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Old 07-03-2006, 02:29 AM   #1
bluelightning
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320GB hard drive shows up as 150GB


I recently purchased a WD3200SB. That is, a 320GB Western Digital ATA hard drive. Normally I buy white label drives, but this time I decided to spend a little more for the brand name (a mistake a I won't make again).

Unfortunatley, EVERYTHING I plug the drive into says it's either 150GB or 137GiB (depends on whether they use base 10 or base 2). I tried 4 different hard drive enclosures, directly to the motherboard, and through a SATA to ATA adapter. Even the BIOS thinks it's 150GB.

Now my enclosures and BIOS do support more than 150GB. In fact, the computer has 3 250GB hard drives in it already. I've also used 200GB and 250GB hard drives in the enclosures I tried. The Bytecc ME-720U2 enclosure supports all the way up to 500GB.

After loads of tiresome searching, I finally found the problem. Western Digital disguises their drives as 150GB. You can only enable anything more than that by using their Data LifeGuard Tools. I made a bootable floppy of their DOS tools on a windows box, and tried using it on my Linux box (where the drive is actually connected).

The DLG tools did format the drive as 320GB, but it still shows up as 150GB in the BIOS. What's worse is that it overwrote my MBR with some crappy drive overlay boot manager, which does not support Linux. It put that on my main drive, not the one I told it to format.

Enough of my ranting, has anyone encountered this problem before? I would expect so since WD isn't that uncommon of a brand. Are there any Linux solutions?
 
Old 07-03-2006, 04:03 AM   #2
bluelightning
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I found a solution. You have to use Data Lifeguard Tools for DOS version 11.0 instead of version 11.2. In it, there's a feature called "Set Hard drive Max Size". It will unclip the hard drive size so the BIOS and everything else can correctly read it.

Does anyone know of any Linux utilities that will do the same thing? Even better, any that work through USB enclosures?

I am still very displeased at how undocumented to the point of purposely obscured this drive clipping is.
 
Old 07-03-2006, 04:28 AM   #3
cs-cam
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Huh? I use only Western Digital drives, right now I have just under 2TB formatted space with 300GB (1 x ATA, 1 x SATA, 4 x SATA II) WD drives and they all worked fine out of the box at their advertised size.
 
Old 07-03-2006, 06:00 AM   #4
bluelightning
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That is strange. The sizes even appear right in the BIOS? How long ago did you buy them? Maybe this is a new thing Western Digital is doing.
 
Old 07-03-2006, 06:26 AM   #5
cs-cam
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The SATA II drives were all bought in the last six months and yep, BIOS shows correct size. If it is a new thing then they'll lose me as a customer, if I buy a 300GB drive I don't want to have to stuff around to get it.
 
  


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