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Need to use a new External Hard Dive on old Windows XP system (compatibility issues?)

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Need to use a new External Hard Dive on old Windows XP system (compatibility issues?)

Old 11-09-19, 01:45 PM
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Need to use a new External Hard Dive on old Windows XP system (compatibility issues?)

So I could use some help with this issue I ran into yesterday at work.

I work in graphics for live sports television. The operating system the graphics machine uses is Windows XP.

I have to constantly download new files for game assignments I get and put them into the system. I had an old 1 TB external hard drive that I used for 6 years until it crapped out. I used it without any issues.

So, I had a spare 2 TB hard drive. I formatted it in my Windows 10 PC and then downloaded and copied my files into it. I tried to use the drive last night. Windows XP could not read it.

Is there compatibility issues with using a drive formatted in 10 and trying to use it in XP? Is a 2 TB external drive too big?

I don't recall exactly, but I think my old 1 TB was originally formatted under Windows 8.

Any help would be appreciated for those who are savvy with this? I need at least 1 TB of space. Do I need to purchase a new external drive and format it differently?

Last edited by DJariya; 11-09-19 at 02:16 PM.
Old 11-09-19, 01:57 PM
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Re: Need to use a new External Hard Dive on old Windows XP system (compatibility issues?)

Did u try to format it in the win xp pc?
Old 11-09-19, 02:06 PM
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Re: Need to use a new External Hard Dive on old Windows XP system (compatibility issues?)

WinXP can't read GPT formatted drives. It's very possible that's how you formatted it in Win10 (rather than MBR).
Old 11-09-19, 02:10 PM
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Re: Need to use a new External Hard Dive on old Windows XP system (compatibility issues?)

Originally Posted by D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB) View Post
Did u try to format it in the win xp pc?
No because I had other files on the drive in addition to my work files that I didn't want to lose.
Old 11-09-19, 02:11 PM
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Re: Need to use a new External Hard Dive on old Windows XP system (compatibility issues?)

Originally Posted by The Cow View Post
WinXP can't read GPT formatted drives. It's very possible that's how you formatted it in Win10 (rather than MBR).
What does GPT and MBR mean? Is that an option on how to format it?

So it could very well be how the drive was formatted then? Not the size?
Old 11-09-19, 02:28 PM
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Re: Need to use a new External Hard Dive on old Windows XP system (compatibility issues?)

I just checked and indeed my external drive is formatted as GPT
Old 11-09-19, 03:59 PM
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Re: Need to use a new External Hard Dive on old Windows XP system (compatibility issues?)

You can convert the drive to MBR with Partition Wizard without losing the data. I would back it up first though just in case.
Old 11-09-19, 09:24 PM
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Re: Need to use a new External Hard Dive on old Windows XP system (compatibility issues?)

Drives 2TB and under can be formatted as MBR partitions. In order to use the full capacity of drives larger than 2TB, formatting the partition in GPT is necessary. Why Windows 10 doesn't give you the choice when formatting 2TB and under drives is a mystery, and not user-friendly at all. There is a 3rd-party utility software driver which can read GPT partitions on XP, but again I don't think even that utility supports partitions greater than 2TB in XP. I do not like GPT because it breaks legacy software and hardware. For example all the external USB slots in standalone Blu-ray players do not support GPT partitioning or partitions > 2TB. A few only support FAT32, but many support NTFS filesystems now. None that I know of support exFAT filesystem. I've tested a dozen or so units, and they all choke on GPT partitions of any size.

If there is a nifty way to format and / or utilize MBR partitioning on drives > 2TB, I'm all ears, but I think it is impossible. Probably you can format each multiple 2TB partitions on, say, a 10TB as MBR, but XP and other legacy OSes won't see beyond the first 2TB partition.
Old 11-09-19, 09:33 PM
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Re: Need to use a new External Hard Dive on old Windows XP system (compatibility issues?)

Friend corrupted his 2TB by plugging it into an XP box...
Old 11-10-19, 01:33 PM
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Re: Need to use a new External Hard Dive on old Windows XP system (compatibility issues?)

I just bought a new 2 TB drive myself and I noticed that it was formatted as GPT when I was doing the partitioning. I did some research and decided that I wanted it formatted as an MBR drive and I did a bit more research and was able to convert it to an MBR drive using diskpart in Windows 7. Once I figured out the command line entries I had to type, it was quick and painless. I had no data on the drive yet, but there were no warnings saying that I would lose or corrupt any data, so it seemed like it is a simple thing to do without any inherent dangers.
Old 11-11-19, 07:13 PM
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Re: Need to use a new External Hard Dive on old Windows XP system (compatibility issues?)

Bought a new Seagate 1 TB hardrive from Amazon. Came in today. Checked out it's Volume and turns out it's MBR.

So looks like I'm good to go with my work files and copying them over to this drive.
Old 11-11-19, 09:08 PM
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Re: Need to use a new External Hard Dive on old Windows XP system (compatibility issues?)

Good. I just found out that some new drives use 4k sectors, which means theoretically one can partition up 16 TB drives as MBR with XP as long as the SATA controller (?) in the PC BIOS supports such sectors. Legacy devices like Blu-ray players probably won't work with such 4k drives in MBR since they're probably (?) hardcoded in firmware to deal only with 512-byte sector-size in hard drives. These traditional drives have the 2TB partition size limit in MBR. Still a little confused, but it DOES seem possible according to this link: http://coolsdrstuff.blogspot.com/201...indows-xp.html

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