I have 14 Seagate ST31500541AS drives, and one them started reporting only 500GB size instead of 1.5TB. This means that both in the BIOS it shows only 500GB, and both in my linux every tool (fdisk, blockdev etc) show the smaller size.

Please note that this is not a partitioning bug.

Does anyone have an idea how to fix it? Why does it happen? How can I prevent it in the future? Is it a firmware bug?


  • 1
    better contact Seagate customer care (or the vendor, if purchased as 'bulkware') – Molly7244 Sep 8 '09 at 23:23
  • Where can I contact seagate customer care? – Balázs Pozsár Sep 8 '09 at 23:34
  • you'll find Support and Warranty & Returns links on the Seagate website. but as i said, if you bought the drive as 'bulkware' which is the vast majority of drives sold (cheaper) then you'd have to deal with the vendor. seagate.com/www/en-us/about/contact_us – Molly7244 Sep 9 '09 at 0:57

I have downloaded SeaTools from http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/seatools/seatooldreg (v2.13b (Graphical), ISO CD-ROM Image) After booting the downloaded iso image, I have selected "set drive capacity to MAX" from the Advanced menu, and voilá, it works... the drive reports the expected size of 1.5TB again!

I'm still not happy though that something like this happens, and it would be still interesting to know why, and how could I avoid it.

  • well done! hope this works out well :) +1 – Molly7244 Sep 9 '09 at 0:58
  • Some app has set a limit to the max capacity, something like the BIOS used to have for compatibility at 32GB. No idea why seagate would allow such a setting to be active anymore. – Overmind Jan 11 '17 at 8:31

As the drive did work at first and has changed behaviour, I would suspect that it has developed a fault, perhaps a short due to a manufacturing fault or power surge has burnt out a data line or corrupt its firmware. These things, rare as they are, sometimes "just happen".

The drive should go back to Seagate (or your intermediate supplier depending on the arrangement you are under with the drive) for warranty replacement.

Before trying to return the drive, make sure you have ruled out controller and cable failure. Plug the drive into another machine using different data cables to verify that you get the same behaviour.

  • I would suggest the same - better safe than sorry in the long run. – Isxek Sep 9 '09 at 1:12

Sounds like a hardware fault.

First thing I would do is pull out the cable, plug it in to another machine and double check the BIOS.

If the other machine also reports 500GB, you have ruled out cable, power, socket / IC e.t.c.

Make sure there is no compatibility jumper (although I haven't seen one on many models for years). Just want to double check there is no conductive junk that has managed to cross anything!

If that doesn't work, I wouldn't bother checking for firmware updates - you don't want to start messing around with the other 15 drives to get them up to the same level. I would just email your retailer / wholesaler and get a RMA / replacement urgently.

  • It also reports 500GB in a completely different machine. No jumpers. The other 13 drives still work as expected. The drive work ok for the first 1 day. – Balázs Pozsár Sep 8 '09 at 23:40

try to format the external drive then see the results.

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