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To see if hdd partition table is MBR or GPT

Last response: in Storage
a b G Storage
November 2, 2012 3:58:09 PM

Is there an easy way to determine the type of partition, MBR or GPT of an hdd?
a c 93 G Storage
November 2, 2012 4:14:56 PM

Yep, go to Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management/Disk Management and you can get the info for all connected storage devices.

Good luck!
a b G Storage
November 2, 2012 4:46:23 PM

I did check Disk Management but it doesn't tell me the partition type.
It says for example
2794.52 GB NTFS
Healty (Active, Primary Partition)

Since it is a 3tb hd it should be GPT?
But I swear I had partitioned it MBR using Acronis TIH 2013 Tools/Add New Disk
Related resources
a c 93 G Storage
November 2, 2012 4:51:59 PM

Click on the Disk (i.e. Disk 0). Then right click and select Properties. Look at the Volumes tab. The answer is there.
a b G Storage
November 2, 2012 5:15:14 PM

Right! I had done this before but that page was empty. When I clicked "Populate" the information came.

It says partition style MBR, capacity 2861588 MB.
So it seems GPT is not essential for 3 tb I suppose...

Thank you very much.

a c 93 G Storage
November 2, 2012 5:19:21 PM

You are most welcome! Have fun!!
a c 371 G Storage
November 2, 2012 5:22:51 PM

That doesn't sound right at all. Windows won't let you create MBR partitions that large. I'm surprised true image would do it either. It should be a GPT partition.

MBR partition entries and the MBR boot code used in commercial operating systems, however, are limited to 32 bits. Therefore, the maximum disk size supported by the MBR partitioning scheme (without using non-standard methods) is limited to 2 TB. Consequently, a different partitioning scheme must be used for larger disks, as they have become widely available since the 2010s. The MBR partitioning scheme is therefore in the process of being superseded by the GUID partitioning scheme (GPT).
a c 371 G Storage
November 2, 2012 6:19:14 PM

If you use Diskpart's "list disk" command it should show if it's GPT or not.
a b G Storage
November 2, 2012 6:33:19 PM

I will be using this external 3.5” Seagate Backup Plus disk with my PopCorn Hour C-200 media player.

1. I tried to partition it 2+1 tb using Windows Disk Management. It produced a 2 tb partition and refused to partition the unallocated 700 gb leftover.

2. I switched to Acronis TIH 2013 tools add a disk and selected GPT partition. But the media player refused to see the GPT partition.

3. I returned back to Acronis and produced 2+1 tb MBR this time. The media player saw the 2 tb partition but not the other partition.

4. Then using Acronis I partitioned the whole thing MBR. It was done. PC sees it, media player sees it.

5. After saving all my video files to the disk I will see if I’ll have any glitches when attached to the media player. In the end I may have to format the disk linux ext2 or ext3 which the media player actually prefers.

a b G Storage
November 2, 2012 6:33:30 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
If you use Diskpart's "list disk" command it should show if it's GPT or not.

I will do that.
a c 371 G Storage
November 2, 2012 7:04:14 PM

It loks as if the new advanced format drives may have something to do with it. reading furthe in the wikipedia link I posted, I found this...

For disks that present a sector size other than 512-bytes, there are limitations as well. A sector size of 4,096 results in an eight-fold increase in the size of a partition that can be defined using MBR, up to 16 TiB−4,096 bytes.[citation needed] Versions of Windows more recent than Windows XP support the larger sector sizes as well as Mac OS X, and the Linux kernel has supported larger sector sizes since 2.6.31[17] or 2.6.32,[18] but issues with boot loaders, partitioning tools and computer BIOS implementations present certain limitations.[19]
a b G Storage
November 2, 2012 7:22:59 PM

I understand Seagate ships their 3 tb externals pre-partitioned MBR and formatted NTFS.
How do I come to this conclusion? Out of the box the disk was recognized by the media player. If it was GPT partitioned then the media player wouldn’t see it.
Later because of some problems I had to delete the existing partitions and tried to put a new partition.

Acronis TIH probably offered me to manually change sector size settings other than its defaults but I didn’t see in my haste.

Thank you.
a b G Storage
November 2, 2012 8:20:23 PM

I have noticed that when I select Format with Windows Explorer, all my other drives (largest partition 1.5 tb) offer Allocation Unit Size of 512 Bytes to 64 Kbytes. Only this 3 TB drive is offered to be formatted 4096 Bytes to 64 Kbytes (nothing under 4096 bytes).
a c 288 G Storage
November 3, 2012 9:13:57 AM

The USB-SATA bridge firmware in Seagate's external GoFlex drives is configured for 4KB LBAs rather than 512-bytes. The actual HDD behind the bridge still emulates 512e sector sizes even though it is an Advanced Format model. This is the case for WD's 3TB My Books as well.

Therefore, the actual MBR partition limit for a 4Kn USB mass storage device is 16GiB, not 2GiB.

In short, there is nothing wrong with your setup. The reason that Seagate chooses to do it this way is so that their GoFlex drives can be used with Windows XP straight out the box.

To see the logical and physical sector sizes, type ...

fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo X:

... where X: is the drive letter.

Edit: You could capture the output of the fsutil command to a text file as follows:

fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo X: > outfil.txt

Another way to capture the screen output is to click the "C:\" icon at the top left corner of the window, select Edit -> Mark, drag your cursor over the screen area to be copied, and then select Edit -> Copy. Then switch to your browser (or word processor, etc) and paste the contents of the clipboard into your application (Edit -> Paste or Ctrl-V).
a b G Storage
November 3, 2012 2:12:02 PM

I have typed the commands you specified,
1. For drive d: - a 250 gb partition on a 2 tb hdd
2. For drive i: - the 3 tb usb external drive

My initial problem while using this drive with my PopCorn Hour media player was this:
Whatever I saved to the drive when attached to my PC, I could play through my media player.
But when I attached the drive to the media player and saved files from my PC through the Ethernet network connection the video files were unplayable and txt (srt-subtitle) files were garbled.
When I reconnected the drive to the PC, deleted the faulty files and re-saved them it didn’t work. Apparently more damage than I first thought was done on the filing system. Then I had to reformat the drive.

Thank you.
a c 288 G Storage
November 3, 2012 7:05:37 PM

I could be wrong, but I suspect that PopCorn cannot handle external drives with 4KB logical sector sizes. As a test, it might be interesting to see if you can write a 512-byte file without corruption, and then try to do the same with a 4KB file (via Ethernet).

As for the fsutil output, it is evident that the "Bytes Per Sector" (logical) and "Bytes Per Physical Sector" are both 4096 rather than 512 bytes. I believe that's the reason for your compatibility problems.