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Maximum Harddrive Space on Studio 540

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December 5, 2011 2:24:25 AM

Picked up two external 2TB drives tonight for dirt cheap. Was going to replace the two current 500GB drives currently installed for a total of 4TB with RAID.

I can't seem to find out if this motherboard has a hard drive limit on it.

I am running Windows 7 PRO 64-bit.

My motherboard is a Dell 0M017G.

Hoping someone can answer before wasting my time to find out it won't work or see the full drive size.
a b V Motherboard
a c 289 G Storage
December 5, 2011 12:35:08 PM

Please provide more information. Are the drives seen in BIOS / Device Manager / Disk Manager? What properties are shown in the Disk Manager? The easiest way to tell, I would think, is to attach the drives and see what the computer thinks!
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December 5, 2011 3:35:39 PM

From what I see you have 4 SATA ports, therefore you should be able to use 4 HDDs. Do as suggested above: plug them in and see whats up.

I'm not sure about hardware RAID support on your motherboard, but Windows disk management under computer management should fit your needs (software stripes and mirrors). I'd stripe the two 500 GB drives for use as a OS/program drive (would have to be hardware raid), and then mirror the two 2TB drives (documents) for redundancy. You could span the two disks into a single 4TB volume, but then you should have 4TB of backup elsewhere (in an ideal world). It never hurts to back up your stuff. ;) 

Another note: are the drives you picked up truly external drives in that they come packaged in external enclosures (smart, you are saving $$$ right now)? If so, be careful to setup the drives accordingly as usually these drives are "Eco-friendly," meaning they park their heads a little too often, not a great idea for drive longevity. An example: look up WDIDLE on WD Green drives (specifiaclly EADS models).
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December 5, 2011 5:29:25 PM

Thanks, didn't know that external drives were set different, I will adjust accordingly.

If I kept the two original drives installed along with the new ones it would be slower I believe since the new drives operate at a faster rpm, correct?
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December 5, 2011 7:25:54 PM

Being SATA, they operate by their own rules. i.e. each drive is free to spin at whatever speed its controller chooses. SATA drives aren't dependent on other drives as they are each their "own channel." I've seen PATA drives (master and slave) exhibit this behavior, but never SATA drives. You should be fine.
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December 6, 2011 5:18:31 PM

They did configure and show just short of 4TB when put in a Raid 0 array, but upon further research WD Caviar Green drives are not recommended for RAID.

So I left one original hard drive for the OS and programs and installed a new one for storage without using Raid.

Thanks for the help!
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