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Windows 7: Is it possible to use large external hard drives to Win XP?

04 Apr 2018   #1
Marie SWE

1xWin7 Home X64, 2xWin7 Pro x64, 1xWin 2008 R2 server. 1xWinXP Pro, 1xWin 2k and Linux Mint Mate
 
 
Is it possible to use large external hard drives to Win XP?

Hi all!

I wonder if there are any MS drivers or KB's that allow Windows XP to see large external HDD's?
I have one 3TB and one 4TB external hard drive (both split into two equal size partitions) that I use for my Win7 computers for backup. I would like to use them to my XP computer also .. Is it possible?

Thanks for answers in advance.
//Marie


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05 Apr 2018   #2
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

XP 32 bits doesn't recognize GPT drives, only normal MBR ones, that are limited to 2TB.
By formating the disks in MBR mode you can see them in XP, but at the price of limiting them to 2TB.

64 bits XP however has native support for GPT and will use the disks right away. Switching to it can give the needed support, but at the price of reformating the current install.

I'm not aware of any third party drivers that allow that (but the can very well exist). I doubt there is anything official, since XP went out of support years ago (and MS did a terrible self-FUD campaing to discourage people from using it), and no more updates are produced for it, let alone a new feature.

Your best option right now seems to put the disk in the Win7 computer, share it and then access from XP though the share.
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05 Apr 2018   #3
billmcct

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Any decent cloning/partition software can convert from MBR to GPT without reformatting.

Try this one:
Download Magic Free Partition Manager Software - AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard
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05 Apr 2018   #4
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Marie SWE View Post
I have one 3TB and one 4TB external hard drive (both split into two equal size partitions) that I use for my Win7 computers for backup. I would like to use them to my XP computer also .. Is it possible?
As I understand it, your 3TB drive is split into two partitions of 1.5TB each; and your 4TB drive is split into two partitions of 2TB each. If this is the case, then you should be able to plug these drives into your XP computer and use them as-is, because none of your partitions are bigger than 2TB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Apr 2018   #5
Marie SWE

1xWin7 Home X64, 2xWin7 Pro x64, 1xWin 2008 R2 server. 1xWinXP Pro, 1xWin 2k and Linux Mint Mate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
As I understand it, your 3TB drive is split into two partitions of 1.5TB each; and your 4TB drive is split into two partitions of 2TB each. If this is the case, then you should be able to plug these drives into your XP computer and use them as-is, because none of your partitions are bigger than 2TB.
Yes, that's how I also reasoned. But my XP computer can't see my external USB drives even that they are under 2TB limit. it's weird

weee my 100th post
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05 Apr 2018   #6
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
If this is the case, then you should be able to plug these drives into your XP computer and use them as-is, because none of your partitions are bigger than 2TB.
No, it won't, it won't be any different from a single 4TB partition.
The real limitation isn't 2TB at all, XP has no trouble with sizes over it, but the real problem is that it lacks support for GPT, leaving only MBR, and it's the MBR partitioning scheme that imposes a 2TB of maximum space, because of the size of the fields use to hold sizes/offsets of partitions. GPT has much greater limits, but XP 32 bits doesn't recognize it.

You can repartition your hard disk using MBR and it'll get recognized right away, but you can create partitions of up to 2TB then.

Or you can partition your disk with GPT and a partition size of 1GB and XP won't see it, even while being well below 2TB.

There is no way to use the disk as it without wasting space or upgrading to XP x64 or Windows Vista or later.
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05 Apr 2018   #7
Marie SWE

1xWin7 Home X64, 2xWin7 Pro x64, 1xWin 2008 R2 server. 1xWinXP Pro, 1xWin 2k and Linux Mint Mate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Alejandro85 View Post
No, it won't, it won't be any different from a single 4TB partition.
The real limitation isn't 2TB at all, XP has no trouble with sizes over it, but the real problem is that it lacks support for GPT, leaving only MBR, and it's the MBR partitioning scheme that imposes a 2TB of maximum space, because of the size of the fields use to hold sizes/offsets of partitions. GPT has much greater limits, but XP 32 bits doesn't recognize it.

You can repartition your hard disk using MBR and it'll get recognized right away, but you can create partitions of up to 2TB then.

Or you can partition your disk with GPT and a partition size of 1GB and XP won't see it, even while being well below 2TB.

There is no way to use the disk as it without wasting space or upgrading to XP x64 or Windows Vista or later.
Okay. I didn't think it mattered, when they goes thru USB.
But I did deleted the disks original partitions after i bought them brand new and then repartitioned them in Windows 7.. will it not become MBR automatically then?
I must check the partitiontable on them tomorrow...
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06 Apr 2018   #8
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Marie SWE View Post
Okay. I didn't think it mattered, when they goes thru USB.
But I did deleted the disks original partitions after i bought them brand new and then repartitioned them in Windows 7.. will it not become MBR automatically then?
It's USB/internal/whatever what doesn't matters
No matter how do you connect the disk to the computer, the OS must recognize the partitions on it, and it's then when the MBR/GPT issue comes in.

Unless you change it explicitly, the partitioning scheme won't change on its own, there is no reaso to change it unless you specify it.
Try the other way around. Do the partitioning in XP. Then it'll recreate the disk in MBR format (just because XP doesn't knows anything else). You won't be able to use more than 2TB of it, though.
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06 Apr 2018   #9
Marie SWE

1xWin7 Home X64, 2xWin7 Pro x64, 1xWin 2008 R2 server. 1xWinXP Pro, 1xWin 2k and Linux Mint Mate
 
 

Is there any program or another fix that makes it possible to overcome the problem?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Apr 2018   #10
Alejandro85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Not that I'm aware of. Forget about official support, as Microsoft no longer cares about XP.
A third party driver, possibly open source, seems like the best chance.

Anyway I don't expect serious results, given that the OS natively doesn't recognize the partition type, as it was introduced much after the OS was developed.
The best chance I find is to upgrade to XP x64, that natively supports GPT, or to Windows Vista or later. Or accept the lost and limit disks up to 2TB on that system.
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 Is it possible to use large external hard drives to Win XP?




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