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I have a 3TB Hitachi HD () which progressively 'lost' displayed capacity to currently just above 740 GB.

Explorer, Installation-DVD and harddisk manager (win7) all agree on this size @ 1.5 billion LBAs.

I downloaded various HDD tools mainly from HDDGuru.com, the most promising for my problem seems to be HDD Capacity Restore, but it does not support win7. When run 'compatibly' (XP SP3, admin rights) it warns 'error loading driver' before start. and shows only scrambled data on all controller buses.

Is there another tool for Windows 7 or Ubuntu, or even a third way to reset the disk?

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Do you mean free space or drive capacity? If it really is the drive capacity changing, does the amount of data on the drive change as well? What does the capacity report in the BIOS? –  Ben Campbell Feb 1 '12 at 15:51
    
model: HDS5C3030ALA630, firmware: MEAOA5C0, advertised blocks: 5.86 billion –  Max Eckardt Feb 1 '12 at 15:54
    
The disk has no data on it, its available space was degrading and currently lies at 740GB. so I would call it drive capacity. even S.M.A.R.T. reports only 1.5 billion blocks. –  Max Eckardt Feb 1 '12 at 15:55
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If SMART says it's decreasing, I'd return the disk and get a new one. –  adaptr Feb 1 '12 at 16:10
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migrated from serverfault.com Feb 1 '12 at 16:34

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4 Answers

If the BIOS reports the hard drive as that much smaller... I'd check into updating the BIOS and see if you have any potential firmware updates. I've seen other posts about very particular incompatibilites between hard drive models and motherboard/bios models and firmware. Check to see what firmware you can update and go from there.

I also think there is potential for a physical problem with the hard drive that you cannot fix.

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This is a large drive (>2 TB) with 512 byte sectors. Multiple things can go wrong.

Couple of possibilities here:

  • Your BIOS doesn't support large disks. (You are using Win7 which can do it, if the BIOS allows it.)
  • You are using a FDISK style partition table instead of GPT. Even Win7 needs the disk be partitioned as GPT in order to use it properly.

Be very careful with HD utilities. Many of those are not yet able to deal with such large disks. And even if the utility can do it, it needs the BIOS to be able to handle the disk correctly too !

This disk should have come with Hitachi's GPT partitioning tool.

Check the Hitachi web-site. Has all sorts of info about this problem and how to deal with it, specifically for this model of drive: http://www.hitachigst.com/deskstar-5k3000

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Assuming none of the other options work, I would go to the Hitachi support website and download whatever tools they have for drive diagnostics and run them. This should report the accurate size of the drive, and may also allow you to respec the drive to a different size. I know Seagate has had such a tool for many years, I presume Hitachi would as well.

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Normally when the disk is loosing capacity without dooing anything on it (no formating tweaking with the block size) it's a sign for the disk getting defect (due to time or useage etc) - You should probably buy a new disk or accept its smaller size.

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