What’s Windows 2016 Maximum Disk Size?

You may ask “What’s Windows 2016 maximum disk size?” when you find the maximum hard disk size is limited to 2TB. In this post, you’ll get the answer and meanwhile, learn the best way to break the 2-TB limit.


By Michael / Updated on May 12, 2023

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My computer only recognizes 2TB of my 4TB SSD!

“Recently, SSDs are on big sale and so, this morning, I bought a SAMSUNG one which is 4TB, at a low price. After plugging it into my PC, a weird thing happened – in Disk Management, only 2TB appeared as usable on the SSD. Why did this happen what’s the Windows 2016 maximum disk size? Can anyone help?”

What’s Windows 2016 maximum disk size?

According to Wikipedia, Windows Server 2016 is the 8th generation of Windows Server operating system developed by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems. It was developed concurrently with Windows 10 and is the successor to Windows Server 2012 R2. Like many other Windows operating systems, Windows Server 2016 supports both MBR and GPT partitioning styles, which means the maximum disk size these 2 partitioning styles support is different.

MBR, short for Master Boot Record, is older and it’s compatible with many old systems including Windows 7, Windows 95/98 and Windows 2000. The maximum partition capacity of MBR is 2TB, which means if you plug a 4TB HDD or SSD to your PC and initialize the disk as MBR, then, only 2TB can be read by the system. Meanwhile, MBR only allows for 3 primary partitions plus one extended partition or 4 primary partitions.

By comparison, GPT, short for GUID Partition Table, is compatible with the latest operating systems such as Windows 10 32-bit and Windows 8/8.1/10 64-bit. The maximum partition capacity of GPT is much bigger than that of MBR – it’s 9.4ZB large. The number of primary partitions GPT supports also goes up to 128, which seems limitless for daily use.

So, accordingly, if you ask what’s the Windows Server 2016 maximum hard disk size, the answer depends on whether the partitioning style of the hard disk is MBR or GPT

gpt vs mbr

How to break the 2TB size limit on Windows Server 2016?

So, what if you find you can’t make full use of a hard disk’s size on Windows Server 2016 or a 4TB or even larger disk only shows 2TB usable storage in Disk Management? In this case, you’d better run Disk Management and check whether the hard disk is in MBR partitioning style. If confirmed, the best way to break the 2TB limit is to convert MBR to GPT which recognizes much more storage for your hard disk.

How to convert MBR to GPT without data loss?

When it comes to MBR GPT conversion, many netizens will suggest you try Windows built-in Disk Management to get it done or use DiskPart to change the partitioning style via command lines. Indeed, both DiskPart and Disk Management are very well-known and reliable tool for Windows system issues and they do help in a few cases including hard drive partitioning and formatting.

However, if you want to use either of the 2 utilities to convert a disk MBR to GPT, you have to first delete all partitions on the disk which means you’ll suffer from data loss. If you skip this step, the option “Convert to GPT” in Disk Management will be greyed out and DiskPart won’t execute your orders either.

greyed out


In this case, I recommend another more powerful third-party software – AOMEI Partition Assistant Server – to help convert MBR to GPT without any data loss. The conversion is quick for it usually only takes several seconds. Meanwhile, there’re no bundleware and popup ads in the course of installation. Besides this MBR GPT conversion feature, you can also use this software to convert between NTFS and FAT32 or change primary to logical and vice verse.

What’s Windows 2016 maximum disk size and why only 2TB of my 4TB hard disk is usable? Try this powerful disk management software to make full use of the storage space of your hard drive!

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Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.

Step 2. Right-click on the target disk you want to convert and select “Convert to GPT”.


Step 3. Hit “Apply” on the upper left of the home interface to commit the pending operation.


How to change Legacy to UEFI?

If you want your computer boot from a GPT hard disk, then, the UEFI boot mode should be turned on. The right way to turn it on varies from one computer to another.

1. Enter BIOS by typing a specific key during Windows startup, usually Del for desktops and F2 for laptops.

2. Under the “Boot” tab, disable Legacy and enable UEFI.

3. Press F10 to save the settings and quit BOIS.



What’s Windows 2016 maximum disk size and why sometimes, only 2TB of a hard disk is usable on Windows 2016? In all, the answers are relevant to the partitioning style of your hard disk. If it’s an MBR disk, then, only 2TB of storage space is recognizable by the system.

However, if the disk is in GPT, the recognizable storage is much larger and it goes up to 9.4ZB! So, to break the 2TB limit you encounter, the best way is to convert MBR to GPT. This post provides the most secure way to get it done without any data loss – using third-party disk manager AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. If you want to provide billable technical services to your clients, you’d better try the software’ Technician edition.

Michael · Staff Editor
Michael is a professinal editor of AOMEI editor team.