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Creating a partition for use with Windows
On Windows I can’t initialize my HGST hard drive.
Disk Management says it is a “GPT Protective Partition.”
Before starting process remove all other external drives except the drive you want to erase/initialize. This does not include the start up drive.
IMPORTANT NOTE: THIS PROCESS WILL ERASE ALL INFORMATION ON THE DISK SELECTED
External USB, eSATA, Firewire, and internal hard drives over 2 TB's cannot be formatted on Windows 32-bit operating systems using the Master Boot Record (MBR) partitioning scheme. As a result, when you connect drives over 2 TB's, depending on which interface you are using to connect them to the computer, they may not be recognized at all. They may be only partially recognized showing 700+ GB, or they may be recognized but you can't access them. Other issues such as the system locking up or the computer not being able to boot may also occur.
This is not an internal or external hard drive issue. It is a 2TB volume limitation caused by the Master Boot Record (MBR) partitioning scheme that has long been used by Windows 32-bit operating systems such as Windows 2000 and XP.
In order to use a drive larger than 2 TB, you will need an operating system that can partition and format that drive. Windows 7, Vista, Windows XP (64-bit), Mac 10.4, Mac 10.5 and Mac 10.6 all have this capability through the GUID Partitioning Table (GPT). The GUID partitioning scheme has the ability to partition both internal and external drives far beyond 2 TB in size.
For more information on GUID partitioning please see:
For more information on MBR partition size limitations, please see:
A: If you are experiencing problems with your drive or would just like to test the drive’s integrity, download and run the HGST Drive Fitness Test.
If possible, we recommend that you backup any important data before running the test. Run the quick test first. If you are experiencing problems, but receive the result 0x00 try running the Advanced Test option. When you have completed the test, please contact the Support Center with the results and our agents will be able to assist you on resolving the problem.
A: There are several alternatives available depending on your hardware platform and operating environment.
Many laptops only have one internal drive bay. One solution is to mount the drive into an external enclosure and clone the drive. Apricorn and CMS both offer reasonably priced packages. Please visit the following sites for details:
The advantage of using an external enclosure is that you can use your original drive as additional storage once the cloning process is complete.
The most popular software is Carbon Copy Cloner by Mike Bombich:Carbon Copy Cloner
A: Depending on the operating system being used, there could be multiple steps involved in partitioning and formatting a drive.
For more information, please see our Partitioning and Formatting Reference Guide.
Open My Computer (XP) or Computer (Vista/7) from your desktop or Start Menu. Right click on the drive you would like to Defragment and select Properties. Choose the Tools tab and then select Defragment Now.
How do I find the hard drive on my system?
In Windows, the drive should appear under My Computer as another hard drive shortly after being connected.
On a Mac, the drive should appear on your Desktop shortly after being connected.
If your drive does not appear in the appropriate location, please consult the Troubleshooting guide.
External drives are not assigned a permanent letter by Windows. The next available letter will be assigned at drive connection or system startup. Based on the order the drives are detected by the computer this may cause a drive to be assigned a different letter than you are used to. If you would like to permanently assign a letter to a drive, this can be done in Disk Management. The steps below will guide you through setting a letter. Some screens may vary slightly depending on your version of Windows, but the steps are the same. You will need to be logged in as an administrator to complete this process.
A: Generally, firmware updates are provided only when a firmware update is required to resolve a specific issue. If your hard drive is working normally, there is no need to upgrade the firmware.
If you feel a firmware update is necessary or you have a question about firmware, please contact the Support Center.
In order for us to determine whether a firmware upgrade will be beneficial, please be prepared to provide a complete description of your system configuration, along with a detailed account of the problems you are experiencing. We will need the serial number(s) and part number(s) of the hard drive(s) in question and the current firmware level.
To obtain drive and firmware level information by using HGST's Drive Fitness Test:
Click on the Utilities menu and select Drive Info
Scroll down until the firmware level (“Microcode level”) is displayed.
For more specifics about operating DFT, consult the Drive Fitness Test User's Guide.
A: Unfortunately, there is no way to bypass the security password feature of HGST hard disk drives. If the password is not known or has been misplaced, HGST will not be able to assist in gaining access to the data on the drive.
All speeds listed are the theoretical maximum for the connection type. Speeds will vary based on your system configuration and the attached device.
Mb = Megabit,
MB = Megabyte,
Gb = Gigabit,
GB = Gigabyte.
8Mb = 1MB, 8Gb = 1GB.
FireWire 400 – 400Mbps
USB 2.0 – 480Mbps
FireWire 800 – 800Mbps
eSATA – 3Gbps
USB 3.0 – 5Gbpps
Thunderbolt – 10Gbps
The most basic description of a backup is a copy of your files. This means having your files stored in at least two places. The original file remains on your computer and a copy is stored in another location, such as another computer, an external drive, CD/DVDs, or in an online backup. Anytime a file is stored in only one location it is at risk. Backups can be done by simply copying the files to a second place using drag/drop, copy/paste, or send to options. A more structured backup can be done using software specifically designed for that purpose. There are several types of backup software available. Many will do a “data copy” backup. A data copy entails just copying personal files like pictures, documents and music. Other programs will do a “complete system backup” that includes all program and operating system files. This type of backup is frequently referred to as a clone, image, or disaster recovery.
There are benefits and drawbacks to each of the two backup types. A data backup takes less space and can be processed much more quickly. It also makes restore of individual files much easier. However, in the event of a system failure the OS and all programs will need to be reinstalled separately. The complete backup avoids the issues of reinstalling, but can reintroduce system problems that existed when the backup was created. Also, with a complete backup a complete restore is generally required. Individual files and folders cannot be accessed separately.
Backup programs copy files in two different ways. Most programs that backup only data do it with a simple copy, allowing direct access to the files from the backup without requiring a restore. The second method, which is generally used in a complete backup, is to archive the files. All files and folders are combined into a larger file(s). This file(s) can only be accessed using the restore function built into the backup software. The archive provides an extra layer of protection to the files, as they cannot be accidentally modified and are far better protected from viruses.
A “true backup” involves more than just copying the files. In this situation multiple revisions of a file are stored. This provides protection beyond simple hardware failure. In the event that a file is edited or corrupted and then backed up, access to a previous version is still possible. This type of backup can require a great deal of storage space, as a single file will be stored repeatedly.
A: You can find purchasing information and sales links in the Where to Buy section of our web site.
A: All operating systems (OS) have hard disk drivers built into the OS by default. No additional drivers are required for the drive itself.
If you are being asked for drivers by the installation software or your drive is not detected during the OS installation, you may need to download the most current version of your controller or motherboard drivers. To obtain the most current version of your controller or motherboard drivers, please contact the manufacturer of your controller or motherboard or visit their web site for more information.
All information is provided by HGST on an "AS IS" basis only. HGST makes no representations or warranties, whether express or implied, regarding the information, including the warranty of non-infringement and non-interference and the implied warranty or terms of merchantability, and fitness or use for a particular purpose.
Use of information that is provided by HGST is at the recipient's own risk. HGST provides no assurances that any reported problems may be resolved with the use of any information that HGST provides. By furnishing information, HGST does not grant any licenses to any copyrights, trademarks, patents or any other intellectual property rights.
Any trademarks and product or brand names referenced in this document are the property of their respective owners. Please consult your HGST product manuals for complete trademark information.
Any references to third parties are provided as reference only and are not recommendations of any products by HGST. HGST makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these companies or products.