Adding a 3TB WDC as a second drive to 531S - recognizes only 746.39GB

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Adding a 3TB WDC as a second drive to 531S - recognizes only 746.39GB

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Hello, I am trying to add a second drive, the 3TB WDC to my Inspiron 531S.

The drive comes up, but shows only 746.39GB.

Tryed various versions of the  Intel Rapid Storage Technology

recommended here http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/disk-drives/f/3534/p/19414736/19973616.aspx

but get the message to the effect that my system does not meet requirements.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Verified Answer
  • kogani;

    You have two issues; first, you need new drivers for your machine, but Intel drivers will not work on an nVidia board.  You need to go to www.nVidia.com.  Their drivers downloads page gives you three options to select drivers.  Choose the second one and click the button to find main board drivers.  If nVidia has a proper update for the drivers on your computer that option should find them and allow you to install them.

    Second issue is that Vista defaults to using a Master Boot Record partitioning system to initialize hard drives.  This will not work on drives larger than 2 TB.  Instead, choose the option to use the GPT partitioning system which will allow you to partition and format a 3 TB disk.  Bear in mind that Vista 32 bit will use a 3 TB hard drive only as a data drive.  To boot from a 3 TB hard drive your computer must have a UEFI BIOS and be using a 64 bit version of Vista or later.

    For more info on this issue check out this page:  nForce 3 TB HDD Support?

    Dell Forum member since 2005

All Replies
  • Hi Kogani,

    "Comes up" means what? Where do you see the reported drive size? What operating system?

  • Sorry for not being specific.

    I run Vista SP2 32 bit.

    Disk Management under Computer Management does show the drive as having the 746G rather than 3T available.

  • kogani;

    You have two issues; first, you need new drivers for your machine, but Intel drivers will not work on an nVidia board.  You need to go to www.nVidia.com.  Their drivers downloads page gives you three options to select drivers.  Choose the second one and click the button to find main board drivers.  If nVidia has a proper update for the drivers on your computer that option should find them and allow you to install them.

    Second issue is that Vista defaults to using a Master Boot Record partitioning system to initialize hard drives.  This will not work on drives larger than 2 TB.  Instead, choose the option to use the GPT partitioning system which will allow you to partition and format a 3 TB disk.  Bear in mind that Vista 32 bit will use a 3 TB hard drive only as a data drive.  To boot from a 3 TB hard drive your computer must have a UEFI BIOS and be using a 64 bit version of Vista or later.

    For more info on this issue check out this page:  nForce 3 TB HDD Support?

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • Many many thanks  JackShack, truly appreciate your help!

    Did chat with nVidia, got the latest drivers for the motherboard and installed them.

    Unfortunately that did not help, the drive still shows in up in disk management as 746GB.

    Will have to return the drive.

    Would 2TB (instead of 3TB0 work in my situation?

  • A 2 TB drive should work just fine and without the need to resort to GPT partitioning.

    I would have expected the new drivers to work with the 3 TB drive, however.  Others who have nVidia boards seem to be able to use the 3 TB drives once the appropriate updated drivers have been installed.  Did you specifically speak with the nVidia rep with regard to updated SATA drivers, and make certain that they were included in the driver update for the main board?

    Dell Forum member since 2005

  • Thank you for your reply JackShack.

    I will try the 2TB drive then.

    Yes, I did to my best to "drill" them. Probably the motherboard I have is too old for this :-). My dell is from 2007 and the latest update has the date of 2009.

  • I suggest you try a third party SATA card.

  • Thank you rdunhill, I will try it as well.