Large Drive Partitioning

I've looked at the other posts, they don't help me.

I'm putting in a WD Black Series 4 Terabyte Drive to be used as my C:\ drive. My system is an older one-2009, with legacy bios. For a home machine though, it's still relatively 'beefy' (16 Gigs of SSD3 ram @ 1380 Ghz, i7 Quad processor, etc), and can't justify replacing it yet.

If I understand things correctly, if I use a drive of that size with legacy Bios, I'm limited to 2.2 Terabytes, so I'll have to make at least 2 partitions.

Finally my question is: I'll put the O.S. and programs on the 1 half of the drive, and my games on the other half. Would there be any benefit what-so-ever to make a 3rd partition for just the O.S.?

Thank you
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about large drive partitioning
  1. No real advantage to partitioning a large drive on modern drives IMO.

    Be very sure that your bios supports drives over 2TB before you proceed, do not just assume that you can partition to get around the limitation.
  2. :heink: That's why I said I had older Bios. That's why I said I'm limited to 2.2 TB. Since I have to partition anyway, is there ANY advantage to putting the Operating system on it's own partition (maintenance, backups, etc.)?

    Thank you
  3. Obviously, you are not understanding me.

    I read your post and that is why I replied as I did -- "do not just assume that you can partition to get around the limitation" -- unless your bios supports large drives sufficiently to be able to partition it, you may not be able to use the drive space over 2.2TB at all.

    Exactly what motherboard model and bios version do you have?

    If you can indeed partition the drive, having the OS alone on a partition is not terribly useful as all programs would have to be reinstalled if their was a problem requiring an OS reinstall. Having data on a separate partition can be useful though in that case. Of course, that is no help either if the drive dies.
  4. Ah. I thought it was just a MBR vs UEFI, and NTFS vs GPT issue.

    This is a DELL XPS8000, and the M.B. # is: 0X231R. Here's a link the Bios version:

    Thanks again
  5. Best answer
    While there are issues related to GPT instead of MBR for a large drive, the issue that you have is actually a 32 bit issue in hard drive addressing in the bios limiting the maximum size of the drive that can be used to 2.2TB: 2^32*512=2,199,023,255,552 HERE is a short article on the issues.

    I am not sure if there is any kind of work around for an older Dell to use the drive as an OS drive (even if you could get it partitioned).

    I would probably stick with several 2TB drives since answers related to your computer are pretty murky from a quick Google search.
  6. That's what I decided. I'm going to install (2) 2TB drives, rather than try the seemingly impossible.

    Thank you, and the other 3 Million users worldwide that chimed in. :P
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