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Toshiba 3TB GPT Partitioned & Fat32

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Hi, I run Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit

with a ASRock P67 PRO3 (B3) MoBo

that has a UEFI BIOS.

I have EaseUS Partition Master Pro v9.2.2

and EaseUS Partition Wizard Home v8.1.1

as well as Acronis Disk Director 11 Home Build 11.0.2121

My C, D and E partitions are on a 120 GB NTFS SSD with a MBR.

I installed Windows 7 on a pre-partitioned SSD so no hidden

"System Partition".

I'm getting a Toshiba PH3300U-1I72 3TB HDD that will

have to be GPT Partitioned to get the full 3TBs.

It will be used as storage only on partitions "F" thru "M".

F will be 2.629 TB's Set As Fat32

G will be 1 GB's Set As Fat32

H will be 5 GB's Set As Fat32

I will be 4 GB's Set As NTFS

J will be 30 GB's Set As Fat32

K will be 20 GB's Set As Fat32

L will be 50 GB's Set As Fat32

M will be 50 GB's Set As Fat32

My question: Can my Toshiba 3TB be partitioned as above?

Thanks in advance for any help you can be.


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Strictly speaking, even if you can, it doesn't really mean that you should.


Can you provide the background (reasons, requisites, requirements, whatever) that made you design that partitioning scheme?

Particularly the 2.629 Tb partition FAT32 is perplexing.

The "recommended" max size of a FAT32 filesystem is 32 Gb (which while making sense, can be extended within limits, like the 50 Gb of your volumes L: and M:, using a third party formatting tool) but the issue here is that:


The maximum number of clusters on a FAT32 volume is 4,177,918

Approximately 2,629,000,000,000/4,177,918=629260,794

would imply 1024 Kb clusters, which - even if they would be supported :unsure. - are HUGE!

Compare with common cluster sizes in use:


Maybe you could consider to make that large volume exFAT should NTFS (which would be a senceful choice), for whatever reasons, doesn't suit you.


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  • 2 weeks later...

OK guys, course is changing a little:

I would make 5 partitions, 4 NTFS and one small FAT32.

I use Norton's Ghost weekly and it has issues with GPT.

I proceeded to contact various partitioning/cloning software

companies to see if their products could be used in place of


The partial exchange below is between TeraByte Unlimited and me:


"If your new drive uses 4K sector sizes you
wouldn't need to have a GPT."


Please elaborate.

BTW, This is what my present Toshiba 2TB looks like:



If you expose the 4K sector size and not the emulated

normal 512 byte sector size, you can use an MBR and

use the entire space (up to 16TiB).



With what software and what is the procedure to go about

doing this?

Can it be done via a Bootable CD or must it be done in Windows

with just my SSD and empty 3TB connected?


It would be a drive feature/option, typically using
a jumper. The BIOS would also have to support the larger
sizes too so it doesn't crash reading larger sectors, a
modern BIOS should be able to handle it.

My hunt for answers from Toshiba is a lost cause as their

support is a TOTAL joke and does NOT offer E-Mail support.

So, I'm here to find out if this "exposing the 4K sector size" can,

indeed, be done to my PH3300U-1I72, and if so, EXACTLY how to go

about doing it.

Also, are there any shortcomings to having the Toshiba "exposing

the 4K sector size" using 5 partitions, 4 NTFS and one small FAT32?

Big Al

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You have several options:

a) find a SW that works with GPT

b) partition tye drive with MBR and lose a little less than 1 TB (you can repartition it with GPT later)

c) use a smaller (2TB or less) for Ghosting and then copy the stuff into the 3TB drive

While you can go bigger, FAT32 partitions should be under 128 gig.

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I am failing to see why a hybrid MBR cannot be used, though as the good Terabyte guys told you if the disk has 4k sectors it should work in pure MBR without issues read here:


and/or try a hybrid MBR/GPT:



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Semi-Good News:

I found a way to make my 3TB FULLY accessible and set as MBR.

It's Acronis True Image, aka Seagates DiskWizard aka WD's version

of DiskWizard. It puts an "Extended Capacity Manager" in the boot

sector so you get one 2.1TB and one 700+GB partition, BOTH MBR.

See: Seagate DiscWizard CloneDisc for drives larger than 3TB_Part-2

The reason that I'm posting this is to get feedback from anyone who

has used these programs to see if the 3TBers work as any other HDD

would or are there any quirks that have come up since partitioning

your 3TB?

Please post to me.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Semi-Good News:

It puts an "Extended Capacity Manager" in the boot sector so you get one 2.1TB and one 700+GB partition, BOTH MBR.

Allow me to doubt that statement.

Let's do it like this :):

  • Install that thingy, then see if Ghost (from DOS) sees the "Extended Capacity" Volume.

If you are going that way, if I were you I would rather use Asrock's utility, instead:



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Allow me to doubt that statement.

So software that's been out since 2+ HDDs have been sold by the 2 biggest HDD

companies is suspect to you? Not to mention how long Acronis has been on the scene.


>Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit

"3TB+ Unlocker tool offers a tweak-friendly feature, breaking the limitation of

32-bit operation system that could only detect the hard disk within 2048GB"

ASRocks goof.

I just found this and would like some input:

Make SURE the 3TB is EMPTY as this will wipe ALL data on the drive

To make a fully accessible 3TB with 4k sector:

1. Boot to desktop.

2. Open "My Computer" in Windows Explorer.

3. Click on the EMPTY 3TB HDD.

4. If the factory made some partitions on it, delete them all.

5. Once it is just one disk, right-click it and click "Format"

6. Select "4096", "NTFS" and "Format".

7. Click OK. Since the 3TB is EMPTY, it should be real quick.

8. It's now ready to be partitioned to your liking up to 2.7 or so

TB's total and is set as MBR.

So, has anyone used these programs or the "4096", "NTFS" and "Format"


Big Al

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What I doubt is your statement that "It puts an "Extended Capacity Manager" in the boot sector", maybe it is in the MBR (and I presume in some of the hidden sectors, I doubt :unsure: in the bootsector).

But however, if I had to choose a "software tool", I would personally test first the one produced by the manufacturer of the board and only later a "third party tool".

Just for the record, Acronis has in the past produced exceptionally good software but also had some hiccups and caused some issues.

To recap, if I were you I would:

  1. firstly try without any software add-on, as it is very possible that the Toshiba can exposes 4 kb sectors alright
  2. secondly try the motherboard manufacturer tool <- which surely has been tested on the specific motherboard
  3. thirdly try third party software - please consider how the Seagate version of the Acronis tool will only work on Seagate disk drives (besides only being licensed for use on them and not on other brand devices) so you will need to either find out if Toshiba provides it or buy a full license form Acroniis for the product


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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry to say that I've heard from numerous people with 3+ TB's and they have grave reservations about Acronis/Seagate/WD's Extended Capacity Manager to get full MBR 3 TB HDD's and they say that the "4096", "NTFS" and "Format" won't work.

Well, I HATE to admit defeat, but since I CANNOT find the Ghost v11.5.1.2298 from GSS 2.5.1 that DOES see GPT HDD's, I've concluded that my only recourse is to relegate my 3TB to GPT and to BACKUP status to my 2TB Toshiba and dusted-off 1TB Hitachi MBR HDD's that I'll be using as my main drives.

After numerous E-Mails to a bunch of Cloning Software companies, I've settled on MiniTool Partition Wizard v8.1.1 (to top it off, it's FREE!!!) to pre-partition my 3 TB-er and to do the "Copy partitions from my 1 and 2 TB MBR's to partitions on my 3 TB GPT" and use my Ghost v11.5.1.2269's Make and Restore Bootable CD's to do my MBR C and D Drive imaging chores.

It's been fun--NOT!

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Just to avoid any wild-goose chases, rest assured that there is no Ghost32.exe (or Ghostexp.exe or GDisk32.exe) v.



patch version - GSS 2.5.1 build 2298 - Issues Resolved

PROBLEM: ngctw32.exe crashes with a C0000005 error message.

Moreover, the upper limit for any MBR using 512 byte sectors is 2,147,483,647 bytes (aka 2 TiB - 1 byte), because of the way in which the MBR is defined and because 2^32 = 2,147,483,648. Using bigger sectors can circunvent this limitation, but most (if not all) existing filesystem drivers for most existing OSes will choke with such sectors. So the biggest commercial HDDs fully usable with a MBR are 2 TB ones, provided they aren't "Advanced Format" or whatever else euphemism one may use for "4 kiB sectored".

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