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MBR limit of 2TB usable space. But why I can see more than 2TB in my external 3TB MBR disk ?

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  • MBR limit of 2TB usable space. But why I can see more than 2TB in my external 3TB MBR disk ?

    My OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1 (MBR disk)

    Click image for larger version

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    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Re: MBR limit of 2TB usable space. But why I can see more than 2TB in my external 3TB MBR disk ?

    Check out Everything You Need to Know About 3TB Hard Drives | PCWorld from July 2011 where they say:

    You can use the full capacity of a 3TB drive via USB--with a drive enclosure that supports it.
    The SATA-to-USB bridge chip inside the enclosure takes care of any addressing issues.

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    • #3
      Re: MBR limit of 2TB usable space. But why I can see more than 2TB in my external 3TB MBR disk ?

      I think you are using a 4kn drive, which has 4k sectors instead of 512b, which allows 16 TB instead of 2 TB.
      The 2 TB is only for 2^32 sectors which, when using 512Bit sectors.

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      • #4
        Re: MBR limit of 2TB usable space. But why I can see more than 2TB in my external 3TB MBR disk ?

        New boards with EFI/UEFI bios support it.

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        • #5
          Re: MBR limit of 2TB usable space. But why I can see more than 2TB in my external 3TB MBR disk ?

          There is a small problem with this translation.. If the bridge gets damaged like the plug coming off, you can not take the drive and attach it to the computer SATA ports and do anything with it. There are externals which do not do address translations which will work as is as both an external and an internal doe data recovery etc.... Before seagate used to use ontrack and so did WDC.. but both have now implemented this in firmware making data recovery much harder.. Ofcourse there is also another trick here using 4K sectors called advanced sectors.. It increases the 2TB limit to 16TB limit for MBR.. But the drives use 4096 byte sectors instead of 512 byte sectors.. For a while this was the next big thing but it died off suddenly and Microsoft did make changes so windows mostly worked with such drives but I think win7 backup had problems.

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