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Sinbad Sam

join:2001-11-13
Arlington, TX

Maximum Hard Drive Size for Windows XP 32 bit

Ok I am getting conflicting information/stories on the maximum hard drive size that Windows XP 32 bit will support/see/detect.

I am told that 2 Terabytes is the limit.

Now is that a total limit of Hard Drives Sizes Windows XP 32 bit will see?

Or is that the limit Windows XP 32 will see per hard drive?

Thinking is that if it is limit per hard drive to go with RAID 0 arrays of 2 Terabytes each ie Drive D: is RAID 0 Array of two 1 Terabyte SATA drives into a 2 Terabyte RAID 0 array, Drive E: is the same a RAID 0 array of two 1 Terabyte SATA drives, Drive F: and so on.

Yes I know that Windows 64 bit will go beyond this limit but the softwares will not run on 64 bit, we have tried but the drivers/software will not load. Also the softwares will not run on anything other than Windows XP 32, so Linux etc are out of the solution picture.

Thanks

Sinbad Sam



craig70130
Premium
join:2004-04-27
New Orleans, LA

1 edit

editing my previous reply...

Looks like 2GB is the NTFS limit which is bypassed in 64-bit XP, Vista, and 2003/2008 server by using GPT which is not available in 32-bit XP.

Seems to be alot of conflicting info out there about this. There probably are some 3rd party utilities that will let you create a GPT disk.



sdghty

@algx.net

1 recommendation

2TB is a limit imposed by the MBR partition table, assuming the disk uses 512 sectors. If the sector size is increased to 4K, the limit becomes 16TB.


Sinbad Sam

join:2001-11-13
Arlington, TX
reply to craig70130

OK I have a system with 2 x 1 Terabyte SATAs in a Dynamic Array and a 200 Gigabyte drive, so windows will detect/see more than 2 Terabytes.

Thanks for the information

Sinbad Sam


ChiTang
Premium,MVM
join:2002-08-23
Alhambra, CA
kudos:1

Not exactly 100% sure, but decimal terabyte and binary terabyte has a 9.95% in discrepancy. So your 2.2 terabyte less the 9.95% may still be within OS's 2TB.

Add another HD and C.
--
I used to be indecisive, now I am not sure.


gallowsroad

join:2004-08-09
Jenks, OK
reply to sdghty

said by sdghty :

2TB is a limit imposed by the MBR partition table, assuming the disk uses 512 sectors. If the sector size is increased to 4K, the limit becomes 16TB.
Is that limit the total of all discs under the OS or a per volume limit?

IOW, is it possible to have mulitple 2TB arrays managed by a single 32 bit OS?

Or multiple 2TB physical drives if/when they reach that size?
--
Ha ha haaaaaaa....ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

- John Lydon, last Sex Pistols show


Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21

1 recommendation

Yes, the XP-32 2 TiB limit is per-volume.



sdgthy

@optonline.net
reply to gallowsroad

It's a limit of a drives partition table, so multiple drives are not a problem. This one has a 1TB drive and a 2TB R5 array and a small R1 boot array.

If you want, you can combine multiple xTB drives by converting them to dynamic disks and spanning for a single "drive" larger than 2TB. If you do so, be aware that if one drive fails you'll also loose what on the other drive(s), much like if they where RAID0.


Sinbad Sam

join:2001-11-13
Arlington, TX

How many drives do you have in the 2T R5 array?

Sinbad Sam



sdgthy

@optonline.net

4 X 750GB



Bill
Premium,VIP
join:2001-12-09
reply to sdghty

To be more specific (because I'm sure everybody cares ), the limitation is in the "total sectors" field in the MBR. It's only 8 bytes (32 bits), which provides for a maximum value of 4,294,967,296 sectors. And at 512 bytes per sector, that comes out to 2TB. 4K sector size ATA disks do exist, but I have only seen them used in CE devices.

Another problem we'll run into in the future is when drives get larger than 2TB, you won't be able to create any new partitions after the 2TB mark on the drive! The "relative sectors" (offset) is also a 8 byte value, so you can't give it a relative address larger than 2TB. But we should all be using GPT instead of MBR by then



sdgthy

@optonline.net

said by Bill:

To be more specific (because I'm sure everybody cares ), the limitation is in the "total sectors" field in the MBR. It's only 8 bytes (32 bits), which provides for a maximum value of 4,294,967,296 sectors. And at 512 bytes per sector, that comes out to 2TB. 4K sector size ATA disks do exist, but I have only seen them used in CE devices.
And some raid cards, I just setup 8 1TB drives for a 6.36TB raid5 array, as reported by windows, on a w2k system. I didn't get that deep into it as the OPs question was whether 2TB was a drive limit or total of all drives limit. Without a doubt, it's the former.

said by Bill:

Another problem we'll run into in the future is when drives get larger than 2TB, you won't be able to create any new partitions after the 2TB mark on the drive! The "relative sectors" (offset) is also a 8 byte value, so you can't give it a relative address larger than 2TB. But we should all be using GPT instead of MBR by then
I suspect that'll be quite some time from now. It takes a huge amount of data to fill even 2TB, and I'm sure the average user won't run into that problem for a good number of years yet. And I suspect that point won't be quite as bad as all the LBA issues have been.


Voltron

join:2007-08-04
Bloomington, IN

Hello, sdgthy:

I am installing an Arena Maxtronic hardware-based RAID system (SA-3340S), with 8 one TB SATA drives, connected via an Adaptec 29320LPE (U-320 SCSI) host bus adapter, on a Windows XP Professional (with SP2) system. I want to do what you did with your W2K system, which is to create one array that encompasses the entire capacity of the eight drives, in a RAID 5 configuration. What settings did you have to change on your SCSI adapter card and/or within your RAID enclosure, to allow W2K to see the entire 8 TB (6.36 TB) capacity, without creating multiple LUNS, slices, etc.?

Thank you so much for your assistance, in advance.

--Dylan



sdgthy

@optonline.net

1 recommendation

I used an Areca ARC-1160 which has a setting to present the array as having 4K sectors. That and the performance where the primary reasons I went with an Areca card.

Of the raid cards I considered, the Areca was the only one that had that option. Honestly, I haven't looked at an Adaptec RAID card in awhile as I haven't been too impressed in the past. I never got a ZCR card to work properly in this system. And the issues I had with a 2940 & 3950 in another system should have taught me that. Although I am starting to hear good things about some of the newer cards.



cethegus

@dsl.sakhalin.ru
reply to Sinbad Sam

Another question regarding the same topic: I am building a system with 3-5 (amount of drives will depend on the answers I get here) 750Gb drives in a RAID-5 config (on a nforce 790i ultra board). I intend to run both XP 32bit and Vista 64bit in dualboot.

It still is unclear for me whether this 2TB limit is per partition, per drive or per array/total drive size in the system?

Even with 3 drives, the array will be larger than 2TB, so what will happen if want to run XP and Vista each from their own small partition and use the rest of the array as shared data partitions? Can I use the full size of the array (also with 5 drives in RAID-5, bringing the total size to over 3.5TB)? As this is my first experience with RAID-5 (my current system runs 2 120Gb drives in RAID-0), I also wonder whether it will be possible (with my hardware) to create multiple arrays over the drives (i.e. use half of the size from each drive to have 2 1.75TB arrays spread over 5 drives)?

Is an additional drive, which will not be included in the RAID array required to have the OS-es on them to act as a boot drive?

I know that it are a lot of questions, I hope there are people around who can help me out. Thanks in advance!



sdgthy

@optonline.net

said by cethegus :

It still is unclear for me whether this 2TB limit is per partition, per drive or per array/total drive size in the system?
I guess this brings up a good point. There is a limit to the total number of sectors that a MBR partition table can have. With the standard 512K sectors, that limit is about 2TB, which would be inclusive of all partitions on the drive/array. The partition table has a count of the start and end sectors of each partition, so you can not create a 2TB partition and then have another beyond that on a larger than 2TB drive.

Unless, of course, your OS can see a GPT partition. As far as Windows goes, support for GPT partitions started with XP64 and server 2k3.

said by cethegus :

Even with 3 drives, the array will be larger than 2TB, ...
With 750 drives, that would not be true. The drive size that the OS sees for a R5 array is (n-1n)*size. n being the number of drives that make up the array. So 3 750GB drives would be a 1.5TB array. See above, I have 4x750GB in R5 and Windows sees that as a 1.85TB drive.