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Problem using 3TB HDD as boot disk

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June 10, 2012 3:03:28 AM

Hello everyone,

So, last summer I built myself a nice new machine, including a Western Digital 2TB hard drive (I'll list the rest of my specs later). Recently, I wanted to upgrade to a 3TB drive, so I sold my 2TB to a friend, and went out and bought a 3TB drive. The cheapest one I was able to find was actually the Seagate GoFlex 3TB external drive, so I bought that, opened up the case, and put it in my desktop. I then encountered a bunch of unexpected problems with using a drive greater than 2.2TB. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my motherboard has UEFI BIOS, so larger drives are supported, but I'm still having problems. Originally, I was having problems installing Windows on it, but eventually I learned that I needed to use GPT rather than MBR, so I did. I was finally able to get Windows on the drive, but when I boot up and go to either my computer or disk manager, the primary partition only shows up as 2.00TB, and the remaining 700 or so TB show up as unallocated space that I can't do anything with. It almost seems as if, even though I cleared the drive and created a new GPT partition table on it immediately before installing Windows on it, Windows changed it from GPT to MBR during the installation process. Please let me know if anyone know how to use a 3TB hard drive as a boot drive, and use all 3TB of it.

My specs are as follows:
Motherboard: ASUS P8P67 Pro (Rev 3.0) LGA 1155
Processor: Intel Sandy Bridge Core i7-2600K
GPU: 2x EVGA 01G-P3-1560-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) in SLI
RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB)
HDD: Seagate STAC3000102 3TB
ODD: LG N82E16827136181 Blu-Ray Burner
Anonymous
a b G Storage
June 10, 2012 3:23:16 AM

you can't just use the unallocated space as another partition?
June 10, 2012 3:27:04 AM

No, it won't let me create a partition with the unallocated space. It does offer expanding the primary partition as an option, butt when I try to do that it comes up with an error message that says that the partition size can't exceed 2TB.
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Anonymous
a b G Storage
June 10, 2012 3:32:06 AM

and the BIOS recognizes all 3 TBs?
June 10, 2012 3:34:15 AM

Yes, the BIOS recognizes all 3TB. Everything in my computer recognizes the 3TB, but when I have it set up as my boot drive, I can only use 2TB of it.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
June 10, 2012 3:47:04 AM

ok. since i haven't install windows on a 3TB drive i do not know the exact steps. i am trying to figure out if during the process you did not allocate all 3TBs to the GPT.
June 10, 2012 3:50:57 AM

Well, as it is now, when I made the GPT (which I tried using Windows and Linux), I left it unallocated. The first time I tried this, I created the GPT and then formatted it as NTFS, but then when I tried to install Windows, I got an error saying that Windows cannot be installed on the drive because it was GPT.
June 10, 2012 3:54:35 AM

Ok to install this correctly you need to boot from a Win 7 64bit disk on the UEFI part of the Win7 disk seems you booted from the MBR part of it. Booting to the UEFI part will allow you to use GPT which should give you to access all 3TB of that disk when used as a boot disk. When you go to install windows go into the BIOS then select the UEFI section of the windows disk from the boot menu.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
June 10, 2012 3:56:41 AM

did you press shift-F10 to create the partition during the install process?
June 10, 2012 3:58:04 AM

No I created the partition before I ran the Windows install.
June 10, 2012 4:00:57 AM

caqde said:
Ok to install this correctly you need to boot from a Win 7 64bit disk on the UEFI part of the Win7 disk seems you booted from the MBR part of it. Booting to the UEFI part will allow you to use GPT which should give you to access all 3TB of that disk when used as a boot disk. When you go to install windows go into the BIOS then select the UEFI section of the windows disk from the boot menu.


I am booting from a Windows 7 Ultimate x64 disk. What do you mean by booting from the UEFI part of the disk?
June 10, 2012 4:04:43 AM

ws1173 said:
I am booting from a Windows 7 Ultimate x64 disk. What do you mean by booting from the UEFI part of the disk?


If you look in the BIOS(UEFI) when you have that disk in your drive you will notice there are two boot options for that disk listed one says the device name the other says UEFI (device name). I have a ASUS M5A99X (with ASUS UEFI) and that is how it is listed based on your motherboard our BIOS's should be pretty similar. You will want to select the UEFI device from that list the BIOS defaults to booting to the MBR section which doesn't work for GPT partitions. Although if it is like mine you can change that somewhere in the advanced settings. (I don't remember where though).
June 10, 2012 4:07:46 AM

caqde said:
If you look in the BIOS(UEFI) when you have that disk in your drive you will notice there are two boot options for that disk listed one says the device name the other says UEFI (device name). I have a ASUS M5A99X (with ASUS UEFI) and that is how it is listed based on your motherboard our BIOS's should be pretty similar. You will want to select the UEFI device from that list the BIOS defaults to booting to the MBR section which doesn't work for GPT partitions. Although if it is like mine you can change that somewhere in the advanced settings. (I don't remember where though).


I remember reading this somewhere else earlier today when I was trying to figure this all out, but I do not see two options in the UEFI BIOS. Is it possible that it's an issue with the ODD I'm using?
Anonymous
a b G Storage
June 10, 2012 4:12:28 AM

ws1173 said:
Well, I tried it a couple different ways. The first time, I booted up from my former, 2TB hard drive, with my new 3TB drive installed, and created the GPT on the 3TB through disk manager. The second time, I booted from an Ubuntu disk, and used GParted to create the GPT.

it looks like caqde has ACTUALLY done this and i haven't.

i shall lurk . .
June 10, 2012 4:16:38 AM

Might be an issue with the disk or BIOS.. I doubt it is an issue with the drive as the drive is literally dumb when it comes to MBR/GPT etc it doesn't know what it is reading it is just told to read or write it just wants to know what, where, and how. Try updating to the latest firmware for your MB and see if that helps. Otherwise you might need to burn a Win 7 x64 disk that has its UEFI boot sector in tact. I've had a Win 8 disk that didn't have it so I wouldn't be surprised if some win 7 disks don't.

EDIT: thought though safest bet would be burning a newer Win 7 x64 disk as there should be two listed for those disks especially if it is an x64 disk.
June 10, 2012 4:48:36 AM

This is going to sound stupid, but how do I go about updating the firmware on my Motherboard?
June 10, 2012 5:01:30 AM

Ok, I'll try that first thing in the morning (my computer is actually at my friend's house). Thanks!
June 10, 2012 5:41:23 PM

So, I updated my UEFI BIOS to the latest version, and it still isn't working. When I was updating the BIOS, the flash drive that I was using came up in the BIOS as "UEFI: USB 2.0...", but the DVD drive I'm using to install Windows still doesn't come up with a UEFI option. Does that mean there's something wrong with the install DVD I'm using?
June 10, 2012 5:48:32 PM

So, what I had assumed earlier might have been the problem definitely is. I created the GUID Partition Table using Ubuntu, and then installed Windows, but when I boot from the drive and go into disk management, it says there that the partition style is MBR.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
June 10, 2012 5:53:18 PM

boot into the ubuntu live CD, delete all the partitions on the disk, reboot into the windows 7 installation DVD and let it do the work.
June 10, 2012 5:55:28 PM

Do you mean delete all partitions, and don't even create a partition table at all?
June 10, 2012 8:41:41 PM

Ok, I updated the BIOS to the latest firmware, reset the CMOS, deleted all partitions on the drive, converted it to GPT through a command prompt window during Windows setup, and I'm making one last attempt at installing Windows on it. If this doesn't work, I'll really be stumped.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
June 10, 2012 9:13:11 PM

it will be fine starting over from scratch and letting window handle the partitioning.
June 10, 2012 9:45:46 PM

Unfortunately, it wasn't fine :(  It still does it as MBR, and only recognizes 2TB of the HDD.
Anonymous
a b G Storage
June 10, 2012 10:09:11 PM

it looks like this is a prevalent problem looking around. it seems most people bail out by getting a small SSD to boot window off of. :( 
June 10, 2012 10:16:52 PM

Yeah, I suppose that is a possibility, but I'm trying to avoid that. Especially since even a cheap, small SSD will cost almost as much as my 3TB drive is costing me. Has ANYONE here successfully installed Windows on a 3TB Hard Drive, booted from it, and been able to use all 3TB?
June 11, 2012 6:33:01 AM

There is definitely a problem with your Windows DVD as it doesn't contain the UEFI boot information like that USB 2.0 device you had in it. You will need another Win 7 x64 Ultimate disk image to install windows from that contains that information to correctly install windows. Without that information it will only install using MBR.
June 4, 2013 9:33:26 AM

ws1173 said:
Yeah, I suppose that is a possibility, but I'm trying to avoid that. Especially since even a cheap, small SSD will cost almost as much as my 3TB drive is costing me. Has ANYONE here successfully installed Windows on a 3TB Hard Drive, booted from it, and been able to use all 3TB?


I can install win 7 64bit to my 3tb as a bootable uefi drive. However when trying to upgrade win 7 to win 8 pro i cannot! It just refuses to upgrade! Microsoft are divs! They cant even put out the correct iso to install from. Why they are being tight and not letting u just download a full iso so u can install clean instead of having to upgrade is ridiculous! I managed to do it last october (by some flippin miracle!) but alas i cannot anymore! I am residing to the suggestion of getting an ssd to boot from n then use my 3tb for data. Crappy microsoft! Such incompetance!
June 4, 2013 10:20:38 AM

steveyg777 said:
ws1173 said:
Yeah, I suppose that is a possibility, but I'm trying to avoid that. Especially since even a cheap, small SSD will cost almost as much as my 3TB drive is costing me. Has ANYONE here successfully installed Windows on a 3TB Hard Drive, booted from it, and been able to use all 3TB?


I can install win 7 64bit to my 3tb as a bootable uefi drive. However when trying to upgrade win 7 to win 8 pro i cannot! It just refuses to upgrade! Microsoft are divs! They cant even put out the correct iso to install from. Why they are being tight and not letting u just download a full iso so u can install clean instead of having to upgrade is ridiculous! I managed to do it last october (by some flippin miracle!) but alas i cannot anymore! I am residing to the suggestion of getting an ssd to boot from n then use my 3tb for data. Crappy microsoft! Such incompetance!


You might want to redownload your disk. As I was able to get the proper disk after redownloading my Windows 8 disk as I use UEFI on my main desktop. The original disk I downloaded when Microsoft was having the Win8 upgrade deal had an issue that caused it not to have the UEFI partition along with some other minor files. These have been corrected as of recent so I would try and redownload your disk.
!