!). I'm thinking of using this as a NAS server - 16 GB RAM and decent Intel CPU (i3 equivalent -- good enough for media server).

    The only problem is that it's MBR BIOS and I have two RAID 0 arrays consisting of 2 X 2 3TB HDD's.

    Installing Windows though -- No HDD's seen !!! yet there's 12 TB of them in the system.

    The RAID is onboard --not a separate RAID controller.

    Any help here or should I remove the HDD's and send the server on it's original journey to a one way trip to the City's TIP.

    (On board VGA good enough also for running a GUI - if I can ever install an OS on it -- preferably W10).

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    16 Feb 2016 #2
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 2,501
    W10 Pro + W10 Preview

    Hi jimbo.
    Although I have a raid 0 setup I am not an expert, but I believe MBR limitation is restricted to 2TB.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  3.    16 Feb 2016 #3
    Join Date : Jun 2015
    Posts : 12,957
    Windows 10 Pro

    If I'm correct the boot partition can't be larger than 2TB with MBR.
    If I'm not correct, as @dencal mentioned the limit is 2TB.

    The key is partitions, each partition can't be larger than 2TB meaning that you can have 50TB in a RAID setup in MBR as long as the partitions aren't larger than 2TB.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  4.    16 Feb 2016 #4

    Hi folks

    I found it -- Had to buy our Networking Guru a Lunch and a few beers --but worth it.

    1) In the ODD space connected an SSD to the spare SATA port in the machine. The RAID config allows boot from the SSD / Port 5

    2) Hidden away in an obscure part of the bios menu is an "Advanced ROM" features -- and way down most of those incomprehensible options (at least to me) was something called a "Virtual Install Disk" -- enabled this feature.

    3) Created an old fashioned Windows install DVD (I've got a USB external DVD drive )

    4) Created the SSD as a SINGLE array and logical raid0 volume - left the other 4 as uninitialized so Windows didn't even see those

    5) On the menu boot menu was "Inteligent Provisioning" -- would never have found that in a MILLION years -- entered at boot time

    6) Set to install OS manually -- and then it looked for an ISO which was on my external DVD drive

    7) system did another reboot -- and hey presto windows could create a partition and INSTALL and BOOT from the SSD !!!!!

    8) now went back and created two more raid 0 arrays each of 2 X 3 TB HDD's -- probably better than one array of 4X 3 TB

    9) Installed apps and applied updates

    Very nice now -- I'd have never have got this going in a MILLION years by myself -- I see some of these I.T gurus and network guys earn their keep.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    17 Feb 2016 #5
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 2,501
    W10 Pro + W10 Preview

    Hi jimbo
    Great to see you have got it sorted....way over my head.....but the important thing is how does it perform?
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  6.    17 Feb 2016 #6

    Quote Originally Posted by dencal View Post
    Hi jimbo
    Great to see you have got it sorted....way over my head.....but the important thing is how does it perform?
    Hi there

    The RAID 0 performs excellently -- I think with this server the RAID controller is a Hybrid mix of hardware / software but I/O is definitely much faster and no jerky video even when transcoding -- the cpu power isn't the inhibiting factor on transcode but the speed that transcoded I/O can get delivered to the server. (Ideally if you can avoid transcoding then fine - but sometimes subtitles require a new transcode).

    Very happy with it.

    Having the OS on the SSD is a winner too so all 4 HDD's can be used as data storage. There was a space at the top for a slim (9.5 mm) DVD drive - but decided to connect an SSD instead -- you don't need a DVD drive on a server !!!. If you must have one just sling a USB external DVD device on to one of the USB ports ( 4 X USB2, 1 USB2 internal, and 2 USB 3 ports). Using RAID 0 allowed me to boot from the SSD port -- otherwise you have to use one of the HDD bays - and with a non UEFI bios that means you can't use large (> 2TB) HDD's for the boot device. This way I get to use all 4 HDD's as data storage).

    Now I know how to load the RAID driver I probably will investigate running Linux headless or Windows 2012 server (still got an old TechNet license for that one). In fact to load the RAID 0 driver I had to use the W2012 one as there wasn't one for W10 --not sure if many people try to use a small micro server as a workstation - but the small footprint / power consumption of these makes it well worth a look -- not for intensive games etc -- but as a file and multi-media server -- can't be beat for the price.

    Just a note - if you use Macrium reflect you can load the drivers on to your boot media and you can restore a non RAID version of your OS to the RAID 0 SSD -- you can add the driver to the image so it will boot perfectly.

    BTW Server is an HP ProLiant Microserver -- I'd suggest using one of these as a NAS box rather than paying hugely more for a dedicated "NAS" server. For starters you can test with a bog standard OS )Windows / Linux etc) rather than a special OS which you can't really tinker with too much with.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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