What's the Maximum HD size allowed on my Dell

Dell Inspiron 545 mt mini-tower desktop...
December 29, 2010 at 08:00:15
Specs: Window 7 / Fedora, Intel Q9300
I need to upgrade my system to include a large amount of space and I'm having a hard time finding specs on the maximum hard drive size allowed? I was hoping to install two 2TB hard drives for data and one 500GB drive for the OS. Total would be 4.5TB. Is that possible on this system? I would rather use internal driver as good and fast external drives aren't cost effective. Thank oyu for your help!

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#1
December 29, 2010 at 08:46:51
A driver is software, a drive is hardware.

Your board can support up to 4 SATA drives, one of which is probably your CD/DVD drive. So you should be able to do what you have planned. I'm curious what you do that would require that much storage?

http://support.dell.com/support/edo...


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#2
December 29, 2010 at 09:07:35
I understand the difference between a drivers and drives. It was just a typo.

Any ways, the reason I need the space is due to the large files I produce as a photo/videographer. If you had an idea what 1080p HD video and 15MP RAW photography took in space you would understand. According to Dell support I can only have 1.5TB of internal space installed, which to me seems odd. I will explore my other option which is external WD network drives. Thanks for your help.


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#3
December 29, 2010 at 09:25:14
This Dell page on the Inspiron 545MT (link below) states:
Hard Drive
Up to 1TB storage with one drive utilized.
Up to 2TB storage with both drives utilized.

http://www1.euro.dell.com/ae/en/hom...

Look at the tech specs tab in the above link to see the limits specified.

So it would seem that the maximum is 1 TB per SATA port. 2 TB if you use both SATA ports.

If you want to stay with internal drives and if you have space in your desktop to accommodate extra drives, then you can add in an extra PCI to SATA controller card which would allow you to add extra hard drives.

___________________________________________
When everything else fails, read the instructions.


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#4
December 29, 2010 at 09:27:20
mickliq his motherboard only has 2 SATA ports. See my post #3 and look closely at the manual you have linked to.

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When everything else fails, read the instructions.


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#5
December 29, 2010 at 10:34:07
I did look at the manual I linked to, that's why I linked to it. Scroll down to the 2nd motherboard - that's the one for the Inspiron 545 - it has 4 SATA ports. And my guess is that at the time the Inspiron 545 MT page was created, 1TB was the max HDD size available thru Dell. They only list two 3.5" bays, so 2 x 1GB = 2GB. Of course, a 3rd drive should be able to be added to one of the 5.25" bays if a 3.5" adapter is used.

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#6
December 29, 2010 at 11:05:39
Ah! I should have looked further down.

In that case the OP should check his motherboard to see if it has 2 or 4 SATA ports. I suspect it has 4 as you rightly pointed out.

That to me suggests from the page I linked to that there is a 1TB limit per SATA port.
Thus he could in theory use 4 SATA drives of 1 TB each on each of the 4 SATA ports if he has space to accomodate additional drives..

The OP should however, contact Dell support and ask Dell to confirm the 1TB limit per SATA port.

I had a quick look on the Dell community forums and while I could not find a specific question about the 545MT , I found one about the 530. This one seems to suggest you can go higher. The 530 if anything is a lower spec then the the 545. Still the OP should confirm this with Dell or take the risk.
http://en.community.dell.com/suppor...


One additional suggestion would be to buy 1 SATA drive that is greater than 1TB and then try it. If it works well and good. If it does not then you can buy a SATA USB hard drive caddy and use it as an external drive.

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When everything else fails, read the instructions.


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#7
December 29, 2010 at 11:09:21
Additional thought:

If more than two hard drives can be fitted and there are indeed 4 SATA ports, then it would be better to get a third and maybe fourth SATA drive rather that 2 greater that 1TB SATA drives. This way if you loose 1 hard drive you dont loose as much data.

Its called spreading your risks of data loss.

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When everything else fails, read the instructions.


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