04-30-2013 11:03 AM
System: Presario CQ5320F
OS: Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Motherboard: M2N68-LA (Narra6)
BIOS: American Megatrends 5.15, 11/6/2009
The computer came with a 500GB hard drive, which is now 99.9% full. I want to keep this hard drive for the OS and applications, but install a second hard drive for all my user files.
Without realizing there may be compatibility issues, I bought and installed a 3TB hard drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive.
It's not working as I'd hoped. Windows only sees it as a ~750GB drive, not the full 3TB. I've followed Seagate's documentation (http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/beyond-2tb/) extensively and updated hard drive controller drivers (nVidia) to the proper version (which helped: initially, Seagate's DiskWizard software didn't even recognize the drive as a Seagate drive, but now it at least sees it. It just thinks it's a 750GB drive.
In searching online I've seen several people describe similar problems and mention something like "it shows as 3TB in the BIOS, just not in Windows." So I went into the BIOS and discovered that the drive shows as 801GB in the BIOS, not the full 3TB. So before Windows even has a chance to look at it, the BIOS already thinks it’s a smaller drive.
My hope is that there may be a BIOS upgrade out there that would add the ability for my system to see the full 3TB drive. However searching the Downloads section for this computer on the HP site shows that there are no published BIOS upgrades for this particular model.
I found in some back-alley of the internet a 5.20 BIOS update that's supposedly compatible with this motherboard. I tried to flash it using AMI's update tools, and it actually shows that it loaded, but then it fails on the verification step, and when you reboot the system, much to my delight, was smart enough to see I'd messed up the BIOS and it automatically reverted to the original BIOS. So the system is still in fine working order, but I still can't see all 3 terebytes of the new hard drive.
- Do I just live with the shame of having a 1TB secondary drive, with the unaccessable other 2TB taunting me daily?
- Any chance HP is going to publish a BIOS update that solves this problem?
- Should I buy a new motherboard to get the 3TB support I'm looking for, and any pointers on what I need to look for in a new MB that would be compatibile with this system?
- Should I try and return/sell/dispose of the 3TB drive and get a second hard drive that IS compatible with this system? If so, what would that be? What's the upper size limit? Other considerations?
04-30-2013 11:17 AM - edited 04-30-2013 11:33 AM
Unless your PC has a UEFI BIOS (which it doesn't), and the disk is formatted in GPT (which you can't do since you need a UEFI BIOS), if you can, your only recourse is to partition and format the drive into smaller partitions (3 x 1 TB, 2 x 1.5 TB, 2TB & 1 TB etc).
The hardware in your PC precludes any other alternative.
I can't offer advise about installing a different motherboard, etc.
Not to mention if you do that, then you need to buy a new OS as it is illegal to transfer the OEM OS to another motherboard.
Theoretically, your PC should be able to support a 2 TB HDD.
I'm not quite sure why it is only seeing less than 1 TB in the BIOS unless the HDD is GPT formatted at the factory and the PC doesn't know what it is seeing.
See if you can use the free partition wizard to set up new partitions on the secondary drive using the bootable media.
Make sure you partition the right disk!
04-30-2013 11:34 AM
Just to expand on what Paul_Tikkanen said...
The need for UEFI and a GPT format applies to a system which primary boot partition is on a drive larger than 2.1TB. If you want to use the drive as storage only, just format the drive in GPT. This should display a usable space of 2.1TB with the remaining (746.52GB I believe) to be unallocated. Just go to your partition manager and format the unallocated space. This will give you 2.7TB of usable storage.
Just to clarify, you won't be able to boot from a GPT drive unless your bios is EFI, but you will be able to use the space as auxiliary storage.
04-30-2013 11:50 AM
Can you format a partition (even on a secondary drive) in GPT with a non UEFI BIOS?
I didn't think so.
I thought the only way to partition/format the drive in this circumstance is MBR.
If it could be formatted in GPT, wouldn't all 3 TB be visible/usable?
04-30-2013 12:12 PM
Yes, the drive can be formatted to GPT even on legacy motherboards not supporting the UEFI format. The only problem is you won't be able to boot from such a drive without it.
So the steps would be to initially format to MBR then use the partition manager to format to GPT.
After this format is done, the usable amount of space will be 2.7TB since the remaining storage doesn't actually exist.
1TB = 931GB / 69GB lost
2TB = 1862GB / 138GB lost
3TB = 2793GB / 207GB lost
04-30-2013 12:48 PM
Hey guys, thanks for the prompt suggestions! A few points of clarification:
- I will not be using this as a boot drive.
- I can see the drive in Windows, and with the native Disk Management partitioning interface I can configure it as either MBR or GPT - both seem to work, but both still only see the first ~750GB: meaning when I go to create partitions, I can only create partitions within that 750GB block of unallocated space. I haven't tried it yet, but are you suggesting the third-party partitioning tool referenced above might see the other 2TB?
- I thought because I could only see 800GB in the BIOS, my problem was I needed a new BIOS/Mobo. Are you saying that it's possible to only see that 800 in the BIOS, but by formatting with GPT I may still get access to the rest of the hard drive?
I'll give your suggestions a try this evening and report back. Thank you!
04-30-2013 12:55 PM
What you need to do is make sure that your bios HDD controller is setup to AHCI. Once this is done it should boot and load up Microsofts SATA drivers which will see the extra storage.
04-30-2013 01:30 PM - edited 04-30-2013 01:37 PM
Just for clarification...
A 1TB hard drive is a 1TB hard drive... there is no "lost" space as claimed in a earlier post. The reason why it appears that there is lost space is because the hard drive manufacturers report the size of the drive in units of 1000 (decimal), while Windows reports the size of the drive in units of 1024 (binary). If you do the math, you can see how the reported size changes. See Wikipedia article entitled "Hard disk drive" for more information on this subject. If you stick the same drive in a Apple Mac computer, it will report the size as what is list on the drive packaging.
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04-30-2013 01:34 PM