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I'd like to replace my current data hard disk (SATA-II, 2.0 TB) with a new, bigger one. I considered going for a new 4 TB drive by Hitachi (SATA-III).

But I'm not sure, if I can use it with my "old" PC (bought in 12/2010), as I want to connect the new HDD to the onboard SATA ports. The mainboard features an Intel Q57 Express chipset / Intel 5 Series/3400. The SATA connectors on the mainboard are SATA-II only. As far as I know, SATA-III drives are backward compatible to old SATA-II ports (lower speed, but will work at least).

But what about the drive capacity? In 2010 there were no 4 TB HDDs available. Does anybody know, whether the old chipset will work with that large drives? The currently used 2 TB drives works fine. But what about 4 TB drives?

I use Windows 7 (64 bit) as operating system. OS and drivers are up to date. All available patches are installed.

I don't want to boot from the new 4 TB drive. It's only meant as a place to keep user data.

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You won't be able to boot to a 4TB drive. You can use it as a data drive. –  Ramhound Feb 22 '13 at 19:35

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Yes, you can use it with Windows 7.

Important factors would have been the BIOS (for booting, which you don't want) and the OS version. If I remember correctly certain older Windows versions will not work with SATA-connected drives beyond 2 TB at all, much like the BIOS/MBR limitation. However, in these cases you can work around it by using a USB-connected casing for the hard-drive.

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Windows 7 won't have this problem. –  Ramhound Feb 22 '13 at 23:47

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