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Windows 7: Maximum number of eSATA hard drives?

24 May 2015   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit Service Pack 1
Maximum number of eSATA hard drives?

Hi, I'd like to use a relatively simple PC (with external hard drives) for storage. The storage would be for back-up of other computers on a home LAN, but mainly for storing movies and music to be played by a HTPC on the LAN that currently has Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Service Pack 1. I'm just starting with this idea and have a few basic questions about moving in the right direction.

1) Do I have to have the same version of Windows on the storage PC as on the HTPC (OS listed above) if the HTPC is to have easy access to the contents of the external hard drive contents on the storage PC, for example just by using windows explorer to navigate the directories on the storage PC.

2) If I have to use the same version of windows (listed above) on the storage PC, how many 2 TB eSATA hard drives can the operating system handle without sophisticated tinkering. I'm kind of a simple-level user.

3) I currently own two external hard drives (WD AV-GP 2 TB AV Video Hard Drives; 3.5 Inch, 64 MB Cache WD20EURS) that I'd like to use. But these drives were designed/optimized for use in video equipment such as surveillance cameras or DVRs, with continual streaming. Could they be formatted by Windows and used on the storage PC for the purposes described above.

I apologize for the low level questions, but I have little computer experience and limited budget. I do have lots of interest in this project and perseverance though. Thanks in advance for any info.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2015   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

1- You don't need same version for file server purposes. I guess you can even use Linux for this(?)

2- You can only attach as many E-SATA drives as you have E-SATA ports, unless your E-SATA ports support multiplexing/port multiplying. Most motherboards we use don't have this feature. I am not sure if there are devices that you can attach to E-SATA port to make it multiplier enabled. But you can add PCI controller card for additional E-SATA ports.

3- I don't know, however, I doubt you can change such feature with a format.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2015   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit Service Pack 1


Thank you for the quick feedback. It's good to know that I have a choice for my OS. With regard to question 2, are you saying that the only limit is the number of ports, that beyond that, the OS can simultaneously work with 3 or more 2-TB external hard drives?

Thanks again for your reply.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 May 2015   #4
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Surveillance drives don't have error correction to avoid excessive data loss while recording from a continuous video feed. That can cause glitches in any files you copy over to the drive. You would be better off to use regular external drives for storage.

You can use as many drives as you have ports to connect them to up to about 23 drives (there are a finite number of drive letters available which will vary by how many internal devices, such as optical drives, etc. are using drive letters; generally, A, B, and C are not available by default)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2015   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit Service Pack 1

Lady Fitzgerald, Thank you for the answers. I thought I had read something when I purchased these drives in the dim past about problems with "off-label" uses for video drives, and now that you mention it, that was exactly the issue.

Also, it's good to know the OS allows so many external drives, I obviously won't be exceeding that limit.

PS - Great Photo - It's been a difficult day and I really enjoyed the unexpected laugh.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2015   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Can you bypass that 23 drive limitation by using folder mounts?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Maximum number of eSATA hard drives?

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