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Windows 7: [HELP!] Format a 3TB External HDD to FAT32


28 Feb 2012   #31

windows 7x64
 
 

Ok, now we're cooking with gas!!! I was able to format 1.99TB to NTFS and the drive is now showing as G. New problem, the remaining 746.52GB (refer to post #25 for picture or one below) "unallocated volume" can't be formatted to NTSF, or be seen by Windows to use. [IMG][/IMG]

I have to be honest, I read the linked thread about gparted and it made my head spin. I don't understand any of it. Is there a simple way to get my other TB back or should I just cut my losses and use this as a 2TB drive?? I'm looking for honest opinions from people who know about things like this. As you can probably tell by now I don't really know what I'm doing Now, if this was an Android phone, I'd have root access and be flying through everything in minutes. Maybe one day I'll be as comfortable with Windows, maybe, lol.

I kind of feel like a winner now that I got this drive ALMOST back to 100%. I'm not even upset about not being able to format it to FAT32 and use on my PS3. I thought it was dead and I'd lost all my money so I'm playing with house money now, so to speak.

P.S. Sorry for the rambling

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Feb 2012   #32
Microsoft MVP

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center 64 bit
 
 

Didn't the drive come out of the box blank, unpartitioned and unformatted? If so just delete all the partitions and don't worry about partitioning it or formating it. If a partition is unformatted it won't have a drive letter and won't show up under My Computer. If a drive has no partitions or no formated partitions it won't show up in My Computer or explorer. Thats normal. Disk Management will still show you the physical size of the drive even if it isn't partitioned. If you look under Disk # on the left you will see the size listed. If it was an internal drive the BIOS would list the physical size too, even if its unpartitioned. Let the next guy worry about partitioning it and formating it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2012   #33

windows 7x64
 
 

No the drive was formatted to NTSF and showed all 3TB (well, not all 3TB, but close enough) right out of the box.

I'm confused now, though, I see what you mean about disk size on the left and it does show the drive as being ~3TB. Why can't I get rid of that 746GB "volume" that isn't showing as usable?

In your opinion do you think I should just return it or sell it and just start fresh with a smaller drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Feb 2012   #34
Microsoft MVP

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gazz9496 View Post
just curious but you are able to even format the whole 3tb in your installation of windows?

i ask because windows 7 has a limit of 2.2tb using a standard bios.

If your os was installed using efi i would say ok fine but the ps3 uses a 16bit bios anyway which is why it has a limit of 2.2tb as well.

efi, removes the bios limitation on drive sizes, 16bit bios is being phased out due to those limits at 2.2tb, the actual bios is a 64 bit program installed on your harddrive instead of flash memory on your mobo.

while windows 7 64 is a good os it has it's limits on drive size defined before it can even load up by the bios, the ps3 is no different in that regard those limitations are there and there is no way around them without changing the hardware to support larger drives.
I do believe this is why you can't use the whole 3TB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2012   #35

windows 7x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gazz9496 View Post
just curious but you are able to even format the whole 3tb in your installation of windows?

i ask because windows 7 has a limit of 2.2tb using a standard bios.

If your os was installed using efi i would say ok fine but the ps3 uses a 16bit bios anyway which is why it has a limit of 2.2tb as well.

efi, removes the bios limitation on drive sizes, 16bit bios is being phased out due to those limits at 2.2tb, the actual bios is a 64 bit program installed on your harddrive instead of flash memory on your mobo.

while windows 7 64 is a good os it has it's limits on drive size defined before it can even load up by the bios, the ps3 is no different in that regard those limitations are there and there is no way around them without changing the hardware to support larger drives.
I do believe this is why you can't use the whole 3TB
That doesn't make sense, though if the drive was showing as 3TB usable storage right out of the box before I started messing with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2012   #36
Microsoft MVP

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center 64 bit
 
 

The BIOS limitation is likely preventing you from creating the single 3 TB partition. It was 3 TB out of the box because it was formated at the factory on another machine. I know in early days of computing, even if you formated a drive on a PC that supported its size, it wouldn't be usable on a PC that didn't. You would get errors or it would show up as being smaller than it really was. I don't have a drive that size to play with myself so I'm just giving suggestions based on what other people have posted in this thread.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2012   #37

windows 7x64
 
 

Ohh, ok, I finally get it Well, looks like I learned a lesson the hard way then. I should have never started messing with this if I couldn't get it all the way back to 100% stock. I figured it was just my lack of knowledge that was preventing me from doing it. I guess my last option is hoping that Seagate responds to my email and has software, or knowledge of, to reformat it back

Thanks again to everyone who has taken the time to reply to this thread and help me. I really appreciate it
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2012   #38

windows 7 ultimate
 
 

ok...i figured out how to fully Format a 3 TB seagate Goflex external hard drive to Multiple (3) fat 32 and also discovered how to break it up to NTFS and FAT 32....here is what i did

my OS is windows 7 ultimate 64 bit

here is a step by step

start menu
right click my computer...select manage
select disc management
find the drive in the list
delete all allocations till you have 2 parts...the remaining partition will not be able to be allocated the magic number is 746.52 GB that unallacatable..

i used a tool called Acronis true disc image home
i selected tools and utilities
add a disc
my disc was there
select the disc
click next
you will then right click the unallocated partition
create new partition
and you will then be able to select the size of the partition and partition type

i hope this thread is reviewed and helps everyone...my next quest is to get one of these formatted to WBFS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 May 2012   #39

64 bit
 
 

FOUND SOLUTION!!!

First of all I have to mention that I of course had problems in the start, connecting my 3 TB harddisk to my ps3 and smart TV. It won't find it or read it - nothing happened. Then I tested it on my 1 TB old WD harddisk and there it worked.
Now I connected both harddisk to my computer, in order to check possibly differences between them. And the thing I realized was:

1) The 1 TB WD harddisk is using a cluster size of 512 b, formatted as FAT32
2) The 3 TB harddisk is using a cluster size of 4096 b, formatted as NTFS.

The thing by NTFS is that you can't get a lower cluster size than 1024 b. Although it says that my smart TV supports NTFS in the catalog, it doesn't support it.
Cause both the ps3 and TV doesn't support a higher cluster size than 512 b.
In fact, I don't believe that any of such devices is compatible for higher cluster size than 512 b.

So this is how I managed it finally to format my WD MY BOOK ESSENTIAL 3 TB to FAT32 format at a cluster size of 512 b. Here is the things I did:

1) Connected my 3 Tb harddisk to my PC. Opened up 'Computer'.
2) Rightclicked on the harddisk, an clicked format. Now I got two option:
Number 1 format it as 'NTFS', number 2 format as 'ExFat'.
So I chose ‘Exfat’ and adjusted the 'Allocation Unit Size' to 512 b, (cluster size).
3) Clicked than 'Start' , (it takes only a few seconds)

What I did now was, following the instruction in this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y34nntFAGLs&noredirect=1

4) Downloaded a program called 'Acronis Disk Director Home 11', then installed it on my computer. I used this torrent: http://isohunt.com/torrent_details/192159613/?tab=summary , and installed the full version. But I guess the trial version might also do it. You can download it here: http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/diskdirector/

5) Opened 'Acronis Disk Director Home 11', and what I did now was clicking 'Delete Volume'. Clicked then 'commit pending operation', and it was done in less than 15 seconds
6) Clicked 'Create Volume', chose the 'Basic' option and clicked 'next'.
7) Clicked 'next' once again.
8) Now site did show up where I had to specify the size of the volume being created. As file system I chose 'FAT32', and see there: No limitations of 2 TB, as it is usually for a FAT32 - system. The cluster size I set to the Maximum of 512 b, and then I chose 'primary' and 'active' as options under 'Volume Type'
9) Clicked 'finish' and then clicked 'commit pending operation'. This progress took about 2-3 minutes.

So finally I had managed to format my 3 TB harddisk to FAT32. I tested it on both the ps3 and the Smart TV and see there it worked. I watch movies, and play music files on both devices. I hope it works for you too.
If there are any questions, feel free to ask!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Aug 2012   #40

Windows 7 Enterprise 6 bit
 
 

I am having the same problem; I cannot get my 3TB WD external into a FAT32 format that can be read by my PS3 and I've tried every possible way I could find. I followed your directions and at this part:

"8) Now site did show up where I had to specify the size of the volume being created. As file system I chose 'FAT32', and see there: No limitations of 2 TB, as it is usually for a FAT32 - system. The cluster size I set to the Maximum of 512 b, and then I chose 'primary' and 'active' as options under 'Volume Type'"

There is no option for Volume Type at all. Also, it won't let me make the drive more than 2TB. Did you do anything else to get this to work? Here is a screenshot of Acronis when I am trying to use it. I followed the youtube video but the volume type option does not exist. I made the drive FAT32 format without this option and even though I can see it and add things to it from my laptop, it never appears on the PS3. I can connect it to another laptop and it seems to work normally. Please help me with this because I don't know what else to do and I just need this to work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 [HELP!] Format a 3TB External HDD to FAT32




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