SATA to USB adapter for drives over 2TB
May 23, 2013 7:01 PM   Subscribe

I have a SATA to USB adapter that can handle 2.5 and 3.5 drives and is great for quick transfers and migrations without having to lug around an external drive. There don't seem to be any that can handle drives above 2TB which are becoming more common now that 3TB drives are so cheap. Does such a device exist that can handle larger drives?

I already have and don't want another external drive, or one of those docks that a drive can be inserted into as I want the portability of a small adapter and the cables. I've found this one that can handle 3TB but there are already 4TB drives so that still will have the same problem as 3.5 and 4TB and higher drives become common.
posted by ridogi to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This one claims to.

My experience is that the limit the manufacturer claims is more driven by what is available to test with than some absolute limit. I have some 10 year old adapters that work on 2Tb drives.
posted by procrastination at 9:18 PM on May 23, 2013

What pro said. Regarding drive size I've no doubt whatever adapter you use will work as well as any other old or new. SATA-USB & eSATA do not limit drive size. You'll need to format the disk not as the old MBR partitioning format which recognizes at most 2.2 TB, but as GPT format. Most MS systems can't boot from GPT, but GPT is fine for OSX, Linux, or for just storing data for Windows. There are many articles on how to convert MBR or unformatted disks to GPT for Windows, OSX, Linux.
posted by gregoreo at 3:51 AM on May 24, 2013

Response by poster: The 2TB limit is not an OS or formatting limit, but a hardware limit inherit to external devices. I've had to replace some old enclosures that could only handle 2TB with newer models that could. Since this is the guts of an enclosure without the enclosure I would think this is the same issue.

I'm confused how the one I found has a 3TB cap as my understanding is 2TB and under or any size were the two options here.
posted by ridogi at 1:48 PM on May 24, 2013

The one you link to was released in December 2011 at the latest. (Date of the earliest review on Newegg.) As procrastination says, manufacturers will generally claim compatibility based on what's available to test with. So when the product description was written, the largest SATA drives on the market were 3 TB, and that's what it references. There should be no interface differences between a 3 TB and 4 TB unit, so it should work fine.

I also notice that Vantec support has replied to several of the Newegg reviews and posted their email address, so you could contact them directly for confirmation.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 6:16 AM on May 25, 2013

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