Built a system with helps of many people on Tom's, so thanks to all in advance.
I originally had Windows 7 and 250GB SSD and 1TB data drive which I used to keep Users folder (changed path from registry) But that 1TB ran out and I purchased a Seagate 4TB.
At first, it would recognize that there is a drive but with no volume information. So I downloaded the Seagate DiscWizard (Powered by Acronis) and "formatted" the new 4TB, and it red fine as 3.63TB. But, my system was getting too messy so I decided to reinstall Windows on SSD, while my "data" 1TB is still untouched, and 4TB HDD hooked up.
Strange thing is, Win 7 isn't supposed to recognize anything larger than 2.2 by principle, but at the first boot after installing chipset drivers and yada yada, (I did not do DiscWizard) Windows just recognizes the 4TB! Now on the review section of TigerDirect, I did see one where it said "My computer with Windows 7 just recognized it, didn't even need the software".
SO that left me with 2 questions.
1. When I used DiscWizard, it made me format the big HDD for existing Windows 7 to be able to recognize it. But, it looks like a clean install of Win7 just gets it without any formatting.
So,,, can I rely on this 4TB HDD to be recognized whenever I reinstall Windows, without any formatting software, so that I can use it as permanent storage?
2. How? How is Win 7 doing this?!?! (I'm not a computer lingo savvy, use of simile would be awesome
Windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit versions can read large drives (>2TB) without any additional software.
To boot from large drives (>2TB) requires UEFI boot and Windows 7 64-bit.
If you plug any drive formatted with NTFS (default Windows 7 file system) or FAT-32 (older file system still used with USB keys sometimes) into a Windows machine, it will be automatically recognised. When you reinstall the operating system, the drive will still be recognised.
Usually new hard drives come with a partition configured and a default NTFS format. It's surprising that yours did not, but all you had to do to create this partition is run the disk manager in Windows 7.
Click the Start button
Enter "computer" in the Search programs and files bar.
Click "Computer Management"
Under Storage, click "Disk Management"
You can see all your disks and partitions here as well as volume types and file system types.
You can keep using your drive without any problems