Question about Thermaltake 5G 5.0Gbps USB 3.0 SATA Hard Drive Docking Station with Hard Drive Pouch ST0019U Serial ATA, USB Drive Case
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For computers to recognize drives any larger than 2.19TB, the MBR and the BIOS would have to be replaced. The successor to the MBR is the GUID Partition Table (GPT), which offers 64-bit block addressing, and thus (when 4KB blocks are utilized) a maximum storage size of 9.4 zettabytes (or 9.4 trillion gigabytes). What's supplanting BIOS, which can't read GPT, is the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), which is built on CPU-independent architecture and drivers and offers more flexibility and features outside of the operating system.
Because Windows XP has no support whatsoever for GPT and UEFI, no system running it can natively use any drive with a capacity over 2.19TB. Even if you have a supported OS (Windows Vista, Windows 7, and most flavors of Linux) that recognizes GPT, you won't be able to boot to a drive of that size unless you also have a motherboard running UEFI-something that, as of this writing in late 2010, very few do. All current Intel boards support UEFI, but almost no other major manufacturer has yet followed suit. So, under most circumstances, if you don't have a UEFI motherboard (and you probably don't), you'll have to use your extra-large hard drive for storage only. (There are worse things.)
Finally, your system's SATA controller must also be designed to recognize 4KB blocks. This isn't necessarily a big deal: As we discovered when we reviewed Western Digital's new 3TB Caviar Green hard drive, the company is including with all its above-2.19TB drives a PCI Express x1 Host Bus Adapter that lets Windows use a known driver to communicate with the drive.
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