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Slavsta
Aspirant

Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb ext3!

So I thought I'd found a reasonably priced high-capacity external hard drive for backing up my ReadyNAS:

Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II - 4 TB (Mac-formatted out of the box)
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=621

Having read on the forums that Readynas doesn't talk to HFS USB drives, and that FAT32 supports maximum 2TB partitions, I used Frontview to format it to ext3 (Wikipedia implies 4TB ext3 partitions are OK).

Here's what FrontView gave me after successful reformat to ext3: Volumes/USB Shares:

1 WD My Book [Partition 1] 1671 GB 1671 GB EXT3 480

I was hoping this was some Frontview issue, but alas - I got the error message trying to back up 2.7TB of data saying backup interrupted because the destination drive is full.

When I later connected the drive to My Mac, the disk's contents was unreadable as expected, but the Disk Utility lists the drive as having 3.6TB capacity, and the WD RAID Manager software now still shows it's in RAID0 with 3 726 GB capacity (this is AFTER ext3 formatting) ), so I am pretty sure it comes in 4TB RAID0 mode from the factory and not in the 2TB mirror mode.

The $500 question is - does the ext3 filesystem allow 4TB partitions? If yes, does ReadyNAS's built-in disk format utility limit the size to 2TB? If yes, will it be fixed?

Correction: it's the $250 question - I can stil use 2TB out of four Smiley Happy

Thanks.

Here's my SETUP SUMMARY

* READYNAS PRO Pioneer Edition 5 x 1.5TB Seagate Barracudas running RAIDiator 4.2.5
+ Fast USB writes enabed

* MacOS 10.5.8
* Western Digital My Book Studio Edition II - 4 TB

+ connected to a USB port in the back

+ formatted to ext3 using Frontview, the main log saying "Successfully created EXT3 file system on the USB device. [USB_HDD_1]"

+ backed up to using Frontview backup tools, two shares totalling 2.7TB, one backed up fine, the other failed giving numerous error messages in the backup log in the following format:

"cp: cannot create regular file `/USB_HDD_1/DVD/Movies/*FILENAMES HERE*': Read-only file system"
"cp: cannot create directory `/USB_HDD_1/DVD/Movies/*FILENAMES HERE*': No such file or directory"
+ the main log says "Sat Aug 29 13:59:02 MSD 2009 Произошла ошибка копирования данных из источника ==> /USB_HDD_1/ из-за недостатка места на диске. [Задание 002]" - Russian for "backup error ... due to lack of space on the disk"
Message 1 of 27
ewok
NETGEAR Expert

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb ext3!

I'm not familiar with this particular drive, so I can't say much without looking at the ReadyNAS logs. Can you plug in the WD, then use the info in my sig to send them to me?
Message 2 of 27
Slavsta
Aspirant

Confirmed - 4TB capacity recognized then formatted as 2TB

Will send logs soon.

However, I started all over just to confirm my 4TB drive wasn't plugged into the NAS as a 2TB RAID1 mirror:

Reconfigured the drive explicitly as RAID0 HFS+ 4TB using Western Digital Drive Manager utility
Formatted it on my MAC using Disk Utility as a 4TB drive
Just in case, Get Info confirmed the drive as 4TB partition

Connected it to ReadyNAS and it RECOGNIZED it as a 4TB USB drive in the USB Volumes/USB Storage

Formatted it as ext3.

Got 2TB ext3 drive.

Went back to my Mac and reformatted it as 4TB.

I am 100% sure it was 4TB capacity because in the end I used a 3rd-party backup utility [Data Backup - worked just fine] to backup all of my 2.7TB shares from ReadyNAS to it, while it was connected to MacBookPro.

So my theory is that since ReadyNAS uses ext3 as internal format for its disks and you explicitly state it doesn't support disks beyond 1.5TB it just balked at a 4TB "THING" connected to it, and formatted it to the best of its "knowledge" of reality - 2TB Smiley Happy

BTW, ewok, you know how they make you input scrambled-looking letters when signing up for online service to make sure you're human and not a bot? Well, if you decide to continue to amaze us mortals with ultrafast response times, pls enter the following in your response: "jEdi5 aRe HumAn aNd not R0b()ts" Smiley Happy

Seriously, Netgear has amazing online support quality and response time. A bothersome noob like myself knows what he's talking about... So thank you very much indeed. Spasibo!
Message 3 of 27
ewok
NETGEAR Expert

Re: Confirmed - 4TB capacity recognized then formatted as 2TB

Slavsta wrote:

So my theory is that since ReadyNAS uses ext3 as internal format for its disks and you explicitly state it doesn't support disks beyond 1.5TB it just balked at a 4TB "THING" connected to it, and formatted it to the best of its "knowledge" of reality - 2TB Smiley Happy


The ReadyNAS can handle a disk larger than 1.5TB, it's just a problem when you string a few of them together and make a RAID array larger than it can handle. 4TB shouldn't be a problem though. Go ahead and connect it to the NAS and format it so it shows 2TB and send me the logs when you get the chance.

Slavsta wrote:

BTW, ewok, you know how they make you input scrambled-looking letters when signing up for online service to make sure you're human and not a bot? Well, if you decide to continue to amaze us mortals with ultrafast response times, pls enter the following in your response: "jEdi5 aRe HumAn aNd not R0b()ts" Smiley Happy


jEdi5 aRe HumAn aNd not R0b()ts... though I may just be a really good captcha-breaking robot. :wink:
Message 4 of 27
potnoodle23
Aspirant

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb ext3!

Hey ewok,

Can I send you my logs as well? I am having a similar problem.

I am using a 6TB 3200 and have connected 2 x 6GB external USB drives to it for backup purposes. Frontview reports the raw size of the devices as just 5.8TB, but when formatted as EXT3 creates a partition of 1.4TB, leaving the rest of the drive unusable.

I have connected both of the drives to a Linux machine and formatted the disks using GParted as GPT disks with a single partition using all of the available disk space. When connecting them to the 3200 again Frontview reports them as raw disks of 5.8TB again, and will only partition and format to 1.4TB
Message 5 of 27
ewok
NETGEAR Expert

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb ext3!

potnoodle23 wrote:

Can I send you my logs as well? I am having a similar problem.


Sure, just follow the instructions in my sig for sending logs and I'll be happy to take a look.
Message 6 of 27
ewok
NETGEAR Expert

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb ext3!

Thanks for the logs. The ReadyNAS uses an older partitioner that can't handle partitions larger than 2 TB. I'd suggest partitioning and formatting the disk on a PC before using it with the NAS.
Message 7 of 27
potnoodle23
Aspirant

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb ext3!

Hi ewok,

I've used gparted on Linux to partition as a 6tb gpt partition formatted as ext3. It shows up as an unrecognized 5.8tb disk in frontview. I've have partitioned as a 6tb gpt partition on a vista pc, formatted as ntfs with the same results. Is it worth partitioning on a pc again and not formatting, or will frontview only format after wiping and repartitioning?
Message 8 of 27
ewok
NETGEAR Expert

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb ext3!

Frontview won't be able to partition and format a drive that big. Can you partition and format the drive to full capacity on your Linux or Windows box, then attach the drive to the NAS and resend the logs? I want to see what the NAS is seeing.
Message 9 of 27
potnoodle23
Aspirant

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb ext3!

Thanks ewok,

I have resent the logs as requested. I have partitioned both external disks as 5.8TB GPT partitions, left one RAW and formatted the other as NTFS.
Message 10 of 27
ewok
NETGEAR Expert

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb ext3!

It looks like GPT partition support may have been inadvertently left out of the last firmware. I'll have one of our engineers check and re-enable it for the next firmware release (due in the next few weeks).
Message 11 of 27
TeknoJnky
Hero

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb ext3!

Glad to have noticed this thread and info because I had planned to do exactly the same thing (utilize western digital 4tb usb drive as backup) in the future.


@ ewok, please help make sure that this support is included in the future NV+/sparc updates as well.
ReadyNAS 528X, Pro 6, ProBusiness, Ultra 4, NV+
Message 12 of 27
shawn174
Aspirant

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb ext3!

Any timing on when GPT will be supported? My ReadyNAS Pro seems sick, and I'd like to get the data off to a 4TB USB drive. I'd like to reset it to factory, so I need to get the data backed up. I guess I'll hook my backup drive to my Linux box for the time being..... Smiley Sad
Message 13 of 27
ewok
NETGEAR Expert

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb ext3!

Message 14 of 27
jrx
Aspirant
Aspirant

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb ext3!

ewok wrote:
It looks like GPT partition support may have been inadvertently left out of the last firmware. I'll have one of our engineers check and re-enable it for the next firmware release (due in the next few weeks).


Hi,
I have just purchased a ReadyNas3200 and need support for USB drives greater than 2TB What are my options?

It is currently loaded with RAIDiator 4.2.9. Would it be safe to go back to a version that supports GPT? If so which one and where do i get it?

Please help!

Thanks
Message 15 of 27
jrx
Aspirant
Aspirant

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb ext3!

ewok wrote:
It will most likely appear in 4.2.10, but I don't have an ETA.


Hi ewok,
Do you have an update on release 4.2.10?
We are waiting *very* patiently for GPT support & the "permissions" problem to be fixed...

Thanks
Message 16 of 27
captain1
Aspirant

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb e

Ok, so I think I've figured out how to format my USB drive to contain a big enough ext3 volume to hold my ReadyNAS NV+ data so I can Nuke the ReadyNAS with factory settings and the new firmware which is supposed to allow me to use all the pretty new 2TB drives.

I put the TitanicUSB drive on a Linux box and did this (as root of course):

(replace /dev/sdx with /dev/sdb or /dev/sdc or whichever USB drive you want to partition). Obviously, be sure you pick the CORRECT USB drive, or you'll wipe out that other one you forgot was plugged in. ;-)

# parted /dev/sdx
GNU Parted 1.8.8
Using /dev/sdx
Welcome to GNU Parted! Type 'help' to view a list of commands.
(parted) mklabel gpt
(parted) print
Model: External RAID (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 6001GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: gpt
(parted) mkpart primary 0 6001G
(parted) quit

Use mkfs to format file system (again, replacing /dev/sdx1 with your USB drive designator and partition number):

# mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdx1
Message 17 of 27
potnoodle23
Aspirant

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb e

Hi ewok,

My 4200 has just emailed me to say that the following update is now available:-

Name: RAIDiator-x86
Version: 4.2.11
Date: Fri May 21 00:17:20 2010
Size: 56623104

I can't find it here on readynas.com or on the Netgear website to check on the release notes to see what has changed. Do you know if it will solve this problem with the large external drives for us all?
Message 18 of 27
mdgm-ntgr
NETGEAR Employee Retired

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb e

A global announcement on the forum links to the 4.2.11 Release Notes.

It doesn't look like a fix for your issue is in 4.2.11 from looking at the notes. Regardless I strongly recommend you update to 4.2.11.
Message 19 of 27
potnoodle23
Aspirant

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb e

Thanks for the quick reply mdgm, I'll go and take a look now.
Message 20 of 27
captain1
Aspirant

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb e

What's the status on this? I was directed over here but this thread seems to have died a few months ago with no solution since then.
Message 21 of 27
jrx
Aspirant
Aspirant

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb e

It would appear that 4.2.11 does in fact have support for GPT partitioned drives. At least it was able to read a 3TB NTFS partition on a USB external RAID drive...
Message 22 of 27
TeknoJnky
Hero

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb e

FYI,

I just tried connecting my western digital 4tb usb/firewire/esata drive to my pro, running 4.1.12.t30 and it successfully identified and mounted the full drive.

So it looks like GPT partition support went in at some point and appears to be working.
ReadyNAS 528X, Pro 6, ProBusiness, Ultra 4, NV+
Message 23 of 27
mnc042
Aspirant

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb e

What about those of us stuck on the 4.1.x release chain (i.e., ReadyNAS NV, ReadyNAS Duo)? Will we be getting this update, or any suggestions for supporting USB volumes of 4TB? I'm having this issue but, obviously, am not running the 4.2.x firmware..

Thanks!

\marc
Message 24 of 27
itbedave
Aspirant

Re: Frontview formats a FOUR tb external drive as a TWO tb e

Dittos (on above)!
Message 25 of 27
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