Dell Compellent Series 40 can't access hard drives larger than 2TB.

Hello. I have a Windows 7 machine with LSI SAS 9212-4i4e, connected to it is a Dell Compellent Series 40 device. It was originally filled with 2TB SAS disks but I inserted a bunch of 4TB SATA disks instead.

I can't format the drives as 4TB partitions or write past 2TB on already formated disks. Is the limitation in the Dell unit or the HBA?

Thanks!
alexkinkAsked:
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DavidPresidentCommented:
It is the PC & Windows.   You need an EFI-based machine to boot a disk > 2TB.  But if you want to make the 4TB SATA drive the "D" drive, then it should work fine on your machine.

Warning, if these disks are advanced sectored (they probably are), then performance won't be all that great anyway unless you configure disks for sector size that is a whole number multiple of the sector size reported by the disk.

(I.e, if they use 16KB sectors, be sure to configure NTFS as 16KB sectors
alexkinkAuthor Commented:
I'm not trying to boot from that array - only use it as a storage drive.
DavidPresidentCommented:
Max capacity of a MBR formatted disk is fffffffe blocks, = approx 2.1 TB   So format it as GPT

see: : http://blog.lewan.com/2010/03/11/how-to-avoid-the-windows-mbr-disk-2tb-limit-by-using-gpt-type-disks/
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rindiCommented:
You probably have to make sure your disks are compatible for the SAN. Usually you can only use disks that are certified by Dell and that have the correct firmware on them. The SAN itself may also need the correct firmware.
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
the spec sheet for the series 40 shows the largest supported drive size is 3tb for 3.5" drives and 1tb for 2.5" drives

http://i.dell.com/sites/doccontent/shared-content/data-sheets/en/Documents/DellCML_StorageCenterSeries40specsheet.pdf
DavidPresidentCommented:
The 3TB limit is just because it was the largest HDD they had when the data sheet was put together.  Dell is shipping 4TB and 6TB disks for other models.   BUT ... the real issue is something worse.  If it doesn't work then i'm betting you bought some disk off the street and expected it to work.

You MUST have the dell firmware on it.   So problem is you are using the wrong disks.  Sorry for missing the compellent part.   Those disks are totally unsuitable. They put your data at risk.

Save those disks for internal PC use, but not the series 40.
alexkinkAuthor Commented:
Thanks all!

I happened to find a different SAS HBA at the office and tried with that. It sees the disks as 4TB rather than 2TB. I've now formatted one of the drives and am filling it with dummy data to see that it works completely.
alexkinkAuthor Commented:
The disks are all WD Red Pro. Correct, they are not sold by Dell.
DavidPresidentCommented:
Big mistake those drives put your data at extreme risk due to the settings related to unrecoverable read errors and retry settings

 if you value your data don't use those drives
alexkinkAuthor Commented:
Thanks dlethe. You have serious expertise in the matter so I won't pursue this setup.

For the record if someone has a similar problem, in this specific case it was caused by an out of date firmware on the LSI HBA. Updating the firmware fixed the issue.

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ERNESTO RIOSSTORAGE ENGINEERCommented:
The volume is needed to be formated on GPT format , MRB support until 2TB only.
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