11 Replies Latest reply: Oct 9, 2008 2:46 PM by Foucauld Degeorges
timstich Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I just got a Maxtor 300 Gig internal drive for my old G4 running 10.3.9. It mounts fine, but the largest partition I can make is only 128 Gigs. It's been suggested that I can change some settings with the system to unlock the full drive capacity. How would I go about doing that?

Much appreciated.

G4, Mac OS X (10.2.x)
  • 1. Re: Hard drive partition size limit?
    cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    timstich:

    Welcome to Apple Discussions.
    the largest partition I can make is only 128 Gigs.

    Why? For the internal HDD for earlier Macs there is a 128 GB limit. However, to the best of my knowledge that does not apple to external HDDs. Besides, your G4 would not be affected by that limitation. Below are directions for formatting.

    Formatting, Partitioning Erasing an External HDD
    • Connect external HDD to computer
    • Turn on external HDD
    • Start up computer and log in
    • Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility and launch DU.
    • Select your HDD (manufacturer ID) in left side bar.
    • Select Partition tab in main panel.
    • Click on Options button
    • Select Apple Partition Map (PPC Macs) or GUID Partition Table (Intel Macs)
    • Click OK
    • Select number of partitions in pull-down menu above Volume diagram.
    For more partitions than one, after you have selected the number of partitions adjust the size of the partition by selecting the top partition and typing in the size; then move down if more adjustments need to be made.
    (See Dr. Smoke’s FAQ Backup and Recovery for tips on partitioning external HDD)
    • Type in name in Name field (usually Macintosh HD)
    • Select Volume Format as Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
    • Click Partition button at bottom of panel.
    • Select Erase tab
    • Select the sub-volume (indented) under Manufacturer ID
    • Check to be sure your Volume Name and Volume Format are correct.
    • Click Erase button
    • Repeat above procedure to erase each partition
    • Quit Disk Utility.

    Please post back should you have further questions or comments.

    Good luck.

    cornelius
  • 2. Re: Hard drive partition size limit?
    timstich Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    This is a second internal drive, cornelius. When I use disk utility to set up the partition, it only allows a 128 Gig size. I can type anything I want in there, but it defaults to the 128.

    So my computer is an M5183, the silver and grey plastic case. I had the hard drive formatted at the tech place to test it, and it now shows up as 300 Gigs. Of course they formatted it for PC, so I can't use it as such.

    Could this format limit just be a function of my version of disk utility?
  • 3. Re: Hard drive partition size limit?
    cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    This is a second internal drive

    Sorry, I misinterpreted your comment.
    So my computer is an M5183, the silver and grey plastic case.

    I take it that is a PowerMac. Can you tell me the processor speed?

    If your computer is pre-2003 it will likely be limited to a 128 GB partition, as that is all the BootROM will see. So it is important to determine which computer you have.

    cornelius
  • 4. Re: Hard drive partition size limit?
    timstich Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    It's got a 400 MHz CPU. Boot ROM verstion 3.31f1

    Anything else you need to know?
  • 5. Re: Hard drive partition size limit?
    ali brown Level 7 Level 7 (26,465 points)
    Welcome To  Discussions timstich!

    "...the largest partition I can make is only 128 Gigs."
    That's correct.

    "It's been suggested that I can change some settings with the system to unlock the full drive capacity."
    Where was that suggested?

    You will find information about that model of Mac in THIS Topic.

    And complete specs can be reviewed HERE.

    ali b
  • 6. Re: Hard drive partition size limit?
    timstich Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    "It's been suggested that I can change some settings with the system to unlock the full drive capacity."


    *Where was that suggested?*

    It wasn't here, but at a tech desk at a retailer. But they were PC guys. As usual, the Mac guy was out. Glad I found this forum. A friend was in a similar situation, but he just decided to use the part of the drive the IDE controller could see and call it good.
  • 7. Re: Hard drive partition size limit?
    ali brown Level 7 Level 7 (26,465 points)
    timstich,

    As far as I know, if you are using the drive as an internal, there is no alternative.
    If you used it as an external, the full capacity could be utilized.

    ali b
  • 8. Re: Hard drive partition size limit?
    cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    timstich:
    "It's been suggested that I can change some settings with the system to unlock the full drive capacity."

    Your computer falls in the range of computers in which the BootROM will only see 128 GB. I indicated in that post that if you wanted to use the drive as an internal HDD you can partition it so that no partition is larger than 128 GB and use Intech SpeedTools which will see and mount all partitions 128 GB and less.

    Alternatively, you can install the drive in an external Firewire enclosure, like this one with the more reliabe Oxford 911+ chipset at OWC.

    Please do post back with an update or further questions.

    cornelius
  • 9. Re: Hard drive partition size limit?
    Israel Melendez Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
    I have used and added literaly dozens of external drives and never had this problem until today.
    I installed a 500GB PATA in a firewire enclosure (something I have done a lot of times with drives from 120GB to 1TB) and for the first time it says its a 128GB drive and I cannot change it... so it is NOT the machine (?).

    Disc Utility is no help. The case had a working 250GB drive.

    So, I also encountered the same problem for the first time in about 4 years.

    Has something changed in the OS?
    Why can't the OS liberate (find) the full disc?

    We will thank you for any help you can provide.
  • 10. Re: Hard drive partition size limit?
    Israel Melendez Level 1 Level 1 (90 points)
    I finally solved the problem and maybe some may experience the same issue... my problem was actually caused by the external case made by Maxtor which cripples any drive installed in it if it is not the original drive (bad Maxtor!).

    The case alters the drive by assigning anything larger than 128GB to a "protected" area that cannot be seen by Disk Utility or most disk apps even in Windows machines.

    The only solution was to install it in a PC and run a low-level DOS utility to eliminate the protected area and recover the full disc capacity. Once I managed to do that, I was able to insert the drive in a different firewire case and format it to its full 500GB size.

    If you are interested in finding out more, check the wikipedia entry on HPA:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HostProtectedArea
  • 11. Re: Hard drive partition size limit?
    Foucauld Degeorges Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    OMG, I've got EXACTLY the same problem. Can you tell me exactly what "low-level DOS utility" you used on your PC to eliminate the HPA ?