Question faulty format of new HDD


Distinguished Member
Bought a new HDD WD Red = 6Tb... but of course it comes unformatted so it just sits there. Plugged it into an External caddy whose drive had croaked... Went through the DiskMgmt routine, selected GPT and when formatted it shows only 1.4Tb (=one point four), now on my Win10 PC and today on Win7 (32b) PC.
I conclude that the "old Caddy" has a limit and cannot address any larger drive... but of course no-one thought to write a line of code saying this would happen.- Oh dear.
Bought a new caddy which claims it can address 16Tb (wow!), but the WD drive still appears as 1.4Tb - presumably the platters are only showing what the FAT ( or whatever else...I used GPT and NTFS as it's a large drive....) were previously formatted for..... in error as it happens

The Q. is this... how do I erase the old formatting ( pref. using the new "up to 16Tb" Caddy ), as the previous DskMgmt route now appears to miss the selection GPT pop-up.... BUT as I only format very rarely it is quite possible I'm not following the best route.... but know no better.
I prefer to use my Win7 PC (as I write this), but do have a Win10(64b), PC if that's the only option...

So, a second Q is there a limit for 32bit OS as to their HDD size? . . . I don't understand why, as it is only a container of data and normally one is fetching only v.small %. . . . I knew there was a limit if using FAT32, but NTFS overcame this and the limit then was about 2Tb... so clearly I must have overcome this with the Win7 external 4Tb drive - which consistently shows itself as 4Tb ( under Properties and shows about half of it unused... with no partition that I'm aware of, ).

FWIW Existing "External" HDDs (=4Tb) work OK as expected, on the Win7 - 32b PC and with some messing of the Drive Letter, on the Win10 - 64b PC as well . . . . So I am able to work on files with both . . . but over time I expect to favour the Win10, because it's faster and modern software is often 64b since it needs more RAM.
My Win7-32b has 3Gb and by contrast the Win10 64b has 16Gb.
Unfortunately, I'm finding it difficult to move the software over, hence using Win7 is my preferred system.

I haven't written any data to this HDD, so Recovery isn't necessary. (?)

Any thought folks?

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Distinguished Member
Can you not just delete any partitions in disk management and start again ?


Active Member
I would use diskpart to clean the drive, then you can start over

On 32bit OS there’s a limit of 2 Terabytes on internal boot disks formatted using MBR (Master Boot Record) partition styles, which are the only type that 32 bit systems can boot from. You should be able to format external drives with GPT and then access the full capacity.
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Distinguished Member
Thanks guys... I suspect I created a partition and that was formatted only... I had to call in a favour, so my Dealer has the Caddy with disc inside........ I'm aware of the boot-drive limits on 32b OS, but external HDD ( for media/Data), should be good for much more, as I already have a 4Tb external - & that appears to be OK . .
.( I swap it between Win7 32b and my newer Win10 64b PC )- It will be a back-up for some older HDDs = before they croak.

Not aware Win has the tools built-in - I do wonder why adding an extra HDD is so painful, - when it's likely to be a task needed form time to time. Also I can easily forget the precise steps three-years later. There should be an Add HDD wizard to do all this silly stuff.

I shall use these tools with some existing HDD - to give it a try. Thanks

Also, I discovered in the Caddy-packing a tiny booklet that shows the steps to get the drive running( difficult to read and somewhat confusing ), - the Caddy claims it's good for 16Tb - = very expensive.... This 6Tb is convenient for now.
+Hopefully it will return mended, this next week....

I'll report back how things work-out... +many thanks for the suggestions.
Cheers... H.


Distinguished Member
It has returned and reads 6Tb ( less the formatting take), so panic is OFF. Thanks for the suggestions . . . next time I will read the booklet - and the Notes I made... from yr suggestions,
I do wonder why adding/replacing an ageing HDD is so made difficult by Win . . no improvements in 30-years, I'm guessing.

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