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Using a 3TB USB3.0 portable HDD on Gen8 Microserver?


venturis
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Wondering if anyone is using a 3TB or larger portable USB HDD on a Gen8 Microserver.

 

Recently purchased a Toshiba Canvio 3TB USB3.0 2.5inch Portable HDD for backing up some important files.

 

I am running ESXi 5.5 and was successfully using a 1.5TB USB3.0 Seagate portable drive to back up my data by attaching the USB drive to a virtual machine running within ESXi.

 

I've been unable to get the 3TB Toshiba portable drive to work on my Gen8.  Specifically, after plugging in the drive to either the USB3.0 or USB2.0 ports, the drive spins up but within a minute it shuts down completely.  No activity at all and even the drive active LED is off.

 

The drive cannot be detected within ESXi.

 

Using the same drive on my desktop computer works perfectly so I am ruling out the drive or the cable as being the culprit.  As I said before I can successfully use a 1.5TB seagate portable without problems.

 

I'm starting to think that the bios is limiting the capacity of external USB storage.  Can anyone confirm?  I haven't found any previous mention in this forum of this issue.

 

Cheers.

Edited by venturis
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I cannot help you wrt ESXi - all my machines are bare metal.

However I have used external USB 2.0 and 3.0 enclosures with disks larger than 2TB (8TB currently) ... and via a disk docking station (AKASA DuoDock) with bare disks.

The single large partition on the disks are GPT format under Windows 10. 

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maybe you can try to provide extra power (Y-cable) for the 3T drive

not sure the ports from MSG8 do provide enough power or not

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18 hours ago, kevin.cheng said:

maybe you can try to provide extra power (Y-cable) for the 3T drive

not sure the ports from MSG8 do provide enough power or not

 

Thanks for the suggestion.  That might be a possibility but I'm currently using a Seagate 1.5TB portable drive which is a few years old and physically much larger.  I would think that it draws more power than the Toshiba drive.  Either way I don't have a y-connector to try it out and if it really was the problem I'd be better off buying another brand of USB drive.

 

@JackoUK has indicated that he has been running drives with much larger than 3TB capacity on the USB ports albeit under Windows 10 so maybe the problem really does rest with ESXi 5.5.

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OK.  So it looks like the issue was with ESXi 5.5 and maybe even a combination of drive make/model.

 

After a bit more searching on Google I found articles talking about people having similar issues even going as far as having problems with one out of five identical USB HDD's on a ESXi box where one drive would fail to be recognised by the ESXi host but worked on other machines.

 

I thought I would try direct pass-though to the virtual machine since I'm fortunate enough to have a Xeon process with Vt-d.

 

After passing though the USB3.0 controller to my virtual machine the drive connected and behaved exactly as it should.

 

This discussion probably belongs in the VMWare discussion group since it turns out to be an ESXi issue.

 

It is fortunate that I have a Xeon processor in my Gen8 otherwise I would be without a solution.  Maybe this will help others.

 

 

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