FreeAgent GoFlex Desk 3TB in OSX 10.6 only sees 800GB?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by ChromeAce, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. ChromeAce macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2009
    I bought this Seagate external 3TB drive to use exclusively with my iMac via FireWire 800. I already have a drive tower from Wiebetech which accepts bare SATA drives, so I removed the Seagate 3TB SATA drive from the external case and put it into one of my drivebays. OSX says the disc is unreadable and needs to be initialized. Fine by me, and expected, since it supposedly comes pre-formatted for NTFS. But when attempting to partition it with Disk Manager, the maximum partition size is 800 and some GB, not 3TB. Does some kind of special proprietary driver have to be loaded? Is this possibly a 32-bit only driver, since the box says this drive is not compatible with the 64-bit OSX Snow Leopard kernel? I boot into the 32-bit kernel by default, just like all Macs. And where do I find this driver? If it was on the hard drive in NTFS format, it's gone now as I re-partitioned the drive.

    How do I access the entire 3TB in OSX 10.6? I have found no answers via Google or on Seagate's site. What I do find is a big explanation as to why this drive breaks the 2.1TB barrier in Windows and is thus incompatible with all versions of it except 64-bit due to the need for higher LBA addressing. Those same references say OSX is OK because it already handles that in Snow Leopard. But apparently something else is needed, as I only see about 25% of the drive in OSX.
  2. ChromeAce thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2009
    UPDATE: I tried the same drive in a NexStar Hard Drive Dock, which is USB2, and I can now format the drive as 2.2TB, but no higher. I am beginning to think the limitation may be in these external storage bay devices. The Wiebetech bay has a chip in it that converts SATA to FireWire 800, USB, and eSATA. This chip may only be able to handle limited addressing. This may also be the case with the NexStar Dock, although it can see more capacity.

    There is a user in the Apple Discussion forum who claims to see the full 3TB with this drive connected via his Mac Pro's internal SATA cable.
  3. RandalCox macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2010

    I banged my head on this for a few while, too. The key is that DiskUtility defers to the existing partition map scheme, which is "Master Boot Record", but apparently that only works in the Seagate cradle.

    So, in Disk utility, select the device (not any existing drive), click on the partition tab. Pup up "Current" to "1 Partition". This causes the "Options" button will activate. Click on it and select the GUID radio button. Hit OK, then Apply and you're done.

    I've got two of these drives in bays 3 and 4 of my PowerMac, and they seem to be doing a fine job so far. I've filled up one with about 1.5 TB so far (it took about 17 hours).

    One downside of these drives is that they spin at only 5400 rpm, so they're not blazingly fast.
  4. ChromeAce thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2009
    This is actually not the solution. I already partitioned this way, and it still won't work for external FireWire disk enclosures. The only reason it works for you is because you're using internal SATA connectors.

    I decided to scrap all my Wiebetech drive bays and use the Seagate mini-docks that come with these drives. They work great, are much quieter, and take up much less space. I can even hotswap drives without rebooting.

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