After I Shrunk the Partition on my 4TB WD, my 2TB was gone!

Yeah, do not panic and run a rampage. This is solvable case I wrote it for you. I’ll share the troubleshoot I’ve found this weekend.

Prologue

Once upon a time I bought a 4 TB WD My Book external hardisk. It’s actually 3,64 TB there. I didn’t have courage to leave the hardisk on single partition. Because of that reason, I try to create a partition using Windows 7 or 8 disk management.

[Do not do this on your hard disk] I shrunk the partition so that I could free some space from that single partition and I could create a new volume of partition.

Et voila! I completed shrinking the partition. And The expected fress space was no where. All expected freed space is become “unallocated space” which meant unusable. Literally. OH NO, my damn unallocated 1 TB!!!!!

Using disk management in my computer, I couldn’t revert back the process. I couldn’t even touch the unallocated lot. Dafuq. I tried to delete the other partition, but it created two unallocated space. The first unallocated space still could be reverted to (only) 2 TB new volume. But, at that time, my unallocated space became bigger….. OH NO, my damn unallocated 2 TB!!!

Cause

[reposted part]

#1 Answer

If you’re using MBR (master boot record) you can’t use more then 2TB, anything passed 2TB is not usable. Using over 2TB requires GUID Partition Table (GPT), or special drivers.

The 2.19TB Barrier:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3981/western-digital-caviar-green-3tb-and-my-book-essential-3tb-drives-reviewed/2

Windows and GPT FAQ:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg463525.aspx

Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) specification defines the GUID Partition Table (GPT) format:
http://www.uefi.org/specs

Guide – installing Windows 7 in UEFI on a 3TB drive:
http://usingwindowshomeserver.com/2010/11/22/3tb-western-digital-drive-on-a-uefi-day-night/

Understanding the 2 TB Limit in Windows Storage:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/askcore/archive/2010/02/18/understanding-the-2-tb-limit-in-windows-storage.aspx

Paragon GPT Loader (for data drive):
http://www.paragon-software.com/technologies/components/gpt-loader/win7.html

#2 Discussion of and instructions for updating your computer to be able to use the entire capacity of your larger-than-2TB internal drive.

Most legacy systems built before 2011 have a traditional PC BIOS. This type of BIOS uses a Master Boot Record (MBR). The MBR Partitions can define a disk drive capacity up to 2.2TB. Windows operating systems that boot from an MBR are therefore limited to 2.2TB per MBR. A 3TB disk drive in a legacy BIOS and Window system will need a DiscWizard device driver to access the full capacity of a 3TB disk drive. Two partitions will be necessary because of the MBR limitation. The device driver mounts the capacity above 2.2TB with another MBR which looks to the system as a second virtual “physical” device.

GUID Partition Tables (GPT) can define drives larger than 2.2TB. You can use GPT today on any Windows 7 and Vista system as a non-booting data drive. Windows can only boot a GPT partition on a new type of BIOS called UEFI.

UEFI BIOS desktop systems are new since 2011. Windows 7 64-bit and Vista 64-bit operating systems support booting from UEFI and GPT without the need of a non-Microsoft device driver. This is the Windows native solution for booting a 3TB drive to a single partition.

Quick facts about Windows and 3TB drives:

  • Windows 7 and Vista support GPT 3TB single partitions
  • Windows 7 and Vista can only boot GPT on systems with UEFI BIOS
  • Windows 7 and Vista can mount a GPT non-booting data drive
  • Intel RST device drivers before v10.1 do not support 3TB disk drives
  • Windows systems with Legacy BIOS and MBR boot drives are limited to 2.2TB partitions
  • Windows XP does not support GPT
  • Windows XP sees a 3TB drive as 800GB on boot or data drives
  • DiscWizard software can install a device driver which opens the full capacity of a 3TB. You can use it to create a second partition for the capacity above 2.2TB

DiscWizard v13 with support for 3TB drives is now available.

Solution

Normally you have to use non MBR environment/partition manager (UEFI-based system <— that’s the key) blah.. blah.. blah.. like the article I reposted in the cause part above. BUT, you can simply do this thing.

I believe that any hard disk that has more than 2 TB has any tools that can help you manage the partition (of course using non MBR environment). And my guess is right. I found a driver tools software for the hard disk. On that tools, there is a delete disk menu.

Fortunately, I have not put any data there. So I can freely delete and reformat the disk.

I deleted the disk and reformat the disk….

Et voila!! my 4TB (3,64 TB) is back. Welcome home, babe!

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