In my experience, the vast majority of commonly available external enclosures—unless specified otherwise—can only handle a single drive with a size of 2TB (max) or lower.
When I attempted to place a 3TB drive into a 2TB enclosure it would only show 800GB available.
Any thoughts on data recovery…
If the drive has data on it already and you simply cannot read it via the external enclosure, no need to worry about data recovery. Chances are the enclosure itself is the issue. Meaning if you get an enclosure that can truly handle drives larger than 2TB you should be fine.
That said, many 2TB or higher enclosures are “weird” as in they operate on their own logic to access data to a connected drive. Meaning the trick of taking one SATA drive connected to a system one way and then hooking it up to an enclosure isn’t always guaranteed to work.
If the drive is new and just needs to be formatted, then don’t worry. Get an appropriate enclosure, stick the drive in and it should be good to go after a partitioning and formatting.
As far as the Linux aspect of this goes, on the offhand chance this is a system issue, then—as explained on this site—you need to make sure the Linux kernel is 2.6.x or higher, the kernel must be compiled with CONFIG_LBD enabled and the drive should be partitioned with GPT (GUID partition tables) partition tables.