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4TB hard drive with Windows 8.1 questions

  1. #1


    Posts : 103
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (64 bit)

    4TB hard drive with Windows 8.1 questions


    I have just bought a 4TB external USB 3.0 hard drive. The plan is to copy all of the data from my current internal 2TB drive to the 4TB, then I'm going to crack the case of the external hard drive open, take the drive out, and put it in my PC to replace the 2TB drive that's in there now (which I know will void the warranty). This isn't going to be a boot drive as I have an SSD for that.

    I had read that Windows does not support large drives of this size and that it would show up as 2 partitions, so I was prepared to convert the drive to GPT in order to have 1 large partition. However, I connected the drive up to my Windows 8.1 machine and it shows as 1 large partition of 3.63TB, which is about what I expected.

    Does this mean I don't have to convert the drive after all? Can I do what I'm planning to do and everything will work fine? Or do I need to convert it to GPT before I copy all of my data over and if so, how do I do that exactly?

    Thanks.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    Already set by the manufacturer to GPT.

    I had read that Windows does not support large drives of this size and that it would show up as 2 partitions,

    With MBR there would be 2 Partitions, but only 1 partition would be useable.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 103
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (64 bit)


    Thanks for the reply. I have one more question: -

    Currently I have a regular MBR HDD that's used as a storage drive for music, videos etc. and my Steam games. If I was to copy all of the data from that drive to my new 4TB GPT drive, then swap them over, so the 4TB GPT drive replaces my old 2TB MBR drive, would everything continue working as normal? I assume the answer would be "yes", but I don't know if the MBR/GPT thing makes any difference.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    Should still work OK.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 103
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (64 bit)


    Cool, thanks man. I'll give it a go anyway.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 103
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (64 bit)


    It didn't work.

    I had an internal 2TB drive and the new 4TB external. The external showed up as GPT in diskpart and was a single partition of 3.63TB. All of the data from the 2TB drive was copied to the 4TB so their contents was the same. I then cracked open the case of the 4TB external drive, took the HDD out and swapped it with the 2TB drive in my PC.

    When I rebooted the PC, only my C drive (SSD) was showing. I went into Disk Management and it showed a 2TB partition on the new drive marked as "GPT Protective Partition" and a 1.63TB partition showing as "Unallocated". I had to use diskpart's clean command and basically format the drive and start over. What a waste of several hours. Oh well.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

4TB hard drive with Windows 8.1 questions
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