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Old 27. Sep 2013, 01:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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...I recommend that you avoid any drives of 1TB or larger with a 32-bit Operating System. 32-bit operating systems have difficulty recognizing large data drives unless you are meticulous in your computer setup. The same goes for internal hard drives in an external case.
This is just plain false.
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Old 27. Sep 2013, 04:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I have a cheap Samsung 500 internal in an external case that I've run like this for four years. It runs all day long with whichever box it is connected to. At various intervals it gets moved to either the other desktop or my laptop. All three machines are dual booted with Windows 7 x32 and various x64 Linux systems. I use it to store my current movie selection, music files and duplicates of my documents, pictures and site data. It has never been defragged and works like it did when I first bought it.
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Old 27. Sep 2013, 04:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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...I recommend that you avoid any drives of 1TB or larger with a 32-bit Operating System. 32-bit operating systems have difficulty recognizing large data drives unless you are meticulous in your computer setup. The same goes for internal hard drives in an external case.
+1 for Anupam

The disk space limitations are not because the OS is 32-bit per se. The limitations remain with the 32-bit OS because the solutions were developed for 64-bit systems and are generally unavailable for 32-bit Windows. This short article tells you How to Break the 2TB (2 TeraByte) File System Limit. The folllowing is more technical detail to illustrate how easy it is to get confused about disk storage limitations.

I'm not sure why the techie picked a lower limit of 1 Terabyte which is 40-bits. It is the maximum physical memory supported by most 64-bit CPUs but I don't think there's ever been a 40-bit limit for Windows. The closest would be the volume/partition size limit of 41-bit in 32-bit Windows from 95 to XP. It was increased to 48-bit, ie 2TB, with XP SP1 but effectively remains because of the limit on the MBR partition size.

The relevant limitations on disk size are:
Logical Block Addressing (LBA) is used by the hard disk drives and was increased to 48-bit, ie 1024 TB, at the time of XP SP1.
Master Boot Record (MBR) partitions are limited to 41-bit ie 2TB. To use a larger disk you need to use GUID Partition Table (GPT) with a BIOS that supports 64-bit CPUs using Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI).
File systems are used to manage file storage in a partition. Windows uses the two best known:
  • FAT-32 has a 44-bit system volume limit ie 16TB.
  • NTFS has a 64-bit cluster size limit but is limited to 32-bit, ie 128GB, in Windows NT, 2000 and XP. In XP SP1 the cluster limit increased to 48-bit of disk space, ie 256TB, which is the current limit.

P.S. There is no consistent correspondence between the number of bits for CPU, OS and disk storage. This is mainly because the the overall trend is for CPU bits to increase faster than memory and disk address bits. The original IBM PC had a 16-bit CPU with 20-bit disk space addressing. By Windows XP we had CPU and memory addresses equivalent at 32-bit but disk still remained higher at 41-bit / 48-bit. Now we have 64-bit CPUs with much less address space for 38-bit / 44-bit memory space and much less disk space at 48-bit.
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Old 27. Sep 2013, 05:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The disk space limitations are not because the OS is 32-bit per se. The limitations remain with the 32-bit OS because the solutions were developed for 64-bit systems and are generally unavailable for 32-bit Windows. This short article tells you How to Break the 2TB (2 TeraByte) File System Limit . The folllowing is more technical detail to illustrate how easy it is to get confused about disk storage limitations.

I'm not sure why the techie picked a lower limit of 1 Terabyte which is 40-bits. It is the maximum physical memory supported by most 64-bit CPUs but I don't think there's ever been a 40-bit limit for Windows. The closest would be the volume/partition size limit of 41-bit in 32-bit Windows from 95 to XP. It was increased to 48-bit, ie 2TB, with XP SP1 but effectively remains because of the limit on the MBR partition size.

The relevant limitations on disk size are:
Logical Block Addressing (LBA) is used by the hard disk drives and was increased to 48-bit, ie 1024 TB, at the time of XP SP1.
Master Boot Record (MBR) partitions are limited to 41-bit ie 2TB. To use a larger disk you need to use GUID Partition Table (GPT) with a BIOS that supports 64-bit CPUs using Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI).
File systems are used to manage file storage in a partition. Windows uses the two best known:
FAT-32 has a 44-bit system volume limit ie 16TB.
NTFS has a 64-bit cluster size limit but is limited to 32-bit, ie 128GB, in Windows NT, 2000 and XP. In XP SP1 the cluster limit increased to 48-bit of disk space, ie 256TB, which is the current limit.

P.S. There is no consistent correspondence between the number of bits for CPU, OS and disk storage. This is mainly because the the overall trend is for CPU bits to increase faster than memory and disk address bits. The original IBM PC had a 16-bit CPU with 20-bit disk space addressing. By Windows XP we had CPU and memory addresses equivalent at 32-bit but disk still remained higher at 41-bit / 48-bit. Now we have 64-bit CPUs with much less address space for 38-bit / 44-bit memory space and much less disk space at 48-bit.
Thank you. I'm very impressed with your command of it.
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Old 27. Sep 2013, 05:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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^ That's interesting ... I'd not heard that before but I have noticed that my x86 desktop PC has been having problems recognising my larger USB drives.

I had assumed it was just because it's quite an elderly machine, but perhaps that's the explanation.
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Old 27. Sep 2013, 06:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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That's interesting ... I'd not heard that before but I have noticed that my x86 desktop PC has been having problems recognising my larger USB drives.
What exactly happens?
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Old 27. Sep 2013, 08:24 PM   #17 (permalink)
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^ Actually, I just remembered that one of them is only 500Gb ... it's a Hitachi portable and just clicks away but never gets recognised. Works fine on my x64 laptop though.

Reading the above comments, I suspect it's just a hardware problem - it's a home-built PC that's at least 15 years old now.
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Old 28. Sep 2013, 12:50 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by conceptualclarity View Post
Thank you. I'm very impressed with your command of it.
I went through all this sort of stuff when I was working out what to put in the article comparing 32-bit and 64-bit systems. I specifically looked at the bit lengths of PCs and DOS/Windows since the first IBM PC. So I've got a lot of notes, spreadsheets and graphs waiting to be used when I get the time.
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Old 28. Sep 2013, 10:36 AM   #19 (permalink)
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it's a Hitachi portable and just clicks away but never gets recognised. Works fine on my x64 laptop though.
Not enough power being supplied by the USB port. You can get a "Y" cable to use two usb ports, but the ports should be on different controllers if possible. I use a mains power supply with all external drives whenever possible as it is safer when the USB power, by design, is limited.
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Old 28. Sep 2013, 03:02 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Burn-IT View Post
Not enough power being supplied by the USB port. You can get a "Y" cable to use two usb ports, but the ports should be on different controllers if possible. I use a mains power supply with all external drives whenever possible as it is safer when the USB power, by design, is limited.
It has a Y-cable that came with it. Doesn't help though.

Although thinking about it, I don't think it occurred to me when I tried that to use different controllers. I'll try it thanks.

Last edited by sicknero; 28. Sep 2013 at 03:14 PM.
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