Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

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Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:10 pm

I am trying to intall windows 8 onto my new 3TB seagate hard drive. I formatted the hard drive and converted it to GPT. Installing windows says it cannot install on a GPT drive. MY motherboard does not support UEFI...

I just made a gparted boot disc... now what? I am lost...
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:32 pm

If your system can't boot via uefi, you cannot boot from a gpt disk. There are no tricks to it, sorry.

You can store data on gpt disks without uefi, but you can't boot off of one.
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:13 am

Your best bet is probably to install Windows to a smaller drive and use the 3TB as a data drive. Or just waste the last 1TB of the 3TB drive.
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:35 pm

That's what I feared... seems ridiculous that you have to have a UEFI mobo to install on a 2+ TB drive...

Thanks for the help !
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:34 pm

Alternative:

Partition the 3TB into two; make the primary your boot drive and MBR, and make the second, bigger partition a GPT.

Can he do that?
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:10 pm

BIF wrote:Partition the 3TB into two; MBR and GPT.

Can he do that?


No. MBR and GPT are partitioning schemes, not partition types. It's possible to make a hybrid MBR/GPT scheme, where the disk is partitioned in GPT, with some hackery to also expose MBR partitions, but that also requires EFI.

There is nothing he can do with the current available tools/options to both boot off that disk and access more than 2.2TB of it.

This is why I've actually had people trade me their 3TB disks for my 2TB ones, straight up.
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:20 pm

oh wow, I want in on that deal!

But seriously, it makes no sense. Just partition the damned thing and go MBR all the way until you upgrade your motherboard/bios. Why sacrifice 33% of your capacity?
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:25 pm

Forge wrote:This is why I've actually had people trade me their 3TB disks for my 2TB ones, straight up.

This, I do not understand. Why would someone trade you straight up a 3 TB for a 2 TB just because they can't access the last ~30% of the 3 TB? Performance of what is essentially a short-stroked 3 TB drive should even be slightly better than the 2 TB model for drives of the same generation.

I guess some people are just really bothered by having hidden capacity that they can't use.
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:33 pm

Any chance of getting a smaller Solid State Drive to install Windows on? Then you could use your 3TB drive as a full size storage drive...install windows on ssd with mbr, then add the 3tb drive and give it a gpt partition, and voila, you can use all 3 TB.

Linux allows for installation on GPT using a BIOS partition, unfortunately Microsoft has nothing like it that I know of.
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:49 pm

Gilligan wrote:That's what I feared... seems ridiculous that you have to have a UEFI mobo to install on a 2+ TB drive...


You can install it with a BIOS system, you just can't boot from it in a BIOS system.

It's one of those unfortunate situations where some hot new hardware won't work with some old software that's not longer supported.

  1. MBR is only able to address 32bits worth of sectors. (4,294,967,296(32bit) x 512(bytes per sector) = 2,199,023,255,552 (2.2TB))
  2. BIOS lacks the logic to understand GPT.

  1. Nobody is going to bother to shoehorn MBR with a mechanism to address more than 32bits since it's a superseded standard.
  2. Nobody is going to bother to shoehorn GPT logic into BIOS since it's a superseded standard.

It adds up to, "Doh!"
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:50 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:
Gilligan wrote:That's what I feared... seems ridiculous that you have to have a UEFI mobo to install on a 2+ TB drive...


You can install it with a BIOS system, you just can't boot from it in a BIOS system.

It's one of those unfortunate situations where some hot new hardware won't work with some old software that's not longer supported.

  1. MBR is only able to address 32bits worth of sectors. (4,294,967,296(32bit) x 512(bytes per sector) = 2,199,023,255,552 (2.2TB))
  2. BIOS lacks the logic to understand GPT.


Thanks Ryu, I didn't want to write out the math, but it really is the simplest explanation.

Actually, now that I think about it, Gigabyte did do some horribly hackish "3TB UNLOCKER" nonsense. Boot MBR, but treat the drive as two logical disks, or something. Really bad idea, though.

OP, what motherboard are you using?
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:36 am

just pony up and get yourself an SSD for boot.
You'll thank us after you get used to the performance. If you are short on cash get a prior generation, no real need for latest and greatest if you were planning on using a 3TB as boot.
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:15 pm

Umm - yes you can install windows with GPT and no UEFI - run a NORMAL 64bit windows install and choose format the drive and all that after the install starts, hit Shift-F10 and then convert the drive to GPT. -MBR to jump to the WINLOAD address on the drive. I've installed this was a number of system this way.

Edit: here's a link about this - http://windowsforum.com/threads/if-wind ... -gpt.5552/
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:24 pm

keltor wrote:Umm - yes you can install windows with GPT and no UEFI - run a NORMAL 64bit windows install and choose format the drive and all that after the install starts, hit Shift-F10 and then convert the drive to GPT. -MBR to jump to the WINLOAD address on the drive. I've installed this was a number of system this way.

Edit: here's a link about this - http://windowsforum.com/threads/if-wind ... -gpt.5552/

Linked thread doesn't explain the "-MBR to jump to the WINLOAD address" part of what you said. Care to elaborate on that?
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:06 am

I am intrigued by this as well, since my understanding is that GPT formatted disks do not have an MBR to jump to anywhere.
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:51 am

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/GU ... tion_Table

http://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/8035.html

http://rodsbooks.com/gdisk/bios.html

Structural info about booting and GPT is above. Unfortunately structural data about how exactly Windows boots is hard to find. It's odd I had a perfect link to all the info about Windows 7/2008 R2 and up booting, but I cannot freaking find it now. :(

I'll find the info and reply with it as soon as I can. (There's also clearly some level of BIOS support still involved - this doesn't work on systems with BIOSes that will not support 3TB drives at all.)
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:06 pm

The information in those links don't apply to Windows.
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:28 pm

@keltor - Since you've done it before, can't you just tell us what you did?
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:12 pm

I think the consensus here is that it might be possible to trick an MBR system into booting from a GPT disk, but it relies on corner cases, undocumented functionality, and other things best left untouched.

I don't think it's a consensus, but I also support the idea of getting a small SSD, using that formatted MBR to boot the OS, and having your big 3TB disk formatted GPT for storage.

Hell, if you want to be really perverse and have things Just So, there's no reason you can't boot off a small HDD and have all the important places (Desktop, downloads, temp directory, etc, etc) be junctions to places on the 3TB disk. That way you'll have MBR booting, plus the size of the 3TB, all in one place.
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:10 pm

I have a gigabyte motherboard, I cant remember the model (Ds3 or something?)

I decided to GPT the 3TB drive and install windows on a 500gig hard drive I have.

It's not worth the trouble for me to install onto a 3TB by some trickery using MBR. I'm planning on grabbing a SSD on black friday anyways :D
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:18 pm

just brew it! wrote:@keltor - Since you've done it before, can't you just tell us what you did?


You run through the install allowing it to make a 2TB partition just as if you had a 2TB drive, then during the "install", you hit Shift-F10 and use diskpart to convert to GPT. Once you boot up as normal, you extend the partition to the full size.
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:29 pm

Diskpart cannot convert a drive to GPT or MBR unless that drive is devoid of all partitions (raw).
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:46 pm

Still haven't explained what you meant by "-MBR to jump to the WINLOAD address on the drive." That was the step I was wondering about.
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:54 pm

Gilligan wrote:I have a gigabyte motherboard, I cant remember the model (Ds3 or something?)

I decided to GPT the 3TB drive and install windows on a 500gig hard drive I have.

It's not worth the trouble for me to install onto a 3TB by some trickery using MBR. I'm planning on grabbing a SSD on black friday anyways :D


If you're not too far in, it might be worthwhile to sort of short stroke that hard drive to whatever size SSR you think you'll be buying. Just make your partition smaller during setup. It'll make the 500 faster, and it'll make it simpler to copy the 500s contents to the ssd later.
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:05 pm

Thats a good idea... will do
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Re: Windows 8 Install on 3TB Hard Drive?

Postposted on Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:14 pm

Forge wrote:
Gilligan wrote:I have a gigabyte motherboard, I cant remember the model (Ds3 or something?)

I decided to GPT the 3TB drive and install windows on a 500gig hard drive I have.

It's not worth the trouble for me to install onto a 3TB by some trickery using MBR. I'm planning on grabbing a SSD on black friday anyways :D


If you're not too far in, it might be worthwhile to sort of short stroke that hard drive to whatever size SSR you think you'll be buying. Just make your partition smaller during setup. It'll make the 500 faster, and it'll make it simpler to copy the 500s contents to the ssd later.
With ImageX I don't think that's necessary, as long as you won't put too much stuff onto the system partition that will be moved to the SSD (assuming your system partition is going to be larger than the SSD that you are getting).
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