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Is there a limitation on the size of external hard drive that the TSC3 will recognize?

Question asked by Jeff Jalbrzikowski on Mar 30, 2017

Is there a size limitation to the size of external hard drive that the TSC3 (Windows Embedded Handheld) will recognize?


I have been using a 500GB USB 2.0 external HDD to transfer data on/off a TSC3 for about a year now.  It is an old drive, and I partitioned half of it (250GB) as FAT32, mainly because I was told, "you can't create a FAT32 partition larger than 32GB" and I am one of those people who just has to test things sometimes.  It has been working fine, and there are three partitions on it, the aforementioned 250GB FAT32, a 32GB FAT32 (1st crack, using Windows), and am approximately 218GB NTFS partition.  The TSC3 will recognize both the FAT32 partitions and I can transfer data, or even use "Copy Job Files to..." (love that feature Trimble folks!) to them flawlessly.


So recently we bought a few of these external HDD that are waterproof, float, drop-tested, and have a built-in USB 3.0 cable.  These are 1TB drives, and I would have gotten the 500GB version since this is mainly a field data transfer/backup drive, but the 500GB was discontinued.  Anyway, I went ahead and used the GUI formatter tool from Ridgecrop Consultants Ltd to format the whole 1TB as FAT32.  Every Windows 7 computer I plugged the drive into recognized it and all was well with the world.  Until I connected the drive to the TSC3... and had zero luck getting Windows Mobile to recognize the drive at all.  So I went thru many iterations of deleting partitions, re-formatting to FAT32 these various new partitions of different sizes, thinking that I was going to be limited to 32GB size... but nothing works!


I have tried everything to get the drive to be recognized by the TSC3 and after 5 hours of all these different iterations I gave up and re-partitioned and -formatted the whole drive to NTFS.  I will just have to use a flash drive to take data from the TSC3 to the Trimble Tablet, then transfer to the external HDD.  (Network restrictions do not permit us to connect flash memory drives to our desktop/laptop computers.)


But I am still curious: is there a size of HDD that the TSC3 (Windows Mobile/Embedded Handheld) will not recognize anything larger?


Here is the subject external HDD.  I opened up the case and there is a SATA to USB 3.0 inside, so I took the HDD out and went thru all the different versions of partition/format/test with the drive outside the case also.  Interestingly enough, one desktop computer wouldn't read the drive at all that way, it was weird.


Anyone who is a Windows Mobile nerd, drop me a line.  Thanks.