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Does a Parity Drive Count Against the MBR Limit?

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#1
I'm helping a friend turn his old XP32 system into a file server. From what I've read, the normal MBR limit is 2.2 TB. But with 4KB sectors, this limit is raised to 8.8 TB.

If I were to take five 2 TB drives and put them into a RAID 5 configuration, it would be 8 TB of usable space with 2 TB of parity. Would that be addressable under MBR?
 
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#2
Just so you know, those large drives that use MBR and 4K Sectors come from the factory that way.

Windows itself, and most other partitioning tools, will not allow you to format a drive with MBR and 4K sectors to bypass the 2TB limit.

So if you use Windows to format the drive you will be limited to 2.2TB no matter what.
 
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#3
Hmm... I remember getting a WD drive with Advanced Format and having to use an aligning program or something for XP32 a while back. Think I'm going to see if that would allow for formating with 4K sectors. Either that or hope the motherboard's onboard RAID chipset has something for it.
 
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#4
Good luck with that, but I doubt you'll have any success.

At this point I'd just toss XP and go with something that supports GPT.

Heck, I'd even just install Windows 7 without putting in a product key over using XP at this point.

The limited functionality that you loose after 30 days won't really affect the operation of a file server.

You can even still download and install updates without any problems.
 
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Geekoid

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#5
Or, if you don't need the XP operating system and don't want to fork out £70 for a new Windows licence, you can just bung a Linux distro on there. In this instance, FreeNAS would be the one that jumps out at me - http://www.freenas.org/. You get software RAID 0/1/5 so it doesn't matter if your controller supports it, plus a load of other features such as Wake on LAN, email alerting, SMART tools, DAAP, etc, etc....
 
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#6
You don't have to buy a Windows license to use Windows, as I already pointed out.

Going with Linux is ok if you already have some PC knowledge, but from the sounds of it his friend isn't too computer savvy, so I'd stick with what he knows already, Windows.
 

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#7
Or, if you don't need the XP operating system and don't want to fork out £70 for a new Windows licence, you can just bung a Linux distro on there. In this instance, FreeNAS would be the one that jumps out at me - http://www.freenas.org/. You get software RAID 0/1/5 so it doesn't matter if your controller supports it, plus a load of other features such as Wake on LAN, email alerting, SMART tools, DAAP, etc, etc....
http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?p=6968938#post6968938

This is a decent guide for xp ;)
 

Geekoid

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#8
You don't have to buy a Windows license to use Windows, as I already pointed out.

Going with Linux is ok if you already have some PC knowledge, but from the sounds of it his friend isn't too computer savvy, so I'd stick with what he knows already, Windows.
This is simply not the case. You don't need any real knowledge to "go with Linux" in this case. Many people already have Samsung mobile phones, for example, and have no idea they are using Linux and don't find it complicated. And have the Windows mobiles caught on? I don't think so. The same goes with FreeNAS - you'll barely see any difference to a commercial NAS system you'd get in any shop. Heck, many of them run Linux too. That makes FreeNAS all the better for people who aren't computer savvy as it is just like a normal NAS. Windows would just be a big no-no in this case, and certainly not an unlicensed one. Things like this happen to pirates - http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1557116/unlicensed-users-won-free-windows-security-crutches

Really, FreeNAS - its free and easy. Anyone that can use a web browser can use it. I know, as thats what my home-brew NAS is running. Once its set up, it pretty much just sits in the corner, doesn't need a monitor and I barely even touch it. Its a perfect solution!
 
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#9
If it's going to be just a file server, I would just use FreeNAS. I have a client that I built a pair of FreeNAS 8.3 systems for and they love them. Easy to use, manage, and you can run simple file level copies between the two boxes.
 
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#10
This is simply not the case. You don't need any real knowledge to "go with Linux" in this case. Many people already have Samsung mobile phones, for example, and have no idea they are using Linux and don't find it complicated. And have the Windows mobiles caught on? I don't think so. The same goes with FreeNAS - you'll barely see any difference to a commercial NAS system you'd get in any shop. Heck, many of them run Linux too. That makes FreeNAS all the better for people who aren't computer savvy as it is just like a normal NAS. Windows would just be a big no-no in this case, and certainly not an unlicensed one. Things like this happen to pirates - http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1557116/unlicensed-users-won-free-windows-security-crutches

Really, FreeNAS - its free and easy. Anyone that can use a web browser can use it. I know, as thats what my home-brew NAS is running. Once its set up, it pretty much just sits in the corner, doesn't need a monitor and I barely even touch it. Its a perfect solution!
OH NOES!!!

He won't be able to run the worst virus protection known!

What a tragedy!:rolleyes:

Give me a break, use a good A/V like Avast, which is free, and the problem is solved.

There is no dis-advantage to using an unlicensed copy of Windows for a file server, the features that are disabled have no effect on the operation of the computer.

However, there are several dis-advantages to running FreeNAS.

You want to install a Web Server?

Easy on Windows, a pain in the ass with FreeNAS.

You want to install a DNLA/uPnP streaming software?

Easy on Windows, a pain in the ass with FreeNAS.

Even just getting to the point where you can install plugins is major ordeal.

Please don't try to say setting up and managing FreeNAS is easy, because that is bull.

And sure, it does offer the same level of convenience and abilities that other NAS devices add, which is shit.
 

Geekoid

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#11
There are, of course, other pieces of free software available, other than FreeNAS - that is just the one that shines.
 
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#12
There are, of course, other pieces of free software available, other than FreeNAS - that is just the one that shines.
Yep, it's the best one and it still sucks compared to Windows.