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Can't partition more than 2TB on 4TB drive


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#1 Village Baka

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 12:17 AM

Hello! Judging from how many search hits I get from googling this question, it's a fairly common problem. I'm trying to install a 4TB HDD into a new PC. I was aware that you can't normally install Windows on a partition of more than 2TB, which is why I installed a 120GB HDD just for Windows, intending to use the 4TB drive for storage. However even when using the 120GB drive for Windows, I could only create a 2TB partition on the big drive during Windows install, and it wouldn't let me partition the rest of the unused space. I'm a little confused because everything I've read gives me the impression that you can make the partitions as big as you want so long as the partition you're booting from isn't more than 2TB. I tried the trick where you use the command console during Windows install to format the 4TB drive using GPT, but it still wouldn't let me create a partition bigger than 2TB. What do I need to do to make the whole 4TB usable? I'm using an MSI 970A-G43 motherboard and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit if that helps. Thanks!



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#2 Havachat

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 04:31 AM

Try Mini Tool Partition Magic Free Version http://www.partitionwizard.com/partitionmagic/partition-windows-7-system.html

I used it last year on a 3TB drive and no problem , tried both Fat32 and Ntfs for Movie Storage both worked fine.



#3 Aura

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 07:22 AM

Hi Village Baka :)

Did you try converting the disk to GPT via the Disk Management console, after installing Windows? Also, did you install Windows 7 32 or 64-bits? I'm not sure if the HDD that hosts Windows also needs to be in a GPT format in order for it to work. There's a fully detailled tutorial of MBR vs GPT on SevenForums, you can give it a read to have a better understanding of what you're facing:

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/26193-convert-mbr-disk-gpt-disk.html

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#4 hamluis

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 03:18 PM

FWIW:  I ran into similar problem on my 3TB drive.  I wound up using a Seagate tool to enable 2 partitions on the 3TB drive, but I suggest following the Sevenforum guidance rather than using that tool.

 

The problem is GPT vs MBR, as previously noted.

 

The link provided by Aura is a good one but I think it's not what you want.  Please see Convert GPT Disk to MBR Disk - Windows 7 Forums - http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/26203-convert-gpt-disk-mbr-disk.html , which will give you full usage of the hard drive in question without consideration of UEFI BIOS.

 

Of course...you should temporarily move any contents from the drive while you fiddle with the partitioning, as a precautionary move.

 

There are probably other ways to get to where you seem to want to be.

 

Louis


Edited by hamluis, 08 April 2015 - 03:20 PM.


#5 Aura

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 04:08 PM

Louis, isn't it the opposite? Using a GPT partitionned hard drive will allow the user to use the full 4TB of the HDD, while the MBR partition limits it to two single partitions of 2TBs each. Otherwise, I'm lost :P

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#6 hamluis

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Posted 09 April 2015 - 01:09 PM

I don't have an answer for that...because the OP states that he is running Win 7...formatted as GPT...and still could not break the 2GB barrier.  I only know how to work around that barrier from my experiences with my XP/Win 7 dual-boot.

 

http://us.msi.com/product/mb/970A-G43.html#hero-overview

 

Louis



#7 Aura

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Posted 09 April 2015 - 01:12 PM

From what I can understand, only the 4TB HDD is formatted to a GPT partition style and not the Windows HDD, hence why I was asking him if his 120GB HDD (where Windows is) is also in GPT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

:thumbup2:  - Hamluis.


Edited by hamluis, 09 April 2015 - 05:37 PM.

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#8 Village Baka

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Posted 10 April 2015 - 06:24 AM

Thanks to everyone for the tips! I hadn't realized that partitions bigger than 2TB aren't possible without GPT, whether or not Windows is going to boot from that drive.

I figured out my problem, by the way. I was installing Windows on the 120GB drive, but the installer insisted on putting the 100MB "system reserved" partition on the 4TB drive. Thus when I tried to convert it to GPT, it would see the system reserved partition and the conversion would fail. I had to physically disconnect the 4TB drive from the PC, THEN reinstall Windows so the system reserved partition would end up on the 120GB where it's supposed to be, then reconnect the 4TB and convert/format it from within Windows. Quite a pain, but we got there. I'm not sure if Windows kept putting the system reserved partition on the 4TB drive because it physically took priority (the 4TB drive is on SATA slot 0 while the 120GB is on slot 1) or if the Windows installer simply stuffs the system reserved partition onto whatever unallocated space it finds, but I didn't feel like juggling the drives around and installing Windows five times to find out. Simply disconnecting the 4TB so the installer had no choice was way faster.

Also Aura, for future reference it doesn't seem to matter whether the boot drive is GPT. My 120GB boot drive is using regular old MBR and the 4TB is in GPT, and they seem to work together just fine now. I believe as long as the motherboard supports UEFI, you can format and partition your drives however you please without resorting to third-party software shenanigans.

Edited by Village Baka, 10 April 2015 - 06:28 AM.


#9 Aura

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Posted 10 April 2015 - 07:03 AM

This is why I wasn't sure and I thought it would be a good idea to check both, at least now we know. Glad to see that your issue is solved Baka :)

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#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 10 April 2015 - 11:35 AM

"My 120GB boot drive is using regular old MBR and the 4TB is in GPT, and they seem to work together just fine now. I believe as long as the motherboard supports UEFI, you can format and partition your drives however you please without resorting to third-party software shenanigans."

 

This is interesting. According to Microsoft in order to boot from a UEFI system the disk must be GPT.

 

What about mixing and matching GPT and MBR disks on the same system?

GPT and MBR disks can be mixed on systems that support GPT, as described earlier. However, you must be aware of the following restrictions:

  • Systems that support UEFI require that boot partition must reside on a GPT disk. Other hard disks can be either MBR or GPT.
Do only GPT Disks have ESPs?

No, MBR disks can also have ESPs. UEFI specifies booting from either GPT or MBR. The ESP on an MBR disk is identified by partition type 0xEF. However, Windows does not support booting UEFI from MBR disks or 0xEF partitions.

 

 

Is your UEFI set to boot Legacy or CSM? If you installed using a Windows7 install disk, it can only boot using legacy and it needs a hack to boot from a UEFI enabled system. Can you confirm the following. Is your UEFI set to Legacy or CSM and if not type CMD in the search box Right Click > Run as Administrator.

 

Type the following

 

Diskpart

List Disk

 

If your disk is GPT it should show a "*" under the GPT heading.


Edited by JohnC_21, 10 April 2015 - 11:37 AM.


#11 Aura

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Posted 10 April 2015 - 11:45 AM

I think I know what happened.

but the installer insisted on putting the 100MB "system reserved" partition on the 4TB drive


Looks like the boot partition to me, and if the HDD was already on GPT, then it would fit in the UEFI/GPT prerequisite.

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#12 JohnC_21

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Posted 10 April 2015 - 11:49 AM

I think I know what happened.
 

but the installer insisted on putting the 100MB "system reserved" partition on the 4TB drive


Looks like the boot partition to me, and if the HDD was already on GPT, then it would fit in the UEFI/GPT prerequisite.

 

Good Catch. I believe you are right on that.






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