2TB+ limitations on 32bit XP?

I'm browsing around for a new storage hardrive and was looking at either a seagate, WD or samsung 3.5 internal 2TB drive, my only concern is will these run no problem on 32bit windows XP?

I havn't made the transition to 7 yet and i know there's compatibility issues with drives bigger than 2.2TB but i can't get a straight answer for 2TB, if it matters i would not be booting off it, purely for storage.
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More about limitations 32bit
  1. 2TB drives work just fine on 32-bit XP. The only thing to watch out for is if you buy a bare 2TB drive and put it into a separately-bought enclosure - some of the older enclosures may not work with such large drives. But if you're buying a prepackaged external drive then you won't have any problems.
  2. thanks for the quick reply! 1 more question if you don't mind.

    While looking at the drive i noticed a warning that read "This drive utilizes new Advanced Format technology and requires special setup for use with Windows XP."

    I've never heard of this before but i'm guessing its something to incorporate the large size, is this just a driver/software install? or is it a special type of NTFS format for XP only? and if thats the case does it pose any problems if i migrated to windows 7 down the road?
  3. The "Advanced Format" drives are a bit of a different issue than the capacity question you asked in your first post. There's no difference in terms of drivers - the important point is that for these drives to perform well the partitions must be aligned on sectors whose LBN (logical block number) is a multiple of 64. Unfortunately when XP creates sectors it starts the first one at LBN 63.

    There are two ways to solve the problem:

    1) Use a different OS to create the partitions so that they're properly aligned. You can do this with one of the Linux distros, or you can boot from a Vista or Windows 7 installation disk and go through the installation to the point where it lets you create partitions.

    2) Install a jumper on the drive which causes it to add "1" to the LBN number internally. This means when XP creates the partition at LBN 63 the drive will adjust it to 64 and all will be well. But if you ever remove the jumper then you'll have to reparition and reformat the drive.
  4. > my only concern is will these run no problem on 32bit windows XP?

    Probably NOT!

    This WD model comes with a Highpoint RocketRAID series 620 PCI-E controller from Highpoint:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136764&Tpk=N82E16822136764 (see Feedback!)


    "Using 512e is all well and good on drives with capacities less than 2.19TB, but you run into problems with anything larger because Master Boot Record partition tables can only address up to 2^32 blocks. With 512-byte sectors, that adds up to a maximum capacity of 2.19TB, or considerably less than the 3TB offered by the new Caviar Green. The storage industry's answer to the MBR's addressing limitation is the GUID Partition Table, or GPT, which can address up to 2^64 sectors. Windows XP doesn't work with GPT partitions, so Western Digital isn't supporting the drive under that OS, although it notes that users may be able to find workarounds using third-party controllers and drivers." [end quote]

    p.s. If you want a single partition to exceed 2TB using XP,
    take a look at some of Highpoint's RAID controllers that
    support VSS (Variable Sector Sizing): this VSS feature
    permits a RAID array to be configured with disk sectors
    that are larger than 512 bytes. You will NOT be able to
    boot XP from such a RAID array, however. Before buying,
    I also suggest that you contact Highpoint first, and follow
    their guidance. I do believe that other manufacturers
    of RAID controllers also support features similar to VSS.

  5. UPDATE:

    You wrote: "3.5 internal 2TB drive" but your Subject: reads "2TB+".

    All 2TB HDDs should work AOK with XP, assuming you've upgraded
    to the latest Service Pack e.g. here at WD's models at Newegg:


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