Question New 4TB WD Drive Installed but ONLY a Portion of the Drive Works. Please help!

ganymede-

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Jul 25, 2008
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Today I received a Western Digital Blue 4TB PC HDD SATA 6 Gb/s to replace an older Western Digital 3TB drive that is being problematic. As I have done many times, I plugged the appropriate SATA cables into the new drive and attached the other end of the cables into my motherboard. When I restarted my computer, I proceeded to the Start menu and from there I clicked on 'Administrative Tools' to 'Computer Management' and then to 'Disk Management.'

Not surprisingly, I found my new drive right where I thought it would first appear. The hard drive needed formatting. It listed all the space on the drive as entirely unallocated. The ‘Disk Management’ window showed the hard drive as being divided into two almost identical volumes. The drive is 4TB, and the first section of the drive read 2048.00GB and the adjacent space read 1678.02GB. In addition, the first section of the drive had slanted vertical lines while the other space had no such lines.

When I right-clicked on the first volume of 2048.00GB, I was offered the option of creating a ‘New Simple Volume’ and when I selected that option a dialog box appeared called ‘The Simple New Volume Wizard.’ I followed the steps but it did not permit me to increase the size of the volume beyond the 2097150MB. I continued with this setup, choose a drive letter, and then selected the quick NTFS format option for the drive. It was a speedy operation and when finished it had changed the unallocated space into the NTFS format.

I then expected to run through the same sequence on the remaining half of the drive, but when I right-clicked on the second portion of the drive all the options were grayed out except for ‘Properties,’ and nothing there helped with formatting the drive.

After fiddling around with rudimentary tactics with zero success for my efforts, I eventually decided to remove the NTFS formatting on the first half of the hard drive. The reason being that ultimately I wanted one 4TB hard drive without any partitions. If there is an advantage to having partitions that I am unfamiliar with, which could be a possibility, I am open to suggestions; otherwise, one partition works for me. One other potentially important issue is that this 4TB drive will not be the main ‘C’ drive, but instead will simply be hard drive for storing data.

Presently, I am now back to the beginning with two sections of unallocated space. I have four other HDD and/or SDD on this computer system and I have never come across this type of issue before now.

I do not know what steps to take next that eventually would lead (hopefully) to one unified drive space, and so, after a quite a few years away from Tom’s Hardware forum, I am asking for help on how to proceed with this matter. I have a feeling that the fix for my dilemma is not too complicated when considered by the all-knowing members or staff at Tom’s Hardware.

In advance, I want to thank anyone that offers helpful feedback.
 

karenjoly

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Apr 13, 2018
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It appears the disk is partitioned using MBR which cannot address disks or partitions over ~2TB. ( 2.199TB actually). See if you can delete the two partitions. If so, you should then rt click the disk and convert it to GPT partition style with which windows is able create one partition or more if you want , addressing the entire disk.

See these articles

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/disk-management/change-an-mbr-disk-into-a-gpt-disk

https://www.diskgenius.com/how-to/mbr-vs-gpt.php
 

ganymede-

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Thanks! You were correct about the drive having been partitioned using MBR. I clicked on the first link and read the article, but I was confused by accessing an elevated command prompt by right-clicking on something...maybe the disk? A command prompt was not offered as a choice when I right-clicked on the drive. I had up until this point been right-clicking on the unallocated two partitions only, but then I right-clicked to the left of the partitioned drive where it displays the disk numbers and there I saw the option to convert the drive to a GPT drive. Once I clicked on the GPT choice, a dialog box appeared that walked me through setting up a GPT drive with no partitions. So it would appear that I am good to go now.

Thank you for pointing me in the right direction, because I cannot believe I had not thought of clicking next to the drive on my own, but it has been a couple of years since I installed a HDD instead of my preferred choice of a SSD.
 

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