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4TB HDD on W7/2008 PC

This is a discussion on 4TB HDD on W7/2008 PC within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I would like to install a 4TB HDD in my 2008 PC running Windows 7, but am unsure how I


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Old 03-14-2020, 08:12 AM   #1
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I would like to install a 4TB HDD in my 2008 PC running Windows 7, but am unsure how I would get it to see the entire 4TB as one drive.

The 4TB drive would only be for data, Windows 7 is running from an SSD.

I've read that MBR supports a max of 2TB partitions, and therefore the 4TB drive will need to use GPT.

If I just installed the 4TB drive, how would I then use GPT in Windows 7 to format the full 4TB partition?

Is this built in to Windows 7, or do I need some tools?

Will data from an MBR drive be copyable to a GPT drive?

PC Spec:
  • Asus P5K Premium Black Pearl Special Edition
  • Intel Core2Quad Q6700
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Old 03-14-2020, 12:36 PM   #2
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Install the drive then launch Disk Management. The drive will be detected as uninitialized, and you'll be prompted to initialize it. You will have the option of either using GPT or MBR. select GPT, then create a new volume on the drive.
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Old 03-14-2020, 01:23 PM   #3
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Install the drive then launch Disk Management. The drive will be detected as uninitialized, and you'll be prompted to initialize it. You will have the option of either using GPT or MBR. select GPT, then create a new volume on the drive.
Excellent, thanks very much.

I haven't yet bought the HDD, as wanted to check the theroy behind if it would work first.

As Windows 7 can create GPT partitions then that should resolve most of the hesitation I had.

The only other concerns are around

a) if my PC will POST properly with a 4TB HDD installed (it has BIOS ~2008) and

b) if the full 4TB will be usable in Windows 7, even though i have an old BIOS - although I guess the Windows drivers and environment will look after that after POST.
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Old 03-14-2020, 04:33 PM   #4
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Initialization and Format are two different animals. If you put a RAW drive (new straight out of the box) into a desktop computer, it will not show in Windows Explorer, but when you go into Disk Management, the New Disk Wizard will start automatically saying you must Initialize this drive before you can use it. As stated, you then can choose GPT, then you can choose to Format NTFS and give it a Drive letter. Now Windows 7 will recognize all 4TB of it.
Since this is not a Boot drive, your Bios will still boot with it. If you were trying to install Windows 7 on it, it would not go well, since you don't have a UEFI Bios, but as a Data drive you don't need that.
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Old 03-20-2020, 08:18 AM   #5
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I've since purchased a 4TB Seagate Barracuda and installed in my PC last night.

Windows 7 see's the disk in the disk management console, and I chose create a new simple disk via GPT and format. Unfortunatley, it only shows up as 1.6TB.

In the BIOS, it only detects as 1.8TB, although I was under the impression this shouldn't matter as Windows should still see the full 4TB.

Can anyone help with this?
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Old 03-20-2020, 09:10 AM   #6
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Sounds like your BIOS (SATA port) uses the old 32bit LBA, which maxes out at 2TB. You might be able to use an add-in card/adapter with 48bit LBA to see the whole 4TB.

First though, check to make sure you have the latest BIOS update. it may fix the issue.

Another option would be to put the drive in an external case that uses USB to connect to the PC. Doing so would bypass the 32bit LBA limit.
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Old 03-20-2020, 10:09 AM   #7
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Something like this https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07SZ...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 03-20-2020, 01:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpywareDr View Post
Sounds like your BIOS (SATA port) uses the old 32bit LBA, which maxes out at 2TB. You might be able to use an add-in card/adapter with 48bit LBA to see the whole 4TB.

First though, check to make sure you have the latest BIOS update. it may fix the issue.

Another option would be to put the drive in an external case that uses USB to connect to the PC. Doing so would bypass the 32bit LBA limit.
Many thanks. It's a shame as I was hoping to avoid having to buy any more expansions for this PC, and was under the impression from the previous posts that it would work without the need for extra hardware.

Nevermind, it is what it is! I did try an BIOS update but this didn't make any difference.

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Thanks for the suggestion, I can't see many alternatives for less so will probably go with this one.
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Old 04-04-2020, 04:21 AM   #9
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Just to let you know I got one of these and it works perfectly. Thanks very much for the help.
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Old 04-04-2020, 04:29 AM   #10
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Awesome! You are welcome.
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Old 04-04-2020, 07:17 AM   #11
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Cool! Love good news.
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