3TB+ HDD, Windows XP and a GA-M68SM-S2 mobo - will it work

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andyb
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3TB+ HDD, Windows XP and a GA-M68SM-S2 mobo - will it work

Post by andyb » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:30 am

There seems to be no clear answer to this question at all, after spending far more time than is reasonable trawling the internet for a solid answer and finding none I am asking the SPCR forum members for help.

A friend of mine has a PC (that I built - so its quiet) that is running Windows XP, he wants to increase his storage to a 3TB HDD because he needs the extra space and 3TB HDD's work out better value than smaller capacity models.

There are a number of potential problems, the chipset, the BIOS, the drivers, and the OS.

He has a Gigabyte GA-M68SM-S2 motherboard, I have checked the BIOS updates and I have read the manual - there is no mention of support for drives above 2TB regardless of OS.

http://uk.gigabyte.com/products/product ... id=2640#ov

Obviously newer OS's (W7) support drives above 2TB, so the OS is not really an issue as the PC could be re-installed with W7 - likewise if the XP drivers dont support drives over 2TB installing W7 will fix the problem.

That then leaves me with the double-problem of the Chipset and BIOS, if the chipset does support drives over 2TB has the BIOS been updated to add that support - the only answer to that is to find someone who has the same or similar setup to confirm, otherwise I will have to suggest that he gets a 2TB drive instead as that is his limit.


Andy
Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,400MHz, 512GB 850 EVO, 500 Extreme II, 2x 2.5" drives, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr.
Server, under reconstruction, 380W Enermax Pro82+, positive pressure only.

m1st
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Re: 3TB+ HDD, Windows XP and a GA-M68SM-S2 mobo - will it wo

Post by m1st » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:09 am

First off, Windows XP x86 does not have native support for drives larger than ~2.2TB, so your best bet will be to upgrade to Win7 x64 (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library ... 63525.aspx). There are a few companies (I think Hitachi is one of them) that have customized drivers that allow you to partition the drive as a GPT even under WinXP (which isn't officially supported), but in my opinion that's more trouble than it's worth.

Assuming you upgrade to Win7x64, there are still questions about whether the chipset and BIOS will support it. Is the new 3TB drive going to be the only HDD in the system? IMO the best option would be to use an existing drive that's less than 2TB as the boot OS and have the 3TB drive as a data drive. You could then partition the drive as a GPT disk and be able to see the entire drive as one large partition.

Das_Saunamies
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Re: 3TB+ HDD, Windows XP and a GA-M68SM-S2 mobo - will it wo

Post by Das_Saunamies » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:01 am

The answer is simple: this board does not have the EFI bootloader that old GB boards use for 3 TB HDD support. No-go as far as I can tell, even though the chipset technically could support the drives.
Case: Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K, STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5, 8 GB G.Skill DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD B-G 1 TB, mx100 256 GB, RX-5300 PSU
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washu
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Re: 3TB+ HDD, Windows XP and a GA-M68SM-S2 mobo - will it wo

Post by washu » Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:29 am

Das_Saunamies wrote:The answer is simple: this board does not have the EFI bootloader that old GB boards use for 3 TB HDD support. No-go as far as I can tell, even though the chipset technically could support the drives.
That doesn't mean it's impossible to use a drive above 2.2 TB on a board like this, it just means that booting off of it will be problematic or impossible. Some BIOSes will boot from a 3 TB drive if the boot partition is smaller than 2.2 GB. Others won't boot at all, but the drive still works fine as a data drive. Once the OS is booted the BIOS is pretty much irrelevant as far as drive support goes, only the chipset and drivers matter. Of course the OS has to support the big drive, so in most cases XP is out.

Das_Saunamies
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Re: 3TB+ HDD, Windows XP and a GA-M68SM-S2 mobo - will it wo

Post by Das_Saunamies » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:12 pm

Alright, I was under the impression it's EFI or go home.
Case: Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K, STRIX-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5, 8 GB G.Skill DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD B-G 1 TB, mx100 256 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, MS Sculpt, Logitech G303, Synology DS213j 3+3 TB NAS

andyb
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Re: 3TB+ HDD, Windows XP and a GA-M68SM-S2 mobo - will it wo

Post by andyb » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:29 pm

That doesn't mean it's impossible to use a drive above 2.2 TB on a board like this, it just means that booting off of it will be problematic or impossible. Some BIOSes will boot from a 3 TB drive if the boot partition is smaller than 2.2 GB. Others won't boot at all, but the drive still works fine as a data drive. Once the OS is booted the BIOS is pretty much irrelevant as far as drive support goes, only the chipset and drivers matter. Of course the OS has to support the big drive, so in most cases XP is out.
I can upgrade the OS to Windows 7, and booting off of the drive is not a requirement anyway, but there is still no clear suggestion that it will work on that particular motherboard.
Alright, I was under the impression it's EFI or go home.
This has been one of my problems, some motherboards work fine with drives over 2TB that dont have a UEFI BIOS - this issue is still very confusing.

Thanks everyone for your help, I will have to suggest to my friend that he gets a 2TB drive to be sure it will work.


Andy
Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,400MHz, 512GB 850 EVO, 500 Extreme II, 2x 2.5" drives, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr.
Server, under reconstruction, 380W Enermax Pro82+, positive pressure only.

washu
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Re: 3TB+ HDD, Windows XP and a GA-M68SM-S2 mobo - will it wo

Post by washu » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:38 pm

andyb wrote:I can upgrade the OS to Windows 7, and booting off of the drive is not a requirement anyway, but there is still no clear suggestion that it will work on that particular motherboard.
Unfortunately there is no way to be sure without trying it or having someone else confirm it. In my experience it usually does work as a data drive, but I haven't tried a board with that chipset.

If the additional cost isn't too much, why not get a controller card that for sure supports big drives? They usually aren't too expensive, $20-30 over here.

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