1 2 Previous Next 23 Replies Latest reply on Aug 30, 2010 4:29 AM by iugh

    Max Raid 0 size on Intel Raid Matrix



      I am having an issue with my raid matrix, i had 4x320GB SATA2 HDD in a Raid 0 Array, worked perfectly. Now i installed 4x1Tb drives as i need the space and the max i can get to rrecognise is 2TB for one array. is this a limitation for the onboard raid matrix? Can i get past it? Am i doing something wrong? Ideally i want a 4Tb (4x1TB) RAID 0 Array.


      Please Help / Advise


        • 1. Re: Max Raid 0 size on Intel Raid Matrix

          At 2TB you pass the theoretic max for most cluster sizes. So first step is to be sure to format at 4kb. When you create a striped raid array (raid 0) that is larger than 2TB, your data is split between the member disks. So if you have 2 disks, make sure that your strip size is at least twice the recommended cluster size of 4kb. I think the Intel Matrix Raid comes with a preselected suggestion for strip size. With large hdd sizes I believe that this will be 128KB. You are wise to follow the suggestion, unless you want to use your machine for a really specific purpose (e.g. a database server).

          I've heard of problems with Intel Raid Matrix at raid 0 with hdd's exceeding 2TB, so if following these tips doesn't help, it may very well be the driver.

          Also, Windows will not install on a raid volume larger than 2TB. For such a volume you need to create partitions first. Or - if you want to start over - you can do what I did and create several volumes on the same physical member drives. I was advised to make them the same raid flavour. When creating partitions always use ntfs for XP, Vista and 7. Windows 7 & your program files are happy on a 90GB volume or partition. When you go for that size, it is smart to move the default location of standard folders (e.g. "Movies") to another volume. From within Windows you can do that through the folder's properties.

          Btw, with four disks I prefer using 1+0 (mirror & stripe), aka raid 10 for speed and safety. Other people may prefer raid 5 (stripe with parity)  despite a performance penalty.


          Message was edited by: whatdoesitwant

          • 2. Re: Max Raid 0 size on Intel Raid Matrix

            I am seeing the same problem. Can you explain how you "format at 4kb"? I started with new disks, and the Windows XP 64 setup did the disk formatting, without asking for any size.

            • 3. Re: Max Raid 0 size on Intel Raid Matrix

              On my setup the raid configuration takes place within the Intel Matrix bios. You can enter this bios by pressing [ctrl]+[i] when requested during startup. When you do a clean installation of Windows you can install this bios. The necessary driver depends on your chipset. You can find your chipset on motherboard's box. If you don't know the name and version number of your motherboard and you already have a (temporary) Windows installed on a single disk, you can alternatively download software like Everest or Sisoft to find your chipset. The driver for the chipset can be downloaded on the Intel website under "Downloads". When you want to install Windows xp, you need to create an old fashioned floppy disk with the disk creation tool on the Intel website and your hardware needs to have an fdd available. Windows Vista and Windows 7 allow you to install the bios from an external (usb or sata) drive, cd or dvd. I am not familiar with the possibility to configure raid from within Windows XP. If your hardware can take it (min 3gb ram, and check your gpu specs first) and you have the money, i urge you to skip Windows XP and go with Windows 7. It is much more user friendly.

              • 4. Re: Max Raid 0 size on Intel Raid Matrix

                Thanks for your explanation. I have done all these things, and have a working RAID 0 system, but there is a 2 TB limitation on the size of a RAID volume, and I need 4 TB (2 x 2TB drives). This limitation is due to the formatting of the disk that Windows XP does when it is installed. That is why I was asking about the possibility of using larger sector sizes, which I think is what was suggested.


                I am considering switching to Windows 7, but the key issue is what support is has for RAID 0. In particular, are volumes > 2 TB supported?

                • 5. Re: Max Raid 0 size on Intel Raid Matrix

                  I know that the 64bit version of Windows 7 supports larger than 2tb volumes, but I haven't tried to boot from one. Western Digital says that XP can't surpass the 2tb limit because it can't address more because of its 32bit architecture.

                  However, if you use ntfs with 128KB sectors, working with larger non-boot volumes should even be possible in xp just as long as you keep in mind that your Master Boot Record will limit your boot volume to 2TB. I've edited my first comment with everything I know.

                  See this thread information by smarter people:


                  Especially the wikipedia quote:

                  Maximum Volume Size

                  In theory, the maximum NTFS volume size is 264-1 clusters. However, the maximum NTFS volume size as implemented in Windows XP Professional is 232-1 clusters. For example, using 64 KiB clusters, the maximum NTFS volume size is 256 TiB minus 64 KiB. Using the default cluster size of 4 KiB, the maximum NTFS volume size is 16 TiB minus 4 KiB. Because partition tables on master boot record (MBR) disks only support partition sizes up to 2 TiB, dynamic or GPT volumes must be used to create bootable NTFS volumes over 2 TiB.

                  • 6. Re: Max Raid 0 size on Intel Raid Matrix

                    For my board there is no limitation (good) in size for RAID0 matrix but it's a limitation (bad) in installing a OS (Linux, Solaris or Win7x64) on volume bigger than 2TB. Any volume created in RAID0 bigger than 2TB is labeled as not bootable so it dosen't apear in your list as a bootable device...

                    • 7. Re: Max Raid 0 size on Intel Raid Matrix

                      This is not related to file system, but partition table. The story is like this:


                      1. MBR supports partition up to 2TB.

                      2. GPT supports partition > 2TB.

                      3. Legacy BIOS only supports booting from a MBR disk.

                      4. EFI-based system + supported OS can boot from a GPT disk.


                      Booting from GPT disk is supported on Intel server board + Intel hardware RAID controllers. See http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/sb/CS-031158.htm for details.


                      Also, you may find following links helpful:





                      In your case you can create a RAID volume < 2TB, use MBR partition and install OS on it. Then create a second RAID volume, use GPT partition and mount it as data volume.

                      • 8. Re: Max Raid 0 size on Intel Raid Matrix

                        According to this:


                        Booting from GPT disk should be supported also on Desktop boards...

                        Thanks a lot for your answer, but I still belive that Intel must resolve this in a new BIOS release for DX58SO.

                        • 9. Re: Max Raid 0 size on Intel Raid Matrix


                          You can boot from GPT on your motherboard, that is not an issue nor does intel need to resolve anything with a new BIOS release regarding this as such.

                          What you are trying to you cannot do because the limitation is in teh Intel matrix storage. So theoreticall if you put a 3TB HDD in, not in RAID you will be able to boot from GPT. if you use a RAID card which supports bootable volumes of more than 2tb, then you should also be able to boot from GPT. I can only assume when they developed Intel matrix, they thought well noone is going to want to boot from a 2TB volume. Whether Intel will update teh matrix RAId at any point and include htis is anyones guess.

                          • 10. Re: Max Raid 0 size on Intel Raid Matrix

                            Yes you catch the problem...Intel RAID Matrix...why Intel does not update the matrix storage definition at "BIOS" level (Cntrl +I) at boot time in such way to be compliant with their declarations at:

                            http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/sb/cs-010355.htm ?

                            I did buy one expensive motherboard with RAID...I have to buy new RAID board?

                            I think the best way is to change the way intel matrix is defining volumes...

                            • 11. Re: Max Raid 0 size on Intel Raid Matrix

                              you keep pointing towards that same link... and teh board IS compliant!!!!That though  is for a non intel matrix raid setup. It is not like they are trying to trick you... It is up to intel when where and how the update the matrix, and i should think that at some point maybe tehy will add this feature, tehn again maybe they won't thinking that it is a very small amount of people that will want to make a bootable volume of >2TB.

                              And no you don't HAVE to but a RAID card...teh choice is yours what you do. At the end of teh day it is still a desktop board....

                              BTW why do you want a bootable drive bigger than 2TB? why not just put the OS on a 100GB volume instead?

                              • 12. Re: Max Raid 0 size on Intel Raid Matrix

                                Cpt.Dogfruit is correct - see http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-022304.htm: "2-256TB volume support (data volumes only)". I guess it's because the Matrix Storage is not based on UEFI.


                                But why would you have to boot from a 2TB volume? Best practice is to store data on a separate volume from OS...

                                • 13. Re: Max Raid 0 size on Intel Raid Matrix

                                  @ Cpt.Dogfruit and @ Edward Zhao.

                                  Are you working for Intel? If so please don't answer to my posts…with words like "

                                  It is up to intel when where and how the update the matrix".

                                  I'm one Intel consumer and I want Intel to respect their specifications. When they issue such specifications they already knew that "

                                  it is still a desktop board....". Even desktop boards should evolve…if you don't want that is your choice.

                                  RAID0 mean speed and capacity…if you don't want this for your computer it's again your choice.

                                  To spin "just" for OS 100GB disk…Did you heard about reducing energy consumption? Are you environment friendly? Using one port on the board for 2TB with less energy than 100GB I think is a good point to start plus SPEED, but I think you don't care about this small issue for one computer...

                                  By the way check last modified date on your document


                                  And then check on my document where I "

                                  keep pointing towards".

                                  • 14. Re: Max Raid 0 size on Intel Raid Matrix

                                    with regards to that "Intel to respect their specifications" In this case they ARE!! The link you pointed to never stated you could use a larger than 2 TB on a RAID!!! it simply tells you how to enable UEFI for  a GPT boot, it does not confirm or deny that that would be on RAID or not, therefore there is NO SPECIFICATION!

                                    now regarding the document you have just posted...it clearly says 2-256TB volume support (data volumes only).., DATA VOLUMES ONLY!!!!! that means NON BOOTABLE...what is your point exactly?   what has the dates got to do with anything????!!!????!!????!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!!??


                                    and sorry but do not be silly, talking about environmentally friendly save the world and save power stuff when you are using a DX58SO an EXTREME BOARD!!!! A board that one would assum if you had purchased wone would usually use in a HIGH END SYSTEM!!!! lets not even think about the comparison between the power usage of your GPU compared to a HDD!!!!!


                                    By the way we were only trying to help you, if you don't want help, thats up to you, if you want to make a complaint about a feature on an Intel board or any other manufacturers board then talk directly to teh manufacturer, not on a user led forum!

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