Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) drivers and Support for Disk Drives Beyond 2.2 TeraBytes (TB)
Discussion of and instructions for updating your computer to be able to use the entire capacity of your larger-than-2TB internal drive in Windows.
Besides the CPU, many computer systems utilize special Intel chipsets that handle the I/O from the disk drives. Depending on your system hardware, Windows operating systems may be using Intel device Rapid Storage Technology (RST) drivers which are common. Alternative Microsoft Windows drivers are also commonly used.
Like other kinds of software, the Intel RST drivers are updated to keep pace with new technology. The Intel drivers found in retail releases of Windows 7 have a 2.2TB limitation. Rather than cut off the capacity at 2.2TB, the limitation expresses itself as the remainder above 2.2TB. In other words, the driver causes the Windows operating to see a 3TB drive as 746.52 GiB (or 800GB).
If this is the case, then updating the driver should allow Windows to detect the drive as 3TB.
For disk drives beyond 2.2TB, the proper level of Intel RST driver should be v10.1 or higher. If your system uses an earlier version you can update the driver by following the update instruction on the Intel RST support website. The Intel support website has tools that automatically check Intel device drivers.
You can check manually to see which disk drivers your system uses.
- Right-click on Computer.
- Select Manage.
- Select the Device Manager from the list on the left.
- Expand the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers branch of the system tree.
- Double-click on the Intel SATA Controller line.
Seagate DiscWizard Setup has a check for the presence and use of the Intel drivers. If the driver version is less than v10.1 and the system detects a disk driver larger than 2.2TB then the setup will halt with this message: Please download the latest version of Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver before installing Seagate DiscWizard.
It is possible for the Intel driver to hide the 3TB drive so completely from Windows that DiscWizard does not realize the system has a drive larger than 2.2TB. In this situation you may see a message like this:
Other related topics with Intel drivers and 2.2TB limitations:
- Intel RAID does not yet support disk drives greater than 2.2TB.
- DiscWizard does not support Extended Capacity volumes above 2.2TB in systems with Intel RAID in use on other drives.
Product support for disk drives greater than 2.2TB is rapidly evolving. Please contact your suppliers directly for the latest status and capacity support limitations of their products. If you find that any part of this information is out of date or lacking, please let us know so that we may correct it and better serve future readers.