I just received 4 SATA II Seagate Barracuda 2TB drives that I intend to use for various purposes. Looking at Vista's Disk Management utility I find that all 4 drives come from the factory as GPT disks with the following partitions
[31MB unallocated][2GB primary Partition] [4GB primary Partition] [512MB primary Partition] [1847GB primary Partition] [9.47GB unallocated]
My Vista 64 OS automatically mounts the 4th (and largest - 1847GB) partition, and as I try to access it by double clicking, it brings up the formatting wizard as you'd expect. If I select a full format for this volume, I imagine that in 5 or 6 hours I'll have a 1847GB NTFS volume on a GPT disk.
Now, to say that hardware wasn't my forte would be generous, so I apologise for my naivete in advance, but here are my questions:
Are all these partitions and unallocated space necessary for GPT to function or are they just garbage? If they are necessary for GPT, why are they taking so much space? 16GB seems excessive, no? Is this possibly a Seagate specific hack required to get their Barracuda drives (quite a popular and widely used brand) to work in a specific manner?
Given this drive is not over the 2TB MBR limit I was expecting to be able to convert it to MBR, however the options to convert from GPT to MBR (and vice versa) are greyed out on my Disk Manager (for all disks, not just this one). And yes, I am running it as Admin. Any ideas as to how to convert to MBR? Any warnings, issues I should consider?
I should also note that I have been unable to get Vista Disk Manager to recognise the entire disk as a single volume. Deleting all partitions from Disk Manager still leaves you with two separate unallocated spaces that cannot seem to be convertible into just one. If you try, you get a warning that you are about to convert the disk to a dynamic disk which I don't want to do (certainly not as the end result anyway). It appears that any attempt to create a single volume greater than around 1850GB triggers this warning. Any ideas as to why this is?
All help is greatly appreciated.