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Unable to Install My OS or Boot to a Partition Larger Than 2 TB with Intel® Integrated RAID Modules and Intel® RAID Controllers


Last Reviewed: 01-May-2017
Article ID: 000007722

What am I seeing?
The RAID Option ROM may report either “no volumes handled by BIOS” or "Zero Virtual Drives handled by BIOS" when a capacity volume greater than 2 TB is created.

Why am I seeing it?
With large-capacity disk drives,1 you can reach the 2 TB boundary for physical drives and for bootable RAID volumes. The legacy BIOS master boot record (MBR) cannot handle physical drives larger than 2 TB or boot to a RAID volume greater than 2 TB.

An MBR has a partition table describing the partitions of a storage device. The maximum size of an MBR partition cannot exceed 2 TB (2.19 TB). MBRs are constrained by supporting only four main partitions and a volume size of less than 2 TB. These constraints inhibit their use in larger volume sizes.

How to fix it
For these large-capacity physical drives, you can use the RAID BIOS console to configure them, but they may not display during POST when the RAID OpROM scan drives.

You must enable uEFI optimized boot in the system BIOS and use a GUID Disk Partition Table (GPT) on a hardware Intel® RAID array under an uEFI environment to boot from them.

A GUID Partition Table (GPT) is a layout of the partition table that enables a disk partition to exceed the MBR maximum of 2.19 TB.

How do I get more information?
Review the Using GPT (GUID Partition Table) with Intel® RAID Controllers paper. This paper describes how to install an operating system (OS) using GPT on a hardware Intel RAID array under an uEFI environment.

1 If you are using 4Kn drives, refer to the TA-1085-4: 4Kn and 512e Advanced Format with Intel® RAID and Intel® Server Boards article.