3TB Internal Drive not recognized by my Dell Precision T7400 WinXP Prof.

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3TB Internal Drive not recognized by my Dell Precision T7400 WinXP Prof.

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Hi All,

I bought a Toshiba 3TB internal drive on a whim & since my Precision T7400 sees it but will not allow me to access it once Windows launches. I have done a bit of research:

It looks like Windows XP is not compatable with 3TB internal drives. 

My question is if I upgrade to a newer OS like windows 7 on this device will the 3TB drive then be usable?  Is the motherboard on the Precision T7400 (assuming latest BIOS) capable of being used with a 3TB internal drive?

The Precision T7400 is a massive tower which has dual quad core processors, 8 DIMM Ram slots, 4 HD slots, etc.  I was really hoping to get more life out of it but would really like to figure out the best way to get this 3TB drive up & running.  Ideally I'd like it to be the primary drive & do not mind segmenting it if neccessary.



All Replies
  • Partition the 3TB drive down to multiple drives, is it formatted in NTFS? You can use your Win XP Pro install disk to do all, install the OS on one of the partitions.

  • Please pardon the intrusion, but Windows XP will never be able to use all of a 3 TB drive, even if divided into partitions.  Seagate and Western Digital had a combination of software and hardware work-arounds to allow Windows XP to use a hard drive larger than 2 TB, but these work-arounds have their own set of problems.  The basic difficulty is that Windows XP only knows the Master Boot Record partitioning scheme.  The MBR scheme has a limit of 2.2 TB unless additional trouble is taken to increase the basic sector size.  The standard sector size of 512 KB causes the sector table to hit a limit on capacity at 2.2 TB.

    Windows Vista and later can use hard drives larger than 2.2 TB to store data by partitioning them in accordance with the GPT partitioning scheme.  Unfortunately, only computers using the UEFI BIOS can boot from a hard drive larger than 2.2 TB, and it is necessary to use a 64-bit version of Windows to do that.

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • 64 bit xp sp2 and up can use drivers 32 bit versions of windows cannot.Surprise


    Most legacy systems built before 2011 have a traditional PC BIOS. This type of BIOS uses a Master Boot Record (MBR). The MBR Partitions can define a disk drive capacity up to 2.2TB. Windows operating systems that boot from an MBR are therefore limited to 2.2TB per MBR. A 3TB disk drive in a legacy BIOS and Window system will need a DiscWizard device driver to access the full capacity of a 3TB disk drive. Two partitions will be necessary because of the MBR limitation. The device driver mounts the capacity above 2.2TB with another MBR which looks to the system as a second virtual “physical” device.
    GUID Partition Tables (GPT) can define drives larger than 2.2TB. You can use GPT today on any Windows 7 and Vista system as a non-booting data drive. Windows can only boot a GPT partition on a new type of BIOS called UEFI.
    UEFI BIOS desktop systems are new since 2011. Windows 7 64-bit and Vista 64-bit operating systems support booting from UEFI and GPT without the need of a non-Microsoft device driver. This is the Windows native solution for booting a 3TB drive to a single partition.
    Quick facts about Windows and 3TB drives:
        •    Windows 7 and Vista support GPT 3TB single partitions
        •    Windows 7 and Vista can only boot GPT on systems with UEFI BIOS
        •    Windows 7 and Vista can mount a GPT non-booting data drive
        •    Intel RST device drivers before v10.1 do not support 3TB disk drives
        •    Windows systems with Legacy BIOS and MBR boot drives are limited to 2.2TB partitions
        •    Windows XP does not support GPT
        •    Windows XP sees a 3TB drive as 800GB on boot or data drives
        •    DiscWizard software can install a device driver which opens the full capacity of a 3TB. You can use it to create a second partition for the capacity above 2.2TB
    DiscWizard v13 with support for 3TB drives is now available.
        •    For a Flash tutorial: Cloning your old drive to a 3TB using DiscWizard. Part 1, Part 2.
        •    For a Flash tutorial: Using DiscWizard to access the full capacity of a 3TB after you built a Windows 7 or Vista system.
        •    For a Flash tutorial: Using DiscWizard to access the full capacity of a 3TB after you built a Windows XP system.

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