I have this HP Proliant DL180 G5 server, running with the embedded RAID controller (no Smart Array); with this configuration, it only supports 4 SATA disks. Fine.

The server has 2 250-GB SATA disks; I bought two 3-TB SATA disks and I added them to the server; but now, upon booting, it shows 2 250-GB disks and 2 750-GB disks.

I already updated the server's BIOS to the latest one, but this didn't change anything.

This looks like a size limit problem... but why does it only see 750 GB? If there actually is a limit on disk size, shouldn't it be 1 or 2 TB (which at least makes some sense when bits are concerned)?

How can I make this server use the full capacity of those 3-TB disks?

  • Can you plug another RAID controller card to check if the new disks will be accessible with it? I think we have seen such limits on MSA 1500CS (ca. 2005). I heard newer systems like Proliant G6 do not limit drive capacity in this way any more. – Dmitri Chubarov Apr 30 '12 at 10:19
  • No RAID controllers around here :-/ – Massimo Apr 30 '12 at 10:22
  • What model of disk did you add? – ewwhite Apr 30 '12 at 11:30

The embedded G5 disk controller just doesn't support >2.2TB disks sorry, you'll need to use one that does, there's no workaround.

  • Any reference for this? – Massimo Apr 30 '12 at 10:43
  • It's just a rebadged Adaptec 1430sa controller - here's the latest HCL for that card; download.adaptec.com/pdfs/compatibility_report/… – Chopper3 Apr 30 '12 at 11:00
  • The server's POST actually says it's a ICH9R chipset... – Massimo Apr 30 '12 at 11:09
  • That's just the IO controller, the actual RAID function is provided by an Adaptec chip in front of the ICH9R - here's a similarly built system by supermicro - ftp.supermicro.com/CDR-X8_1.22_for_Intel_X8_platform/MANUALS/… – Chopper3 Apr 30 '12 at 12:13
  • 2
    No, this is common, these old controllers can't deal with disks of >2.2TB, what happens to most controllers in this situation is that they're happy to allow you to use the space OVER this amount; i.e. 3TB minus 2.2TB ~750-800GB, which is what it's showing, if you do the same with a 4TB disk you get ~, no idea how it'd handle disks over ~4.4TB, we'll see in coming months I guess. – Chopper3 Apr 30 '12 at 13:58

Are you seeing the ~750GB size in the RAID storage manager? BIOS? In the OS?

I feel like you're running into a SATA compatibility issue. Assuming the 3TB drives are relatively new (and have 6G interfaces), I just don't think the onboard controller has kept pace. The controller for that server is located on the system board's SouthBridge, so the most recent firmware for the system (December 2010) predates the introduction of 3TB disks by 6 months.

Your best bet at this point is you get a dedicated HBA that can accommodate the drives. At the very least, that removes the dependency on the manufacturer (HP) for storage system firmware.

  • Fine. But why is the system seeing exactly 750 GB, then? Should't the size cap be somewhat higher? – Massimo Apr 30 '12 at 13:22
  • Search on the controller + 3TB disks. Several people report ~650+GB disks showing up in the RAID utility. You did not specify where you were seeing the 750GB size. In the RAID storage manager? BIOS? In the OS? – ewwhite Apr 30 '12 at 13:30
  • In the controller BIOS, during the system boot. – Massimo Apr 30 '12 at 13:46
  • Well, you understand the problem. Old server, old controller and a BIOS that can't be updated to support the drives. – ewwhite Apr 30 '12 at 13:55

Just an update to this, since this has not been revised since then. (and I found it when looking for the answer to the same thing) The P400, P400i and P800 now supports 8ZB drives with the newest firmware. Yes that is 8 Zeta Bytes, so should be sufficient for a while yet. Then again I see you do not have the extra controller?


  • 2
    The controller in question here is motherboard based and is NOT one of the Smart Array controllers you listed. – ewwhite Feb 9 '13 at 15:10

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