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  1. #1
    External Hard Drive Capacity Problems

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    External Hard Drive Capacity Problems
    Hi folks, just trying to get some info on this issue...

    A bit new to this formatting and partioning thing. I just got a Maxtor 500gb external hard drive, which I formatted and partitioned on a Mac (OSX 10.4.11) It was showing a capacity of 465gb, which seemed fine but when I partitioned it using disk utility, it's capacity is only showing as 257gb! Don't know what I did wrong but I think I may have stuffed up in the partioning process as when I chose the hard drive in disk utility it only showed 257gb figure in the size field and I named it and partioned it (using mac os extended)

    Any suggestions as to what might be the problem? why is it only showing 257gb? have I lost most of the hard drives capacity?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    External Hard Drive Capacity Problems
    mrplow's Avatar
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    Reading your post sounds like you partitioned - formatted - partitioned then formatted again. Maybe I'm reading it wrong....

    Anyway...... I'd start again if I were you.
    Delete all partitions.
    Create 1 or more partitions.
    Format each partition individually.

    Sorry this is a bit high-level . . . . if you need more detail post back and let me know how many partitions you want and of what size and I'll give you some more detailed info.

    HTH
    mrplow
    External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - top right of this post

  3. #3
    External Hard Drive Capacity Problems

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    Hi, sorry if my post wasn't clear.

    What I did was basically follow the instructions that came with the hard drive - it said to run the software that came already saved on the hard drive for mac osx - did this and then I went into disk utility to partition (which is where the 257gb figure came up). I jut named the partition and hit 'partition'

    All I wanted to do was to have the entire 500gb formatted for a Mac so that I could use it as back up storage.

    If I was to start again I 'm assuming that would mean clearing the hard drive and using the erase function in disk utility?

  4. #4
    External Hard Drive Capacity Problems
    mrplow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r_aj View Post
    Hi, sorry if my post wasn't clear.

    What I did was basically follow the instructions that came with the hard drive - it said to run the software that came already saved on the hard drive for mac osx - did this and then I went into disk utility to partition (which is where the 257gb figure came up). I jut named the partition and hit 'partition'

    All I wanted to do was to have the entire 500gb formatted for a Mac so that I could use it as back up storage.

    If I was to start again I 'm assuming that would mean clearing the hard drive and using the erase function in disk utility?
    Yes you can use Erase to clear the entire disk.
    Then use Partition to split it into 2 or more partitions
    External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - top right of this post

  5. #5
    External Hard Drive Capacity Problems

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    Thanks. I'll try doing it again.

    Just one last question. The capacity that it's showing now (257gb) is that because I have probably partitioned only that one portion?

  6. #6
    External Hard Drive Capacity Problems
    mrplow's Avatar
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    It sounds like you have 2 partitions only 1 formatted and it's that one that you are seeing at 257gb.

    When you go into Disk Utility you'll be able to see how the disk is split etc
    External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - top right of this post

  7. #7
    External Hard Drive Capacity Problems

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    OK so I erased the partition and started all over again. It only lets me partition 257gb!

    In disk utility I have it set on '1 partition' and the max it goes up to is 257gb

    Any suggestions?

  8. #8
    External Hard Drive Capacity Problems
    bobtomay's Avatar
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    In Disk Utility you will want to highlight the "Drive" - not one of the partitions ... see pic.

    Then do an Erase and Partition in order to create a single partition on the drive.

    External Hard Drive Capacity Problems-picture-1-jpg

    If you highlight only one of the partitions on the drive, it will only erase and reformat that partition.
    Selecting the drive will erase and the whole drive. Then go to the Partition tab and have it just create a single partition using the whole drive.


    And make sure you're not selecting your internal drive here!!!!!!
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  9. #9
    External Hard Drive Capacity Problems

    Member Since
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    This is bizzare cos the drive (at the top of the list) is showing me 257gb! but it's a 500gb drive. That's what I erased and partitioned but it won't let me go any higher than 257gb.

  10. #10
    External Hard Drive Capacity Problems
    mrplow's Avatar
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    Can you run this command from the terminal and post back the result please

    diskutil list

    mrplow
    External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

    Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - top right of this post

  11. #11
    External Hard Drive Capacity Problems

    Member Since
    Apr 18, 2008
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    Thanks all for your help, much appreciated.

    It seems whatever the problem was has fixed itself! The disk utility now reads the disk as 465gb, with one partition.

    mrplow, I did run that command from the terminal earlier today - it gave me all the partition sizes and it had the hard drive listed as 465gb but it still wasn't showing that capacity in disk utility. Checked back a little while later and it had the correct capacity in disk utility. Have no idea what the issue would have been.

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