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Can't boot from drive larger than 2tb?

Last response: in Storage
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April 8, 2009 4:16:26 PM

I was setting up a RAID with 3 1.5tb seagates in RAID 5 (total capacity: 3.0tb). However, in digging around, it appears that standard bios usage of MBR dictates that you cannot *boot* from a drive larger than 2tb. This isn't an OS limitation - but a limitation of every CMOS bios. The only solution appears to use EFI bios that supports GPT partitions. Unfortunately, it appears that only apple, itanium, and a few other server hardware vendors support GPT booting at the moment.

Is this correct? I have an intel dp35dp and would love to use my bits all in one bucket. Currently I can set up the 3.0tb RAID5, but it needs to be the non-boot drive - so I know my board supports it ok. Just sad I can't have it as my main drive...

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a b G Storage
April 9, 2009 10:43:05 PM

That is correct you cant boot from a GPT partition except with certain server platforms.

April 10, 2009 3:52:57 AM

Can't say I ever used such a large partition myself. Perhaps you could use a small, old hard drive as the primary drive, just to have the MBR on it. Vista is smart enough to run o.k if you boot it from a partition other than your primary partition. XP, not so much. You could even install Linux on that smaller drive and use a boot loader to select whatever OS you put on your 3tb partition. Of course that may take some doing ^_^.
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