Hardware: Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 7200RPM SATA Format Issues

Recently, I purchased two 1.5TB Seagate hard drives with the intention of mirroring them and creating a stable drive to backup photos, store music and videos, and generally keep around large amounts of data. I got home, dismantled most of my mid sized tower to fit them in, plugged everything in and reassembled my desktop, booted up into Windows, and bam!

No additional hard drives.

Damn. Go into device manager, yep, they both show up.

What?

Ok… into Disk Management, Hey… my disks are offline. Ok, turn them on, setup a partition… Try to setup a mirrored partition… “Object does not support this operation” message box. Whatever… I’ll setup a simple partition, I’ll do the backup by hand or write a sync app. Startup the format process. Go.

[Next Day]

What? My drives aren’t formatted? I did it again, quick format, BAM “Windows was unable to complete the format.” How what?! Windows, not format something?! *insert sarcasm*

[End Result / Solution]

After wading through countless posts about people returning drives, calling them defective, blah blah blah, I start to see a pattern, the people who actually know what they’re talking about are mentioning motherboards, chip sets etc… and are suggesting seeing if you can format a portion of the drive.

Interesting, a portion of the drive? Try it… and HEY it works! I played with the numbers and stopped around a 1TB ‘working’ partition. Not ideal, but I knew now that the hard drives probably weren’t defective. After more googling, reading, and looking through several help and support links I found this little notice on Seagate’s site:

1.5TB (ST31500341AS) or larger SATA hard drive only showing 1.1TB capacity in Windows Vista [206391]

Hey… I wonder, I could only get my drives up to about that… when I was on Seagates site earlier searching I couldn’t find this, but this looks like exactly what my issue is. (It also contains download links and a detailed description of which chipset goes with which download.)

Long and the short is, if you have an Nvidia nForce * chipset on your motherboard, THAT is your issue. You have to go and get the driver downloads from Nvidia, install, restart, and THEN you can partition your drives. It also fixes the issue with setting up a mirrored drive, and now I have a nice shiny new 1.5TB mirrored raid drive in my computer.

Happy formatting,

Paul Rohde

4 thoughts on “Hardware: Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 7200RPM SATA Format Issues

  1. You just fixed my computer with this thanks! I sent a link of this to their tech support so they can help others. Thanks again!

  2. THANKS ALOT!!! I’VE BEEN TRYIN TO FIX THIS FOR A WEEK! WISH I FOUND THIS ABOUT 50 GOOGLE SEARCHES EARLIER BUT GLAD I FINALLY GOT IT WORKING RIGHT. I WAS GOING INSANE.

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