harddrives bigger than 2 TB in Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise

Posted on 2011-04-25
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Is there any limitation for the storage size of a windows 2008 R2 Enterprise server?
I tried to connect to a iSCSI Drive with 2.5 TB.
Now I can see the Space but can only make a 2 TB partition.
The remaining storage can not be selected for a further partition.

I had the same problem also with a RAID 5 a few weeks ago. The virtual disk had 3.5 TB but in the windows server setup routine I seen two partitions one with 2 TB and one with 1.5TB. Only the 2 TB Partition was able to work for the setup.
Question by:Opusretis
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    There is a limited on partition size of 2TB. If you want to use more than 2TB partition size, you need to use GPT format on your disk when using the x64 version of Windows operating system.

    GPT can support larger partition sizes. In theory, a GPT disk can be up to 18 exabytes in size (about 18,000,000 terabytes).

    For more details, please refer to:
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    In addition I just found the following information for you.

    If planning on booting to a disk or RAID volume that is greater than 2TB, be aware that the only way this is supported is with x64 versions of Vista or 2008, using GPT partitioning scheme, and using an EFI BIOS.  Doing so would put you on the bleeding edge, and I wouldn't recommend it.  

    2TB limit is not strictly speaking a limit on the partition size, it's actually a limit on the sice of disk that the MBR partitioning scheme can address.  MBR can address a maximum of 2^32 sectors.  Each sector is usually 512 bytes.  Hence, 4 billion * 512 = 2 trillion -> hence the 2TB limit.  

    As stated above, GPT should handle a 12TB non-boot partition without a problem.

    Author Comment

    Can Windows Server 2008R2 formatting a GPT Partition?
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    Please follow the link. They have created visual and step by step guide.


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