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3TB Hard Drive only showing 2TB in control panel...

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April 21, 2011 6:12:51 PM

I just built a new system with a Gigabyte 880GA-UD3H motherboard and a Hitachi 3TB hard drive. Checked under hard drive properties and its only showing 2TB of space. Did I do something wrong? I noticed that are 6 X white SATA connectors and 2 X blue SATA connectors. I used the white connectors for everything. Was this a mistake?

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a c 289 G Storage
April 21, 2011 6:30:01 PM

It's not the connectors. The drive has to be reformatted as a GPT-formatted drive instead of an MBR-formatted drive. The old standard MBR partition tables can't describe a drive of over about 2.13 TiB.

If'n you search the forums (fora?) for GPT, you will find a wealth of discussion on the topic. Maybe even someone who knows how to set up the disk for you.

It depends, also, on the motherboard, controllers, and driver software, but I'm ignorant of such things. My largest drive is 750 MB.

Edit: Try this: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg4635... . Also, I don't think that Windows will boot off a GPT disk unless you have a UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) motherboard, and there are precious few of those yet.

Yes, that link is good.
Quote:
Creating GPT Drives

You can convert only empty, unpartitioned disks (raw drives or empty MBR drives) to the GPT format. To convert a volume that contains data, you must first manually delete the partition.

You can use the following methods to create GPT disks:


  • In the Disk Management console, right-click the MBR drive you want to convert to GPT and then click Convert to GPT Disk. If the drive is not empty or contains partitions, this option is unavailable.

  • In the DISKPART utility, select the drive you want to convert and enter the following command:CONVERT GPT

    For raw disks, you can use two additional methods:


  • After you install a new raw disk, open the Disk Management console to start a wizard that you can use to configure the new disk. The wizard includes options to initialize the disk as MBR or GPT.

  • Initialize the new disk later by using the Initialize Disk option in the Disk Management console.
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    April 22, 2011 1:29:28 PM

    Thanks, but what "disk management console" are they referring to? Do I just go into MyComputer/ and right click on C:/ to get to "properties"?

    WyomingKnott said:
    It's not the connectors. The drive has to be reformatted as a GPT-formatted drive instead of an MBR-formatted drive. The old standard MBR partition tables can't describe a drive of over about 2.13 TiB.

    If'n you search the forums (fora?) for GPT, you will find a wealth of discussion on the topic. Maybe even someone who knows how to set up the disk for you.

    It depends, also, on the motherboard, controllers, and driver software, but I'm ignorant of such things. My largest drive is 750 MB.

    Edit: Try this: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg4635... . Also, I don't think that Windows will boot off a GPT disk unless you have a UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) motherboard, and there are precious few of those yet.

    Yes, that link is good.
    Quote:
    Creating GPT Drives

    You can convert only empty, unpartitioned disks (raw drives or empty MBR drives) to the GPT format. To convert a volume that contains data, you must first manually delete the partition.

    You can use the following methods to create GPT disks:


  • In the Disk Management console, right-click the MBR drive you want to convert to GPT and then click Convert to GPT Disk. If the drive is not empty or contains partitions, this option is unavailable.

  • In the DISKPART utility, select the drive you want to convert and enter the following command:CONVERT GPT

    For raw disks, you can use two additional methods:


  • After you install a new raw disk, open the Disk Management console to start a wizard that you can use to configure the new disk. The wizard includes options to initialize the disk as MBR or GPT.

  • Initialize the new disk later by using the Initialize Disk option in the Disk Management console.

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    May 3, 2011 12:17:00 AM

    Best answer selected by kurtcrosbie.
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    June 14, 2011 10:24:26 PM

    I bought a Hitachi Desktar 3TB hard drive a couple of days ago. I run Windows 7 64 bit OS. The system already has one 500Gb HDD, one 1TB HDD, one 250 GB HDD and one 80GB HDD installed and functioning normally. When I installed the 3 TB drive in GUID mode, it only shows 746GB as available space. I contacted Hitachi support and they mentioned that their drives are preformatted for apples OSX and needs to erased clean and repartitioned. I followed the directions to erase the drive and re mounted using GUID mode. It remains the same with only 746GB as available memory. Could you please advise me on what I should do.
    Thank you for your time and effort.
    Best wishes
    Arul

    WyomingKnott said:
    It's not the connectors. The drive has to be reformatted as a GPT-formatted drive instead of an MBR-formatted drive. The old standard MBR partition tables can't describe a drive of over about 2.13 TiB.

    If'n you search the forums (fora?) for GPT, you will find a wealth of discussion on the topic. Maybe even someone who knows how to set up the disk for you.

    It depends, also, on the motherboard, controllers, and driver software, but I'm ignorant of such things. My largest drive is 750 MB.

    Edit: Try this: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg4635... . Also, I don't think that Windows will boot off a GPT disk unless you have a UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) motherboard, and there are precious few of those yet.

    Yes, that link is good.
    Quote:
    Creating GPT Drives

    You can convert only empty, unpartitioned disks (raw drives or empty MBR drives) to the GPT format. To convert a volume that contains data, you must first manually delete the partition.

    You can use the following methods to create GPT disks:


  • In the Disk Management console, right-click the MBR drive you want to convert to GPT and then click Convert to GPT Disk. If the drive is not empty or contains partitions, this option is unavailable.

  • In the DISKPART utility, select the drive you want to convert and enter the following command:CONVERT GPT

    For raw disks, you can use two additional methods:


  • After you install a new raw disk, open the Disk Management console to start a wizard that you can use to configure the new disk. The wizard includes options to initialize the disk as MBR or GPT.

  • Initialize the new disk later by using the Initialize Disk option in the Disk Management console.

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    August 25, 2011 10:35:28 PM

    altruist77 said:
    I bought a Hitachi Desktar 3TB hard drive a couple of days ago. I run Windows 7 64 bit OS. The system already has one 500Gb HDD, one 1TB HDD, one 250 GB HDD and one 80GB HDD installed and functioning normally. When I installed the 3 TB drive in GUID mode, it only shows 746GB as available space. I contacted Hitachi support and they mentioned that their drives are preformatted for apples OSX and needs to erased clean and repartitioned. I followed the directions to erase the drive and re mounted using GUID mode. It remains the same with only 746GB as available memory. Could you please advise me on what I should do.
    Thank you for your time and effort.
    Best wishes
    Arul



    I'm having the exact same problem as you, only backwards it seems. Same Hitachi deskstar 3TB. No matter what I do IT shows 2048 GB as being available to do what ever I want with. It (disk management under computer management in Windows 7 64 bit) also shows a 746.52 GB partition that it wont let me delete, format or do anything with. This drive is installed in a brand new machine that I built in may. Top of the line components including ASUS crosshair IV formula MB. Nothing outdated here. I've tried using the OEM Windows disk, easy partition manger and am now on to active kill disk to try and get the drive to be recognized as a single large volume.
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    September 8, 2011 9:18:46 PM

    Belexandor, did you get this sorted? Your situation is the exact as mine. I am a novice on these matters, so would appreciate your help. I too am on Windows 7, 64 Bit OS, and have the same Hitachi Deskstar 3TB drive.
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    September 10, 2011 8:45:25 AM

    I am in the same boat. I just had a new rig built with 1 Hitachi 3TB hard drive. I also noticed that I only had 2TB of 3, and I starting reading everything about MBR & GPT formats. Supposedly, I need to reformat using GPT. Since some motherboards do not allow booting from a GPT formatted hard drive I bit the bullet and bought a Solid State Drive (SSD) only for Windows 7 professional, and I kept the Hitachi 3TB for data only. (I still don't know if my motherboard allows booting from GPT).

    When reinstalling Windows 7, it asked me which of the drives I wanted to use for the install. I of course chose the SSD and I wiped the Hitachi drive clean so I could use it for data. However, once Windows was fully installed the Hitachi still showed that I could only use 2TB of 3TB.

    After further reading a few forums I realized that the only way I was going to be able to use the full 3TB is wiping the disk clean again and reformatting to GPT. I followed Microsoft's tutorial on how to do this under DISKPART under the command prompt, but DISKPART won't let me "CLEAN", "CONVERT", or "FORMAT" to GPT. It just keeps popping up saying that I need to the read the HELP section. The help section just has some really technical mumbo jumbo that I don't follow.

    So at this point it's either return the 3TB and buy a 2TB drive, or try to figure out how to get this 3TB to work. Does anyone know of any utility software that works to convert to GPT without having to use the DISKPART command prompts and without breaking the bank?
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    December 2, 2011 12:27:46 AM

    You can always go with formatting it in ubuntu or some other flavor of linux. I had the problem of windows reading a 3tb drive as 746.52 and osx reading it as 801.23gb but I got around this by simply putting ubuntu on a flash drive, booting my pc off the driving, trying ubuntu and running disk utility to properly format the drive in GPT. Some Western Digital drives have a 4096bye physical block size which can cause misaligned partitioning. If you run into this you can use parted to correct it by adding free space before the partition in the amount of the misalignment.

    I had an external 3tb WD drive put into a generic case that ran usb2.0 and esata. I was able to solve the problem by using esata and ubuntu. The case didn't support the 3tb drive and after proper formatting using esata the usb still didn't work. I'll have to get a new case but the drive does work now.
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    December 30, 2011 6:42:16 PM

    I am having the same problem. My 3 tb hard drive is only showing up as 2 tb. Then there is 746.52 gb of unallocated space on the hard drive that I can't do anything to. My first step to fixing the problem was changing the Hard drive from MBR to GPT. In order to do that I had to download active kill disk and erase the entire drive. After I erased the hard drive it gave me the option to initialize the hard drive. I initialized it as GPT. Hopeing that it worked I installed windows 7 64bit onto the drive. It didn't work. The hard drive is initialized as GPT and is formated using NTFS and it still only shows 2 tb. Now from what I have read the problem is that it is formated in NTFS and the largest disk space that Windows will recognize when formated in NTFS is 2 tb. From what I have read is you have to have the disk formatted in ExFat. Apperently that is the only way windows will recognize a bigger disk. My problem now is I can't format the 3 tb hard drive in ExFat. Its just not giving me the option. Do I have to re-wipe the entire drive with kill disk to get this ExFat option to show?
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    January 19, 2012 7:42:02 PM

    OlympusHAXXX said:
    Now from what I have read the problem is that it is formated in NTFS and the largest disk space that Windows will recognize when formated in NTFS is 2 tb.


    According to Wikipedia, what you wrote is not true.

    "Using the default cluster size of 4 kB, the maximum NTFS volume size is 16 TB minus 4 kB. (Both of these are vastly higher than the 128 GB limit lifted in Windows XP SP1.) Because partition tables on master boot record (MBR) disks only support partition sizes up to 2 TB, dynamic or GPT volumes must be used to create NTFS volumes over 2 TB. Booting from a GPT volume to a Windows environment requires a system with UEFI and 64-bit support.[62]" -Wikipedia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS#Limitations

    I too have a 3 TB that is being seen by Win 7 64-bit's Disk Management tool as 2 partitions of 2TB and ~700MB. I haven't tried active kill or reformatting the whole thing using GPT so I'm hoping that works as intended when I try tonight. I never realized 3TB would be any more difficult than any other size when I bought the thing! Wonder if this will be less painful in the future, perhaps with Windows 8?
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    January 20, 2012 12:10:55 PM

    I got my 3tb drive set up last night as a full 3tb single drive recognized without issue by Windows 7 64-bit. Note I'm not using it as a boot drive (that's what SSD's are for!).

    I used "GPARTED". Search google for it. You dl it, burn a CD-R with an image file of it, reboot your computer and boot into GPARTED. It's a self-cotained and self-booting Linux distribution, aka it doesn't install itself just runs off a CD when you boot. Load that up, click on your disk, go to Tools-->Convert Partition Table... then hit "advanced" and select GPT and hit the OKAY button. Takes 20 seconds, then exit out, go back to Windows 7, load up the Disk Management Tool, your drive should be seen as 3TB raw disk. Right click it, hit New Simple Volume, and boom you are set. Again, that worked for making it a storage disk, not a boot disk. Hope that helps anyone with the same issue.

    The problem is these Seagate 3TB's come formatted from the factory with the older MBR partition table, which is 2TB max. Hence the 2TB and 700MB separate partitions. GPARTED lets you easily (easier than Windows) erase the disk and rewrite the partition table with the GPT version.

    Here are a couple websites that can also help:
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg4635...
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc725671.asp...
    http://gparted.sourceforge.net/
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