As my other thread (Debian GNU parted) doesn't seem to be getting any responses and my situation has changed considerably, I thought I'd ask a new question.

I followed this article: http://www.anchor.com.au/blog/2012/10/booting-large-gpt-disks-without-efi/

I did so by running parted from the PartedMagic Live CD and setting up the partitions as suggested in that article: a 1MB bios_grub partition starting at 1MB and ending at 2MB and a root partition (ext4) starting at 2MB and ending at 100%. I then installed Debian Wheezy from the Debian Live CD. Upon installation, running fdisk -l reports it to be a GPT file system and parted recognizes both the partitions created earlier. However, regardless of what tool I use (fdisk, parted, gdisk), the root partition shows a capacity of 2.19TB.

I have a 32-bit system (a DELL PowerEdge R200 server) that does not have UEFI. The system consists of a RAID controller set up to use RAID0 with two 4TB disks.

So, my question is: Is it even possible to access the entire 4TB using software alone (i.e, parted, gdisk, etc)? I.e, do I need additional hardware?

  • Which RAID controller are you using? You need one with LBA64 support. Aug 6 '13 at 6:57
  • I can't access the server to see which RAID controller is being used but I will check that and get back to you tomorrow. In the mean time, could you please elaborate a bit more on this 'LBA64' thing? I've tried Googling but can't get any useful info. I find the number 64 especially troublesome. Will a LBA64 RAID controller be compatible with a 32 bit processor?
    – Ash
    Aug 6 '13 at 7:16
  • LBA stands for Logical block addressing. I'd imagine it's compatible 32-bit systems, but I'm not sure, I've been using 64-bit hardware for a while now, and I've never used a drive larger than 1.5TB. You could also give something like FlexRAID a shot. Aug 6 '13 at 7:35
  • Thanks Robert. As it turns out, my RAID controller did not have LBA64, so I removed it and have plugged both my hard drives straight into the motherboard. They are now recognized as 4TB drives and I am using software RAID instead. If you like, you could sum all this up in an 'answer' and I can then accept it as a solution.
    – Ash
    Aug 8 '13 at 6:30
  • Wrote up an answer. Glad I could be of help :) Aug 8 '13 at 8:46

Your RAID controller likely does not support LBA64, 32-bit sectors create a ~2TB capacity limit. LBA stands for Logical Block Addressing and is the way hard drive blocks are accessed.

The solution is to either get a new RAID controller with support. You can also see if your motherboard directly supports >2TB drives, which was the solution in your case, as you mentioned in your comment.

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