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3TB drive showing as two bare partitions? (w/ pics)

  1. #1


    Posts : 60
    Windows 7 Professional x64

    3TB drive showing as two bare partitions? (w/ pics)


    So, to preface, this is at work.

    Our video editing guy goes through a lot of 4K footage, and has to back it up externally a LOT. Until now, we've been using these USB 3.0 3TB Seagate expansion drives. I wanted to give him a faster interface for transferring data, so I put this hotswap bay in the front of his computer...

    Click image for larger version

    Thing of beauty, at least until I pulled apart the external enclosure and put the drive into his computer... File explorer only recognized it as a RAW partition. So, I put it back in the external encosure, backed up the 1.2TB of data that was on it (which, of course, took HOURS), put it back in the hotswap bay, and formatted the drive. It gave me a 396GB partition, and nothing more. Wait, WHAT?? So, I opened disk management and saw it giving me THREE partitions. I didn't get a screenshot of this, but I deleted the first 396GB partition that I had formatted NTFS and it then gave me these two RAW partitions.

    Click image for larger version

    But here's the thing... I can't seem to join them. Nor can I do anything with the second partition:

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    I tried formatting the first partition and extending it, but that wouldn't work either... wouldn't give me the option to extend. Basically, it sees the extra 746GB of unallocated space, but Windows seems unable to do anything with it.

    Please help

    PS: Send coffee?

    EDIT: If I format the first partition, click on the unusable second partition, and go properties > volumes, it shows the previous partition. It is as though this partition is an anomaly. I don't get it. It's most definitely a 3TB drive.
    Last edited by kbronski; 21 Aug 2015 at 21:03.

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  2. #2


    Posts : 75
    Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit


    Check the specifications of your hotswap dock. Can it handle drives >2TB ? Most probably not. That is why it sees only 2TB.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    3tb Drives


    Hiya you may need to format the drive in GPT i think that's right . May need to google it to check how to do it ,
    its done from Computer Management in control panel

    Hope this helps
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  4. #4


    Posts : 75
    Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit


    Hiya, Brilliantly wrong . Please google search on "Advanced Formatting" of HDDs
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  5. #5


    A GOOGLE search Shows



    To use any drive over 2.19 TB you will need:

    • A computer using Windows Vista or later (Windows XP isn't compatible with GPT formatted disks, so it can't see them)
    • A sata controller that is compatible (to find out if it is compatible, find out what motherboard or add-on board SATA controller you have and google it-e.g. Intel ICH8 3TB )
    • A drive that is larger than 2.19 TB

    So, if you know that you meet all three of the above requirements, follow proper installation procedures with installing a new drive and just hook it up. Depending on where you bought the drive and if it is OEM or Retail it may or may not come pre-formatted with an NTFS partition of 2TB (this is for convenience to keep people from getting upset when they hook the drive up and it doesn't appear in My Computer).


    Now, go to Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Computer Management. Choose Disk Management on the left and you should see in the lower portion of the screen a list of your installed drives. The larger drive should appear in the list with a capacity displaying on the left. Note, a 3TB drive will only have a storage capacity of LOWER than 3TB (read: when you add formatting and a file system, both of those require space on the drive, so you will not have a full 3TB of space to use-this is the nature of hard drives-you will never have the full stated capacity-ever since it is required to make the drive useable).


    Now, assuming you're using it as a data storage drive, ensure that nothing is still stored on it and right click on the partition on the right, right click the partition (if there is one on the drive already) and click "Delete Volume".


    Next, right click on the name on the left "Disk #" and choose "Convert to GPT Disk". Now this should allow you to right click on the unformatted space on the right and to create a new partition which can hold the full available capacity of your drive.


    This should work with all versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 (with the only exception being a starter edition *may not*).


    With the variety of systems now sold using UEFI instead of BIOS, you can today on those systems install Windows directly onto a drive greater than 2.19TB in size. Just ensure that your computer actually is using it before attempting to run Windows on a drive that large. It's also probably not a great idea just due to the fact that if Windows fails you will likely lose all the data on that partition.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 75
    Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit


    Brilliant. But doesn't address the OP's problem.

    Inside the USB enclosure, the drive showed up as 3 TB and he had no problems using it .He had 1.2TB data also in it. But when he removed it from the USB enclosure and plugged it into the Hotswap bay, things changed. He saw the drive as RAW. Why? He put it back into the USB enclosure and everything was normal and he wisely backed up all data. Put it back into the hotswap Bay and the strange things started happening.

    Does your theory explain this? Why is it a normal 3TB in the USB enclosure but different in the hotswap bay?

    You are definitely learning with the google search but direct your google search specific to the OP's probem.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 60
    Windows 7 Professional x64


    Hi jumanji,

    I could not find any specifications regarding the max capacity of drive supported. The hotswap bay is a Kingwin KF-1000-BK. It is "driverless", and I've discovered it's not even a true hotswap bay; in order to add or remove a drive and have it actually show up in the system, I have to shut down the computer. So I'll be looking into getting a *real* hotswap bay to hopefully avert this issue. In the meantime, I'll test the hdd itself by plugging it in directly, and not using the hotswap bay as a medium. If I still have issues, I'll look into re-formatting the drive with GPT.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 60
    Windows 7 Professional x64


    MaryMillington was correct in that I needed to convert the disk to GPT. It works fine in the bay now. I figured out that I need to enable AHCI on the motherboard to configure the hard drive for hot swapping, so now I'm reading up on that. Hopefully I can do it without having to do a RAID... *reading ferociously*


    =====

    Okay, I have solved the entire issue. I have pulled the mask off of the villain, so to speak.

    The reason why the disk was not recognizing in the SATA port was because Seagate has factory-formatted the disk as exFAT (likely for compatibility across platforms). So the solution was to back up, format, delete the partition in disk management, convert it to GPT, and re-format. This enabled the drive to work over SATA and gave me access to the full drive.

    The reason why the drive would not hot swap was because, despite AHCI being enabled in the BIOS, ASUS Z97 boards apparently have an additional "hot plug" feature that needed to be enabled for the SATA port. I figured it out, and now everything is golden!
    Last edited by kbronski; 24 Aug 2015 at 18:59.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Glad That You Got It Sorted
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  10. #10


    Posts : 75
    Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit


    OK, fine. Now put that 3TB drive back into the USB enclosure and let me know what happens. Does it still show as a 3TB drive? Are you still able to read and write to it? ( I know for certain that all Seagate external drives >2TB until recently were MBR formatted )

    "Our new Expansion drives come out of the box partitioned GPT, but our older line of Expansion drives came partitioned out of the box MBR; there was no size limitation with any operating system, even Windows XP. We were able to do this because these drives came with 4K sector sizes and a special bridge card installed on them to get past the 2.2TB limitation. We stopped manufacturing these drives this way, because Windows XP is no longer a supported operating system, additionally the current Expansion drives enable Windows 7 users to use them with the Windows 7 Image Backup program.

    • So in short, the newer model of Expansion drives will not work without size limitation on Windows XP 32-bit and the older models of the Expansion drive will."


    Now that you have formatted it into GPT, put it back inside the USB enclosure, and let me know what happens.( I do not know whether you formatted it as a GPT inside the hotswap/as an internal drive /or inside the USB enclosure.) What effect the special bridge card has when you have changed the original MBR format to GPT?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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