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 Post subject: 2TB drive, BIOS only supports upto 1TB, two 1TB partitions?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:07 pm
Posts: 54
Location: United Kingdom
Hello everyone, I hope you had a good Christmas

The latest BIOS for the mATX motherboard (MSI P7NGM Digital) in my HTPC only supports upto 1000GB, I'd like to buy a 2TB (WD20EARX) storage drive for it (it has an SSD system/boot drive), I'm guessing if I was to install it directly it would only see it as a 1TB drive? Or could it be less or not work at all?

If I was to plug the 2TB drive into my gaming system that supports 2TB drives, could I then partition it into two 1TB partitions and then put it back in the HTPC and windows (xp pro) see it as two 1TB drives in "My Computer"? Or is there no way of having more than 1TB in the HTPC directly?

If partitioning is not a viable solution, would a usb 3 pci card (motherboard does not have USB 3) be the next best/fastest thing? Im guessing an eSATA enclosure would still require the bios to support 2TB drives?


Many thanks in advance everyone, really appreciate your help



Motherboard: http://www.msi.com/product/mb/P7NGM-Digital.html

Good enclosure?: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/icy-box-ib-366stus2-b-aluminium-case-for-35-sata-hdd-with-easyswap-usb-20-plus-esata-host


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 Post subject: Re: 2TB drive, BIOS only supports upto 1TB, two 1TB partitio
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:39 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:44 am
Posts: 165
Location: Europe
With most of those issues the only secure answer is: you have to try it. Being a BIOS limitation I'd say the drive will be seen as a single 1 TB drive. But I am speculating.


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 Post subject: Re: 2TB drive, BIOS only supports upto 1TB, two 1TB partitio
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:35 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 685
Location: Gefle, Sweden
BIOS'es only sees drives, not partitions. Try an external solution.

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i5-3570K at 4 GHz Turbo, HR-02 Macho w/o fan, MSI R9 290 Gaming, Fractal Design Define R4, 2 front fans, 1 exhaust. 2 SSD's and a quiet Seagate 4TB (ST4000DM000) HDD, Seasonic P-460FL (no squealing).


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 Post subject: Re: 2TB drive, BIOS only supports upto 1TB, two 1TB partitio
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:01 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:07 pm
Posts: 54
Location: United Kingdom
Thanks guys, if when I try it I can find no other way of getting 2TB, will a USB 3 enclosure, that supports 2TB, show 2TB in windows even though the BIOS only supports 1TB? (As the enclosure has it's own sort of BIOS I'd imagine)


Many thanks


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 Post subject: Re: 2TB drive, BIOS only supports upto 1TB, two 1TB partitio
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:17 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 685
Location: Gefle, Sweden
Yeah USB takes care of itself, at least as long as it's not used for booting. :)
USB 3.0 is really nice I must say, harddrives perform at full speed. I'm currently using a cable adapter with two SATA ports on it and a cardboard box with foam for resting drives on(upside down). Perfect for relatively temporary setups. Fortunately with a "green" drive a regular enclosure might keep the noise down sufficiently.

Image

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i5-3570K at 4 GHz Turbo, HR-02 Macho w/o fan, MSI R9 290 Gaming, Fractal Design Define R4, 2 front fans, 1 exhaust. 2 SSD's and a quiet Seagate 4TB (ST4000DM000) HDD, Seasonic P-460FL (no squealing).


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 Post subject: Re: 2TB drive, BIOS only supports upto 1TB, two 1TB partitio
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:26 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:07 pm
Posts: 54
Location: United Kingdom
Full speed? So I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the 2TB drive on USB3 and SATA directly into the motherboard? That would be fantastic! Almost seems too good to be true, what's the catch? :wink:

Does anyone know of a good quiet fast USB3 enclosure that supports 2TB? I was thinking "Icy Box" but im not sure if they're any good
Would a cheaper USB3 PCI card perform differently/slower than an expensive one? Any good/bad brands?

My current storage drive is a SATA drive on a 1M SATA cable and molex power cable, with the drive inside a sort of heatsink silencing box, surrounded by acoustipak, keeping the heat out of the HTPC case but keeping full speed, was rather proud of that, feel free to use it everyone :)

Perhaps the 2TB drive in the above enclosure with the aforementioned USB3 to SATA cable would be a good solution instead of buying a whole new USB3 enclosure? Would that bypass the bios 1GB limit?


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 Post subject: Re: 2TB drive, BIOS only supports upto 1TB, two 1TB partitio
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:23 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:20 am
Posts: 473
Location: Ottawa
You don't need any external enclosure or anything else extra, it will work fine. Unless you are trying to boot from it then don't worry. As long as you have SP1 or above for XP, Windows will see it properly as a 2TB drive after it boots up from the SSD. Windows doesn't care what the BIOS thinks once it has booted, it talks to the HD controller directly.

Over 2TB would be an issue, but that would be due to an XP limitation. If you had Vista or 7 on the same hardware you would be fine with even bigger drives.


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 Post subject: Re: 2TB drive, BIOS only supports upto 1TB, two 1TB partitio
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:07 pm
Posts: 54
Location: United Kingdom
Thanks so much, all of you, that's a big relief, it's so great to find there's still nice, selfless people out there willing to help someone in need :)


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 Post subject: Re: 2TB drive, BIOS only supports upto 1TB, two 1TB partitio
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:07 pm
Posts: 54
Location: United Kingdom
Are there only PCI-E USB3 expansion cards? Is PCI too slow?

My only PCI-E x16 slot is taken by my Asus Xonar D2X :(

Is the PCI-E 1x slot designed (and spaced) to be used at the same time as the x16?

Apologies for all the questions


Thanks everyone :)


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 Post subject: Re: 2TB drive, BIOS only supports upto 1TB, two 1TB partitio
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:20 am
Posts: 473
Location: Ottawa
Yes, PCI is far to slow to run USB 3 at anything close to full speed. PCI is 133 MB/sec max which is shared among all devices on the bus. USB 3 is 5 Gbit/sec or 625 MB/sec theoretical (slower in reality, but still much more than PCI can handle). Most built in USB 3 controllers are connected to a 500 MB/sec PCIe x1 2.0 slot.

If you want to add a USB 3 card put it in your x16 slot so it gets PCIe 2.0 speed and move your Xonar to the x1 slot. Your x1 slot is only PCIe 1.0, so 250 MB/sec max.


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 Post subject: Re: 2TB drive, BIOS only supports upto 1TB, two 1TB partitio
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1721
Location: Switzerland
I hate to contradict the local storage guru but, while PCI is too slow for USB3, I don't think it's too slow for the WD20EARX. Maybe I forgot a necessary adjustment but that drives peaks lower than 133MB/s.

USB2, in addition to being dreadfully slow compared to modern drives, had a small overhead. Maybe USB3 still has it. In that case, it wouldn't be quite as fast as SATA (but fast enough).

I've had bad external HD controllers form several brands, including "icy box". I wouldn't count it against them however (not statistically significant) but I got nice no-name enclosures so I wouldn't pay too much attention to the brand.
The USB controller needs to be good as well but I haven't had as many bad experiences with such controllers.
Maybe ask people who made purchases recently in a local forum to know what to buy and where.


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