When I tried to create a new partition on the MBR disk using Disk Management, I got the following message:
Only the first 2TB are usable on large MBR disks. Cannot create partitions beyond the 2TB mark, nor convert the disk to dynamic.
As such, Windows does not support creating new partitions beyond the first 2TB on an MBR disk. This is why you can not use full capacity for 3TB and 4TB hard drives and hard drives larger than 2TB.
There are two ways you can get full capacity on a 4TB hard drive:
- Convert MBR to GPT, there is no 2TB limit on GPT disks. MBR2GPT and AOMEI Partition Assistant are two of many tools that can help you convert MBR to GPT without losing data.
- Use third-party software instead of Disk Management and diskpart. Can only create partitions with a total capacity of 4TB. For disks larger than 4TB, you should convert MBR to GPT. See how to partition a 4TB hard drive with GParted for use on Windows. On Windows, I found Seagate Extended Capacity Manager and Acronis are two software that do this. But in this article, I will introduce MBR4TB, this is lightweight and simple software.
You can use Disk Management and diskpart to create multiple partitions (but not more than 3) in the first 2TB area on the disk. Then MBR4TB will help you create a new partition with a maximum size of 2TB starting at 2097151 MB on disk without data loss. So you can use up to 4TB of space on an MBR disk without converting to GPT.
If you use the disk to boot in Legacy BIOS mode, you should use MBR instead of GPT, which is recommended for AIO Boot.
MBR4TB does not support:
- GPT disk.
- The disk has a capacity of 2TB or less.
- Windows XP. Although this tool is supported, Windows XP will not recognize the 4TB hard disk properly after using the tool.
- 4096 (4 KiB) bytes per sector (Bytes Per Sector, not Bytes per Physical Sector).
If your disk or computer has one of the 4 things above, this tool is not for you.
Here is the information and links to download MBR4TB:
|System||Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.|
How to use
This tool will only help you create a new partition with no loss of data, there may be unforeseen risks, use this tool yourself at all risks. Using MBR4TB in just three simple steps:
- First, you need to download MBR4TB then run the software.
- Enter the disk number of the disk you want to use. You can use Disk Management to get the disk number of the disk you want. Disk 0 is 0, Disk 1 is 1 and Disk n is n.
- Press Enter and wait for the message in the software window.
MBR4TB only helps you create new partitions, you can see the new partition in Disk Management and format it there.
You can also run the software in Command Prompt. Run Command Prompt under Administrator and run the following command:
MBR4TB.exe disk_number /q
If the program says the following, it means there is a partition not completely located in the first 2097151 MB on the disk.
The ending point of partition 1 is outside the first 2097151 MB of disk space. Please resize this partition to shrink.
MBR4TB will not be able to create a new partition starting at this address. You just need to reduce the size of this partition so that the endpoint of the partition is not outside the first 2097151 MB on the disk. If this partition is formatted as NTFS, you can use Disk Management to Shrink this partition to make it smaller without losing data.
- In Disk Management, right-click on the partition and select Shrink Volume….
- Enter the size you want to shrink on this partition, usually just 1MB.
- Once you have created the partition using MBR4TB, you can right-click on the previously Shrink partition and select Extend Volume… to extend this partition with unallocated space.
If your disk is new or has no data, you can clean the disk, delete all partitions and re-initialize.
diskpart list disk select disk disk_number clean convert mbr
Use MBR4TB to create the last partition, then you can optionally create new partitions in the first 2TB area.
I just tested this software on a virtual disk on a virtual machine because I don’t have 3TB or 4TB hard disk. Please leave a comment below to let me know your results. Thank you and wish you success!