WD Elements 4TB HDD won't show up in Win XP

Hi, as the title suggests got problems with finding any external hdd to work with XP - there must be a way!

Story: I bought the 4TB (WDBWLG0040HBK-AESN) but when i installed it the device driver loaded up ok and it shows on the task bar in the ‘safely remove hardware’ icon BUT it doesn’t have a drive letter! and in ‘my computer’ it doesn’t show up so i can’t do anything with this drive. Tried disk manager but it won’t show up there either. I returned the drive and got a refund but need some storage but everything these days does not support XP!!

I bought a WD 3TB 2 years ago and on the box it mentions support for XP and that has worked fine and still going with no probs at all. I saw this post by a user earlier.

“I had the same problem. I used a program called “Partition Magic” made by PowerQuest to re-partition the drive. But, since XP wasn’t seeing the drive, I had to utilize a computer with Windows 7 OS. Once on Win7, with the drive found, the software lets you right click on the drive and select “Delete Volume”. Size your partition. Choose your volume name. and tell it to go ahead. Then let it format the drive. Reason for this is that the new Elements are not partitioned in MBR, but only GBT. The software puts in MBR partitions that XP can see.
I understand this can be done in Win 7 without extra software, but I had the software so. But again, you need access to a computer with Win 7 or above OS.”

but i don’t know what size the external HDD was or exactly what type (if that makes any diff). If i followed the above will i be ok with the 4TB or even a 3TB as now that the computer shop knows XP is not supported i will not get a refund if i return the product because i can’t get it to work in XP - has to be faulty. Also, even though i’m using XP my computer is fairly new (sata and all) and has the EUID bios or whatever it’s called.

Any help/info appreciated!

Microsoft Windows XP has hard limits in hard drive volume support. Anything larger than 2TB may have problems or may not work at all.

If Windows XP is your target system, then a hard drive smaller than 2TB is the only safe alternative.

Well i’ve learn’t a few things lately.

  1. Yes the limit is 2TB for WinXP 32bit BUT I have a 3TB WD External USB HDD going well with 3TB for last 2 years now.
  2. Yep the ‘old’ drives had 4K sectors and a special bridge board to get past limitations and that’s why on the box it mentions XP. None of the drives i seen today (no matter what size) says XP on them.

So i needed storage and because of WinXP have no options. I came across this


and didn’t want to spend ~$158 on a new drive only for this not to work or have trouble. so i thought for 99 bucks i’ll just get a seagate barracuda HDD (which is exactly the same as what was in my seagate expansion USB HDD that lasted only 2 years) and if i can’t get it to work i’ll just keep it spare for when i upgrade to Win7.

Anyway installed the drive and as above link it does not show in XP so followed the instructions with Diskpart and then DiscWizard and everything went well and drive is now going fine so got 2TB storage again.

I see no reason why this wouldn’t work for an external USB drive too so handy to know for Windows XP people :slight_smile:

forgot to mention why these drives can’t be seen in XP and that’s because they are not partitioned MBR but rather GPT - more info in link.

You have to use the WD format utility: https://support.wdc.com/knowledgebase/answer.aspx?ID=3868

See this post: 4TB on MBR and not GPT