Microsoft Windows 2003 can only handle 2TB volume size (Not LUN). So while this is not an official Microsoft or EMC blog, unofficially I’d recommend the LUN size shouldn’t bigger than a 2TB (Terabytes) presented to a Microsoft Windows server below SP1.  If the device uses MBR format, the disk space beyond 2TB will be unusable.  If the user request more than 2TB, makes sure you are checking with your OS vendor and SAN storage vendor the design is workable before you deploy it and causing any problems for you down the road later.

 

Again, for the volume disk THAT larger than 2TB, your data drive must be disk type GPT instead of MBR, what it currently is. GPT is what allows you go beyond 2TB and it must be dynamic vs. basic to be expandable vs. not. You can convert a basic drive to dynamic after you have data on it, but the GPT/MBR decision should have been made before you partitioned and formatted that drive. In reality, there are other considerations when creating huge volumes:

Windows Filesystems Maximums

  • NTFS volumes can be up to 2 Terabytes (TB) on an MBR disk and 16 Exabytes (EB) on GPT disks.
  • The maximum size NTFS volume that has been tested by Microsoft is 256 TB.
  • FAT volumes have a maximum size of 4GB and a file size limit of 2GB.
  • FAT32 file systems have a maximum volume size of 32GB with a file size limit of 4GB.
  • Microsoft iSCSI Software Target maximum VHD size is 16 TB.
  • The maximum size of a VHD is 2040 GB (8 GB short of 2 TB).

Microsoft Windows Support for Logical Units (LUNs) Larger than 2TB, please see the official post from Microsoft by click here.

 

Below are the example of expanding the LUN by using DISKPART in Microsoft Windows 2003.

1) Drive F before expansion

expandlun01

 

2) Expand The Drive using Storage ( EMC Symmetrix DMX  or EMC Clariion CX)

3) Drive F after Storage expansion

expandlun02

4) Expand Drive F using Diskpart

 

C:\Documents and Settings >diskpart

 

Microsoft DiskPart version 5.2.3790.1830

Copyright (C) 1999-2001 Microsoft Corporation.

On computer: DELLPE2950

 

DISKPART> sel disk 11

 

Disk 11 is now the selected disk.

 

DISKPART> list vol

 

  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info

  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  -----

  Volume 0     D                CDFS   CD-ROM       543 MB  Healthy

  Volume 1     C                NTFS   Partition     51 GB  Healthy    System

  Volume 2     E   Legato Netw  NTFS   Partition      8 GB  Healthy

  Volume 3     F   Grow_lun_te  NTFS   Partition     25 GB  Healthy

 

DISKPART> sel vol 3

 

Volume 3 is the selected volume.

 

DISKPART> detail

 

Microsoft DiskPart version 5.2.3790.1830

 

DISK        - Print a list of volumes on the disk.

PARTITION   - Shows details about the current partition.

VOLUME      - Print a list of disks that contribute to the volume.

 

DISKPART> detail vol

 

  Disk ###  Status      Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt

  --------  ----------  -------  -------  ---  ---

* Disk 11   Online        42 GB    17 GB

 

Readonly               : No

Hidden                 : No

No Default Drive Letter: No

Shadow Copy            : No

 

DISKPART> extend

 

DiskPart successfully extended the volume.

 

DISKPART> detail vol

 

  Disk ###  Status      Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt

  --------  ----------  -------  -------  ---  ---

* Disk 11   Online        42 GB      0 B

 

Readonly               : No

Hidden                 : No

No Default Drive Letter: No

Shadow Copy            : No

 

 

DISKPART> exit

 

Leaving DiskPart...

5) Drive F after Storage and Drive expansion

expandlun03