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Any way around the 2TB limit in XP?

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  • swsw1550
    replied
    Yes, the XP-32 2 TiB limit is per-volume,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.
    The 2TB volume size is a limit of the MBR partition - not Vista, XP, NTFS, Linux, 32bit, 64bit, etc, etc. The MBR structure only supports 4 primary partitions (more if you use extended volumes), the GPT partitioning scheme can support up to 128 partitions in Windows. Three common means of exceeding the 2TB limit in a single volume is:

    1. RAID controller that supports LBA64.
    2. Use dynamic disks or an application like unRAID or Windows Home Server that essentially aggregates your physical volumes by using dynamic volumes. I personally feel this is the least desirable and secure method.
    3. Use GPT volumes.

    You can combine two of the items above as well -
    Only Windows XP x64, Server 2003 SP1 and all versions of Vista can read/write GPT partitions, and only Vista systems with EFI can boot from GPT partitions. That's usually not an issue, though, since not many people boot from their large data arrays.


    Cheers
    Steve
    EX: Microsoft Design Engineer ( A long time ago)

    Leave a comment:


  • GrassValley_KH
    replied
    This is probably better solved with a good Google query, but essentially, you'll need to format the drive on a system with XP 64-bit, or Windows Vista (to obtain GUID Partition Table formatting capability)

    Leave a comment:


  • rokclimr
    replied
    Hi Jerry,

    If I striped two of the drives (2TB) it shows up fine in disc management and works great. Anything bigger (3TB or 4TB) won't show up in disc management. It seems there's a 2TB volume limit in XP.

    Thanks,
    Brad

    Leave a comment:


  • Jerry
    replied
    Originally posted by rokclimr View Post
    I just purchased a 4TB external not realising there was a 2TB limit in XP. Is there anything that can be done?

    Thanks
    Brad
    More information would be helpful....but here is a shot in the dark.

    In your disc management section does it list 1 drive or several(depending on the number of drives in the raid)? If it does this is where Windows will stripe and format the drive into a raid array.
    Is this ESATA, USB 2.0, Firewire? Some of these ship with software to stripe, but windows does it just as easy.

    Leave a comment:


  • rokclimr
    started a topic Any way around the 2TB limit in XP?

    Any way around the 2TB limit in XP?

    I just purchased a 4TB external not realising there was a 2TB limit in XP. Is there anything that can be done?

    Thanks
    Brad
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