I just purchased a new Dell Inspiron 660 with Windows 8. Tried to install a new Seagate 3T HDD. Windows disk manager does not see the HDD. The HDD is seen by the BIOS. I can change SATA ports and the BIOS will see the change. I just can't get Windows disk manager to see the drive. Any help appreciated

1 Answer 1


This is most likely due to the 3TB size. Even if you could see it, it probably would show up as 746GB drive. Use GParted live CD to partition and format it first.

  • So you're saying Windows 8 cannot handle 3 TB Advanced Format/GPT drives? Windows 7 seems to handle them just fine on my system.
    – Karan
    Dec 5, 2012 at 0:51
  • I don't think it has anything to do with Windows 8 or 7. Windows 8 would see the drive if Windows 7 could see it (assuming the same machine). When it comes to 2+TB drives there are a lot of things that can be problematic. It is best to use tool like GParted to initialize the drive. In one instance I could not get Windows to report more than 746GB while after formatting with GParted everything worked just fine and Windows also reported full 3TB. If GParted also doesn't see the drive, we can be certain that it is something in the BIOS or MOBO.
    – amit_g
    Dec 5, 2012 at 1:04
  • What did you format it as? Workarounds are fine, but I'm interested in knowing why exactly a modern OS released in 2012 is having problems with 3+TB drives, and under what conditions (since it obviously doesn't seem to happen always). Maybe the way it comes pre-partitioned/pre-formatted from the manufacturer (in case of externals at least) causes issues?
    – Karan
    Dec 5, 2012 at 1:25
  • It was bare drive so no prior formatting. I formatted it as NTFS single volume.
    – amit_g
    Dec 5, 2012 at 1:35

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