One of my friends sent me an Intel s5500BC Server for troubleshooting. He installed a Seagate Barracuda 3TB hard disk in it. However, when he installed Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit on it, the accessible hard disk capacity was just around 2.2 TB. I tried to resolve it and through internet searches came to know that it was due to the MBR partition's restriction. I upgraded the BIOS to version 63, downloaded from Intel's website. I also created an EFI bootable flash drive containing the OS. I was able to boot with it in EFI mode and start the Windows setup. I also cleaned the drive and converted it to GPT, but when the setup starts copying the file, the system restarts. I had spent 3 in resolving the problem but unable to get any success. Can anybody help in sorting it out ?
It is correct; we need to make a GPT installation for the Operating System to recognize the full size of the bootable volume.
I would recommend following this http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/sb/CS-031158.htm guide to install your Operating System. I do need to mention that the Intel® Embedded Server RAID Technology II (ESRT2) does not support GPT installation.
The guide you specified is for installing Windows on RAID. But I'm not using my SATA HDD as RAID. There is only a single Hard Disk of 3TB in the system to which I'm installing.
It is true; the document gives the example with a RAID configuration. In this case, you should be able to skip the portion that talks about the RAID.
In short, you should set to enable "EFI Optimized Boot" and "Use Legacy Video for EFI OS". Then, launch the installer under EFI (\EFI\BOOT\BOOTX64.EFI).
I enabled the "EFI Optimized Boot" and "Use Legacy Video For EFI OS".
Started the "Internal EFI Shell" and navigated to the director \efi\boot on my installation media.
Launched the bootx64.efi file
After reaching the Partition Selection dialog window, I selected my 3TB hard disk.
Note:- Hard disk has been converted to GPT prior to installation. No partitions were created on it, neither it has been formatted.
On clicking NEXT, this time the system did not restart as mentioned earlier, but now the screen is stuck on "Copying Windows files (0%)" even after 30 minutes. [Even '...' not appearing to indicate ongoing process]
I made a second attempt, and this time while selecting the partition, I created a new partition (which also automatically created the required system partitions as required by GPT) and checked, but the same problem occurred. Even if I format the partition and try, the problem remains the same.
The same Installation media when used with non-EFI boot and on MBR partition, it installs successfully, but then with a limitation of 2.2TB capacity.
After a lot of trial and error, I finally got it installed on a Software RAID partition as follows:
1. Changed the SATA mode in BIOS to SW RAID
2. After rebooting, went to the RAID Configuration Utility
3. Created 2 Virtual Disks (1TB and 1.72TB) and configured as RAID0
4. Installed Windows through non-EFI boot process (since "SW RAID" SATA mode is unavailable in BIOS when "EFI Optimized Boot" is enabled)
5. Disk0 of RAID on which OS got installed became an MBR disk, and converted Disk1 to GPT disk.
So, finally I managed to make my complete 3TB space accessible.
However, I noted that when I installed the OS using RAID configuration, it took around 30 minutes, whereas initially when I installed the same thing with SATA in Native IDE mode, it didn't take even 3 minutes.
Now, I just want to know if the configuration that I discovered is suitable for a Server or not ?
What will be the impact on performance, speed and stability ?
Or should I revert back to Native IDE mode with only 2.2TB of hard disk accessible ?
I would probably recommend setting your onboard Serial ATA controller to AHCI instead. The installation of the Operating System usually takes around 15-30 minutes depending on the configuration of the system.
Feel free to contact our http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/contactsupport Intel® Customer Support team for a walk through process for this installation.
I had checked AHCI before going for RAID because I too did not want to use RAID for a single drive. During installation of Windows, I also provided the latest AHCI driver download from the support site. But the problem was same. Secondly, the time which the installation normally takes is not while "Copying Files" but during "Expanding Files". If it matters, I would like you to also know that my installation media is a usb flash drive (prepared to boot with EFI) since the DVD is not EFI-bootable.
Finally, i tried the Live Chat for Customer Support but it everytime says "Sorry, all of our Chat Agents are currently unavailable."
You usually get this message when our agents are assisting other customers. Feel free to try again anytime or call to our nearest support office in the area.