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3TB disk seen as 746GB on Windows 7 64bit

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25 replies to this topic

#1
standingbear

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I have a WD Caviar Green 3TB WD30EZRX-00MMMB0 disk. I try to install it on a Windows 7 64bit machine, which has an ASRock 960GM/U3S3 FX mobo. The bios is the latest according to the ASRock's site, and it recognizes the drive as a 3TB disk. But when I use Windows' computer management console to partition the disk, it shows the disk being only 746GB in capacity. The disk has been configured as a GPT when the computer management console first detects it.

This problem seems to be rather common according to google, but there aren't any good solutions. For example, people usually suggests to get the latest driver, which my machine tells me it already has; and other suggestions include to get the latest Intel Rapid Storage Technology, but my system is AMD so it is not even applicable.

But the strange thing is, I stick the disk into a Macally SATA USB enclosure and plugged it into a 32bit Windows vista machine, it recognizes the disk as being 3TB (2796-some GB to be more exact). So I am quite mind boggled. I initially thought it to be a problem with Windows 7 because the BIOS seems to detect the disk just fine; but the use of the enclosure seems to suggest it is a hardware related issue, because I highly doubt that 64bit windows 7 fails to recognize the disk while 32bit Windows vista succeeds (but then again, anything is possible with Microsoft).

I am just wondering if anyone has any information regarding this issue? Thanks.

Just want to add, I also tried ASRock's 3TB+ Unlocker on the windows 7 machine but it didn't make any difference. Despite all the touts by ASRock's website on how great this unlocker is, it has no documentation whatsoever on how to use the 3TB+ unlocker. Does anyone know how it should be used?

Edited by standingbear, 20 December 2012 - 08:03 AM.



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#2
jaclaz

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The "queer" thing is the "746 Gb" which doesn't sound as any of the "common" or "known" values, like the 2.2 Tb or 2.199 Tb barrier.

BUT, this:
http://www.anandtech...ives-reviewed/2
actually has a 746.52 Gb screenshot being the difference between the whole 3 Tb and the above mentioned 2.2 Tb barrier.

Can you post a screenshot of Disk Manager on your machine?

jaclaz

#3
Tripredacus

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Only boot volumes require to be GPT disk if over 2TB. Is this 3TB disk a blank disk, a boot disk from another PC, or the boot disk for this PC?
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#4
standingbear

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jaclaz and Tripredacus, thank you for the replies. I will answer your questions one by one below.

1. jaclaz, I don't have the screenshot from my system, but a google search shows that several people experienced a similar problem with 3TB disks, although theirs may not necessarily be the same brand of disk, and also not always with windows 7 64bit, and sometimes their bios also failed to recognize the disk capacity. But for all practical purpose, the link below contains a screenshot that should look the same if I took one from my machine.
http://www.servetheh...rd-drive-issue/

2. Tripredacus (and jaclaz, you may find this extra bit of information interesting), To be exact, this disk (00MMMB0) is a refurbished replacement (Dragon disk) disk sent by WD to replace a failed 3TB caviar green disk (also a WD30EZRX, but 00DC0B0 model), and it is not a boot disk. the 00DC0B0 disk was also partitioned and formatted as GPT disk with the same enclosure on the same win vista 32bit machine, but entirely by chance (because when I first got the disk, my 64bit bare-bone machine was still being built). After the machine arrived, I used an intel SSD as the boot disk, and stuck the partitioned 00DC0B0 into the machine and it was being recognized just fine. So I suspect that if I stick the partitioned 00MMMB0 into the 64bit machine now, it will also be recognized fine (I cannot do that yet, because I am still transferring data to it).

#5
jaclaz

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But for all practical purpose, the link below contains a screenshot that should look the same if I took one from my machine.
http://www.servetheh...rd-drive-issue/

Yep :), OK, but the issue is that that one is about a (known) issue with certain versions of the Intel Storage drivers.
There are similar reports about nvidia drivers, but not anyone (that I can find) about the Asmedia controller/drivers that your motherboard seemingly has.
Here is a link to the Nvidia link:
https://forums.gefor...sn-t-work-33-/1
in this case it seems more like an issue with having the Windows re-detect the hardware.

About the Asrock 3Tb+ thingy it should be "irrelevant" and "out of the scope" as it is intended for 32 bit systems for all that I can get (and probably listed by mistake on the 7 x64 page by Asrock).

What I would personally do would be to try booting a Linux LiveCD, such as PartedMagic:
http://partedmagic.com/doku.php
and verify that the disk is seen in it's entirety. :unsure:

In the case of the mentioned site it was the actual driver, by testing it under parted magic we can verify if this is the case, or if it is something else (like a "botched" or however not fully correct GPT partitioning "from factory" - possibly additionally combined with a "queer" driver).

Not necessarily what is happening to you, but if the disk has been partitioned (as mostly seemingly happens) as 2.2 Tb GPT with an unallocated 746 Gb space, it is possible that somehow the "protective" MBR creates the mess (or part of it).

Then (still what I personally would do) would be to simply 00 out first sector of the disk, reboot and see what happens when Disk Manager re-accesses it (it should prompt a request to "Initialize the disk").

Besides the above, do check that you have this hotfix in your installed 7:
http://support.micro...kb/982018/en-us
It may (or may not) be part of the story.

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 20 December 2012 - 11:16 AM.


#6
standingbear

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thanks jaclaz. I will try these things you suggested. It sounds like I should DBAN the disk *before* doing anything to it... I was just copying data to it since last night, probably have to DBAN them out, try it on Win 7 and see if it fixed the problem... I deserve that for doing stuff *before* asking for help.

#7
jaclaz

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thanks jaclaz. I will try these things you suggested. It sounds like I should DBAN the disk *before* doing anything to it... I was just copying data to it since last night, probably have to DBAN them out, try it on Win 7 and see if it fixed the problem... I deserve that for doing stuff *before* asking for help.

No need whatsoever to "DBAN" anything! :no:

You need (at the most) to write 512 bytes, NOT to wipe a whole disk :w00t: .

Wiping a disk takes TIME and DBAN is not faster than other solutions (actually it is slower than the internal SATA Erase) and it is a 3 TB drive, it would mean several hours (and no it is not very good for a disk to be in full use for hours).

Most probably you could do with just the two bytes of the Magic Number 55AA,

Of course the whole idea is to start form scratch (and losing any data currently on the disk).

jaclaz

#8
cdob

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I have a WD Caviar Green 3TB WD30EZRX-00MMMB0 disk. I try to install it on a Windows 7 64bit machine, which has an ASRock 960GM/U3S3 FX mobo. The bios is the latest according to the ASRock's site

Which BIOS version do you use?

To which storage controller is connected the WD disk? AMD or Asmedia?

to get the latest driver, which my machine tells me it already has

Which mass storage controller driver do you use? Name the version too.

I stick the disk into a Macally SATA USB enclosure

That's another case. Windows uses USB drivers that way.

#9
standingbear

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@jaclaz ah crap. i already started DBAN and it won't finish until 12 hours later... and there is no way to stop the process :-(

@cdob i will have to get back to you on the information. The SATA 3 controllers are definitely Asmedia, but I am not sure about the SATA 2 controllers and this disk is only plugged to an SATA 2 port. please stay tuned.

#10
standingbear

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@jaclaz the reason I used DBAN was because the WD erasure tool (Data LifeGuard) had many errors while writing zeros the disk, not sure if that means some sectors are already bad on this replacement disk. but i bit the bullet and powered off the computer in order to stop DBAN.
the interesting thing is that when I stick a properly partitioned disk to the 64bit box, it also showed up as 2.79TB, but after I wiped it clean, and made it a GPT using computer management console, it showed it as 746GB.


@cdob the AMBIOS version is 1.20
SATA controller is Asmedia 106x under Storage controllers, driver version 1.2.2.0, but there is also an AMD SATA Controller under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers, driver version is 1.2.0.125
Disk driver 6.1.7600.16385
as I was telling jaclaz. Inserting a USB enclosure partitioned disk, windows 7 also recognized its capacity properly. But after a low level format and made it a GPT using computer management console, it again showed up as 746GB

#11
jaclaz

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@jaclaz ah crap. i already started DBAN and it won't finish until 12 hours later... and there is no way to stop the process :-(


You already answered yourself:

I deserve that for doing stuff *before* asking for help.


For the record even *after* you actually asked for help, you started doing something that was NOT suggested to you INSTEAD of what was actually suggested. :whistle:
Noone suggested you to use DBAN, or to wipe the disk, what was suggested was to have a look at the disk from a Linux Live CD FIRST, and obviously report what happens with it.

jaclaz

#12
standingbear

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@jaclaz I did use GParted, and it detected the drive correctly as 2.73TiB. But I am not too familiar with Parted Magic.

About use of DBAN -- that is the only way I know that actually erases a disk from beginning to end. The WD's own erasure tool would not even remove the GPT. If the disk was indeed queered, I am not sure how else you could erase it. Incidentally DBAN also uses linux to boot and it also correctly detected the disk capacity.

So in any case, it seems to have proved that the problem is with the Windows 7 driver.

#13
Tripredacus

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the interesting thing is that when I stick a properly partitioned disk to the 64bit box, it also showed up as 2.79TB, but after I wiped it clean, and made it a GPT using computer management console, it showed it as 746GB.


If you are not planning on installing an OS on this disk, there is no reason to convert it to GPT.
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#14
dencorso

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About use of DBAN -- that is the only way I know that actually erases a disk from beginning to end. The WD's own erasure tool would not even remove the GPT. If the disk was indeed queered, I am not sure how else you could erase it. Incidentally DBAN also uses linux to boot and it also correctly detected the disk capacity.

Secure Erase aka HDDEraseWeb is the fastest way to completely erase an HDD. It uses ATA native commands to do it, it's much faster than common wiping. And it should work right from DOS even if the BIOS detection isn't right (= whatever the size detected), because it uses ATA native commands.

#15
cdob

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I understand: hard disk is connected to southbridge SB710.

AMD SATA Controller under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers, driver version is 1.2.0.125

Do you use IDE emulation mode? Which driver name *.sys do you use?

What about AHCI mode and default msahci.sys?
Read first:
Error message occurs after you change the SATA mode of the boot drive http://support.micro...kb/922976/en-us

#16
jaclaz

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The whole point that you (and now you are in good company with dencorso :whistle: ) seemingly missed is that THERE IS NO NEED WHATEVER to completely wipe a disk if not in one single case, which is when you are going to give the disk away, and you fear for the data that may have remained on it.

What it may be needed at the most when there is a "tricky" issue connected to detection of a disk or (and this is not the case) booting issues may be to wipe:
  • 2 (two) bytes
    OR
  • 512 (fivehundredandtwelve) bytes
    OR
  • some initial sectors, at the very most 2048 of them

If you are not planning on installing an OS on this disk, there is no reason to convert it to GPT.

Can you access more than 2.2 Tb on a MBR disk? :w00t:

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 21 December 2012 - 04:03 AM.


#17
Tripredacus

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If you are not planning on installing an OS on this disk, there is no reason to convert it to GPT.

Can you access more than 2.2 Tb on a MBR disk? :w00t:

jaclaz


Sure why not? Well its not a boot volume... The volumes in the servers I manage have 2.2TB+ or more on their storage drives and they are not GPT. :whistle:
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#18
jaclaz

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Sure why not? Well its not a boot volume... The volumes in the servers I manage have 2.2TB+ or more on their storage drives and they are not GPT. :whistle:

Because last time I checked in the MBR the Start LBA (sectors before the partition) and Num LBA (number of sectors in a partition entry) were made of 4 bytes.
so, if you have first partition starting (say) at offset 2048 (0x00000800) and you set the number of sectors in it to 4294967295 (0xFFFFFFFF) you have already used all the addressable space. (still talking of 512 bytes/sector disks).

And of course these guys here are liars according to your experience :w00t: :ph34r: :
http://knowledge.sea...US/FAQ/218619en
http://www.uefi.org/...R_Limits_v2.pdf
http://www.hgst.com/tech/techlib.nsf/techdocs/D213A024C090CE9F862577D5002600FC/$file/FinalHiCap_2.2TB_TechBrief.pdf

jaclaz

#19
standingbear

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@cdob. where can I find that information? I looked at all possible locations in Device Manager but didn't see msachi.sys showing up at all

to all. thanks for the help, the problem is still not solved. after I partitioned the disk using the USB, and put into the windows 7 64bit box, it has a problem. the computer management shows all parititons healthy, but from my computer, the last partition is shown as unformatted. This is the same symptom why the first disk failed -- it was fine for a while and then all of a sudden the very last partition would show up as unformatted. I tried to do chkdsk and all hell broke loose.

I guess the fundamental question is, is this a Windows issue, or a mobo issue? I read somewhere that a mobo should have uefi to support disks > 2.2 TB, which I don't think my mobo has; but then again, the BIOS recognizes the disk correctly, and so does PartedMagic. so I am not sure what the heck is going on.

Edited by standingbear, 21 December 2012 - 04:09 PM.


#20
bphlpt

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Which exact software tool are you using to format? How many partitions total? What is your mobo? Exact OS version?

Cheers and Regards

Edited by bphlpt, 21 December 2012 - 04:11 PM.

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#21
standingbear

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@bphlpt

I formatted the 3TB disk from Windows vista 32bit, and the disk was in a USB enclosure. The disk is now a data disk inside a Windows 7 64bit box, with the latest updates applied.
cut the disk into 4 partitions, 750GBx3, plus the remaining one.
mobo is ASRock 960GB/U3S3 FX

#22
bphlpt

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Did you use the standard Vista built-in Format, or some other software tool? Did you make any format option changes or did you just accept all the defaults? Any reason you didn't just do all the partitioning and formatting in the Win 7 x64 box? Can you try that?

Cheers and Regards

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#23
standingbear

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@bphlpt Yes, I used the format that is built-in with Windows. The reason I didn't use the Win 7 x64 format was because on win 7 x64, the disk would show up as having 746GB instead of 3TB.

#24
bphlpt

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Almost seems like you're missing a driver or something on your Win7 system.

Cheers and Regards

Edited by bphlpt, 21 December 2012 - 09:40 PM.

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#25
allen2

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As it is over 2Tb, the disk should be gpt . As it doesn't need to be bootable, you should already have a device driver to support but perhaps not the lastest one.
After booting on your windows 7 x64, go to device manager, and find the "friendly name" of the wd 3tb (should be WDC WD30EZRX under disk drives) , then in the view menu select device by connection and deploy everything needed to find again the wd 3tb. What you 'll know then is the on which sata controller is connected the drive. Then right click on the device controller and select properties and go to driver tab. You should see the date and the version of the driver then clicking on driver detail will also let us know which file is used as device driver. This driver is most likely completely out of date and should be updated.
For the record, amd lastest chipset drivers are there.
And lastest asmedia sata 3 drivers are there (taken from asus website as asmedia doesn't have an official open support site).




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