Friday, 6 December 2013

3TB Hard Disk Detects As 2TB Disk


I recently purchased a 3TB hard disk to install in a Dell Optiplex 760 PC, as this PC has only the space and capacity for one hard disk, adding it as a secondary drive was not an option, so I wanted to put Windows 7 (64 bit) Home onto this disk as the only hard disk in this system, but things didn’t go to plan.

I installed the disk and started to install Windows, it came to the point of make a drive partition when I started to have issues, at this point it would only let me create a max drive of apx 2TB with the other 700 odd GB as unallocated space, I thought this must be wrong so I accepted the default and installed Windows.  After the install I went into Windows disk manager to check, and got the same results, I could see an extra 700 or so GB but I couldn’t do anything with it at all. 

So like many people I hit Google at this point.  After much reading I found that my system like many others must not support primary disks of above 2TB, even though the operating system can, the hardware could not.  I updated my Dell BIOS from A02 to A16 which requires you to download a file from Dell and then just run it in Windows and wait 10mins and the system will then reboot with the updated BIOS version.  But this did not fix the problem. There is a very good article I found here ( http://www.pcworld.com/article/235088/everything_you_need_to_know_about_3TB_hard_drives.html  ) that explains the 2TB and above issue in detail, so no need for me to type up pages of info ! Plus have a read of this Microsoft article that answers many questions also - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/gg463525.aspx

Apparently I read online that you can get above 2TB drive to work in most PC’s if you buy a “Highpoint Rocket Card” however a quick look on eBay, Amazon etc and it isn’t worth the hassle given that these cards cost £30 plus.  Because in my situation I’m left with no option but to have the drive external ( unless I pay £30 plus for a card and there is no guarantee this will work ) I decided to buy a good quality external hard disk caddy from Amazon, based on good reviews, this cost me apx £15 delivered.  This is now going to be used as a second hard disk, externally.

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