External USB3 3TB drive shows 2 devices?

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Olotila

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My Verbatim 3TB shows as 2 different drives in Windows 7 (64bit) disk management but also in bios.

Can I combine these drives to a single ~3TB drive?
 

Rainey

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Did you format it or did the factory.
It could be it came formatted with a max partition of 2TB for compatibility with older systems so you have a second partition.
You may need to update your BIOS to use 3TB disks. That could be why you see two drives in device manager.
We will have to wait and see if anyone else with this motherboard is using 3TB disk and what they say.
 
A drive that's over 2TB must be partitioned using the GPT partition scheme. If you right-click the one of the drive boxes to the left of the partition map, you should have an option to repartition the drive as "GPT" instead of "MBR". If not, it could be a motherboard BIOS issue as Rainey suggests, or it could be that the later version of the chipset drivers would fix the problem.
 

Olotila

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The disk was formatted by the factory for the reason you mention.
I do have a working ~4TB GPT partition (ICH10R 4x1TB), so I suppose the support is there. I assume a single disk >2TB is also supported, but I'm not sure.

Bios is up to date and there is a fix concerning big disks:
"P6T SE 0808 BIOS
1. Fix HDD size shown incorrectly if it's bigger than 2.2TB"

Chipset drivers are also up to date.

I have tried changing them to GPT, formatting, making them dynamic, spanning the disks. Nothing works. Not that I even want that solution, I just want one physical 3TB disk.

Seagate DiskWizard did not help, I did not see an option to change this property.

Please check this article, could it help somehow?
http://thetechjournal.com/electronics/seagate-3tb-barracuda-xt-hard-drive.xhtml



 


I'll bet that's what it is. I hate weird software for drives.

The last post in this thread: http://forums.seagate.com/t5/Barracuda-XT-Barracuda-Barracuda/Barracuda-XT-3TB/td-p/105480
...suggests that you should be able to change the partition style from MBR to GPT and re-partition it using disk manager as I suggested above. But if you've ended up with some special drivers loaded you may have to remove them first.
 

Olotila

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Ah what crazyness.

With DiskWizard 13 I was able to enable the full 3TB partition. Funny thing is, I was able to create 2 of them! I actually copied files to 2 different drives (both 3TB) :eek:

Then I formatted other of those magical drives with Verbatim Disk Formatter and end result is one 3TB drive.
 

Olotila

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Now I have 2x3TB disks. I do not understand it but I will copy them as full as possible. Perhaps they are magical ...
 

Rainey

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+1 to that
 

Rainey

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I now see the two partitions show as un-formatted. That could mean that your BIOS does not support a one drive/partition over 2 TB so it splits it. You then can not see that it may have been formatted by the factory once the BIOS splits it.

Have you tried to delete all partitions and create one large partition in Win 7.

Also what is the make and model of your motherboard. I though it was posted in my last reply but i guess i was thinking about a different post. With this info we may be able to tell if the motherboard chip-set supports 3TB drives.
 

The thing that bugs me about this article is this section:
Another differentiator between the drives turned out to be the software. Hitachi includes a driver/partitioning utility (from Paragon Software) that allows you to utilize all 3TB in a single partition. By contrast, as of this writing, the Acronis software favored by Seagate and WD allows you to use the entire drive capacity, but only in separate 2.2TB and 800GB partitions. To create a single volume, you need to follow the previously mentioned tip about combining partitions using Windows dynamic disks.
Here's the thing: all versions of Windows 7 understand GPT partitions and they work just fine with a 3TB data drive. The partitioning utility built into Windows 7 (Disk Manager) will do exactly what you need to do without the need for whatever this software is. The really big unanswered questions here are:

(1) How does this software end up getting installed on the system? If you know that, then you could probably avoid having it installed in the first place, and

(2) If the software is installed, how do you get rid of it?
 

Olotila

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Here is curent situation with "Verbatim USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Desktop Hard Drive 3TB" or "Model # 47662" or "The Magic Disk" as I like to call it.

I am copying files to MagicDisk_1, a little over 1,2TB so far. MagicDisk_A is not empty either.

At beginning it showed 2 separate disks, 2,2TB+0,8TB. BIOS shows 2 USB devices. I saw 2x3TB drives after I installed Seagate DiskWizard13. Then I was able to create continuous 3TB partitions with Windows own Disk Management.

My mobo is ASUS P6T-SE, bios and chipset up to date.

I do understand hard disks, motherboards and Windows 7 quite ok, but I do not fully understand the Verbatim's USB -system in between here. How can it show 2 different devices to BIOS and therefore for OS too? What program would analyze the relevant hardware here, I mean I would like to know how can one single 3TB disk contain 6TB of space :D

Disk Management shows most of the needed information:


Here are properties of the drives




And here is the physical apparatus itself:




Here is what ChrystalDiskInfo says:
( http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskInfo/index-e.html )

(2) ST33000651AS
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Enclosure : ST330006 51AS USB Device (V=0000, P=0000, sa1)
Model : ST33000651AS
Firmware : CC43
Serial Number : 9XK05FPQ
Disk Size : 3000.5 GB (8.4/137.4/3000.5)
Buffer Size : Unknown
Queue Depth : 32
# of Sectors : 5860533168
Rotation Rate : 7200 RPM
Interface : USB (Serial ATA)
Major Version : ATA8-ACS
Minor Version : ATA8-ACS version 4
Transfer Mode : SATA/300
Power On Hours : 31 hours
Power On Count : 12 count
Temparature : 48 C (118 F)
Health Status : Good
Features : S.M.A.R.T., AAM, 48bit LBA, NCQ
APM Level : ----
AAM Level : D0D0h [ON]
 

Olotila

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Darn good questions! I would call Verbatim if I would not be so pessimistic about the chance of getting actual help on the phone or email. On the other hand I hope the engineer who designed this reads this and answers right here :D

This is the software in question, I believe:
http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=218619&NewLang=en
 

Olotila

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I could not resist, I did email Verbatim. This is what they replied:


To resolve this issue, Please follow the steps mentioned below :-
(#Note: Formatting the drive erases all the information stored on the drive)

Step 1: You have to initialize the disk to GPT partition table, Please use a third party utility to write zero's to the drive.
Step 2: Open disk management , Start menu> right click computer> click manage> click disk management
Step 3: Locate the verbatim drive on the lower right and right click on it to initialize the disk , Select GPt partition table.
Step 4: Right click on the black line and select New simple volume.
Step 5: follow the on screen instructions to create a single 3TB partition.

Your case no is : xxx
If you need any further assistance please call us on: xxx-xxx-xx and we will be happy to assist you.

Do you think this would work?

I am copying the drive full so I see what happens. I dont want to try this before I find that out.
 
I didn't realize that this was an external USB drive. It's quite possible that it's the USB controller inside the drive that's presenting two devices to the host rather than software loaded into Windows itself. If so, I have no idea how you'd deal with that. I guess you'll just have to try the instructions in the e-mail to see what happens.
 
I suspect that the reason that you can have an NTFS partition that is larger than the traditional 2TiB "limit" is that the external mass storage device uses 4KB LBAs rather than 512-bytes. This means that the actual capacity limit is 16TiB. That's why Windows XP can see the drive out-of-the-box. Notice that the drive's specs include Windows XP support, and that all the software, apart from USB 3.0 drivers, is included on the hard drive.

See this thread for an analysis of a Seagate 3TB GoFlex external HDD:
http://forums.seagate.com/t5/GoFlex-GoFlex-Desk-GoFlex-Pro/my-tv-does-not-show-content-from-GoFlex-Desk-3tb/m-p/109000

WD's 3TB externals also appear to be configured with 4KB LBAs.

Remember that the OS sees the external drive as a USB mass storage device rather than an actual hard drive.
 

Olotila

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I know, and that is the part I really dont understand.

In that article there are curious mentions about specific bytes in HDD. They specify most of data structure contained in drives. Why can't I just wipe those bytes, instead of 3 000 457 228 288 of them?

Anyways, it was interesting to write 3,2TiB into 3TB drive :D. Magic did not last, the disk gave error about a folder not existing. After that, both magical drives displayd 0 bytes. Other disk went offline. After boot, there were the original 2TB and 1TB partitions. Yeah, and there was a moment disk properties showed 2,69TiB but all the folders contained only 190GiB :D
 
According to the following document, USB mass storage devices are accessed using SCSI commands.

Universal Serial Bus Mass Storage Specification For Bootability:
http://www.usb.org/developers/devclass_docs/usb_msc_boot_1.0.pdf

The READ CAPACITY command returns the Block Length in Bytes, which in your case would probably be 4096, plus the total number of LBAs.

The MODE SENSE(10) command reports some dummy geometry information, including Number of Heads, Sectors per Track, Bytes per Sector, and Number of Cylinders.

The READ(10) and WRITE(10) commands access the device using LBAs, not sectors. In other words, they transfer 4096 bytes of data to and from the USB-SATA bridge chip, rather than transferring 512 bytes of data to and from the hard drive behind the bridge. Transfer to and from the HDD is governed by the ATA standard.

Working Draft AT Attachment 8 - ATA/ATAPI Command Set (ATA8-ACS):
http://www.t13.org/documents/UploadedDocuments/docs2008/D1699r6a-ATA8-ACS.pdf

Here is a thread where someone has examined a WD 3TB external drive:

4k sectors and Linux:
http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage/browse_thread/thread/a776439e9713f3f2/59d02573dc9cfa3d#59d02573dc9cfa3d
 

Olotila

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Thanks, I'm glad I get to learn new things about this. Pretty common "interface combination" and getting more common and I know next to nothing about this.

What I would need, is a tool to give these commands and try things out. Not sure these commands contain the things I need, namely to change the hard disks partitions. To write GPT specifically. Or to "disable" the second magical drive. I am not even sure in which level I should be working, the USB/SCSI commands, HDD partitions or USB controller firmwire.

I have had a sincere response from finnish Verbatim team, I am really appreciating that. While they have not so far been able to solve this issue, I trust this thing is being handled with capable hands!

No matter how much I nuke the thing, it still says to everybody it has 2 different devices inside. I cannot get around that, so I am inclined to believe the USB controller is configured to always display 2 devices. Can't trust the thing now for my data. If I could reset it somehow, I would. Now I would be happy to get even the factory settings back :D

Reading the other two links, I do not see how they would help with this USB issue (even if I would understand half of it :)). They seem to consentrate on the disk, not the USB controller. If the controller shows 2 devices, no matter what commands I give to disk, it goes conflicting somewhere somehow.

I hope I am wrong about the source of problem and this is actually very easy to solve, just dont see the solution yet :)

BTW, nuking with zeros with USB3 gives throughoutput >300 000 MB/s and USB2 ~30 000 MB/s according to DBAN.
 

nikorr

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Hey Olotila,

Did u try to follow up with Verbatim?
 
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