4TB HD in XP


N

Nil

I may have screwed myself. I bought a 4TB Seagate hard disk from Newegg
in a Black Friday impulse buy. My intention was to use it for backup
images, using it with my USB hard disk caddy. I've been using that
setup with 1- and 2-TB drives. I now find that XP doesn't support
drives larger than 2.something TB. In hindsight I sort of remember
that, but I never had to deal with it until now.

I'm still a little confused about what, if anything, I can do about it.
It seems that there is a driver I can download from Seagate that will
allow XP to see the drive. It also seems that I may have to partition
it into at least 2 smaller partitions. I have actually downloaded
something from Seagate called Disk Wizard, but it refused to install -
for some reason it doesn't detect the Seagate drive in the caddy.

So... is there any way to use this drive in my setup?
 
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P

Paul

Nil said:
I may have screwed myself. I bought a 4TB Seagate hard disk from Newegg
in a Black Friday impulse buy. My intention was to use it for backup
images, using it with my USB hard disk caddy. I've been using that
setup with 1- and 2-TB drives. I now find that XP doesn't support
drives larger than 2.something TB. In hindsight I sort of remember
that, but I never had to deal with it until now.

I'm still a little confused about what, if anything, I can do about it.
It seems that there is a driver I can download from Seagate that will
allow XP to see the drive. It also seems that I may have to partition
it into at least 2 smaller partitions. I have actually downloaded
something from Seagate called Disk Wizard, but it refused to install -
for some reason it doesn't detect the Seagate drive in the caddy.

So... is there any way to use this drive in my setup?

Seagate has DiscWizard.

http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/beyond-2tb/

The Allocate Install, installs an Acronis driver which is *non-removable*.
It is a filter driver. You could back up your WinXP and experiment with
this, if you wish. The whole idea is, you're installing a low level driver,
which splits the 4TB drive, into a 2TB physical disk (accessible by most OSes),
plus a virtual disk (accessible for any OS with the Acronis driver).

http://imageshack.us/a/img805/4338/allocateinstall.gif

This drawing, gives an idea as to the data layout on my 3TB drive
using this Acronis software. This is actually one row of information,
but I had to fold it to fit. The first row, roughly corresponds to
the "physical disk" section. The second MBR is the beginning of the
virtual disk, that covers everything above 2TB. I was actually
able to mount the partition above 2TB in Linux, by using an
obscure offset parameter to the Linux mounter, so once Acronis
has written this setup and made an NTFS partition in the upper
section, you can actually access it from Linux (loopback mount
with offset). But Linux itself won't write a partition up there.
Linux refuses to manage things above 2.2TB in a regular operating mode.
(Maybe they support GPT, but I'm not sure about that. And at the
time, I was looking for both WinXP and other OS access.)

So once the Acronis (Seagate or WD branded) software makes
this kludge, it does provide a "foothold". The only downside of
the Linux access that way, is the abysmally slow 10MB/sec read/write
rate. The disk won't run at full speed in Linux, when operated
that way. Still, at the time, it was better than nothing. It's
like an attic in your house, where you can carry little-used goods
to the attic, never to be seen again :)

+------+-----+-----------------------+------------------------+--------+
| MBR | gap | 746GB NTFS partition | 1453GB NTFS partition |metadata|
+------+-----+-----------------------+------------------------+--------+

+------+------+-------+-----------------------+
| gap | MBR | gap | 746GB NTFS partition |
+------+------+-------+-----------------------+

On another occasion, I re-drew that diagram like this. I think
at the time, I'd changed the lower partition to be closer to be
2.2TB (minus enough so Win2K would recognize it or something).
This diagram just labels the gap areas a little better. I had
to search with "dd" or "hexdump" to get the details. The
1MB gap is caused by partitioning the upper partition with Acronis,
and it was using a Vista+ alignment with respect to the MBR. The
lower big partition, was set up that way by Windows, and uses the
CHS 63 sector alignment. Really confusing. The important part
to note, is the 256KB gap holds Acronis info, and that's what
some of their software uses. I had to work this out, so I
could mount the upper partition in Linux.

+------+----------------+-----------------------+
| MBR | 62 sectors gap | 2.2TB NTFS partition |
+------+----------------+-----------------------+

+------------------+------+-------------------+-------------------------+
| 262144 byte gap | MBR | ~1048576 byte gap | 746.5GB NTFS partition |
+------------------+------+-------------------+-------------------------+

And this link, opens a Adobe Flash movie, demonstrating DiscWizard.
I can't really run this right now, as a refresher, as my download
link is maxed out :)

http://support.seagate.com/rightnow...zard_Large_3TB_XP/DiscWizard_Large_3TB_XP.htm

These are the kinds of files, installed by Acronis. I think
part of this, is the driver that cannot be removed. A user in
an Acronis forum, showed the Acronis staff how they could fix
that, so the driver could be removed, but I don't think there
was a fix issued or anything. If the driver is removed in the
wrong order, something will BSOD. It's a bastard.

Directory of C:\Downloads\Acronis_extended_capacity_manager_virtual_3TB

08/16/2012 06:31 PM 1,561 vididr.inf
08/16/2012 06:31 PM 399 vididr_uninstall.inf
08/16/2012 06:31 PM 8,130 vididr.x86.cat
08/16/2012 06:31 PM 139,336 vididr.x86.sys
08/16/2012 06:34 PM 1,457 vidsflt.inf
08/16/2012 06:34 PM 376 vidsflt_uninstall.inf
08/16/2012 06:34 PM 1,216 vidsflt_update.inf
08/16/2012 06:34 PM 7,515 vidsflt.x86.cat
08/16/2012 06:34 PM 99,720 vidsflt.x86.sys
08/16/2012 06:43 PM 18,558 vdd_msi_32.msg

It's possible I got that driver sample, from here.

http://kb.acronis.com/content/38937

(1.8MB)
http://kb.acronis.com/system/files/content/2013/01/38937/virtualdisksetup.zip

*******

Now, in my case, that crap would not work out of the box.
My first attempt to use Seagate DiscWizard or the equivalent
Western Digital package, failed. Why ? Because I'd installed
some Acronis stuff before, an unremovable older driver was *already*
present on my WinXP! A driver incompatible with the DiscWizard
I'd just installed. I actually had to back up my current WinXP
partition, restore from a two year old (clean) image of WinXP,
then install the Seagate DiscWizard, and then the Allocate Install
step would work. <Insert your own expletive>

My status of today is - upper 1TB of my 3TB drive is
inaccessible in Windows. If I need to rummage around in
there, I have a mount command for Linux recorded somewhere (oops!).
So I can "go look up there", but it's a pretty pitiful
setup.

In Linux, this is my attempt to find the MBR of each portion.
The first MBR is at offset zero (as you'd expect). The second
(virtual) disk is at an offset of 2TB plus 256KB. And viewing
the structure, verified I'd found the correct offset.

sudo hexdump -C -n 512 /dev/sdd <--- MBR

sudo hexdump -C -s 0x20000040000 -n 512 /dev/sdd <--- MBR

Here, I bump myself along the appropriate amount for the
63 sector offset lower NTFS partition, and the 1MB offset upper
NTFS partition. Again, the NTFS header structures look the same,
so I know I've found the beginning of the NTFS stuff.

sudo hexdump -C -s 32256 -n 512 /dev/sdd <--- first partition

sudo hexdump -C -s 0x20000140000 -n 512 /dev/sdd <--- second partition

Unfortunately, I don't seem to have a record, of what my
loopback mount command looked like, to mount the partition
in Linux. The offset fed to the command would be the
0x20000140000 thing, so maybe I should search for that.

Anyway, without a lot of details, that's a review of
my experiences with this stuff. Total nightmare. A
bit like spelunking, and making it out alive...
(I used to go spelunking when I was younger, and
that's why I can have this analogy today.)

Paul
 
F

Flasherly

I may have screwed myself. I bought a 4TB Seagate hard disk from Newegg
in a Black Friday impulse buy.

Cool. You'll get the hang. Probably some tricks (like putting on
just the "right" brand of BR burner on an old XP). I've a caddy setup
too. 2T limit (plus the biggest drives I have) and probably be in your
boat one of these days w/ a nifty 4T sale.
 
V

VanguardLH

Nil said:
I may have screwed myself. I bought a 4TB Seagate hard disk from Newegg
in a Black Friday impulse buy. My intention was to use it for backup
images, using it with my USB hard disk caddy. I've been using that
setup with 1- and 2-TB drives. I now find that XP doesn't support
drives larger than 2.something TB. In hindsight I sort of remember
that, but I never had to deal with it until now.

I'm still a little confused about what, if anything, I can do about it.
It seems that there is a driver I can download from Seagate that will
allow XP to see the drive. It also seems that I may have to partition
it into at least 2 smaller partitions. I have actually downloaded
something from Seagate called Disk Wizard, but it refused to install -
for some reason it doesn't detect the Seagate drive in the caddy.

So... is there any way to use this drive in my setup?

You didn't say the brand and model for a pre-built computer or the
motherboard brand and model if you built the computer. Does the mobo's
BIOS support UEFI? If so, read:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2581408

Looks like you could use the UEFI+MBR scheme for Windows XP.

According to:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308424

"To increase the size of a simple volume or a spanned volume after you
create it, you can extend it by adding unallocated free space on the
same (or another) dynamic disk." So it looks like you could create two
2TB partitions and span them to create a dynamic drive.
 
N

Nil

You didn't say the brand and model for a pre-built computer or the
motherboard brand and model if you built the computer. Does the
mobo's BIOS support UEFI? If so, read:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2581408

I didn't specify but I should have - the computer is based on an ASUS
P5L-VM 1394, bought and assembled in 2006. That's pretty ancient in
computer terms, but this has been the most stable and capable system
I've ever owned and I'm not ready to give up on it yet. It has handled
every task I've thrown its way... until now. I don't know about UEFI,
but if that's a recent technology, I would expect it does not support
that. I will check into it.

Maybe this is a sign that I need to start planning to move on from this
machine to something newer.
 
V

VanguardLH

Nil said:
VanguardLH wrote in


I didn't specify but I should have - the computer is based on an ASUS
P5L-VM 1394, bought and assembled in 2006. That's pretty ancient in
computer terms, but this has been the most stable and capable system
I've ever owned and I'm not ready to give up on it yet. It has
handled every task I've thrown its way... until now.

My last home PC (Athlon XP 2800+ Barton overclocked to 3200+) lasted 7
years. Would still be using it except the PSU went bad which ended up
damaging the motherboard. I played some games but the ones that I liked
(which incorporate stealth) are also old and the newer ones just don't
have a concept of what is stealth. For non-gaming use, it handled
everything I needed to do on it. Games are about the only real load on
a PC that requires newer hardware if you want to play newer games.
I don't know about UEFI, but if that's a recent technology, I would
expect it does not support that. I will check into it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uefi

It's one of those things I keep meaning to learn more about but always
find something more interesting to do, like shoveling the snow.

Asus P5L-VM 1394 specifications:
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/P5LVM_1394/

No mention of UEFI so it is unlikely to have it.
Maybe this is a sign that I need to start planning to move on from
this machine to something newer.

Did you yet try spanning using a dynamic volume? That's been in XP
since it arrived. You need to check you backup software to see if it
will support spanned (dynamic) volumes.
 
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H

Hench

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uefi

It's one of those things I keep meaning to learn more about but always
find something more interesting to do, like shoveling the snow.

Asus P5L-VM 1394 specifications:
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/P5LVM_1394/

No mention of UEFI so it is unlikely to have it.

I had a similar board from 2006 (P5B) and I had windows 7 recognize 3TB
partitions by using GPT-GUID formatting, without a UEFI "bios". the GPT
drives were not bootable but could be used as secondary drives

Am I remembering this wrong?
 
P

Paul

Hench said:
I had a similar board from 2006 (P5B) and I had windows 7 recognize 3TB
partitions by using GPT-GUID formatting, without a UEFI "bios". the GPT
drives were not bootable but could be used as secondary drives

Am I remembering this wrong?

GPT is fine for data, if you have an OS that understands it.
I don't think WinXP has GPT support. Otherwise, I would
have used it for my own 3TB drive.

The Wikipedia article on GPT should give some idea what
is required for boot or for data. See the table titled
"Details of GPT support on 32-bit editions of Microsoft Windows"
It is half way down the page.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table

(GPT) Read/Write Boot
---------- ----
Windows XP No No

That leaves the Acronis driver kludge, as a solution.
As available in Seagate DiscWizard. Western Digital
has their own copy of the same software, with their
branding on it. The software was written by Acronis.

Paul
 
V

VanguardLH

Paul said:
GPT is fine for data, if you have an OS that understands it.
I don't think WinXP has GPT support. Otherwise, I would
have used it for my own 3TB drive.

The Wikipedia article on GPT should give some idea what
is required for boot or for data. See the table titled
"Details of GPT support on 32-bit editions of Microsoft Windows"
It is half way down the page.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table

(GPT) Read/Write Boot
---------- ----
Windows XP No No

That leaves the Acronis driver kludge, as a solution.
As available in Seagate DiscWizard. Western Digital
has their own copy of the same software, with their
branding on it. The software was written by Acronis.

Paul

According to the Microsoft KB article in my first reply, Windows XP does
not support UEFI hence it doesn't support GPT. Since XP is limited to
supporting the MBR scheme, 2 TiB volumes are the max size it can handle.
That's why I mentioned using dynamic volumes to span partitions (which
apparently can be on the same hard disk).

The limitation is in having to use the old MBR scheme. While the
partition tables in the MBR are 16 bytes long, only 4 bytes are used for
LBA to specify the absolute starting sector number and another 4 bytes
are used for how many sectors there are in the partition. The other
bytes are for the old CHS scheme and identify the partition type.

4 bytes * 8 bits/byte = 32 bits
1 sector = 512 bytes (even after translation for advanced format drives)
so
(2^32 - 1) sectors x 512 bytes/sector = 2,199,023,255,040 bytes = 2 TiB

You could use a dynamic volume with up to 2 TiB partitions rolled into
it. Or you could use the driver scheme to use an intervening driver to
translate the disk into one volume by using multiple partitions. The
driver scheme was used back when 8 GiB was the max partition size when
the BIOS Int13 call was limited to 24 bits. Later the driver scheme was
used again to get past the 132 GB (128 GiB) barrier. See:

http://www.dewassoc.com/kbase/hard_drives/hard_drive_size_barriers.htm

A problem is trying to use utilities that don't run inside the instance
of Windows where the disk translation driver was installed. But I
suppose you'd run into problems trying to access the multiple 2 TiB
partitions that were rolled into a dynamic volume which is defined only
in that instance of Windows, too. Personally I dislike the driver and
software RAID solutions and would stick with the max sized partitions (2
TiB, in this case) and see if the backup software can span multiple
partitions for where it saves its backup files. Or schedule one backup
job with its full+incremental chain that runs every 1st and 3rd week to
use one partition and schedule another backup job with its
full+incremental chain that runs every 2nd and 4th week to use the other
partition. If you only do manually instigated backups then pick
whatever partition you want. When one fills up, start using the other
one.
 
P

Paul

VanguardLH said:
According to the Microsoft KB article in my first reply, Windows XP does
not support UEFI hence it doesn't support GPT. Since XP is limited to
supporting the MBR scheme, 2 TiB volumes are the max size it can handle.
That's why I mentioned using dynamic volumes to span partitions (which
apparently can be on the same hard disk).

The limitation is in having to use the old MBR scheme. While the
partition tables in the MBR are 16 bytes long, only 4 bytes are used for
LBA to specify the absolute starting sector number and another 4 bytes
are used for how many sectors there are in the partition. The other
bytes are for the old CHS scheme and identify the partition type.

4 bytes * 8 bits/byte = 32 bits
1 sector = 512 bytes (even after translation for advanced format drives)
so
(2^32 - 1) sectors x 512 bytes/sector = 2,199,023,255,040 bytes = 2 TiB

You could use a dynamic volume with up to 2 TiB partitions rolled into
it. Or you could use the driver scheme to use an intervening driver to
translate the disk into one volume by using multiple partitions. The
driver scheme was used back when 8 GiB was the max partition size when
the BIOS Int13 call was limited to 24 bits. Later the driver scheme was
used again to get past the 132 GB (128 GiB) barrier. See:

http://www.dewassoc.com/kbase/hard_drives/hard_drive_size_barriers.htm

A problem is trying to use utilities that don't run inside the instance
of Windows where the disk translation driver was installed. But I
suppose you'd run into problems trying to access the multiple 2 TiB
partitions that were rolled into a dynamic volume which is defined only
in that instance of Windows, too. Personally I dislike the driver and
software RAID solutions and would stick with the max sized partitions (2
TiB, in this case) and see if the backup software can span multiple
partitions for where it saves its backup files. Or schedule one backup
job with its full+incremental chain that runs every 1st and 3rd week to
use one partition and schedule another backup job with its
full+incremental chain that runs every 2nd and 4th week to use the other
partition. If you only do manually instigated backups then pick
whatever partition you want. When one fills up, start using the other
one.

The only part I might disagree with, in the above, is that
without some assistance, a 4TB drive will have the top 2TB
ignored. Even with dynamic disk, you can't get there unless
all the disk storage areas "report in".

It may be possible to use the Acronis driver, get
one physical 2TB disk with its own MBR, as well as
one virtual 2TB disk with its own MBR. Then declare
the pair as dynamic disk, span them, and get a 4TB
volume under WinXP.

Without using dynamic disk, the Acronis driver currently
gives you two volumes. On my 3TB disk, this is a 2TB
first drive, and a 1TB second drive. Which, without further
ado, at least allows storage access to the whole drive
under WinXP.

The Acronis driver will work best, if you've never installed
Acronis before. That's what I discovered. Since the Acronis
driver has no removal system of its own, to remove it, you
have to find a recipe that someone was pushing as a solution.
As, without care, you can break your WinXP while attempting to
remove the Acronis filter driver.

Paul
 
N

Nil

Just thought I'd let you all know how this panned out...

As was pointed out to me, neither Windows XP or my aging motherboard
will support hard discs larger than 2-ish TB. I might have the option
of using that Acronis/Seagate kludge, but I couldn't get Seagate Disk
Wizard to install. That may be a good thing, because I can anticipate
having trouble restoring a disk image if the hardware doesn't like the
disk at boot time.

I was going to return it to Newegg until I discovered I'd be hit with a
hefty restocking fee. Considering that, plus my shipping cost, I'd be
hard pressed to find a 2 TB drive for much less than what I'd end up
getting back for this one. So... I've decided to keep it and just use
the available capacity for my backups for now. I hope to build a new
computer within a few months and that one will be able to use the full
capacity of this drive.

Thanks for your help.
 
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F

Flasherly

If you have room for another PCI card you could get an adapter card
that supports RAID and map part of the disk as a device.

You need an adapter that supports 4TB drives and runs under XP.

Might not pay for one drive, but might come in handy for various other
things. (I did it some years ago, I think for a 512GB limit and 1GB
drives.)

That can tend be another vagary, in my experience I'd also factor for
potential returns. With my present PCI controller, perhaps SYBA, I'm
not entirely satisfied with its performance under XP and a
greater-than 1T drive, I must be running on it, either 1.5T or 2T.
(Perhaps, I'm not sure now, I was able to institute a 2T on that
card.) Factoring cost, indeed, may be also prohibitive, when a card
of that nature approaches a viable route to substitute a MB, itself,
(granted an extra CPU and MEM, and the MB, can be expected to approach
something over $100US), never to mind ignoring actual PCI slots at a
dearth (one, usually) on today's MB budget real-estate platform. I've
an essential PCI soundboard, and so the MB T-capacity would become
tantamount to matching the platform correctly.

I'm not entirely sure the OP has exhausted a driver stopgap solution,
though, for dividing a +2T HD into sub- or at-2T drives XP can handle,
which I've certainly seen references to, although haven't personally
instituted one in such a course. (But, of course, a MB's hardware
hardwired actually and correctly for the drive in the first place is
going to be preferential. Just not saying that I first wouldn't take
a shot at a software solution for breaking down a 3T, or 4T, for XP
before buying a new MB with better SATA ports.)
 

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