Formatting large disks in windows, 4tb shows up as ~1.63tb

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guardian452
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Formatting large disks in windows, 4tb shows up as ~1.63tb

Unread postby guardian452 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:00 pm

So... I had some old 4TB disks that I was using in my mac pro for storage. I put one in a G-tech enclosure (model GD4) and connected via USB to windows machine. I formatted it in the usual way (Disk Management) to make an NTFS partition. But there was still a leftover ~200MB efi partition that windows couldn't do anything with because it was marked protected IIRC, which in hindsight I should have just left alone.

But I decided to get rid of that so I used diskpart and ran the "clean" command to get rid of the efi partition... and now the disk shows up as around 1.63tb.

Googling around, the internet's solution is to replace your enclosure/controller or update the firmware. However, I know this isn't the issue because the disk originally showed up as 4tb.

Yes, it is still GPT partitions...

Uhhh... help?

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Re: Formatting large disks in windows, 4tb shows up as ~1.63tb

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:17 pm

Strange. Try this:

Open diskpart again.

Select disk $diskno
clean
create partition primary
active
format FS=NTFS quick
assign letter=$anyletter

Then reboot and see if it shows up correctly. Otherwise it's the enclosure.
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Re: Formatting large disks in windows, 4tb shows up as ~1.63tb

Unread postby Y888099 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:31 am

For a similar problem, and in order to check the sanity of the hard drive, I invoked badblocks

Code: Select all

RedQueen# badblocks -swv /dev/sdb


  • -s shows the progress of the scan by writing out rough percentage completion of the current badblocks pass over the disk.
  • -w forces the write-mode test, badblocks will write some patterns on every block of the device, reading every block and comparing the contents. It completely erases the partition table's contents, therefore you will need to recreate it.
  • -v forces into verbose mode, badblocks will write the number of read errors, write errors and data-corruptions to stderr.

It will take a while, but you can also force num_passes=0 instead of =1 (default).
-p #num_passes badblocks repeats the scanning of the disk until there are no new blocks discovered in # num_passes consecutive scans of the disk. Sometimes, on some distro, the default is 0, meaning badblocks will exit after the first pass. Sometimes it's 1. If you want to be sure, use the -p parameter.
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Re: Formatting large disks in windows, 4tb shows up as ~1.63tb

Unread postby guardian452 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:33 pm

Raion-Fox wrote:Strange. Try this:

Open diskpart again.

Select disk $diskno
clean
create partition primary
active
format FS=NTFS quick
assign letter=$anyletter

Then reboot and see if it shows up correctly. Otherwise it's the enclosure.


Yep, it's the enclosure... followed your instructions and it didn't work... I then put the disk back in my macpro and was able to reformat again to the full 4tb.. Which Windows still didn't know how to use (in fact, it hung when I plugged in the disk + enclosure this time with one 4tb partition and no FS at all). So this enclosure is stuck with the 1tb disk it came with.

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Re: Formatting large disks in windows, 4tb shows up as ~1.63tb

Unread postby japes » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:12 am

I just did this with a G-Tech enclosure (fw800/usb2/esata) myself with a 3TB drive, ended up buying a 2TB drive instead.
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Re: Formatting large disks in windows, 4tb shows up as ~1.63tb

Unread postby Y888099 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:32 am

I wonder what's wrong in the protocol converter (USB to sATA) inside the enclosure :roll:
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Re: Formatting large disks in windows, 4tb shows up as ~1.63tb

Unread postby guardian452 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:33 am

It's just really old. When I bought the disk the options were 250, 500, and 1000 gb... but it's a nice quiet enclosure with beefy heatsink (no fan). The light on front is obnoxious when in use but I fixed that by unplugging the bulb.

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Re: Formatting large disks in windows, 4tb shows up as ~1.63tb

Unread postby japes » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:57 pm

so bright and strobing. I might unplug or modify the light if I end up using it.
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