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Windows 7: Help adding 3TB HDD to Win7 PC and making it my system drive

05 May 2016   #1
UThorn

Window 7 Professional 64bit
 
 
Help adding 3TB HDD to Win7 PC and making it my system drive

I need to add more storage to my Dell XPS 8700. It came with Windows 8 pre-installed. I downgraded, er, upgraded back to Windows 7 Professional (64-bit). My original HDD is a 1TB Seagate. It's working just fine. I bought a new HGST 3TB Deskstar NAS drive I want to put in and make my system drive. I know my BIOS Mode is set to Legacy. From reading around a bit I know that will have to change to UEFI in order to access all 3TB of the new drive. I believe I'll need to clone my 1TB system HDD to the 3TB HDD. I'm just wondering how to go about this. I was hopeful there would be some instructions with the drive but doesn't look like there are. Fyi, the HGST drive came with instructions to download HGST_GPT_Disk_Manager from paragon-software.com. I've done that but haven't installed it nor attempted to attach the new HDD.

Any help, pointers, gotchas, heads-ups!, links, etc would be greatly appreciated.


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05 May 2016   #2
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

If your originally drive is initialized as MBR, then so must the new 3 TB drive, then just break the new drive into 2 partitions so windows will see the entire drive.

Then just use Macrium Reflect Free edition to clone or image your current system to the new drive. You can also leave the new drive unallocated and do the image or clone, as long as it`s MBR, then partition the rest after a sucessful clone or image.

I prefer imaging over cloning.

Macrium Reflect Free
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05 May 2016   #3
alphaniner

Windows 7 Professional x64, Arch Linux
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by AddRAM View Post
just break the new drive into 2 partitions so windows will see the entire drive.
Have you actually done this? It's my understanding that MBR is fundamentally unable to access beyond ~2TB.

Nevertheless, I just connected a blank 4TB drive to a Win7 x64 system, opened Disk Management, and initialized it with MBR. It was automatically "divided" into two sections: the first section is 2048GB, the second section contains the remainder of the space. No operations are possible on the second section.
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05 May 2016   #4
UThorn

Window 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

I'm really not interested except as a last resort in partitioning the 3TB drive. I want to see it in it's entirety AND I'd like it to be my system drive. Yeah, I know I'm anal retentive but that's how I'm hoping to make it. I'll use the original 1TB as a repository for my photos or some such. Anyone know how to go about that? Do I not understand it right that I'll have to enable UEFI? Again, any help with how I'd like to make this work is appreciated.
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05 May 2016   #5
alphaniner

Windows 7 Professional x64, Arch Linux
 
 

Generally, installing W7 in UEFI mode will involve creation of two small partitions in addition to the main partition holding the OS. One of them may be avoidable (like the 100MB partition is when installing to legacy BIOS), but I don't think the other one is. Just FYI.

Anyway, I have no experience migrating an install from BIOS to UEFI. I'd never bother, and just do a clean install instead. Here's a TechNet article about it, but don't be surprised if you're on your own from there.
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05 May 2016   #6
UThorn

Window 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alphaniner View Post
Generally, installing W7 in UEFI mode will involve creation of two small partitions in addition to the main partition holding the OS. One of them may be avoidable (like the 100MB partition is when installing to legacy BIOS), but I don't think the other one is. Just FYI.

Anyway, I have no experience migrating an install from BIOS to UEFI. I'd never bother, and just do a clean install instead. Here's a TechNet article about it, but don't be surprised if you're on your own from there.
alphaniner,
I understand the two partitions with one being the OS partition. I'll check out the article. No way I believe I'm the only person to do this but appreciate the feedback!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2016   #7
UThorn

Window 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Maybe I should have asked this differently...I have a new 3TB HDD. How should I add it to my Win7 64-bit PC? I'm hoping to be able to make it one 3TB partition. The original 1TB HDD is MBR not GPT. Any thoughts/help is greatly appreciated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2016   #8
alphaniner

Windows 7 Professional x64, Arch Linux
 
 

If you just want to use it as a data drive: plug it in, boot to Windows on your 1TB drive, open Disk Management, initialize it as GPT, then just create one "Simple Volume" with the default size. There should be no need to modify BIOS settings, make changes to your Windows install or the 1TB drive it's installed to, etc.

If you want to use it as a boot drive, the simplest solution would be to [put your motherboard in UEFI mode] and do a clean install. If you install from USB, it may be necessary to initialize the install USB itself as GPT.

Otherwise, there's that guide I linked.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2016   #9
UThorn

Window 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alphaniner View Post
If you just want to use it as a data drive: plug it in, boot to Windows on your 1TB drive, open Disk Management, initialize it as GPT, then just create one "Simple Volume" with the default size. There should be no need to modify BIOS settings, make changes to your Windows install or the 1TB drive it's installed to, etc.

If you want to use it as a boot drive, the simplest solution would be to [put your motherboard in UEFI mode] and do a clean install. If you install from USB, it may be necessary to initialize the install USB itself as GPT.

Otherwise, there's that guide I linked.
If I did want to use it as my boot drive would I need to put the new 3TB HDD at SATA 0? Could I move my original 1TB HDD to SATA 2 or 3 and get the data off after I did the new install on 3TB HDD? Not sure if what I just wrote is clear.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 May 2016   #10
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Boot drives should be put on port 0 but usually work without problems on other ports.

Drives that are data ONLY, I say ONLY, can generally be moved around from port to port and you could then drag data from them to the 3 TB on port 0 with the mouse after the install is completed.

But--are you sure you want to keep your data and your OS on the same C partition on that 3 TB drive? It's doable, but has disadvantages.
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