Seagate 3TB Hard Drive

So I bought a 3TB and attempted to have it put it expecting it to work. I had originally thought that the barrier was the OS only (I have Vista 64 bit) but I was wrong... the BIOS has something to do with it too.

So now I am at a loss. I have no idea if my motherboard (MSI P7N Diamond could support it as one drive (I've heard of ways of separating it into 2 partitions, but I might just get a 2TB then if I'd have to resort to that). I've been trying to figure it out.

I read somewhere that someone downloaded an update for "Intel Rapid Storage Technology" and then it worked for them, but again I'm not sure that deals with the BIOS problem or not. In addition, there was an article I read that mentioned something about NTFS and FAT partitions not being in alignment which could cause the drive to be really slow http://www.pcworld.com/article/235088/everything_you_need_to_know_about_3tb_hard_drives.html

My goal was to clone my data from my current 500 GB drive to the 3 TB, and make the 3TB my boot drive. Because of the partition problem, now I'm thinking even if I past the BIOS problem, I will still have to deal with partitions being out of alignment.

I'm really not sure, all of this is pretty new to me. I may just send the 3TB hard drive back and get a 2TB to avoid all of these freaking issues.

Thanks in advance if anyone has any info or advice.
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  1. Your motherboard supports 3tb drives (make sure you have the latest bios update), but you cannot use it as a boot drive without a UEFI instead of the old standard bios. I wouldn't use that drive as a boot drive anyway if it is a "green" 3tb drive -- 5400 rpm energy saver.

    When you initialize the drive select GPT, as MBR will not support that large of a drive.

    To check your partition alignment, open the command prompt box. Then type:
    cd c:\windows
    cd system32
    wmic partition get Name, StartingOffset

    then just divide the values given by 4096. If the answer has no remainder, then your partition is aligned for an advanced format drive. You can also get a rough estimate with diskpart, but wmic gives a precise value.
  2. Nah, it's a Seagate Barracuda - it's a newer one with 1TB platters.

    Can my motherboard do UEFI? Ie: is it capable of running the 3TB as one partition as a boot drive.

    What do you mean by "When you initialize?" In the BIOS screen?
  3. Okay so at 7200 rpm it will perform well but I don't think that your motherboard has a UEFI bios available, which is required to use it as a boot drive.

    Initializing a drive is either done in the initial Windows 7 setup or for non-boot drives in disk management following OS installation using a wizard before it will format.
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