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I recently bought a 3TB 3.5 inch hard drive. Connected via SATA, my machine can only access 2TB if formatted as MBR. With GPT it can access the entire 3TB, but the disk would be unreadable when the drive is connected to another machine. I also bought a Sabrent SATA to USB converter. The converter can only access 2TB as MBR, too, and suffer from the same incompatibility problems as GPT (if I format the drive as GPT on one machine, then the converter with drive is unreadable when used on an alternate machine).

However, 3TB external drives accessible from any machine exists, such as this https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Expansion-Desktop-External-STEB3000100/dp/B00TKFEEJ4. Is there a harddrive enclosure that can allow a 3TB drive to be read from any machine?

  • Only the system drive, that Windows is installed on, has a 3TB limit. I have numerous internal 3TB+ drives, which are connected by a enclosure, limitation of MBR are not a problem – Ramhound Feb 1 '17 at 3:21
  • The 2TB limit is a limit for drives using MBR. You simply can't use MBR and access the full capacity of larger drives. – Zoredache Feb 1 '17 at 7:07
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GPT is fine. You need to initialize the disk before the other computer will read it.

Assuming you are running Microsoft Windows, after you connect the drive open Computer management and then Disk Configuration and right clicking on the drive and choose Initialize

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