Banana Pi 2TB SATA limitation

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Post Last Edited by truculentView at 2014-6-30 12:19


According to the website, the SATA port can maxes out at 2 TB ("UP to 2T on SATA disk" / http://www.lemaker.org/).

I was hoping to connect a RAID controller to the SATA port, specifically this one: http://www.datoptic.com/ec/usb3- ... roller-u3es-rm.html

Would it still be limited to 2TB?  Is this an addressing limitation, a power limitation or something else?

I have not done anything with the sata port yet but I would bet that the 2TB Limitation comes from the fact that the A20 is a 32bit cpu. Drives being made up of 512byte sectors means that you run out of sector assignment space on a 32bit cpu at 2tb.

However that should be 2tb per drive partition. You may be able to put 2, 3, or 4 2tb drives on it and use LVM to concatenate the space into larger than 2tb. For that you would need a SATA raid unit or a SATA Multi-plexer.

The is used to expand the port numbers to 5, so I think you can connect 5 2TB sata, maybe it works.

Is the SATA on the Banana PI compatible with port expanders? I thought not

I asked that same question to the manufacturer and was told that it will work with a port expander/multiplexer.

I have not tested it yet.

I have tried a SATA expander based on Jmicron JMB321: http://polotek.en.ec21.com/SATA_1_To_5_Port--6432539_6594981.html but it does not work. Only one disk is recognized.

My guess is that the hardware is compatible enough, as it really makes no difference to a hardware port whether it's connected to an HDD or to a port expander.

It's the device drivers that handle the identification of whatever is connected to the port, and if the drivers were coded with only a single drive in mind, then that is all they can cope with. But drivers can be updated much more easily than hardware, so that limitation doesn't have to be permanent.

Best regards: dlanor

I just did a test using the banana pi and a Vantec nexStar HX4 (which has a sata port expander). For the test i'd added 2x 500GB sata drives. Using the USB interface on the nexStar, both drives are detected (sda and sdb) by the kernel.

Some strange things happen when connecting using the esata to sata interface. It only detects the one drive (only sda). When i use sabnzbd to download something, i get an I/O error in sabnzbd. After investigation, the 1st drive is disconnected and the 2nd drive is recognized as sdb.

I use the raspbian banana pi. Perhaps i get different (better) results with other distributions.

Edited by lth at Nov 12, 2015 17:04

I have just mounted a WD30EFRX, using gparted with this guide: http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/fd ... on-greater-2tb.html

And now it shows 2.7TB when I do a "df -lh".

So it is possible to have more than 2 TB on it ;).
32 bit CPU can handle 4TB of address space.

maybe it's an issue with fdisk?

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