Solved What is maximum hard drive size that Win 7 Pro will support?

November 26, 2014 at 02:14:42
Specs: Win 7 Pro 64bit, 12GB RAM
I have Windows 7Professional, 64bit running on an SSD 500GB drive.

My internal drives are the 500GB SSD, 2 x 1TB, and a small 150GB velociraptor. My External drives, all powered, are 2 x 1TB, 2 x 500GB, and 2 x 2TB drives.

The newest one is one of the 2 TB ones. Since adding this one, I find I cannot run it if all the others are connected as well.

I read that there is a limit to how many TB Windows 7 can support, and that it depends also whether they are internal or external.

Please can you clarify this for me. If there is a limit, I will have to move a lot of data(photos) around so as not to need to run all at once.

I have also just upgraded the power pack to 650watts,quadrail.

Thanks.

Ruth


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✔ Best Answer
November 26, 2014 at 09:25:50
phil22

If you read the link there is still a limiting factor on the USB host/port. I'm not sure about this but I think the AC power supplies the 12V, which is used by the motor in the drive. The USB supplies 5V DC power for data.

I guess the question is this. Will the last 2TB external work if one of the other drives is removed? If so, that would indicate to me that it is a USB power issue.

The OP has not yet responded to my first post. Two identical hard drives may be causing the problem too.

I agree with ijack that the total capacity is not a factor.



#1
November 26, 2014 at 02:57:35
Windows can support, in theory, all of the disks that you have. Are the external disk powered with their own power adapters or just from the USB (it's not clear what you mean by "all powered")? It is possible that you are exceeding the amount of current that the USB ports on your computer can supply.

(In answer to your direct question, read http://support.microsoft.com/kb/258... )


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#2
November 26, 2014 at 04:02:15
Thanks ijack.

All my external drives have transformers and are plugged into the mains.

I read the kb article thanks, but that is really about a single drive bigger than 2TB. None of mine is larger than 2TB, but combined, when all drives connected, there would be 2.7TB internally plus 7TB externally. I would not actually need all of them at once, but I would need both the 2TB ones to be running at the same time.

Ruth


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#3
November 26, 2014 at 04:11:30
Power certainly isn't a problem, so I'm at a loss to suggest what else it could be. The only comment I would make is that having so many USB devices connected might reduce the speed of each one. I can't think why another device should stop them running at all.

Have you looked in the Windows event logs to see if there are any error messages relating to the problem?


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Related Solutions

#4
November 26, 2014 at 06:08:30
How are you connecting all those external drives to your computer? If you are using a USB hub connected to a USB port the issue may be the amount of power the computer USB port can supply.

See the link below. The current that a port can supply is limited.

Another issue may be that you have two identical devices and Windows is only configuring one of them.

Are any of the externals USB 3.0? Does your computer support USB 3.0?

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


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#5
November 26, 2014 at 06:33:51
OTheHill, the OP says all his external drives are mains-powered. Could USB power (or lack of it) really be relevant in that case?

I was going to suggest the OP get a mains-powered USB hub until I saw that all his externals are already mains-powered.


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#6
November 26, 2014 at 09:25:50
✔ Best Answer
phil22

If you read the link there is still a limiting factor on the USB host/port. I'm not sure about this but I think the AC power supplies the 12V, which is used by the motor in the drive. The USB supplies 5V DC power for data.

I guess the question is this. Will the last 2TB external work if one of the other drives is removed? If so, that would indicate to me that it is a USB power issue.

The OP has not yet responded to my first post. Two identical hard drives may be causing the problem too.

I agree with ijack that the total capacity is not a factor.


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#7
November 26, 2014 at 22:23:32
The external drives are all connected by USB, not SATA or eSATA?

My motherboard has one controller, made by Intel, for six internal
SATA drives, and a second, completely separate controller, made
by another company, for two more internal SATA drives and one
external eSATA drive. These two controllers need to be configured
separately in the BIOS. The connectors look identical. I have no
experience with any except the Intel-controlled SATA connectors.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#8
November 27, 2014 at 07:52:21
I did reply OtheHill, but it hasn't appeared here.

All the drives are connected to the back of the tower, the USB in the pc is USB2, although the newer external drives are USB3. They are all USB, not SATA.

Yes, the two 2TB drives are identical, Seagate Expansion.

And yes, if only one of them is connected at a time, it works. But I need at present to connect them both, to move stuff around and do a back-up.

Thanks for your help so far.

Is it possible to have an adapter for USB to SATA, as there are two SATA slots unused. Would that solve the problem?

Ruth


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#9
November 27, 2014 at 14:23:54
I'm not sure if this is going to help as Windows automatically assigns drive letters to all connected devices.

Have you tried going into disk management and manually assigning drive letters to the hard drives? Naming them would be helpful too so confusion about which drive is which is reduced. I would assign drive letters from the far end of the alphabet to keep all the usual automatically assigned letters free for other peripherals that may be plugged in in the future.

I have a feeling this isn't the issue but there's no harm in trying.


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#10
November 27, 2014 at 23:05:00
It would be worth trying a powered hub, if you have one or can borrow one, just in case it is a power problem.

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#11
November 28, 2014 at 02:25:24
Thanks. Assigning drive letters - I've tried this, but Windows doesn't seem to stick to what you have assigned if not all the drives are connected. I hadn't thought of using the other end of the alphabet tho....

Also have already renamed the drives, but thanks for the thought.

Could it be anything to do with motherboard driver? Before all this started to happen I had installed a new C drive, an SSD 512GB Corsair. And did a fresh install of Widows7Pro from a disc. Prior to that, when I bought the pc, from PC Specialist, they sent me an update to the motherboard driver, which I installed, but which I have not installed since the new install of Windows. Could these problems with running the external drives be because the motherboard needs that updated driver? Thanks.

Ruth


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#12
November 28, 2014 at 05:03:07
It is possible that drivers could be the problem. Have you looked for the latest drivers from your motherboards manufacturers website?

If installing the latest drivers causes unforeseen problems they can always be rolled back.


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#13
November 28, 2014 at 06:25:53
See if both the 2TB drives will work at the same time if you remove a couple of the other drives. That would help diagnose the problem.

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#14
November 28, 2014 at 11:17:55
Thanks both last posters, will follow suggestions.

Ruth


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#15
December 3, 2014 at 03:41:10
I've been prompted to select a best answer. Think OtheHill has been the most helpful, thankyou. But I don't really think the problem is solved. I am just not running both 2 TB drives at once, for safety's sake.

Ruth


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#16
December 3, 2014 at 09:05:58
Did you try running with both 2TB drives and others disconnected? If that works then it is a power issue. If not, then Windows is seeing both drives as the same drive. There may be a way around that if it is the case.

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#17
December 6, 2014 at 15:51:01
Hello again. Up to now I have chickened out of running both 2 tb drives together as I don't like it when the pc goes off without shutting down properly and I'm afraid of losing something, or getting locked read-only files or folders, which did happen once.

However, I have decided I will give it a go. Tomorrow, Sunday. UK time

But can you advise me how you define 'running' the drives.

a) Do I have to use them, ie do something with the files that are on them, copy and paste from one to the other for example, and if so, for how long, how active do they need to be?
Or b) is it an adequate test to just have them connected and
b1) either work on the internal drives, or
b2) do nothing, just leave the machine on, idle?

Thanks for your on-going interest and support.

Ruth


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#18
December 6, 2014 at 22:02:29
The external hard drives will be active if they are connected and have power to them. Shouldn't really matter if you are writing/reading or idling. You do want to see if they show in Computer and that you can access them.

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#19
December 7, 2014 at 15:43:53
Well, I have had both 2tb drives running for several hours on two occasions today, with only the internal drives active as well, none of the other externals. And, touch wood, all went smoothly, no power cut-outs or other crashes or freezes. I have moved important stuff off one of the 2tb drives, and re-formatted it. So now it is empty at present and I hope to use it as a spare, somewhere to put stuff on a temporary basis. So I should only need to run one of these two at the same time as any of the smaller drives. Hopefully no more problems. Thank you all.
I do have another question, related in a way. I use the 'Safely eject hardware' device to disconnect a drive when I don't need it to run any longer. But sometimes I later decide I want it again. The only way of re-activating it is to unplug the power, or the USB lead, and then re-connect it. This isn't particularly easy as the drives are all on a low shelf near the floor, and also I don't want the power socket on the drive to wear out with frequent use. ( I know that the power lead connection on laptops is known to be a weak spot). So my question is - could I cut the power wire and insert an on/off switch such as you might find on a bedside lamp? Be much easier to switch that off and then on again wouldn't it? Thanks.

Ruth


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#20
December 7, 2014 at 19:13:20
So then, the drives in question are powered and may already have an On/Off switch located on the enclosure, which is not convenient to access.

You really should not have power to the drives when not in use. That wears them out but more importantly, they are vulnerable to power surges and possibly cyber attack.

What if you connect all the drives to a power strip with on/off switches for each plug. See the link I found by Googling for Surge Protectors with multiple on/off switches.

http://www.cableorganizer.com/7-out...


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#21
December 10, 2014 at 14:53:21
Thanks OtheHill, none of the drives have an on/off switch on the device. So I have bought a switched power strip - English sockets, the link you very kindly researched for me had USA sockets. I tested each drive independently, switched it on, saw that it was seen by the pc, ejected it and switched it off before testing the next one.

When I got to the last one, which was not one of the 2 tb drives, the pc froze.... oh dear. So had to switch off the power to the pc as the only means of closing it, and then when I re-booted, the SSD wasn't recognised, just said 'loading the operating system.....' After another power-off, the next boot-up worked fine. And everything has worked well all day today.

But I'm not happy. I rang Crucial about the SSD. They told me to run Active Garbage Collection on it overnight. I haven't yet and would like your and anyone else's opinion as to whether this is a good idea. I do appreciate all your knowledgeable help, thank you.

Ruth


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