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Windows 7: Maximum Hard Drive Size

18 Jul 2012   #1

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 
Maximum Hard Drive Size

I need to order a new hard drive for my external case, to increase the capacity of the archive that I have there. The question is that the specs for the case says that it is designed for a maximum of 1TB drives:

InfoSafe Dual 3.5" Drive eSATA to SATA HD Enclosure | StarTech.com

However, It currently holds a 1.5TB and a 2TB drive, in which I haven't experienced any problems. Still with the prices of 3TB drives at the moment, I would like to feel sure that it would still work properly.

I'm wondering if the size limit only involves RAID configurations or even a couple of drives in stand alone configurations?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Jul 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Controller chip in the device may limit the size.
Buy one of the new wd red drives and let us know if it works or not.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2012   #3

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

Red drive? I see blue, green, black and VelociRaptors...where are the red ones?

Internal Desktop Hard Drives Overview

I Googled and found some info on these, but looking at the feedback on Newegg is not encouraging. Every review on the 1TB and 3TB drives were not good at all, and there was no feedback on the 2TB. Considering these early reports and the higher price tags, I'm not interested. Even without the issues, I do not understand what they mean by NAS compatibility, which seems to be the only new aspect of the drives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Jul 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Wow, what a start for a new series. These were just released a week or so ago.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2012   #5

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

I think that this on the WD10EFRX was the best one:

Quote:
I ordered two of these, plugged them in, and powered up. Immediately heard a soft popping noise, followed by smoke bellowing out of my case. I freaked out and pulled the power, and noticed there was still a light inside my case..... took a closer look, and yup, my brand new HDD had just ignited the plastic of the HDD bay on fire. I quickly blew that out, and pulled the drive out. A portion of the plastic got melted onto the HDD's logic board, but there appeared to be no damage on the second drive. Booted up again (with my hand on the power just in case), and the second drive didn't show up in the BIOS. Pull that one out to take a closer look, and sure enough in the exact same spot on the logic board there was a burned up component (just no melted plastic). I'm RMA-ing the drives, and hopefully I got just 2 bad ones out of the bunch. And if you're wondering, I was using the same power rail that also goes to my OS drive, so I'm doubting my PSU caused the trouble.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2012   #6

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

I've done some reading since posting, and if I understand correctly, I will have to use a GPT partition, instead of MBR for this to work properly. To do that, the motherboard BIOS will have to support it, or possibly just the firmware of the external case...I'm not sure. Am I accessing the situation correctly? The problem for me is that I haven't found any info on the motherboard or the external case's firmware to indicate that they do support GPT.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

I'm pretty sure my machine will run the drive, so go ahead and buy one, if it doesn't work for you, you can donate it me.lol

Motherbard only needs to support it if it is attached to the onboard sata headers. The firmware on your enclosure is the determining factor right now.

Btw, the new batman movie is friggin awesome.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2012   #8

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

That makes sense except one thing, my external case is eSATA, which of course means that it is connected the the motherboard via a SATA slot. Doesn't that mean that data is directed by both the motherboard and external case's chips in sequence?

I'll have to check out that movie.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that there is an apparent incompatibility between my current motherboard and external case, because if the external is powered on at boot, the boot hangs. I have to wait until the last BIOS screen disappears, just as the Windows logo screen begins, to turn on the power. Thus I'm guessing that the BIOS control is being bypassed, which would mean that the motherboard's chip is also...right? If that is true, then the only physical factor left would be the external case's firmware...guessing again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Forgot it was esata. I think it is still limited by the bios as well since it goes through the sata port.

Does the boot hang while id'ing the drives?
Can you get into the bios while it us connected.
If you wait 25 seconds while the drive is attached, will the boot up continue?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jul 2012   #10

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

No, I can't enter this BIOS with the external drives powered on. It just gets to the last BIOS screen and hangs with a very rapid continuous beeping, and will continue until I power off the external drives and reboot. I think that it is trying to ID the drives and that is what is causing the problems, but I don't know that it is the size of the drives that causes it to hang, because as far as I can remember, it didn't hang with the large drives, until I "upgraded" the motherboard.

I have considered this a minor nuisance, which I can work around by delaying the power on until after the BIOS run, and am hoping that it will work that way with even larger drives.

EDIT: I don't know that it is an important factor or not, but with the drives powered on, when it reaches the BIOS screen displaying the eSATA controller, it does list the drives properly.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that when it does hang, it hangs at debug code 87, which means:

Quote:
Execute BIOS setup if needed / requested
Which seems Non Sequitur to me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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