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2TB Boot Limitation

Posted on 2010-09-21
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Ok, here is my situation.  I have a new server here that has a regular BIOS.  What I want to do is to create a 3TB array and then install Windows on that 3TB array as a single partition.  To do this, I'm thinking that I will have to load a boot loader on a seperate small drive.  To do that, I'm assuming a USB key coupled with a boot loader would work, but I'm having trouble finding a free boot loader that can see GPT partitions or see beyond the 2TB boot limitation.  I'm sure there has to be such a thing out there, but my Google ninja skills are simply not as good as some others.

Any thoughts?
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Question by:deltaend
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by:wolfcamel
ID: 33723397
you wont be able to boot off a partition larger than 2tb..you will need to create a smaller partition for the OS and then configure the remaining for data. It can still be on one big raid Drive, but the C: will need to be less than 2Tb
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by:deltaend
ID: 33723415
Why?  Linux installs that are loaded on a greater than 2TB drive have workarounds for their loaders to work, I don't see why a correct boot loader shouldn't be able to work around this issue for me.
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by:wolfcamel
ID: 33723448
server 2008 is a bit less flexible/more secure for whatever reason Msoft wont boot off a gpt partition
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by:deltaend
ID: 33723494
The problem lies in the ability for the booted OS (BIOS) to see all data on a drive larger than 2TB and thus is unable to natively launch a boot loader for that system.  What I propose is a boot loader installed in a flash drive with it's own partition stucture.  Since a boot loader installed on a different drive wouldn't be a problem for the 16bit BIOS to see, it will load it.  From there, if the loader was able to understand GPT disks, it should be able to boot Windows Vista 64bit through Windows Server 2008 R2 without a problem as long as it is a 64bit os.  EFI based motherboards are included in the GPT bootable support so it should work in theory with the correct boot loader.
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by:ViTaMiN
ID: 33723511
What is the reason you would like to have such a big partition ?
maybe there is another solution to your requirements
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by:deltaend
ID: 33723528
The particular application I plan to use on this system has no point in having several partitions.  Additionally I hate to waste space or performance having unneeded partition walls in effect when I could have a continuous partition. I guess lastly I think that this whole problem is silly and should have some practical solution.  Since figured I couldn't have been the only one to think of this before now, I figured I would ask the community.
 
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deltaend earned 0 total points
ID: 33723622
I should have never doubted my Google ninja skills.  Answer is here, just took me a while to find it.
http://www.mail-archive.com/linuxkernelnewbies@googlegroups.com/msg02439.html
 
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by:ViTaMiN
ID: 33723734
Try this microsoft article :
http://blogs.technet.com/b/askcore/archive/2010/02/18/understanding-the-2-tb-limit-in-windows-storage.aspx
has some nice pointers, however based on your performance\waiste remarks I think its more wise to split partitions.
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