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GPT issues with Windows 2003 RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a eSATA RAID box with 6 500GB drives configured for RAID 5 that is to be a data drive.  The OS is Windows 2003 Server, 32bit, SP2.  Essentially, I should see 2.5TB.  However, when I boot 2003 Server, Disk Management is only seeing 299GB?  I have tried opening DISKPART and converting the drive to GPT (which it does) but it still doesn't see the whole 2.5TB. 

    Here is where it gets weird?!  I boot the same computer with Windows 2008 Server, 32bit and Disk Management see 2 drives...one 2.99GB and one 2TB.  I then convert it to GPT and the whole 2.5TB is seen.

    Now...from here, if I partition the drive, shutdown, switch back to Windows 2003 and boot again, the whole 2.5TB is now seen!  However, I can not simply format from here.  I have to delete the partition, re-create the partition (yes, the whole 2.5TB is still seen) and then I can format the drive. 

    Obviously, this "workaround" is not going to work in a production environment.  Anyone have any idea why I can't set this up straight away from 2003?  What am I missing?

    Monday, June 15, 2009 7:49 PM

Answers

  • Hi AARPNewbie,

    Based on the research, on Windows Server 2003, the maximum NTFS volume size on a GPT disk actually depends on the cluster size that is selected at the time of formatting.

    Please check the cluster size of that volume, you may run the following command line by using the fsutil utility 
     

    Fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo E:


    If the value of the cluster show as 512 in the line of "Bytes Per Cluster", this value represents cluster size.

    Reference:

    Q: What is the maximum NTFS volume size supported on a GPT disk?

    A: This depends on the cluster size that is selected at the time of formatting. NTFS is currently limited to 2^32-1 allocation units. This yields a 256TB volume, using 64k clusters. However, this has only been tested to 16TB, or 17,592,186,040,320 bytes, using 4K cluster size.

    The following chart shows the NTFS limits based on cluster size:

    Cluster sizeMaximum NTFS Volume Size (bytes RAW)
    512 2,199,023,255,040 (2TB)
    1,024 4,398,046,510,080 (4TB)
    2,048 8,796,093,020,160 (8TB)
    4,096 17,592,186,040,320 (16TB)
    8,192 35,184,372,080,640 (32TB)
    16,384 70,368,744,161,280 (64TB)
    32,768 140,737,488,322,560 (128TB)
    65,536 281,474,976,645,120 (256TB)


    Therefore, if you want to use more than 2TB NTFS volume on windows Server 2003, you may need to format the disk and set the cluster size larger than 512.


    Frequently asked questions about the GUID Partitioning Table disk architecture
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/302873

    Hope it helps.

     


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    • Marked as answer by David Shen Friday, June 19, 2009 3:56 AM
    Thursday, June 18, 2009 9:43 AM

All replies

  • Hello,

     

    Do you have a chance to try converting the disk to Dynamic disk in the Disk management console on Windows Server 2003?

     

    Afterwards, can you see the whole 2.5TB space with the dynamic disk?

     

    Basically, if you used Basic disk as the type of the Disk device before, NTFS system has a limitation on the volume size with 2TB.

     

    Reviewing Storage Limits

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc773268(WS.10).aspx

     

    Hope it helps.


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Wednesday, June 17, 2009 7:08 AM

  • Hi David,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I have tried converting to Dynamic, but it hasn't helped.  And if I convert to Dynamic then it doesn't allow me to convert to GPT.  Anyway, I'm not sure dynamic is going to gain me anything.  Because the RAID is handled in an external RAID enclosure with its own RAID controller, I believe it is being presented to the OS as a single drive.  If I read the link you gave me correctly, it is then recognized as a single drive which only allows me to set up as a simple volume which has a 2TB limit.

    The part I don't understand is why does 2008 see it but 2003 doesn't???  I opened a support case with Intel but they told me it was a Windows issue or a hardware issue.

    I suppose I should have stated that the hardware I am using is an industrial computer the company I work for manufactures.  But the design and the processors, chipsets are all Intel's.  AND, an Intel motherboard that we use for reference in our design does the same thing.  So...it ain't hardware. 


    Anyway...I am going to test other boards we manufacture with 2003 to see if they all do the same thing.  If you have any other suggestions, I will gladly try anything.

    Thanks!

     

    Wednesday, June 17, 2009 2:39 PM
  • Hi AARPNewbie,

    Based on the research, on Windows Server 2003, the maximum NTFS volume size on a GPT disk actually depends on the cluster size that is selected at the time of formatting.

    Please check the cluster size of that volume, you may run the following command line by using the fsutil utility 
     

    Fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo E:


    If the value of the cluster show as 512 in the line of "Bytes Per Cluster", this value represents cluster size.

    Reference:

    Q: What is the maximum NTFS volume size supported on a GPT disk?

    A: This depends on the cluster size that is selected at the time of formatting. NTFS is currently limited to 2^32-1 allocation units. This yields a 256TB volume, using 64k clusters. However, this has only been tested to 16TB, or 17,592,186,040,320 bytes, using 4K cluster size.

    The following chart shows the NTFS limits based on cluster size:

    Cluster sizeMaximum NTFS Volume Size (bytes RAW)
    512 2,199,023,255,040 (2TB)
    1,024 4,398,046,510,080 (4TB)
    2,048 8,796,093,020,160 (8TB)
    4,096 17,592,186,040,320 (16TB)
    8,192 35,184,372,080,640 (32TB)
    16,384 70,368,744,161,280 (64TB)
    32,768 140,737,488,322,560 (128TB)
    65,536 281,474,976,645,120 (256TB)


    Therefore, if you want to use more than 2TB NTFS volume on windows Server 2003, you may need to format the disk and set the cluster size larger than 512.


    Frequently asked questions about the GUID Partitioning Table disk architecture
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/302873

    Hope it helps.

     


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    • Marked as answer by David Shen Friday, June 19, 2009 3:56 AM
    Thursday, June 18, 2009 9:43 AM