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Updated Gigabyte 3TB unlock but still 3TB drives show as 2TB

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June 3, 2011 12:42:50 PM

the 3TB drive is connected to the eSATA portion SATA portion of the motherboard [H55n USB3] Acronis 11 Disc Director for Windows 7 64bit and even Windows 7 64 Bit >>>> Manage Drives still show as a 2.00TB drive instead of 2.7-2.8+ drive. What is the problem if the drivers has been updated. Using Windows 7 64 Bit with SP1. The PC can see the drive [not formatted yet] but as the complete size. As a result of that I had not updated nor formatted the drive in case if I do so it will be only 2TB only. Suggestions? hope the drive itself is not defective. Strange as I thought Gigabyte software update would allow me to see the 3tb as at least 2.7 or 2.8tb instead of 2TB under windows disc management or any partitioning softwares...??
a b $ Windows 7
a c 289 G Storage
June 3, 2011 1:03:36 PM

This has to do with the partition table. The well-established "MBR" partition table format can only format up to 2.2 TiB. Drives over that size must be initialized with the "GPT" partition format. This is below the level of the filesystem that you format partitions with, and must be done with the disk unpartitioned.

Go into Disk Mangler, make sure that all partitions on the drive are erased (there's nothing on the drive that you need yet, is there?), and Initialize the drive with the GPT format. You can now create and format partitions on the drive using its full size, even a single large partition.

Unless your motherboard uses UEFI (EUFI?), you will not be able to boot from this drive. You will be able to access it just fine.
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June 3, 2011 1:13:29 PM

When I try to use the built in Windows 7 Disc Manager [64bit] it shows as 2TB only. Yes it is a brand new 3tb blank drive from Newegg. I got a few of them since on sale :pt1cable:  ... You mean if I select the drive and then initialize it... it would allow me to select the drive and format it as GPT format? or am I missing something steps here..??
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 289 G Storage
June 3, 2011 1:17:25 PM

Not missing anything. As long as there are no partitions on the drive, right-click on its image at the bottom, select Initialize, and there should be a choice for GPT. I'm at work with XP right now, so I can't check by trying it.

That's probably why they were on sale; no one could figure out how to use them. I once got a notebook machine at a ridiculous price because "it wasn't working." I had to re-install the OS, which I would have done anyway.
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a c 228 $ Windows 7
a c 371 G Storage
June 3, 2011 1:50:21 PM

WyomingKnott said:
Not missing anything. As long as there are no partitions on the drive, right-click on its image at the bottom, select Initialize, and there should be a choice for GPT. I'm at work with XP right now, so I can't check by trying it.


Correct, when initializing a raw drive the first thing that pops up is a choice of MBR or GPT partitioning.
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June 3, 2011 1:58:46 PM

Thanks so much everyone I will try it later at home when I get back from work
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June 3, 2011 2:46:31 PM

even if Windows 7 shows as 2TB when I click on GPT partionining ... but if do so it will change after formatting it? Thanks so much
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 289 G Storage
June 3, 2011 3:36:57 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
If your motherboard uses an intel chipset, you may need to update the RST.

Thanks, Hawkeye. I keep taking those drivers for granted.
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a c 288 G Storage
June 4, 2011 12:22:34 AM

I would examine the drive with a diagnostic utility such as HD Sentinel or HDDScan. Make a note of the number of LBAs reported by the drive. A 2TB drive will report about 3,906,250,000, whereas a 3TB will have 5,859,375,000.

Gigabyte motherboards with an Xpress recovery BIOS have (or had?) a bug that caused the primary drive's capacity to be truncated by 1TB after the BIOS wrote a backup copy of itself to a hidden HPA at the end of the drive.

I doubt that this is your problem, but it's worth checking.
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