What's the deal with 3TB drives?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rockinrocker, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. rockinrocker macrumors 65816

    rockinrocker

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    #1
    I seem to be finding conflicting reports.

    Will OSX see the full available capacity?

    Will that require a 64bit proc. or version of the OS?


    Thanks

    Also: anybody used one with an '08 Mac Pro?
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #2
  3. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #3
    Even if the controller, firmware, and drivers are compatible, the limitation with PCs lies in the MBR.
     
  4. rockinrocker thread starter macrumors 65816

    rockinrocker

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    #4
    Ah, ok.

    So the advertised max harddrive capacity for MP's and other machines is more a reflection of the storage limits available at the time?
    Or are there other possible hardware limitations?
     
  5. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #5
    To give you an example:

    The Cube firmware is limited to disks of 128 GiB maximum size, but it's possible to install a 3rd party driver to bypass this, although to be safe, no partition should straddle the 128 GiB limit in case this driver does not load.

    Even with newer PPC machines, the Apple Partition Map has the 2.2TB limit when the block size is 512. Whether it's possible to use a bigger block size is unclear (but only upto 2K).

    Intel Macs do not boot from APM or MBR disks, but from GUID disks. This scheme supports HUGE sizes.
     
  6. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #6
    Note that this is mostly a booting issue. You can use secondary drives with GUID maps on PPC and Windows XP machines.
     
  7. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #7
    The controllers and firmwares of external enclosures are also possible weak points.
     
  8. rockinrocker thread starter macrumors 65816

    rockinrocker

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    #8
    Yeah, that's what I'm starting to see. A lot of the 3.5" enclosures have a 2TB limit.

    I'm thinking it's probably worth the extra money to spring for the ones that can support >3TB since the whole reason I'm getting a stand alone enclosure is so I can switch out my current drives for higher capacity ones as they become cheaper and more available.
     
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #9
    Be aware that the drive format can be an issue, as well. FAT32 works with a maximum volume size of 2TB. Other formats don't have that limitation.
     
  10. rockinrocker thread starter macrumors 65816

    rockinrocker

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    #10
    Is there any reason to use FAT32 if I'm not concerned about Windows compatibility?
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    None. Even if you want Windows compatibility, NTFS is a better choice than FAT32. If you're only using a drive with Macs, HFS+ is your best bet.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
    • Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
    • To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X: Install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free)
    • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx 33USD).
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
    • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner backups of Mac internal hard drive.
    • To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
    • To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
    • Maximum file size: 8EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • exFAT partitions created with OS X 10.6.5 are inaccessible from Windows 7
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
     
  12. rockinrocker thread starter macrumors 65816

    rockinrocker

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    #12
    Ah, I didn't realize it was possible to read and write to NTFS from both OS's.

    Thanks for the info.
     

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