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I'm looking to create a NAS with a 3TB drive that I already have. I thought using a router and DD-WRT would do the job, but DD-WRT on my router (Asus RT-N13U) does not support GPT and thus only supports 2TB drives.

So, how do I figure out if a router supports drives greater than 2TB so I could connect the drive I already have?

Running DD-WRT on it is not a must.

Edit: Thusfar I have gathered the following regarding router support:

  • If using a router, it must support both GPT and filesystems, as well as USB.
  • DD-WRT's latest builds do have GPT support compiled into the kernel
  • Tomato GPT support?
  • Some Tomato firmwares require special builds to support USB
  • Filesystem support can be added in via kernel modules located on the drive itself, after system boot
  • No routers with only 4Mb of flash seem to have GPT, USB, and FS support, while 8+mb routers usually do

Another approach I have been looking into is running archlinux on a sharing device such as the pogoplug, thereby offloading FS duties and delegating the router to solely wireless duties.

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2 Answers 2

The issue is not the hardware, but the software. DD-WRT is compiled without GPT support. If you want to enable GPT support you'd have to compile DD-WRT from source and change the correct compile flags for the linux kernel. It's a good way to get really frustated (best case) or brick your router (worst case). I'd recommend against it unless you have experience in compiling the linux kernel and building a DD-WRT firmware from source.

So you should buy a dedicated NAS.

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I'm not going to buy a dedicated NAS because I am hell bent on doing this as cheaply as possible. I looked into compiling DD-WRT and while I have compiled a kernel or two, apparently DD-WRT is pretty near impossible to compile. I have discovered that DD-WRT is in fact compiled with GPT support now; not sure when that was added. –  Ethereal Jan 9 '13 at 2:59

You don't have to use a partition table at all, you can simply format the whole drive without any partition table and then you don't need GPT support.

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I have never considered this. Is a drive usable without a partition table? In any case, I may need (or want) several partitions but this is an interesting solution nonetheless. –  Ethereal Jan 9 '13 at 2:56
    
floppies have no MBR and I think some flash disks have neither, but I don't think standard windows tools can format a HD without creating a MBR. –  dtech Jan 9 '13 at 10:08

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