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Windows 7: Using a 3TB drive

24 May 2014   #1

Using a 3TB drive

I bought a 3TB drive. It is a Seagate Backup Plus.

I have two DELL 6400's and one DELL 6440. One 6400 and the 6440 have Windows 7. Both are up to date as I have seen lots of updates happening. Both have 4Gig of memory. Both are 64 bit computers with 64 bit Windows 7.

On the 6400 I don't see the drive (but I do see it in "Safely Remove Hardware"). I have tried booting with the drive connected and with it disconnected then plugged in after the boot. And I do see it in Disk Manager.

On the 6440 Windows hangs before it even gets going. The hang is just a black screen. I talked to a friend at DELL who heads up the server BIOS department and he believes it is past the BIOS POST and starting into the Windows boot sequence (uses int 13). On this computer, though, I can boot without the drive connected then plug in the drive and I can access it.

My guess is that the legacy BIOS can't handle over 2TB and hence Windows (using int 13) is hanging while trying to read the device.

Note that it works fine on Windows 8 with a DELL 6400.

So my question is to do with W7 support of GT 2TB. If the solution is to load 3TB drivers then were do I get those?

Does anyone know if there is a solution to this?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2014   #2
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64

This is a storage-only drive, correct?

If so, you can either:
1. Convert the MBR format to GPT
Convert MBR Disk to GPT Disk


2. Use the Seagate utility to enable formatting past 2.2TB
Support for Disk Drives Beyond 2.2 TeraBytes (TB) and 4K Advanced Format Sectors

If its meant as a system/boot drive, then only UEFI can boot GPT formatted rives. Perhaps your Windows 8 system is a UEFI system?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2014   #3


Thanks for your quick and helpful response.

I'll bet you are correct ... the W8 system is probably UEFI.

I will read the information you have mentioned tomorrow.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 May 2014   #4


I read the "Support ..." reference above. I don't need to boot to the drive. I don't think the drive has GPT because Disk Manager on the 6400 says it is MBS (but it works just fine on the 6440 W7 so it is perplexing as to why MBS works). My DELL 6400 W7 does not see the drive in explorer. And the Disk Manager on my 6400 shows the drive as if it is not formatted.

The 6440 W7 sees the drive in Explorer as one partition and accesses to it work just fine. It even works in Safe Mode.

My 6400 and 6440 both have W7. Both are SP1. The 6400 is W7 ultimate and the 6440 is W7 professional.

One more clue: The 6440 Device Manager does not even have the "Partition Style" heading (where MBR or GPT would be listed).

So I am perplexed and I'm hoping someone will have a solution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2014   #5


Today I used my 6440 (which shows the 3TB drive as MBR) and converted it to GPT, formatted to NTFS and assigned driver letter L. Then put it back on my 6400. But it still does not show up in explorer and it does show up in Disk Manager as a GPT style partition table. So, even though I had already assigned a drive letter while on the 6440, I assigned it again on the 6400. Now it shows up in Explorer.

Go figure!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Using a 3TB drive

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