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Motherboard HDD limitations


MR. M
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Am having a storage issue with my Dell PowerEdge 840 which is my web server/file server. The documentation for the server says that each of the four sata ports on the motherboard can only support hard drives up to 1TB in size, and i confirmed this by reading posts of people having issues with larger drives no matter what OS their using. Can installing a sata controller that supports larger drives bypass this issue.

Thanks, in advance

Edited by MR. M
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In theory it should be the BIOS that determines this, so if there is no BIOS update to level up, I fail to see how another card will fix the issue, but I could be wrong. The BIOS on desktops works the same way in how most systems see the geometry of the drives, but there are limitations in situations where its not the BIOS, and actually the version of the OS, ie: Win95 only able to see up to a certain size drive, so you had to make multiple partitions on one drive and I think only allowed 4 partitions per drive(if memory serves me well). XP also had a similar issue, when people forgot to change the filesystem type from Fat-16 and Fat-32 to NTFS, and were always wondering why they couldn't open or save files larger than 4GB, basically due to limitation of the FAT file system and NTFS allowing files larger than 4GB. This is one of the reasons I always format my new thumbdrives when I get then, as NTFS because you run into issues of copying files larger than 4GB to the drive, and will fail if you leave them as a FAT system, since they can't support the larger file sizes.

I would think though, that any system running UEFI as the bios, is going to be relatively modern though, and should have large disk support for 2TB and up drives, but this may be an internal bus issue or OS update/drive update limit. Server 2003 probably has a limit, as where Server 2008 should probably have better support for larger file systems and drive geometry.

There is a site, forget the link, but is a hardware comparability checker that you can use when building systems, and tells you what memory works best with each mobo, OS, etc. Give a quick google. I think Microsoft and even Linux have their own hardware compatability sites as well, but I don't have the links handy. Its one of the things I forgot to take notes on in my A+ class, but there are sites that exist that help show what combinations of hardware don't work well together and why certain higher clock mem doesn't work on systems if used in groups of singles, when they might want groups of 3(and actually leave 1 slot empty) depending on clock speed of memory and such. I know Intel has that issue with certain memory ganging, where you can use all 4 slots for more mem, but slower speed, or use the 3 slot option with special memory clocks for faster ram, but less total memory.

Damn you people with your questions(lol), make me have to go find my 4 inch thick A+ book from school*(which is probably way outdated now that UEFI is becoming a standard not only for desktops but for server clusters)...

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I have a system at work where the internal sata do not properly see 3 TB disk. But the esata will see it properly.

Is the esata on the mobo or PCIe card? I have an esata port, but it can only see one drive on my icy dock so I have to install another board to allow it to see all the drives in the icy dock or revert to USB which is slow as balls.
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