Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

We've purchased a HP Proliant DL120 G7, which has an onboard Smart Array B110i controller. In the server, we've bought 4 x Hitachi 4Tb SATA drives, mounted them in HP drive caddies and installed them in the server. However, the B110i controller only shows the drives as 1.8Tb:

enter image description here

If we disable the B110i and use the AHCI controller instead, all 4Tb per drive is available. We'd really like to use the B110i if possible; does anyone know why the full drive capacity isn't available? According to the QuickSpecs, 4Tb drives are supported (and yes, I realise these aren't HP drives).

share|improve this question
And that's why pro's buy supported hardware combinations! – Chopper3 Sep 11 '13 at 11:22
recent RAID controller firmware is installed? – Striker_84 Sep 11 '13 at 11:38
@Chopper3: and that's why I'm asking here rather than directly to HP; I'll hand my "pro" badge back in immediately. – KenD Sep 11 '13 at 11:48
@Striker_84: yes, tried bumping all the firmwares, everything's up to date :/ – KenD Sep 11 '13 at 11:48
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I swear, when I read questions like this, I wonder why people are even using 4TB disks in inexpensive servers with low-end controllers. Do you really need 8TB-12TB usable in a four disk setup? What are you storing?!?

Either way, the Smart Array B110i controller is not compatible with drives larger than 2TB in RAID. It's not well-documented or noted online, but you've run into a product limitation. Remember, this controller predates the introduction of 4TB disks by a bit.

If you need to use those specific 3rd party disks, then you're going to have to swap controllers or use software RAID.

share|improve this answer
OK - this server is/was going to be a dumping ground for very infrequently-accessed, very unimportant but very large data that needs to be kept online. It was either that or a NAS, and re-using the server was a cheap (and according to the HP documentation, viable option). In no way was this designed to "cut corners", just trying to re-use hardware in a manner that the manufacturer suggests is possible! I wonder what would happen if we'd bought 4TB HP disks ... – KenD Sep 11 '13 at 12:41
Possibly the same thing. The drives are supported with a Smart Array P410 controller. – ewwhite Sep 11 '13 at 12:50
OK, thanks. We can use the AHCI mode; not as nice, but again this isn't anything "production" level. And the QuickSpecs are very deceiving - 4TB drives are listed as an option, with NO mention that the B110i won't support them. – KenD Sep 11 '13 at 13:02
HP was very shady on this one. The controller is intentionally crippled and really part of the motherboard's BIOS. Earlier revisions of the embedded controller on G6 servers shows ">2TB drives not supported". – ewwhite Sep 11 '13 at 13:10

HP B110i Controller only support drives up to 2TB. Its written in the HP Bulletin.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.