UncleGareth
1 Copper

Can't format 1.5Tb Seagate Barracuda SATA internal hard drive

I'm having a problem installing a new Barracuda 7200.11 (model ST31500341AS) 1.5Gb drive into my Dimension E521 (Vista Home Premium).

Windows Disk Management recognises it correctly and initialises the disk okay.

But here's the problem - I can only format 1Tb of the 1.5Tb.

With one 1.5Tb partition the formatting freezes after 1Tb, and if I partion into 2 then it still will only format 1Tb total and then the formatting freezes at that point.

A formatted partition of less than 1Tb is accepted and fully usable, but I just can't access the remaining 0.5Tb.

The Seagate website reports no known problem with this serial number, and according to the Dell website I've got the latest BIOS (1.1.11)

So is Vista intrinsically incapable of using the full capacity of a disk over 1Tb, or (more likely !) am I missing something ?

Thanks for any help or pointers !

 

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6 Replies
vlasfarg
1 Nickel

Re: Can't format 1.5Tb Seagate Barracuda SATA internal hard drive

I have the exact same issue with a Western Digital WD Green 1.5 TB Hard Drive (HDD).

I can format it up to 73% but no further. I have tried to create partitions but it does not change a thing. Only 1 TB (1024 GB) can be accessed.

Can we get some help from Dell on this? My e521 has been a solid performer so far. Even Vista 32 bits is fine.

Is it an issue with the hardware, Bios, Vista 32 bits?

The BIOS shows that the disk is identified as a 1.5 TB disk.

The device Manager (Disk Drive manager where you can initialize, create partitions on and format disks) recognizes it as a 1.5 TB.

So far I use the disk as a full 1TB (1024 GB) HDD. There are about 373 GB I cannot allocate to any partition or file system as it won't format further than 73% (BTW it take hours to reach 73%, but I guess it is due to the size and Green nature of this WD HDD).

Vincent

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8 Krypton

Re: Can't format 1.5Tb Seagate Barracuda SATA internal hard drive

Fellows, you need to use your search engines.  So far I've found this:  Toms Hardware; Can't Fully Format Seagate ST31500341AS; which led me to this:  Seagate Knowledge Base Large SATA Drives Will Not Completely Format.

The chipset on the E521 is the Nvidia GeForce 6150LE; you will find that chipset number in the table on the Seagate note.  Notice that the note says that older drivers "may" have been used and this seems to be connected to the problem you are having.  If this is indeed the problem you may need to seek alternative solutions as the E521 is past the point at which Dell is likely to issue an updated driver.  I'm sure Dell will not guarantee success if you decide to pull a newer driver directly from the nVidia site, and if any mods have been made specially for Dell the update might even disable your machines.

I would read through the Toms Hardware thread to see if any of the alternate suggestions might be of help before I would try any driver not issued by Dell.

Incidentally, from what I understand, drives larger than 2 TB are going to give everyone trouble eventually as the MBR method of partitioning doesn't support those larger drives very well.  We are going to need to learn about the GUID approach.

Dell Forum member since 2005

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vlasfarg
1 Nickel

Re: Can't format 1.5Tb Seagate Barracuda SATA internal hard drive

Ok - That did help a lot - my Disk is now fully available.

 

Here is what I had to do:

1. Went to the nVidia support site and used their tool to detect my mother board. - Did not work

2. Selected the update manually (took the nVidia nForce 430 with GPU)

3. Did a recovery point in Vista

4 installed the new nVidia drivers (it comes in 1 exe) and reboot after a successful install

5. Tried to change the partition size, but it was still blocked at the same max 1024GB

6. Went to the device manager and updated the SATA controllers (there are 2) direct from here (selected Find on the internet) - one of them was not up to date.

7. After reboot, the disk was still limited to the 1st GB.

8. Reinstalled the nVidia drivers (running the downloaded exe), rebooted after successful install and ... voila that now I can format and extend my partition to the whole 1.5TB

 

That feels good.

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8 Krypton

Re: Can't format 1.5Tb Seagate Barracuda SATA internal hard drive

Excellent!  A job well done.

Best of luck to you!

 

Dell Forum member since 2005

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jory29
1 Copper

Re: Can't format 1.5Tb Seagate Barracuda SATA internal hard drive

Wow, thank you so much for posting this!! I have a WD Caviar Green 1.5 TB HD and your post, from step 6 - 8 made a huge difference for me, and finally I could make use of the whole drive. I would highly recommend if someone else is having a similar problem to follow your advice from step 1-8. I had already updated Motherboard, had updated the Nvidia driver to the nforce series, which, on another board was recommended. (For the record, I am using the 15.49 nForce drivers. I think the main point that I was missing was in not checking for updated SATA drivers using device manager; AND reinstalling the latest Nvidia drivers again, restarting the pc, and I went an extra step further, deleting the partition and volume, and started over again. It formatted (quick format) within seconds, the way it should work. Had you not posted this, I may have been googling until my eyes were googling out of my head so thank you so much for being courteous to post your how to guide.

 

YES!!! It does feel good to be able to make use of the drive, I agree.

 

Now, if I can just remember NOT to let windows updates try to install their 'newest' drivers because in my case, the nforce drivers (windows 64 bit by the way) were the only ones that worked for this from what I can see. I do think too that updating the SATA controllers contributed to the success.

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richy240
1 Copper

Re: Can't format 1.5Tb Seagate Barracuda SATA internal hard drive

I've tried this 4 times now, and no luck.  I cannot believe there isn't a REAL solution to this yet.

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