Recently acquired a 1U Supermicro E3-1230 with two 3.5" drive bays, and thinking of buying two 18TB SATA-3 hard drives for it. Before I make this investment, would anyone know if SATA-2 (3 Gbps) would support 18TB drives with their full 18TB capacity, with a motherboard BIOS date from 2011?

All SATA docs talk about the speed difference between SATA-2 (3 Gbps) and SATA-3 (6 Gbps), and little about capacity compatibility. OS will be Linux 64-bit which is 18TB compatible, if the SATA bus supports it. Motherboard is a Supermicro X9SCL.

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That's not up to the SATA version but to the BIOS, firmware and drivers.

LBA-48 introduced in 2002 (prior to SATA 1.0) supports up to 128 PiB. So, that machine should support 16+ TiB HDDs but it still might not due to some shortcoming or bug - likely, it's not been tested.

You will not find that information in the SATA specs but rather in the system specs, forums or from support. Alternatively, you have to just try. If all fails you could simply add a more up-to-date SAS/SATA controller and hang the drives from there.

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