By Hui-Jen Shiau, Senior Technical Consultant, Taos
This week, I had an interesting situation at a Bay Area tech company. I was supervising the install of two HP servers running Windows 2008 R2, which were sharing a HP MSA drive array. The servers were connected to the MSA using fiber optic connectors. However, after bootup and configuration of the array, the drive appeared in the Windows drive manager twice and showed only 2 tb of the available 9 tb available for use. The remaining 7 tb were seen as unusable. Well, the HP technician was on the phone with their technician troubleshooting the wiring and the hardware. I left them alone because I figured that since it was their product, they would know best how to solve the problem.
However, the hours were running down and I was getting hungry. I was getting a little impatient, so I started to play around and did some googling of the situation. I was able to resolve the situation in two parts. To eliminate the double sets of the same drive in Windows, I had to install multi-pathing and add the MSA as a recognized controller. While trying to get the full partition to be used, I discovered that the MBR that most use to initialize the partition has a 2 tb limit. To fix this, you can set it to GPT initially. However, if you already set it to MBR, then right click on the drive and do a conversion to GPT Disk. Viola, all was good.
The moral of the story is to never solely rely on the vender for the fix. Our role as consultants means that we need to be aware of how windows interacts with other technologies. I was humbled because I should have thought of it sooner. I had expected the vender to know how to configure it as it is their product and I thought they would have seen this before. I got complacent in expecting the vender to fix the issue. Don’t. The buck stops with us, the consultants.