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What is difference between hard drive free space and unallocated space?

Last response: in Storage
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April 10, 2014 9:20:55 AM

I installed a 4TB Seagate external HD on a Win 7 Ultimate system to use as a Norton Ghost 15 backup drive. Because Ghost 15 does not recognize drives larger than 2TB, using Windows reformat utility I attempted reformatted it to NTFS and break the drive into two (2) 2TB divisions (one formatted 2TB primary partition with the remaining 2TBs as free space. However, what I ended up with was a disk with 3 divisions: one (1) healthy 1772 GB primary active NTFS partition, followed by one (1) 275 GB division of unallocated space, and then one (1) 1678 GB division of unallocated space.

Three questions:
What is difference between hard drive free space and unallocated space?
How do I combine the (2) two unallocated spaces into one contiguous block?
If I can't combine the unallocated spaces, how do I convert them to (1) one contiguous block of free space?
a c 95 G Storage
April 10, 2014 9:40:41 AM

the issue seems to be that the drive is initialized as MBR which has a 2TB (2.2TB RAW) size limit.

you will have to initialize the drive as GPT for you to be able to use all 4TB.
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April 10, 2014 10:51:44 AM

If you want it as one giant block, then follow Emerald's advice.

However, if you need the partitions to be no larger than 2 TB so that you can continue using Norton Ghost, then continue reading (LOL).

1. "Unallocated" space means that the OS (I'm assuming Windows) knows that there's physical space on the hard drive, but it hasn't been assigned ("allocated") to a particular partition (or "logical" drive letter). "Free" space means that Windows knows you haven't used up all of the allocated space on a particular drive (physical drive letter) or partition (logical drive letter).

2. Disk Management will allow you to assign drive letter(s) to unallocated partition(s). You have the option of keeping the unallocated portions as separate partitions (thereby ending up with 3 hard drive letters), or combining the 2 unallocated portions into a single portion (giving you 2 hard drive letters).
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April 10, 2014 11:22:51 AM

spdragoo said:
If you want it as one giant block, then follow Emerald's advice.

However, if you need the partitions to be no larger than 2 TB so that you can continue using Norton Ghost, then continue reading (LOL).

1. "Unallocated" space means that the OS (I'm assuming Windows) knows that there's physical space on the hard drive, but it hasn't been assigned ("allocated") to a particular partition (or "logical" drive letter). "Free" space means that Windows knows you haven't used up all of the allocated space on a particular drive (physical drive letter) or partition (logical drive letter).

2. Disk Management will allow you to assign drive letter(s) to unallocated partition(s). You have the option of keeping the unallocated portions as separate partitions (thereby ending up with 3 hard drive letters), or combining the 2 unallocated portions into a single portion (giving you 2 hard drive letters).


Thank you for your reply.

In Disk Management/Action/All Tasks for the first unallocated drive (275 GB) I'm given the option to create a New Simple volume. opening the wizard allows me to create a simple volume with a Max size of 282 GB.

By the same process for the second unallocated drive (1678 GB) I'm not given the option to create a New Simple volume.

And Disk Management does not provide an option to combine the unallocated spaces that I've been able to find.

What am I missing? Look forward to your replay.

m
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l
April 10, 2014 11:22:54 AM

spdragoo said:
If you want it as one giant block, then follow Emerald's advice.

However, if you need the partitions to be no larger than 2 TB so that you can continue using Norton Ghost, then continue reading (LOL).

1. "Unallocated" space means that the OS (I'm assuming Windows) knows that there's physical space on the hard drive, but it hasn't been assigned ("allocated") to a particular partition (or "logical" drive letter). "Free" space means that Windows knows you haven't used up all of the allocated space on a particular drive (physical drive letter) or partition (logical drive letter).

2. Disk Management will allow you to assign drive letter(s) to unallocated partition(s). You have the option of keeping the unallocated portions as separate partitions (thereby ending up with 3 hard drive letters), or combining the 2 unallocated portions into a single portion (giving you 2 hard drive letters).


Thank you for your reply.

In Disk Management/Action/All Tasks for the first unallocated drive (275 GB) I'm given the option to create a New Simple volume. opening the wizard allows me to create a simple volume with a Max size of 282 GB.

By the same process for the second unallocated drive (1678 GB) I'm not given the option to create a New Simple volume.

And Disk Management does not provide an option to combine the unallocated spaces that I've been able to find.

What am I missing? Look forward to your replay.

m
0
l
April 10, 2014 11:22:54 AM

spdragoo said:
If you want it as one giant block, then follow Emerald's advice.

However, if you need the partitions to be no larger than 2 TB so that you can continue using Norton Ghost, then continue reading (LOL).

1. "Unallocated" space means that the OS (I'm assuming Windows) knows that there's physical space on the hard drive, but it hasn't been assigned ("allocated") to a particular partition (or "logical" drive letter). "Free" space means that Windows knows you haven't used up all of the allocated space on a particular drive (physical drive letter) or partition (logical drive letter).

2. Disk Management will allow you to assign drive letter(s) to unallocated partition(s). You have the option of keeping the unallocated portions as separate partitions (thereby ending up with 3 hard drive letters), or combining the 2 unallocated portions into a single portion (giving you 2 hard drive letters).


Thank you for your reply.

In Disk Management/Action/All Tasks for the first unallocated drive (275 GB) I'm given the option to create a New Simple volume. opening the wizard allows me to create a simple volume with a Max size of 282 GB.

By the same process for the second unallocated drive (1678 GB) I'm not given the option to create a New Simple volume.

And Disk Management does not provide an option to combine the unallocated spaces that I've been able to find.

What am I missing? Look forward to your replay.

m
0
l

Best solution

a c 95 G Storage
April 10, 2014 6:03:44 PM

if the drive is MBR Windows will not allow you to allocate the remaining 1678GB.

the drive needs to be initialized as GPT first and then you can create two 2TB partitions.
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April 10, 2014 6:57:04 PM

Yeah, try to initialize your drive as GPT and create a new partition with all the unallocated space in Disk Management.
But, if the built-in Disk Management cannot let you create one partition for non-continuous free space, you can try to use some partition resizing tool freely resize your partition space, like IM-Magic Partition Resizer Free, GParted, EaseUS Partition Master and more.
I hope this can help you.
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