Using a GPT-initialized 3.0TB HDD in External Enclosure

Greetings to all.

 

Before adjudicating this question "stupid," please remember that if I had the answer to this question, I wouldn't be posting.  You have to learn somewhere.

 

I have seen much in the way of information regarding the initialization formats for HDD use in Windows.  I am aware that MBR doesn't support HDDs over 2.2TB, and that much of the trouble that people have reported in using GPT-initialized HDDs is often the result of out-of-date HDD controllers.  I'm now looking at this from a little bit of a different angle.

 

I am curious as to what anyone's experience may be/have been in using a 3.0TB HDD in an external USB 3.0 enclosure.  I'm a bit leery of it, and here's why.  I am a digital DJ, and as such, my music collection often grows monthly.  I was given a 3.0TB 3.5" HDD to upgrade my storage from a well-worn 1.0TB HDD which is nearing capacity.  This external HDD came as a complete unit (enclosure and all, major name brand - won't mention because I don't know if that would violate TOS here).  I transferred all the data over to the higher capacity drive (after having initialized it GPT), but after some additional thought, the fact that the unit came with a proprietary connector (on the hard drive end) made it somewhat less-than-optimal for my purposes (just take it at face value).  As a result, I decided to transfer the hard disk from inside the proprietary enclosure to a different, more generic 3.0TB-capable enclosure without the proprietary connector mess.  When I connected the 3.0TB drive, with all the data already transferred and simply switched from one enclosure to another, to the same computer, I got a message saying that the disk had to be initialized before I could use it.  This left me scratching my head, thinking, "I thought I already initialized it!"

 

Needless to say, the data was lost, and I had to spend another day or so re-copying it back over to the drive, once again initialized GPT, in its new home.

 

I'm a bit paranoid, now, about -- say -- connecting this HDD enclosure to another computer for fear that something about external GPT-initialized disks kinda become "one-person dogs," basically usable only with the computer they were initialized on.  Subsequent connections of this external drive to the computer it was initialized on show that it appears to be working just fine, but there may be times when I want to connect this drive to another one of my DJ computers, and I don't want it to tell me "This disk must be initialized before it can be used" on the other computer.  Anytime I've switched enclosures or computers with smaller HDDs, there has been no problem with cross-compatibility or recognition.  This is new to me, and I'm not as well-versed on this as, perhaps, others out there might be.

 

Can anyone provide me with some insight regarding this?  Should I be able to use a high-capacity external GPT-initialized HDD on another machine (both running the exact same OS, Win7x64) without it telling me that the disk needs to be re-initialized on the new machine? 

 

Question Info


Last updated April 19, 2018 Views 1,595 Applies to:
Hi,

Thank you for asking the question!

What enclosure are you using?

You shouldn't need to initialize the disk. I would suggest you to copy few small files and then try connecting it to another computer and test it you face the same issue. Later I would suggest you to test the same on the original computer to see if the same thing happens.

If the issue persists, please reply with more details and we will be glad to help you.

Thanks.
Rohit S

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The external hard drive originally came as a Western Digital My Book 3TB.  This drive was given to me by someone I work with, who is somewhat less-than-savvy regarding computer peripherals, storage, and configuration.  Nevertheless...

 

Because it came with a proprietary connector, which does not suit my overall purposes, I took their enclosure apart, extricated the 3.5" HDD inside, and transplanted it into a Vantec NexStar CX SuperSpeed.  The My Book does not use a generic SS-USB cable as does the Vantec.

 

I do mobile digital DJing, and I built a small portable podium which houses all of my wiring, power supply, wireless mic receiver, etc., and getting wires in and out of it is a pain at this point, so I have purchased duplicate wiring to use when I need to take certain components out to use alone without the podium (i.e. the computer's power supply, the external HDD power supply, and the USB connector for the external HDD).  I sometimes like to bring just those components with me if, say, I'm meeting with a client and doing some planning with them.  This being said, it's considerably easier for me to deal with generic wiring as opposed to proprietary stuff, particularly in areas such as being able to select different wire lengths, etc.  I can just pop down to my nearby Micro Center and grab whatever I want as opposed to having to find a longer wire from Western Digital.

 

Anyway, I'll try what you said, and if it asks me to initialize the disk, I'm going to do absolutely nothing of the sort, and try hooking it back up to the original machine to see if the data is safe.

 

I would hope that it would be, but after my initial experience, I thought it sane to put the question out there.

"Think, occasionally, of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." - Albert Schweitzer

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