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I want to turn an old PC into a NAS, and before I go buying 3TB hard drives, I want to check if my BIOS will support these drives. This answer outlines some requirements.

  • Mainboard: supports 48-bit LBA
  • Disk controller: I'd use a PCI SATA interface for the SATA controller, since the mainboard doesn't have SATA; supports 48-bit LBA.
  • BIOS: ... (?)
  • It's a 32-bit system, but I want to use FreeNAS 8, so that should be OK I think (supports GPT)

But my mainboard/BIOS manual doesn't mention anything about max HDD size. How can I tell if this will work? Can I assume that since the mainboard supports 48-bit LBA the BIOS will also allow drives over 2.2TB? (It's a MSI MS-6380E mainboard with AMI BIOS).

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Unless you are booting from a disk greater than 2.19TiB you do not need BIOS support. FreeBSD (and FreeNAS) will happily boot from a MBR drive. Once booted the driversfrom FreeBSd will be used to access the drives and FreeBSD understands GPT. –  Hennes Jul 16 '12 at 22:06
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Can I assume that since the mainboard supports 48-bit LBA the BIOS will also allow drives over 2.2TB?

Yes. Unless you need petabytes of space, you need not worry.

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