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I have a new 4TB drive, which I want to use as an external drive with my laptop (Windows 7 ultimate, 64-bit).

From all that I can read, my Windows version should support it, but I can't find anything about using it as an external drive (not that I think that should make any difference, but ...).

When I go to Disk Management on my laptop, I am told that I must initialize the disk. I choose to do so as GPT because that will support > 2TB and MBR will not. I get an error "The device is not ready" and the disk is shown as "not initialized".

However, if I insert the disk into a desktop as an internal drive then I can create a 4TB partition. I can copy a text file to that, edit it, rename it, delete it.

If I remove the disk from the desktop and connect it externally to the laptop, I get the same problem - disk not initialized / device not ready.

So, I put the disk back into the desktop and see the 4TB partition with its single lonely text file. Hmmm. I repatriation the disk to have 2 partitions each a little less than 2TB - presumably at least the first of these would be visible on the laptop, if not both?

Nope, same problem: when I connect it externally to the laptop, I get the same problem - disk not initialized / device not ready.

I have googled extensively, but can find not help. Hopefully someone here knows better ...


[Update] @Karan (+1) Did you just buy a bare drive and pop it into an enclosure? If so the enclosure might very well be to blame for this.

gronostaj, thanks fpr the suggestion. I can't initialize it as MBR either - "the device is not ready"

Yes, I did. Can you explain how I might be able to use this drive?

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Did you just buy a bare drive and pop it into an enclosure? If so the enclosure might very well be to blame for this. –  Karan May 24 '13 at 4:17
1  
Check if MBR table will work. –  gronostaj May 24 '13 at 6:45

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

It turns out that at the current time (May 2013) most external housings support max 3TB. I was using one of those multi-purpose IDE/SATA 2.5"/3.5" converters which explains why it didn't work.

I just bought a new USB 3 external housing which is one of the few which support 4TB and it works beautifully

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