Disk size support for operating systems

Posted on 2014-03-13
1 Endorsement
Last Modified: 2014-03-25
I have a client that needs large storage space. They have set up a 8 drive NAS connected to a Win 2003 SP2 32bit server using iSCSI. Its a GPT disk..
The volume is about 16TB large and shared out from server in the regular way by mapping network drive.
While this supposedly looked fine by all computers (recognizing 16TB and not 2TB etc), the last data that was added to the volume has disappeared. This was an audio book saved by a software, and I'm not sure if this caused the problem, or of it has something to do with too large volumes for elderly operating systems?

The client computers, for different reasons (third party software requires it) uses Win 2000, Win XP, Win 7 and Win 8 operating systems.
The old systems are 32 bit, and Win7/8 are 64.

Is there a limitation for old operating systems regarding network attached drives?
I have read about local harddrives, where MBR's limitation on boot disks etc causing problems, but here we've got something where i would think the servers' limitation is the important, and that clients wouldn't care less what is attached?

I have googled, but could not find good reliable answers for network drives, though i am leaning towards there being no problem, and that the recording software generating the audio book must have caused the fault.

Question by:lurer
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LVL 70

Accepted Solution

garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 39927494
Any OS that supports NTFS volumes shouldn't have any issue with the size of the NAS storage.   They don't "see" the underlying disk type (e.g. GPT) ... they just "see" a large NTFS volume.    The limit for an NTFS partition is well beyond what any current system needs to be concerned with (16 ExaBytes).

I'd agree that the issue is with the software that wrote the file.
LVL 48

Expert Comment

ID: 39927528
>>  I'd agree that the issue is with the software that wrote the file.

I think you need more testing first to determine if it is the software.  I'd try making a very simple audio book, saving it locally first (just in case) and then trying to save it on the network and seeing if that works.

If it does progress to larger projects (always saving locally first) before committing to network.

Now I can't see why the software should have problems (unless it is very old, can we have a name for this software so we can check its requirements).  It should just be passing the name and data to the OS to do the save.

Author Comment

ID: 39927636
Thanks for the quick reply guys.
This recording studio has been using an old set of computers, due to software not being ready for upgrade until recently. The recording software is Hindenburg as far as i know. I might be wrong too, as i have no knowledge of this actuall process.
My Client has a technician for the studio. Inormally run the rest of the network/servers, so the only implementation i have done regarding the studio is the NAS.

I'll have to ask the technician to do the tests, but i just wanted to confirm my own thoughts, or of course get an answer that i could work with one way or the other.

This organization is regularly in dialog with a similar, but bigger organization doing the same kind of work, and so far the only differences in the setups of these two organizations is a set of older computers, and that the bigger organization has a far more advanced and bigger data center for storage..

I can get more info of the recording process and whatever processes is done of the recording before it ends on the NAS if you want?
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 39927965
I've seen some older programs that will fail when writing to volumes that are "too large" -- i.e. whatever they're using to check disk space doesn't work correctly with large volumes.

If that's what's happening here, then saving the file locally and then simply copying/moving it to the NAS will work fine.    But I agree they need to test and confirm that this is what's happening.
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 39929504
There is no size limit for a samba share. So two possible reasons:
1)The file was deleted by the user
2)The creating file operation was dropped by NAS samba disconnecting the Windows sambe client due to the max session limit reached.
I have currently issues with Lenovo (ex iOmega) NAS device which times out after some time causing problems to backup (backup takes some time). At the same time, writing data to Windows share works.

Author Comment

ID: 39932379
The NAS is an Asustore 608T. I have not seen an indication of timeouts yet, but will keep it in mind.
Last night, just to have an additional copy of the data i copied the 1,2TB to a separate server, across network, and it worked fine. Since we've got copies of everything we will start full set of tests from monday morning. I'm not involved in this, so i'll have to wait for reports on that. Will leave the thread open for a few days and come back to you.
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 39932383
In the night it will work without problems because not so many connections are there. Normally rebooting the NAS removes unused sessions and you get more room for normal work.

Author Comment

ID: 39932400
This LUN is basically accessed by one or max two computers at the same time. The other LUN on the NAS is used for temp backup from the main server, and is only accessed by night.
The audio book data are retreived automatically by a "disc burning computer" that burns audio discs, a couple of times a day, when an order comes in. Adding of audio books are probably done a couple of times a week, so there is not much traffic i would say.
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 39932675
Do the users normally have access to the directory where thr audio books are stored?
LVL 48

Expert Comment

ID: 39932693
What gets saved?

A completely finished project or a work under way.  If it is work under way are there multiple saves or just one save at say the end of the day.

Author Comment

ID: 39932774
There is one technician that runs the production of the audiobooks. You have people that read in text to audio files, the technician then process the audio, creating chapters and other metadata stuff to create the audio book project.
All this happens before the data is copied to the NAS.

Only the technician has the network drive mapped, but he uses mulitple PC's in addition to the storage server where the NAS is connected via iSCSI initiator. Finally there are two dedicated machines that burns audio books to disc. The burning happens automatically, where the machines copy the audio book down locally and then burn it.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39953966
The only source for the deletion seems to be the "labeling software" beeing left open for a day or so. This software has the audio book open as a project where you enter Meta data about the audio book. Something could have happened during this time, with a hangup/lockup of the project that resulted in the deletion. I don't know.
It seems silly to keep this thread open, so the points go to the first one to confirm my suspicions.

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