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Thread: Zeroing out new drive preparation question

  1. #1
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    Default Zeroing out new drive preparation question

    Hi, I'm installing new drives and saw your article on preparing the drive by zeroing it out. I had never done that in the past.

    I just finished zeroing my first drive, and noticed the drive name is now "Untitled" instead of the "2 TB ST2...." model number. When I made 2 partitions, the first one is grayed out where I cannot name it. Since I never experienced that, I figured it was due to the zeroing out.

    1) Is this normal? or did I miss a step somewhere?

    2) Do I rename the drive to the model number?

    3) I also paid attention to your comment about not using special characters in the partition names to avoid issues later on, so I will do that as well. I wondered if that advice also applies to the hard drive (replacing the model number with one word, no characters or spaces)? If so, should I rename the other drives that still have model numbers?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    To add, I noticed it's now limited to 2 partitions, not that I make a lot of partitions though. This zeroing process must have set up something? In disk utility, it says the type is Logical Volume Group, and format is listed as Logical Partition. The other difference I see (from other drives) is that the others show Device Tree in the info.

  3. #3
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    One more piece of information. I had previously formatted this 3 TB disk without zeroing out, and put 2 partitions on it, as GUID. I later read here about zeroing, so since it was still empty, that's when I reformatted. Now it is Logical Volume Group and limiting the number of partitions. I googled around and saw some posts about this saying that it's because the computer cannot handle any disk above 2TB. However, before I zeroed it out, it had formatted normally as GUID and no different than every other drive I've done. So I'm trying to learn what this is all about, and if I should keep it like this or find a way to revert back to GUID.

    Mavericks, 2008 3,1 Mac Pro.

  4. #4
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    Reformat it (without zeroing) and choose "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" then partition
    Damien,

  5. #5
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    Thanks. When I do that, it just says "formatting the drive for Logical Volume, and I can't get rid of that and get the GUID back.

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    I am not sure about the 2TB limit on your mac have to ask Rick about that one.

    If you format it for one partition does it make any difference?

    Oh yeah, anytime you use Disk Utility to format a drive it changes the name to untitled. You can rename it anything you like
    Damien,

  7. #7
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    Unfortunately, no difference.

    Now, I am stuck in this Logic Volume Group, and the only thing I did that brought that about was reformatting via zeroing the drive (I used 1 pass). When I formatted prior to zeroing, all was fine with the GUID.

    One thing that has remained constant both ways is that the drive is recognized as a 3TB drive, which makes me think there is no problem with that size in this computer.

    You mentioned about "Untitled"... In Disk Utility, does yours not show the model name as the [parent] drive, with the partition disclosed underneath as child (I'm talking about what is in Disk Utillity's window)? Just curious, because all my drives always showed the manufacturer's model name, and the partitions (what shows up on the Mac Desktop) were where called Untitled until renamed.

    I did find this article (below) which is saying it's a bug, but it only happened to me after zeroing, not prior. It seems for me the erasing is the culprit that brings out the bug.

    http://apple.stackexchange.com/quest...-by-disk-utili
    Last edited by macmac; 08-06-2014 at 08:12 AM.

  8. #8
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    In DU's left side window it does show what you say but on the erase tab there is a place for the volume name and it always defaults to untitled This is only for the volume not the device so the parent should remain the device details but the child will change to untitled after a format. you can change that name before you format (in the box) or after by simply renaming the desktop icon

    Hard Disk Speed Tools used to be able to handle far more in depth formatting issues but I haven't kept up with them not sure what their status is.

    I'll see if I can get some bigger brains in here...

    It says you can use a 10.6 install DVD to format it and it will cure this issue. Do you have a 10.6 instal DVD around?
    Damien,

  9. #9
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    You should have no issue to re-partition the drive again.....and choose HFS+.

    These are the steps.

    The zeroing is test and verify all of the drive sectors......and should have nothing to do with whatever format you pick(ed).
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  10. #10
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    Thank you for your response. Still the same issue, unfortunately. It is stuck in Logical Volume Group as I said. Here are screenshots as this must be hard to believe, and is for me too because I've formatted hard drives for 20+ years on a Mac and never came across this issue until now.

    As I mentioned previously, prior to zeroing out, it did format correctly as GUID and I was able to do multiple partitions, not just the now-limited two.

    When I choose Mac OS extended Journaled, it still formats as Logical Volume Group. I tried it again and then got screenshot 3. So I repaired disk and erased again, which again remained Logical Volume Group. This is a brand new empty drive.

  11. #11
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    Hmmm....at the edge of the screen it looks like you have Mavericks selected. If so, that is the volume. To start fresh and reformat, you would have to move up the tree to the drive (top, left). Then you should be able to re-partion, re-format, or just erase.

    Warning: YOU WILL LOSE ALL DATA ON THE ENTIRE DRIVE.

    You can move/backup anything you need to keep first, then proceed.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  12. #12
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    That's because the "Erase" tab is missing when selecting the Drive. When you select the drive, only "First Aid" and "Partition" appear. When you select the volume, it's then that you get "Erase". The whole thing is not behaving normally, so I can't reformat properly.

    And as I mentioned, this is a brand new drive, there is nothing on it. Not even an OS.

  13. #13
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    Sorry, missed the top shot where you have the HD selected.

    I have not run into this in many years, but it does look like Disk Utility cannot reformat the drive, based on the current format. Nothing to do with zeroing.

    If this is the case—just a hunch—you will need either:

    • A third party tool that can handle the current format
    • A PC that can format to something Disk Utility can handle (FAT or NTFS)


    Just for clarity, can you post the exact details in DU for the drive (Untitled) if you click on the Info button?

    Example from my machine:


    Name : ST9500325ASG Media
    Type : Disk
    Partition Map Scheme : GUID Partition Table
    Disk Identifier : disk0
    Media Name : ST9500325ASG Media
    Media Type : Generic
    Connection Bus : SATA
    Device Tree : IODeviceTree:/PCI0@0/SATA@1F,2/PRT0@0/PMP@0
    Writable : Yes
    Ejectable : No
    Location : Internal
    Total Capacity : 500.11 GB (500,107,862,016 Bytes)
    Disk Number : 0
    Partition Number : 0
    S.M.A.R.T. Status : Verified
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  14. #14
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    Name : Untitled
    Type : Logical Volume Group

    Disk Status : Online
    Total Capacity : 3 TB (3,000,249,008,128 Bytes)
    Free Space : 0 Bytes
    Physical Backing : disk2s2


    That's it.

    When I finally do get this reformatted correctly, I'm starting to wonder if it's going to be reliable to use or if something has gotten so screwed up that even with a new format, that the problem will be underlying?

    Secondly, is zeroing out the drive still a recommended setup with today's drives, or was that article from years past?

    Thank you!

  15. #15
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    Did some digging, and you are not alone. Found this:

    This problem has been reported to occur on Intel MacPro's using internal drives from various manufactures with capacities >= 3 TB. Specifically, it's been reported when using Disk Utility in OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) and Mavericks (10.9).

    Although there have been solutions involving using diskutil in Terminal posted here at AskDifferent and elsewhere on the web, I found a simpler solution: Format the disk using Disk Utility from an OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) Install DVD.

    Warning: This solution will cause you to lose all data on the drive.

    1. Backup any valuable data from the drive in question.
    2. Reboot using the OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) Install DVD. (Hold down the C-Key to boot from the DVD.)
    3. Choose your language (eg. English).
    4. Instead of installing OS X, choose Disk Utility from the Utilities menu.
    5. Select your drive from the pane on the left of the Disk Utility screen.
    6. Choose the Partition tab.
    7. Select your desired Partition Layout.
    8. Select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) under Format:
    9. Check the Options button and verify that GUID is selected as the partition scheme.
    10. Click the Apply button and verify you want to proceed.
    11. When the partition and format process is complete, quit Disk Utility and reboot.
    12. The disk will now be correctly formatted using a GUID partition table.


    (If you need to repartition or reformat the drive in the future, you will need to repeat this process. Hopefully Apple will fix this bug in a later version of Disk Utility.)
    More info here.

    And I thought the days of lack of support for large drives was behind us.....
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  16. #16
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    Thank you. I can reformat with 10.6 and free the GUID from the jaws of LVG, but this now begs the question: does a 2008 Mac Pro support >3TB drives?

    Among the reports of this LVG bug are also speculation tossed around that some Mac Pros have a hardware limitation in supporting >3TB drives; plus the question as to whether LVG has now replaced HFS+, and if in fact it's OK to use LVG. In all the searching I've done on this, I can't find any definitive answers for those questions, so I don't truly know if the computer can support it or not.

    All I know for sure is prior to zeroing the drive when I first formatted it upon taking it out of the packaging, it did format as HFS+ with 3 partitions and all was well. But then I read the article here about the benefits of zeroing, so I then zeroed it and reformatted. The drive's been stuck in LVG ever since. I did find someone else's post saying he had no problem until he re-erased the drive, which is how it happened in my case, so I don't know if erasing brings on the bug, or what.

    But if anyone knows for sure whether or whether not a 2008 3,1 8-core Mac Pro can support a 3TB drive, I would love to know that. Because if it can't—or if there would be problems down the road, I will exchange the drive.

  17. #17
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    From what I read, it seems to be a Disk Utility bug or issue in later versions.

    I would stick with HFS+ as a known and trusted Mac format. Testing is fun....but not with live data.

    How about trying this:

    • Use 10.6 to partition (as you did before) and to format HFS+. You have zeroed, no need to do it again.

    • If it behaves, you are done.

    • If not, with 10.6 you can try a different strategy.
    As for specific limits of any memory controller, typically partitioning is an acceptable and safe way to use a larger (than supported) size drive. Would expect the same here.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  18. #18
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    Thanks Unclemac.

    I formatted another fresh 3TB drive that hadn't been zeroed out, and Disk Utility in Mavericks did it perfectly, and as GUID. Full 3TB size is recognized, too.

    My LVG issue seems to concur with that of others, with a common thread: it seems that Disk Utility's bug only shows up when it's trying to format an erased (e.g zeroed-out) drive—it's then that the drive becomes a LVG and forbids further formatting, and must use 10.6 to do so. Whereas formatting a fresh out-of-the-box drive in Mavericks works fine as long as it's not previously been erased.

    I guess for now anyway I'll just forego the zeroing.

  19. #19
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    macmac:
    I have been zeroing new drives for almost 20 years. After OSX I started using Drive Genius with triple pass - purpose was to stress test the new baby. Then used mac utility to partition. Never had any problems, be they new drives or used.
    However, I never worked with a hard drive larger than 1TB. At least, not yet.

    This regimen did detect several defective drives before I started using them; returning and exchanging for new one was simpler than suffering later. But then I switched to MacGurus; still stress them, but none failed so far.
    marrand

  20. #20
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    Too bad about the bug, hope it get fixed. So....how about going back to square one with 10.6? You could zero with that version, but you already have, so no real need.....or you or you could simply format with a single partition and be ready to test.

    You could install from there and not look back.....or you could reformat with 10.9 to see what happens without zeroing.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

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