PDA

View Full Version : Can I use a 3 or 4 TB drive as a Data disk with Windows 7 32bit



Digby
20-05-2013, 11:56 AM
Hi Guys

I am thinking of getting a bigger hard drive say a 3 or 4TB.

I have Windows 7 32 bit and use a 500 gig C drive as my boot and program disk.

I hear there are some issues with 3 or 4 TB drives.

pcuser42
20-05-2013, 12:09 PM
My understanding is that 64-bit Windows (and EFI) is required to boot from a large drive, but any version of Windows (with EFI or BIOS) can use large drives as a secondary storage drive.

Speedy Gonzales
20-05-2013, 12:18 PM
You may also need the right Intel rapid storage tech drivers / sata drivers to support it

Digby
21-05-2013, 03:00 PM
Has anyone installed a 3TB drive as a data drive under Windows 7 32 bit?

It seems there are some issues with drives bigger than 2.2 TB.

Paul.Cov
21-05-2013, 03:34 PM
I bought a 3TB drive to use with my W7 64bit system.

It's not being properly detected, reporting some silly size, so it's now a doorstop until I get either a 3TB compatible enclosure for it, or I get a newer motherboard.

P'd off muchly.

Digby
21-05-2013, 03:41 PM
I bought a 3TB drive to use with my W7 64bit system.

It's not being properly detected, reporting some silly size, so it's now a doorstop until I get either a 3TB compatible enclosure for it, or I get a newer motherboard.

P'd off muchly.

Mmm thats what I was afraid of.

I think I may have to get a new motherboard, a new CPU and Windows 64 bit to use a 3 or 4 TB drive.

But were you trying to use it as a C drive bootable etc or as a D data drive ?

I have heard of some nightmares where the drive starts corrupting data after getting 2.2 Tb full.

ronyville
21-05-2013, 04:08 PM
As long as the mobo sees the drive probably than you should be ok.

Whether its 32bit or 64bit, if you are using it as a second drive than just make sure that when you partition it, use GPT format to create a 3tb partition. I think windows 7 automatically will choose this option.

If you are planning to use it as a boot disk than that might be a different story..

just my 2 cents

dugimodo
21-05-2013, 04:41 PM
Paul I'd check the MB manufaturers website for a solution, historically these issues have cropped up every few years and the manufacturers usually come up with a software solution. It may also be possible to use an add in SATA controller to solve the issue if you have a spare slot.

Speedy Gonzales
21-05-2013, 06:56 PM
1. Update the BIOS

2. From here (http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-performance/i-have-a-3-tb-drive-windows-7-ultimate-wont-format/b1cc3811-f25f-e011-8dfc-68b599b31bf5)

Even if you have a supported OS (Windows Vista, Windows 7, and most flavors of Linux) that recognizes GPT, you won't be able to boot to a drive of that size unless you also have a motherboard running UEFI—something that, as of this writing in late 2010, very few do. All current Intel boards support UEFI, but almost no other major manufacturer has yet followed suit. So, under most circumstances, if you don't have a UEFI motherboard (and you probably don't), you'll have to use your extra-large hard drive for storage only. (There are worse things.)


Finally, your system's SATA controller must also be designed to recognize 4KB blocks. This isn't necessarily a big deal: As we discovered when we reviewed Western Digital's new 3TB Caviar Green hard drive, the company is including with all its above-2.19TB drives a PCI Express x1 Host Bus Adapter that lets Windows use a known driver to communicate with the drive.

And

At issue here is a limitation that affects storage media larger than 2.19TB in size, and typically requires updated hardware and a post–Windows XP operating system to take full advantage of. (Read PCMag's article "The Problem with Big Hard Drives (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2373641,00.asp)" for more information about this.)

For computers to recognize drives any larger than 2.19TB, the MBR and the BIOS would have to be replaced. The successor to the MBR is the GUID Partition Table (GPT), which offers 64-bit block addressing, and thus (when 4KB blocks are utilized) a maximum storage size of 9.4 zettabytes (or 9.4 trillion gigabytes). What's supplanting BIOS, which can't read GPT, is the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), which is built on CPU-independent architecture and drivers and offers more flexibility and features outside of the operating system.

Because Windows XP has no support whatsoever for GPT and UEFI, no system running it can natively use any drive with a capacity over 2.19TB.
Finally, your system's SATA controller must also be designed to recognize 4KB blocks. This isn't necessarily a big deal: As we discovered when we reviewed Western Digital's new 3TB Caviar Green hard drive, the company is including with all its above-2.19TB drives a PCI Express x1 Host Bus Adapter that lets Windows use a known driver to communicate with the drive.

Paul.Cov
21-05-2013, 08:21 PM
Mmm thats what I was afraid of.

I think I may have to get a new motherboard, a new CPU and Windows 64 bit to use a 3 or 4 TB drive.

But were you trying to use it as a C drive bootable etc or as a D data drive ?

I have heard of some nightmares where the drive starts corrupting data after getting 2.2 Tb full.

My plan was to get it recognised as a 'secondary' drive (to use the old terminology), to format and scan it, and then to make it into a new C: drive.

But with the size being misreported I gave up.

All the GUID GPT UEFI jargon was doing my head in. I'm a BIOS and IDE generation boy.
And I'm on an AMD platform, which sets the bar higher (or later) for getting success with UEFI.

Paul.Cov
21-05-2013, 08:25 PM
Oh yeah, and despite being a WD drive, it did NOT come with a PCI Express Host Bus Adapter (and if it did, I suspect the retailer has kept that little perk as another add-on they can sell seperately).

Digby
21-05-2013, 11:53 PM
Hell I'm a dos boy.

I remember format /s

autechre
22-05-2013, 10:13 AM
Oh yeah, and despite being a WD drive, it did NOT come with a PCI Express Host Bus Adapter (and if it did, I suspect the retailer has kept that little perk as another add-on they can sell seperately).

Its likely the extra PCI card only comes with the full "retail" package HDD, not the OEM drive (i.e just in a static bag) that most places in NZ sell.