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PaulThBrit
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Adding 6TB Drive to xw6400 Workstation

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xw6400
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

I have an xw6400 workstation that has been my workhorse for years and I want to add a 6TB drive for Photo storage.  When I plug it in, it only recognizes it as a 1.5TB drive and I am guessing this is a BIOS issue.  6TB drive weren't conceived of when the BIOS was written and I have not updated it.  Does this sound right?

Is there newer BIOS available that would allow me to use 6TB drives?  I already have a 2TB drive running on this computer together with a 256GB SSD.

 

Thanks,

 

Paul

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Paul_Tikkanen
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Hi:

 

See if you can format the drive in GPT.

 

That should allow the PC to use all the available storage.

 

See this whitepaper regarding GPT.

 

You would never be able to use any HDD>2TB as a boot drive, since your PC does not have a UEFI BIOS.

 

http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c02826744.pdf

 

I don't know what BIOS version you are at, but the last two BIOS revisions didn't do much...

 

ENHANCEMENTS:
No enhancements were added in BIOS version 02.38 or 02.37.

 

FIXES:
The following fix has been made in BIOS version 02.38:
- While the implications of the issue are difficult to quantify, Intel has
released a microcode update to resolve a problem when operating in 64-bit
mode.

The following fix was made in BIOS version 02.37:
- Corrects an issue, which was inadvertently introduced in BIOS v02.35, that
results in an error message in the Microsoft Windows Event Viewer system.

 

In any event, updating the BIOS to either version will not change the storage situation in your model, if formatting the HDD in GPT does not resolve the issue.

PaulThBrit
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Thanks so much for the quick reply.  The BIOS I am using is '786D4 v02.26' and the Block boot date of the BIOS is reported as 12/01/06.

 

My master boot drive is a 256GB Corsair Solid State so that should be OK and the 2TB system drive is configured as a GPT.  When I plugged in the brand new out of the box 6TB drive, it reports it as 1.5TB and I tried to configure that as a GPT formatted drive but it is still limited to 1.5TB.

I will read the linked white paper on GPT.

 

Paul

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DGroves
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short answer is no, long answer yes, as a data drive (no boot support)

 

you need a LSI 9211-8i card in "IT" mode and windows 10 (64bit)

 

 

read this link:

 

https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Business-PCs-Workstations-and-Point-of-Sale-Systems/Adding-a-hard-driv...

 

 

also if you use the LSI card reformat and remove "GPT", it only works with a UEFI enabled bios which your xw6400 does not have use a normal MBR format using NTFS filesystem  which is the win 10 default filesystem

Paul_Tikkanen
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You're very welcome, Paul.

 

It appears that DGroves has the answer you were looking for...

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PaulThBrit
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I thought for completeness I would provide an update on this issue in case it is of use to others.  I very much appreciate the timely and constructive responses provided by Paul & DGroves above.  This got me thinking of ways to bypass the xw6400's SATA controls to access larger drives.  I had a Vantec 6 port PCIe-SATA controller that I was not using and decided to give it a try.  The part number is Vantec UGT-ST644R.

 

I connected the 6TB drive and ran Western Digital's Data Lifeguard extended test overnight to check out the drive.  No errors were reported and performance seems good.

 

This may be a cheaper solution than the LSI9211 board.  I believe I paid ~$30 for the Vantec board on NewEgg a few years ago and I didn't have to load any drivers or do any sort of set-up/configuring on my Windows 10 computer.  I believe there is also a cheaper version of the board with four ports instead of six.

 

I hope this helps,

 

Paul

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DGroves
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you get what you pay for, your SATA card was made to meet a price point unlike the LSI card which was made to have secure error free data xfers

 

 the lsi card will run at full speed no matter how many drives are connected to it

 

the Vantec card shares the bus with each drive attached and will have lower speeds with each drive attached

 

last the LSI9211 is around 50/60 dollars on ebay, the Vantec is about 50 so thete is very little reasion to not buy the LSI card  (if you have the vantec it's another matter, but i stll would trust the LSI over the vantec)

 

 

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PaulThBrit
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Understood and agreed.  Thanks!

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SDH
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Message 9 of 11
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A small added point.... the SATA card plugs into a PCIe slot as the interface to the workstation, and it is worth knowing that for the xw6400 all PCIe slots are PCIe generation 1. 

 

In the xw6600 the same card can be plugged into one if its two PCIe generation 2 slots (the two PCIe x16 "video" slots), and will have access to twice the xw6400's maximum bus speed. 

 

Same idea with the Z400/Z600/Z800.... if you want to break the SATA II speed limit with these workstations you need to do the research and figure out which PCIe slots are generation 2 and plug into one of those.  The PCIe slot rating is in the technical/service manuals.  If you're running only one drive from your SATA card then the Vantec might sound good, but splitting your new-found speed over several drives is going backwards.  Plus, data quality counts.  I'm with DGroves here.

 

Slow but steady idea.... you can get an external USB2 drive enclosure for your 6GB drive and run it over a quality USB2 cable.

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PaulThBrit
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Good input.  I realize I am borrowed time with this old workstation but it has been good to me and I am a) reluctant to part with it and b) reluctant to make any significnat investment in it in order to upgrade.  The performance is acceptable since I upgraded to the E5345 quad-core processors but sometime in the next six months I figure I will replace the motherboard or buy a completely new configured computer.

 

Thanks for the input on the xw6400 having Generation 1 PCIe bus.  I was not aware of that.

 

Regards,

 

Paul

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