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Thread: Best way to format 3 TB USB drive, Please

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Best way to format 3 TB USB drive, Please

    Hi, everyone.

    I'm using a USB drive to backup my existing desktop files, and recently, it began to completely fill up, so yesterday I ordered a new Western Digital 3 TB SATA 3 drive to switch to my uSB drive enclosure. My system is on an M2N^*-AM Plus mobo running OpenSuse 12.3.

    I understand that an MBR drive can't be bigger than 2.2 TB, and that I need to format it as GPT. I have gptfdisk installed, I've tried all the partition managers I have, including KDE Partition manager, Parted Magic 5.8 and the latest Parted Magic 2014-04-28. I don't see how to partition the Hard drive as GPT.

    Even the Partition Manager in OpenSuse sees the drive as a 746.52 GB drive, not the about 2800 GB it should be reading. Why can't it read the size properly?

    And how should I proceed?

    Thanks, Bob
    bob@rsmits.ca
    First Law of Laboratory Work: Hot glass looks exactly the same as cold glass.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Best way to format 3 TB USB drive, Please

    On 2014-05-22 06:46, robertsmits wrote:

    > I understand that an MBR drive can't be bigger than 2.2 TB, and that I
    > need to format it as GPT. I have gptfdisk installed, I've tried all the
    > partition managers I have, including KDE Partition manager, Parted Magic
    > 5.8 and the latest Parted Magic 2014-04-28. I don't see how to partition
    > the Hard drive as GPT.


    I use gparted, no problem at all.

    However... if you placed it on the old usb enclosure, it may be possible
    that the enclosure chipset doesn't see the full disk.

    >
    > Even the Partition Manager in OpenSuse sees the drive as a 746.52 GB
    > drive, not the about 2800 GB it should be reading. Why can't it read the
    > size properly?


    Note: it should see exactly 3000 GB, or 2793 GiB.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.

    (from 13.1 x86_64 "Bottle" (Minas Tirith))

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Best way to format 3 TB USB drive, Please

    Quote Originally Posted by robertsmits View Post
    I understand that an MBR drive can't be bigger than 2.2 TB, and that I need to format it as GPT. I have gptfdisk installed, I've tried all the partition managers I have, including KDE Partition manager, Parted Magic 5.8 and the latest Parted Magic 2014-04-28. I don't see how to partition the Hard drive as GPT.
    I've been successful with the "gdisk" command (part of gptfdisk). It works just like "fdisk", except with GPT.

    Quote Originally Posted by robertsmits View Post
    Even the Partition Manager in OpenSuse sees the drive as a 746.52 GB drive, not the about 2800 GB it should be reading. Why can't it read the size properly?
    It's possible that there's a hardware limitation on your computer, though I would have thought that unlikely.

    You might perhaps try rebooting. At one time -- I think while running 12.3 -- I copied as ISO to an 80G external drive. Thereafter, whenever I plugged in the external drive, it told me that it was 4G. After reboot, it was fine again. I think some wrong information was being cached somewhere.
    openSUSE Leap 15.3; KDE Plasma 5.18.6;

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    Default Re: Best way to format 3 TB USB drive, Please

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    On 2014-05-22 06:46, robertsmits wrote:

    > I understand that an MBR drive can't be bigger than 2.2 TB, and that I
    > need to format it as GPT. I have gptfdisk installed, I've tried all the
    > partition managers I have, including KDE Partition manager, Parted Magic
    > 5.8 and the latest Parted Magic 2014-04-28. I don't see how to partition
    > the Hard drive as GPT.


    I use gparted, no problem at all.

    However... if you placed it on the old usb enclosure, it may be possible
    that the enclosure chipset doesn't see the full disk.

    >
    > Even the Partition Manager in OpenSuse sees the drive as a 746.52 GB
    > drive, not the about 2800 GB it should be reading. Why can't it read the
    > size properly?


    Note: it should see exactly 3000 GB, or 2793 GiB.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.

    (from 13.1 x86_64 "Bottle" (Minas Tirith))
    I can't even find a command under gparted to format a gpt drive. Can you explain exactly what you did?

    Thanks, Bob
    bob@rsmits.ca
    First Law of Laboratory Work: Hot glass looks exactly the same as cold glass.

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    Default Re: Best way to format 3 TB USB drive, Please

    [QUOTE=nrickert;2644759]I've been successful with the "gdisk" command (part of gptfdisk). It works just like "fdisk", except with GPT.

    OK, I'm trying to format a three TB drive, known to the system as /dev/sdc. What command should I use with gdisk? I understand I should be in a terminal window as root.
    bob@rsmits.ca
    First Law of Laboratory Work: Hot glass looks exactly the same as cold glass.

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    Default Re: Best way to format 3 TB USB drive, Please

    On 2014-05-23 00:46, robertsmits wrote:

    > I can't even find a command under gparted to format a gpt drive. Can you
    > explain exactly what you did?


    Start gparted from a root terminal, then menu Device, create partition
    table. I don't have this moment a hard disk I can risk testing the
    procedure and post photos, all my disks are in use.

    I fuzzily remember than you have a choice of GPT or MBR types, and maybe
    others.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.

    (from 13.1 x86_64 "Bottle" (Minas Tirith))

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Best way to format 3 TB USB drive, Please

    Quote Originally Posted by robertsmits View Post
    OK, I'm trying to format a three TB drive, known to the system as /dev/sdc. What command should I use with gdisk? I understand I should be in a terminal window as root.
    You would normally use

    Code:
    # gdisk /dev/sdc
    Then, within gdisk, use "n" to create a new partition. You are prompted for information.

    Before you try that, use "p" to display the current partition table, and to see what it says about the size of the disk.

    Note: I used quotes with "n" and "p", but do not use those quotes while running "gdisk".

    If you screw up while partitioning, you can use the "q" command to quit without saving any of your changes. I suggest to experiment, and use "q" the first time, just to get the feel of it. To actually save your changes, end with "w" (stands for "write").

    If "gdisk" gives the wrong disk size, then something is amiss, so best to quit without saving and post the partition table info (from the "p" command) here.
    openSUSE Leap 15.3; KDE Plasma 5.18.6;

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Best way to format 3 TB USB drive, Please

    Quote Originally Posted by nrickert View Post
    You would normally use

    Code:
    # gdisk /dev/sdc
    Then, within gdisk, use "n" to create a new partition. You are prompted for information.

    Before you try that, use "p" to display the current partition table, and to see what it says about the size of the disk.

    Note: I used quotes with "n" and "p", but do not use those quotes while running "gdisk".

    If you screw up while partitioning, you can use the "q" command to quit without saving any of your changes. I suggest to experiment, and use "q" the first time, just to get the feel of it. To actually save your changes, end with "w" (stands for "write").

    If "gdisk" gives the wrong disk size, then something is amiss, so best to quit without saving and post the partition table info (from the "p" command) here.
    Yes, when I get to the p command it gives me this:

    #
    gdisk /dev/sdc
    GPT fdisk (gdisk) version 0.8.5

    Partition table scan:
    MBR: protective
    BSD: not present
    APM: not present
    GPT: present

    Found valid GPT with protective MBR; using GPT.

    Command (? for help): p
    Disk /dev/sdc: 1565565872 sectors, 746.5 GiB
    Logical sector size: 512 bytes
    Disk identifier (GUID): 9F741E19-CDE2-461E-B7E7-40FC7B58C81C
    Partition table holds up to 128 entries
    First usable sector is 34, last usable sector is 1565565838
    Partitions will be aligned on 2048-sector boundaries
    Total free space is 1565565805 sectors (746.5 GiB)

    Number Start (sector) End (sector) Size Code Name

    #

    Why is the partition aligned on 2048 sector boundaries?

    Bob
    bob@rsmits.ca
    First Law of Laboratory Work: Hot glass looks exactly the same as cold glass.

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    Default Re: Best way to format 3 TB USB drive, Please

    To squeeze all that space one way is to increase sector capacity

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    Default Re: Best way to format 3 TB USB drive, Please

    Quote Originally Posted by robertsmits View Post
    Disk /dev/sdc: 1565565872 sectors, 746.5 GiB
    It is still telling you that this is a 746.5G disk.

    Are you sure that it is 3T?

    If you are sure of that, then I suggest connecting it to a different computer just to see what size it is then (on the different computer).
    openSUSE Leap 15.3; KDE Plasma 5.18.6;

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