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3 tb hard drive only shows 2 tb. Whats the problem?

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December 30, 2011 6:49:27 PM

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?

What should I initialize my hard drive as if I want to format it using ExFat?

a c 415 G Storage
December 30, 2011 7:51:20 PM

If you use a GPT partition table then you shouldn't have any problems formatting the whole 3GB as a NTFS partition.

I assume this is a USB drive? The USB protocol uses SCSI commands which don't support a drive larger than 2TB if it has 512-byte sectors. To get around this, the USB-to-eSATA chipsets use two different strategies:

1) Make it look like the drive uses larger sectors
2) Split the one drive up into two "logical devices".

It sounds like your drive is doing the latter. I understand that the USB chipset can be flashed to change to behaviour (1), which is much more preferable, IMHO. See this post: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274015-32-external-us...
December 30, 2011 8:19:41 PM

3tb new tech and mainboard require.
Make sure that your mainboard can handle 3tb hdd.
Check if there are any firmware update.
If it's not then go with Sminlal said.
split the one hard drive with 2 partition.
1.5tb and 1.5tb

good luck
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a c 311 G Storage
December 31, 2011 2:12:11 AM

Did you format the drive using a GPT (GUID Partition Table rather than MBR (Master Boot Record? You must use GBT to format a drive over 2.2 Tb. Take a look in disk management and see what type partition that the drive has -- if MBR, unpartition and repartition using a GPT.
a c 311 G Storage
December 31, 2011 2:26:54 AM

OlympusHAXXX said:
I found this good website that talks about MBR and UEFI and GPT. Apparently I have to change the boot mode.

http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/extras/w/wiki/2...

Does anyone know of a quicker way to wipe a hard drive faster then Active Kill Disk?


Just go into Disk Management and unpartition the drive, then correctly repartition.
December 31, 2011 4:01:16 AM

RealBeast said:
Just go into Disk Management and unpartition the drive, then correctly repartition.


The initial problem is that the 2.7 tb hard drive shows only as 1.99 tb and the rest is "Unallocated space". So there is a partition of 1.99 tb and then there is about 700 gb of unallocated space. So the problem is that there is about .7 tb of hard drive space that you cannot re-partition or format or do anything to. So in order to get back to where you have to initialize the hard drive you have to wipe the hard drive somehow and I am doing this by wiping it with Active Kill Disk. The problem with active kill disk is it takes like 10-15 hours to wipe my entire drive.

Does anyone know of a quick way to wipe a hard drive back before the initialization (GPT or MBR) step?

Best solution

a c 415 G Storage
December 31, 2011 6:18:31 AM
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OK, I didn't realize at first that you're trying to use this as a boot drive. You can't boot from a GPT drive unless the motherboard supports EFI (extended firmware interface), and I don't see that listed in the motherboard specs.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table#Windo... and note the columns on whether or not you can boot using PC/BIOS vs. EFI

Since you can only use the whole 3TB if you partition using GPT, and since you can't partition using GPT without an EFI BIOS, you're out of luck. If you want to use the whole 3GB, you'll have to boot from a smaller drive and use this as a data drive.
December 31, 2011 9:11:22 PM

Best answer selected by OlympusHAXXX.
December 31, 2011 9:11:38 PM

sminlal said:
OK, I didn't realize at first that you're trying to use this as a boot drive. You can't boot from a GPT drive unless the motherboard supports EFI (extended firmware interface), and I don't see that listed in the motherboard specs.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUID_Partition_Table#Windo... and note the columns on whether or not you can boot using PC/BIOS vs. EFI

Since you can only use the whole 3TB if you partition using GPT, and since you can't partition using GPT without an EFI BIOS, you're out of luck. If you want to use the whole 3GB, you'll have to boot from a smaller drive and use this as a data drive.



Right thanks! Now I understand. It wasn't letting me install windows 7 on a GPT drive becuase I didn't have UEFI bios.
!