the problem here is that the this drives is probably configured by default with a MBR partion table layout. MBR in itself has a limitation of 2TB so no matter how many million terabytes you drive has, you will only be able to use 2TB.
the solution to that is to use GPT partition layout. it does have a limitation but the number is so stupid we won't have to worry about it for at least another 20 years.
The problem is not all OSes support GPT (XP 32 bit doesnt support it http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device/storage/GPT_FAQ.mspx). and an even bigger problem is the current legacy BIOSes don't support booting from GPT, only MBR.
When using an OS that support GPT (2003 SP1 for example) you can go to disk management, right click on the disk (not the unpatitioned space) and select 'convert to GPT' which will enable you to format it as bit as you want.
Ihave figured out that I need a 64 Bit OS or Vista. I am trying Vista and I can see the array. I have to use diskpart to set a volume and format(actually can format in disk manager, but it took 24 hours to format for the admin panel VS 5 hours from Command prompt.) It does eventually format, but after a short space of time it marks the drive(array) to invalid status. I have to convert from dynamic to basic and then back again to access the drive(array) with out restripping it, which takes 20 hours to perform. Is there a sure fire process to formating this 3.7 TB array that will take and not disappear after a couple hours? The steps I took was to select the disk, then the 3rd partition, then I create a volume simple, then format the drive and then assign a drive letter of "E". This is a data storage array and not a bootable partition so that part is not a concern. I have perofrmed this aseveral times thinking if I stripped the array and setup in Vista the problem will go away. No Joy. Thanks for everyone's assistance to this point.
so is the raid being done in Intel Matrix Raid or Windows raid?
if matrix raid, is there a particular reason why you are using dynamic disks?
I have performed the initialization(striping) on the array in 2 different ways. The first time I initialized the array in the BIOS interface for the ICH10R, Second, I intialized the array in the Matrix management console. Both interface options took the same length of time to intialize the array, 21 hours.
I define the array as GPT to forgo the 2 TB limitation in MBR as well as the partitioning restrictions(though, since I am only defining 1 partition that is not a real issue.) That brings us to the Basic vs Dynamic disk options. First, the basic disk format will only allow u to see the MSP or reserved Microsoft partition(The GPT actually has 3 partitions- The MSP, the ESP, and the accessible partition for storage.) The only way to see all three partitions and select the storage partition and create and define a volume label for the formatable partition is to define it as a Dynamic disk. t
The volume creation can only be performed in the diskpart utility, All other options can be preformed in either diskpart utility or the disk admin console. The only other option that is selected at the time of Volume creation is to define the Volume as a software Raid, as a Stripped, or Simple. I have selected the Simple option on all occasions since I am using a hardware raid controller and to define a stripped set more then 1 disk must be defined for the volume. The array having been itialized in the BIOS or Matrix Management console will show up as a single disk.