Partitioning external drive in Windows 10

mrgrieves4

Standard Member
I recently bought a 4tb seagate external drive. My intention is to back all my stuff up onto it, and put the windows 10 external media off it and reinstall windows (because the windows update always crashes). And if that fails, jump ship to Ubuntu. After that I want to repurpose the drive for my ps4.

When I started out, I noticed that it was only showing with a capacity of 32gb in windows. I've spent some time fiddling around with both the Disk Management tool that comes with Win10 and EaseUS partition manager and now have this situation:

First partition: 2048gb (NTFS) - Primary Partition
Second partition: 1678gb (Unallocated)

Now I think I probably want to use fat32 instead of ntfs if I end up having to go the ubuntu route but that's not my main problem. Currently I'm trying to merge the partitions together. But try as I might, I can't seem to do anything with the unallocated space. I realise FAT32 can have a 2tb maximum depending on how it's formatted hence sticking with ntfs for now.

If I right click it in disk management, all the options are greyed out. And right clicking on the primary parition the "Extend volume" option is greyed out.

In EaseUS, if I right click on the unallocated partition the only options I get are "wipe data", "partition recovery" and "properties". If I right click on the primary one and choose Extend then the unallocated space doesn't show up. If I try move/resize I don't seem to be able to make the primary partition any bigger.

Just to clarify - the drive has nothing on it so I don't care about losing any data yet.

Can anyone help? I'm a bit uneducated when it comes to this sort of thing so don't really know what I'm doing. I don't know why a new drive would come setup with just a tiny bit of it usable anyway.
 

choddo

Well-known Member
Delete the primary and create a new 4TB ntfs one. Will you not be using ext3 if you go ubuntu?

And if you can't delete it, In disk mgmt, will it let you initialise the disk? Right click on the disk info box on the left (if it's laid out the same in win10, not checked)
 

mrgrieves4

Standard Member
I'll only go to Ubuntu if the Windows 10 installer doesn't work. I'd prefer to stick to Win10 if possible despite its frustrations. But I thought fat32 would be the way to go because that maximises compatibility between the 2. I'm effectively going to reformat the drive to whatever the ps4 wants when I'm done so it doesn't matter to me a great deal at this stage how it's formatted. I also only have the choice of fat32 or ntfs when doing this from win10.

Deleting the partition doesn't help - I end up with two unallocated partitions. If I then right click the first and choose New Simple Volume it only allows me up to 2tb in size - I can't reclaim the other partition.

I might end up just using it as a 2tb to get past this hurdle as that's plenty to backup my stuff. But I'll have to sort it out at some point - I presume the ps4 isn't going to be any more sophisticated with partition management!
 

mrgrieves4

Standard Member
Ah, you beauty! Thank you!

Disk manager said it was mbr but the option to convert to gpt was greyed out. I managed to do it with EaseUS though. (It's a weird little program though - it keeps creating small extra partitions which then need to be resized away) - but it does work! I've no idea what this means though. :)

Now my only problem is how to format it now. If I leave it NTFS, will I be able to install Ubuntu from it? If not - I can't format as FAT32 as the option's not there. (I think fat32 supports up to 2tb unless you do something funky though).
 

mrgrieves4

Standard Member
Did a little more googling and think maybe the only way to use fat32 would be to have 2 2tb partitions. I'd rather not mess with the partitions any more so I think I'll stick with ntfs and see what happens. I have another windows machine I can probably use to bail me out in the worst case scenario.

Thanks very much for your help !
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Forget FAT32 these days, go for NTFS for windows and whatever your chosen Linux distro defaults to (ext3 etc.)

OS installers and similar can always format a disk if it's not to their liking so don't worry about preparing it unless you come across a specific problem.

Windows is very robust these days, so if it's actually crashing it's much more likely to be a third party software or hardware issue than a bug in the OS.
 

mrgrieves4

Standard Member
Well the OS can format my C drive, that's fine, but I want the external drive to contain all my data so the whole point of the drive is that I don't reformat it later! At least not until it's transferred.

To be honest I have the most important stuff on my nas so this is convenience data like browser passwords and favourites and stuff.

Win 10 would be OK for me if not for the upgrade process which reboots without permission, runs for a good hour, hangs, then I have to reboot and it takes another half an hour or so to undo the changes and then I just wait for the next random time it will do it all over again. Maybe next day, maybe next week, maybe a month. In the meantime my PC has never been the same since this started to happen, which was when anniversary update came out. I'd like to keep it though if I can just get past this problem. But it's a showstopper for me now.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
That is not normal behavior and would indicate a serious flaw somewhere present. Windows is not a static operating system any more so having Windows Update working normally is quite important.

Unless your okay with trawling though event logs try to track down what is breaking the update system (drivers, something installed), the quickest thing to do is use the built in reset my pc function. This will give two options, choose keep my files but it will remove apps and reset all Windows internal settings to default.

If Windows Update still fails after that my hunch is it's a driver issue unless PC has hardware fault.

Alternatively clean install the latest version, when you make the USB stick from Win10 installer it should do this.
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Well the OS can format my C drive, that's fine, but I want the external drive to contain all my data so the whole point of the drive is that I don't reformat it later! At least not until it's transferred.

Sorry, I misread your post as if you were going to use it as the primary drive. For a secondary drive FAT32 isn't as big a deal. GPT and two partitions would be the sensible way to go about it.

convenience data like browser passwords and favourites and stuff.

4TB of passwords and favourites? You must spend an awful lot of time online ;)

In the meantime my PC has never been the same since this started to happen, which was when anniversary update came out. I'd like to keep it though if I can just get past this problem. But it's a showstopper for me now.

If it started with an update than as next says it's more likely to be a driver problem than a hardware issue.
 

mrgrieves4

Standard Member
Sorry, I misread your post as if you were going to use it as the primary drive. For a secondary drive FAT32 isn't as big a deal. GPT and two partitions would be the sensible way to go about it.



4TB of passwords and favourites? You must spend an awful lot of time online ;)

If it started with an update than as next says it's more likely to be a driver problem than a hardware issue.
Haha yes that would be a sign of a life badly spent, but as I said I want the 4tb for ps4 data. I needed a fraction of that for my data. (And some of it was stuff that should already be backed up elsewhere but I wasn't sure enough to risk it.) Tbh 4tb is quite a lot for the ps4 as well, but I found the link in the bargain forum and couldn't resist.

I managed to get win10 installed from scratch at last. It has crashed on me twice since but maybe I was over eager in trying to get my stuff reinstalled. Fingers crossed it's OK now.
 

choddo

Well-known Member
I think I've had win10 crash on me maybe once since it was released, and the updates have all been flawless (this is after an upgrade from a long lived Win7 machine, so I doubt it's 100% clean of registry junk) - your PC sounds quite twitchy. Hopefully it'll settle down now.
 

mrgrieves4

Standard Member
There are plenty of people who seem to have been suffering with upgrades that hang mid-way through - don't think it's just me. I wouldn't have minded so much if they weren't forced on you so I'd keep wanting to turn on my pc to do a 5 minute job only to have it locked up in a doomed upgrade that was never going to work, but I still have to wait an hour, hour and a half before it's usable.

I've not had it crash again since I wrote the above. I'm hoping that they were just to do with things being installed - either the pc going to sleep during an install or two things trying to install at the same time or something.

Nothing that a modern day operating system shouldn't be able to cope with you'd think!

But fingers crossed it seems a lot better now it's been reinstalled - the hard disk isn't constantly going all the time as if it's in a constant panic attack, which is never a good sign.
 

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