Our workstation can only boot from MBR max. 2TB hard drive. The BIOS cannot be changed to UEFI mode by firmware update or similar. We are running Win Server 2012 R2.

Can we use a 2TB hard drive with MBR as system partition and put another 4TB hard drive only consisting of data partitions in this workstation. I've heard that Win 7 and Win 8 might be able to read this drive without UEFI mainboard, but want to be sure. Thanks


1 Answer 1


Yes, second (non-bootable) harddrive can be formatted to GPT and recognized by Windows Server 2012 R2 regardless of firmware/motherboard support of GPT and UEFI. This applies to Windows 7 and Windows 8 as well.

Please note: both disk C: and hidden system reserved partition with BCD hive must reside on MBR-formatted disk less than 2TB, because both of them must be readable via motherboard firmware at boot time.

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