3TB external USB drive on Windows Server 2008R2 works but shouldn't?
Posted on 2014-04-30
I have a client that I wanted to have buy an ioSafe G3 Solo waterproof/fireproof external USB drive to store backups on. Knowing about the limit in Windows Server, I advised them to buy the 2TB model since it was still using a drive that was supported. They went bargain shopping rather than buy from the link I sent them. Anyway, to make a long story short, they bought the ioSafe G3 Solo 3GB model instead. I didn't really look at the specs on the drive when it arrived since they are all identical except for the drive size. I hooked it up and didn't realize until a few days later that they had the wrong model on the server. They had thrown away the packaging, so it can't be returned either. I went out to the command prompt on the server and found that the properties of the NTFS volume on the 3TB model was that it had 4096KB sector size which is not supported on Windows Server 2008R2. The problem is, I can copy files to the drive and Symantec System Recovery 2013 backs up to the drive seemingly without problems. I am torn on what to do. Just leave it and hope it continues to work? Since it can't be returned, I thought about calling ioSafe to see if the drive in the enclosure is replaceable with an off the shelf 2TB model that uses 512k sectors that Windows Server supports.
I am seeing my options as:
1. leave it and hope it continues to work ok
2. replace the drive in the enclosure if it is possible since the unit can't be returned.
3. Install the ioSafe G3 Solo on a Windows 7 Pro machine, share it and back up over the network to it. Windows 7 should be fine with a 3TB drive using 4096KB sector size from what I understand.