Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Will initializing my 3TB HDD erase the data?

Last response: in Storage
Share
November 22, 2012 2:37:15 AM

I have a WD30EZRX that's currently in its own enclosure, there aren't any problems with it but I'm trying to consolidate all of my drives in a 4-bay RAID enclosure. Basically what happens is it's recognized by HD Tune but not in Windows (7) Explorer. I hooked it back up to the old enclosure and thankfully my data's still there. Will initializing it on the new enclosure also format it, and is this some sort of gimmick of 3TB drives? Should I be cautious hooking it up to another PC?

Edit: Googled around a bit and had an idea that may or may not work... I've backed up the GPT table with fdisk and will restore it after initializing the drive tomorrow. In the meantime I'd love some more insight into this

UPDATE: GPT backup didn't help. I just reformatted and called it a day. Afterwards I put about 300mb of data on the drive in the new enclosure then put it back in the old one and once again it needed initializing. So if you're considering getting a 3TB drive, especially this model, beware. You're stuck with a single enclosure unless you want to reformat and copy over all that data.
a c 119 G Storage
November 22, 2012 2:54:03 AM

Once your drive has a partition on it and it has been formatted and data has been loaded onto it the drive no longer has to be initialized. Initializing a hard drive creates a partition on it and whatever was on it is erased.
You can't put data on a drive unless it's been initialized and a partition created and formatted.
November 22, 2012 3:00:36 AM

Yes, it's been initialized on the current enclosure and has over 2TB of data on it... When I hook it up to the new enclosure it asks to be initialized again in disk management. Maybe a quirk of this particular drive or 3TB drives in general? I had no such problems with my 2TB's in the enclosure.
a c 272 G Storage
November 23, 2012 1:59:56 AM

The USB-SATA bridge firmware in WD's 3TB external drives is configured with 4KB LBAs. If you remove such a drive from its enclosure and install it inside your PC, or in a third party enclosure, then you will expose the drive's 512-byte LBAs, in which case the file system will appear as gibberish.

!