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ESXi 5.5 and 4TB Server

Posted on 2016-07-24
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Last Modified: 2016-07-26
Does anyone know if ESXi 5.5 supports a 4TB drive?

I installed a 4TB hard drive for testing of backup and HP Intelligent provisioning does see the 4TB physical drive but when ESXi 5.5 boots up I try to add a new storage drive, the max that it sees is 2.73TB.  I need more than that so that I can test a restore of a backup I did so not sure if this is supported and how to make it work. I did choose the option to go so that it will support 2TB+ of hard drive (VMF5 type).

thanks,
LN
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Question by:LateNaite
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Author Comment

by:LateNaite
ID: 41726993
Also, I also have a 3TB drive and once it is formatted into VMF5 type, it sees only 2.73TB. Is there anyway I can make it to have more , say 2.80TB?

thanks
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Expert Comment

by:David Sankovsky
ID: 41727074
Two possible reasons, FileSystem that does not support large drives, or, much more likely, old Bios and / or disk controller version.
Try to see if the bios of your bare metal machine has any updates pending. Also, if it's a pretty old machine it is possible that no amount of updates will allow it to detect anything larger, that's a limitation of older BIOS versions.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 41727085
A MBR disk is limited to a maximum size of 2.2TB.  In your boot options you need to select the UEFI or EFI boot instead of the regular boot when booting the installation media. What most people do is boot esxi via a flash or SD card, you would then initialize your datastore as a GPT disk. Now you should see the full disk.
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Accepted Solution

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 41727097
Does anyone know if ESXi 5.5 supports a 4TB drive?

ESXi 5.5 supports up to a 62TB virtual machine disks.

see Page 1 of this document

Configuration Maximums VMware® vSphere 5.5

How are you adding the disk, this is a virtual machine version 10 feature, and needs to be added via the Web Client, and not the vSphere Client (old C#) legacy.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 41727105
It's not the 2TiB / 2.2TB boundary, 2.73TiB is exactly 3TB so for the 3TB disk you are seeing the whole disk under VMware. Rather odd that you only see 3TB with the 4TB disk though, maybe you have not set the logical disk size to be the whole physical disk. Please confirm the logical disk size using the HP ACU under Intelligent Provisioning.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 41727124
4TB - 3.63TiB un-formatted..
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Expert Comment

by:Mr Tortur
ID: 41727389
Hi,
agree with andyalder, this is normal for the 3TB disk. 2.73 is its usable space once formated in VMFS (and NTFS format would give the same on a windows pc).

Now for the 4TB disk, how do you use it please ?
With RAID or not ?
On which physical device did you install ESXi ?
Yes ESXi supports 4TB physical drive.
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by:Mr Tortur
ID: 41728929
Hi,
well, Andrew's one is not really the answer here, please confirm LateNaite.
You were speaking here about physical drive support.
And Andrew is the only one who speak about logical drive of an ESXi and virtual drive of a VM...
I obviously respect you Andrew for everything you are doing at EE, and I  won't claim my answer here to be the best. But on this one I think yours is not the good answer.
My humble opinion for future readers of this question.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 41728941
Sine they had got past 2TiB / 2.2TB with the 3TB disk it obviously wasn't a VMware issue but one of LateNaite not knowing the difference between 1000 and 1024. The 4TB disk was probably a 3TB one that someone wrote 4TB on the front of.
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