Indeed, that's what happened. Also, after waiting through the long...long...terribly long...almost 24 hours of "Initialization"
I found that Windows XP will NOT read from the drive. I used a drive benchmarking program, and got a score of 55,000 MB/s (oh yeah ) The line went literally off the chart -- it was pretty amusing. The working drive was reading at around 160MB/s which doesn't seem to be too bad with write-back off. I can handle those speeds I suppose -- hopefully be able to squeeze more on the other array volume with write-back on.
The disk will show up in device manager, but not in disk manager. In device manager it says "unreadable." This was obviously extremely disappointing and frustrating after waiting all of that initialization time.
Apparently the 2TB limit is on DISKS and not just partitions. I always thought it was just partitions...but you learn by doing it So I just scrapped the entire array, volumes, everything. Went back into the Intel ICH9V Raid bios, and created a new array with two volumes (even though intel calls is two arrays in their bios). The volumes show up at disks devices in windows -- naming is quite nice too by the way. I created one 100GB volume (which write-back will be disabled) and the remaining volume is a little under 2 TB. Installed windows (it was literally faster than backing everything up and restoring) again.
This time, my large array volume did NOT need to be initialized (still wondering why that is). Perhaps initialization is ONLY if you create the array in windows using the Intel Matrix Storage Manager? OK, so good. No initialization -- that's great. The disks are both in device manager, with proper remaining space, partitions, etc. I created a few partitions on the BIG array volume (they will be temporary partitions). I'm formatting one right now -- it's 1200GB in size. It's...20% done right now. It should be done in a couple hours. The remaining ~800GB partition I will start right before going to bed and they both should easily be done before I wake up.
Moral of the story: Don't create your ICH9R raid arrays in windows using the Matrix Storage Manager, or you may have to suffer endless initialization.
On the bright side of things: the performance seems to be quite good. I haven't tried it since the reformat -- but I will try it tomorrow and take a few screenshots for everyone. I'll be interested to see what write-back does to performance. I plan on having it ON (increases performance but decreases reliability, right?) for my big volume, and off for my boot volume. The big volume will be repartitioned, btw. Those two big partitions are just for some playing around and some data recovery.
So a little more testing tomorrow. If I can get the storage and data recovery straightened out, then I get to get into the fun stuff - OCing and stress testing the setup with some games Then the box goes into production as my main workstation and I probably won't be able to game much