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So I have a 3TB hard drive /dev/sdc that I am trying to create a partition on. Before this point, I had the issues described below, I transfered the drive to a Windows 7 computer and created a GPT on it from there. Windows 7 only recognized it as being around 800 GB, not the 3 TB it should be.

Here are the details of the hard drive:

root@VMHost:~# hdparm -i /dev/sdc

/dev/sdc:

 Model=ST3000DM001-1CH166, FwRev=CC24, SerialNo=W1F2TRVD
 Config={ HardSect NotMFM HdSw>15uSec Fixed DTR>10Mbs RotSpdTol>.5% }
 RawCHS=16383/16/63, TrkSize=0, SectSize=0, ECCbytes=4
 BuffType=unknown, BuffSize=unknown, MaxMultSect=16, MultSect=16
 CurCHS=16383/16/63, CurSects=16514064, LBA=yes, LBAsects=5860533168
 IORDY=on/off, tPIO={min:120,w/IORDY:120}, tDMA={min:120,rec:120}
 PIO modes:  pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4
 DMA modes:  mdma0 mdma1 mdma2
 UDMA modes: udma0 udma1 *udma2 udma3 udma4 udma5 udma6
 AdvancedPM=yes: unknown setting WriteCache=enabled
 Drive conforms to: unknown:  ATA/ATAPI-4,5,6,7

 * signifies the current active mode

Here is the MBR (first 512 bytes) of the hard drive after creating the GPT from Windows 7:

root@VMHost:~# dd if=/dev/sdc bs=512 count=1 | xxd
1+0 records in
1+0 records out
512 bytes (512 B) copied, 0.000573978 s, 892 kB/s
0000000: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
0000010: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
0000020: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
0000030: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
0000040: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
0000050: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
0000060: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
0000070: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
0000080: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
0000090: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
00000a0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
00000b0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
00000c0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
00000d0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
00000e0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
00000f0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
0000100: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
0000110: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
0000120: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
0000130: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
0000140: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
0000150: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
0000160: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
0000170: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
0000180: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
0000190: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
00001a0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
00001b0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 19d0 7cdc 0000 0000  ..........|.....
00001c0: 0200 eeff ffff 0100 0000 ffff ffff 0000  ................
00001d0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
00001e0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000  ................
00001f0: 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 55aa  ..............U.

Now, if I execute parted /dev/sdc on it, I get the following:

root@VMHost:~# parted /dev/sdc
GNU Parted 2.3
Using /dev/sdc
Welcome to GNU Parted! Type 'help' to view a list of commands.
(parted) print
Error: The backup GPT table is corrupt, but the primary appears OK, so that will be used.
OK/Cancel? O
Warning: Not all of the space available to /dev/sdc appears to be used, you can fix the GPT to use all of the space (an extra 4294967296 blocks) or continue with the current setting?
Fix/Ignore? I
Model: ATA ST3000DM001-1CH1 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdc: 3001GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: gpt

Number  Start   End    Size   File system  Name                          Flags
 1      17.4kB  134MB  134MB               Microsoft reserved partition  msftres

(parted) mklabel gpt
Warning: The existing disk label on /dev/sdc will be destroyed and all data on this disk will be lost. Do you want to continue?
Yes/No? Yes
(parted) print
Error: /dev/sdc: unrecognised disk label
(parted) quit
Information: You may need to update /etc/fstab.

In the case above, I had it Ignore the error instead of Fix it. Before, I had tried having it Fix the error and still come to the same thing. As you see, once I do a "mklabel gpt" it appears to successfully complete, but then I receive the following error on any subsuquent requests:

Error: /dev/sdc: unrecognised disk label

Finally, when I attempt to get the MBR from the drive, I receive the following

root@VMHost:~# dd if=/dev/sdc bs=512 count=1 | xxd
1+0 records in
1+0 records out
512 bytes (512 B) copied, 0.000411262 s, 1.2 MB/s
0000000: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000010: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000020: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000030: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000040: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000050: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000060: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000070: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000080: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000090: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00000a0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00000b0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00000c0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00000d0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00000e0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00000f0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000100: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000110: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000120: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000130: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000140: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000150: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000160: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000170: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000180: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000190: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00001a0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00001b0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00001c0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00001d0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00001e0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00001f0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................

So parted wrote over everything in the MBR with all 1's.

Finally, if I attempt to write over the MBR with all 0's, the following occurs:

root@VMHost:~# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdc bs=512 count=1
1+0 records in
1+0 records out
512 bytes (512 B) copied, 0.00132826 s, 385 kB/s
root@VMHost:~# dd if=/dev/sdc bs=512 count=1 | xxd
1+0 records in
1+0 records out
512 bytes (512 B) copied, 0.00602964 s, 84.9 kB/s
0000000: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000010: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000020: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000030: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000040: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000050: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000060: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000070: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000080: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000090: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00000a0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00000b0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00000c0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00000d0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00000e0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00000f0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000100: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000110: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000120: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000130: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000140: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000150: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000160: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000170: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000180: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
0000190: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00001a0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00001b0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00001c0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00001d0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00001e0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................
00001f0: ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff ffff  ................

As you can see, dd thinks it completed successfully, but upon checking the drives MBR, it is still all 1's.

I have two hard drives that are doing this, two of the three drives I used to build a RAID as mentioned in this question: mdadm RAID 5 and parted unrecognized disk label

Does anyone know how I may get my drives back to a working state where I could then attempt to build a RAID again?

UPDATE: Yes, it can handle 3 TB drives. I have removed the non-working drives from the computer, so they are not displayed here, but the working drives are here, which includes two 3 TB drives.

lex@VMHost:~$ sudo parted --list
Model: ATA ST1000DM003-1CH1 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 1000GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: msdos

Number  Start   End     Size    Type      File system  Flags
 1      1049kB  256MB   255MB   primary   ext2         boot
 2      257MB   1000GB  1000GB  extended
 5      257MB   1000GB  1000GB  logical                lvm


Model: ATA ST3000DM001-1CH1 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdb: 3001GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: gpt

Number  Start   End     Size    File system  Name                  Flags
 1      1049kB  3001GB  3001GB  ntfs         Basic data partition  msftdata


Model: ATA ST3000DM001-1CH1 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdc: 3001GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: gpt

Number  Start   End     Size    File system  Name  Flags
 1      1049kB  3001GB  3001GB                     raid

As for the motherboard being used, it is Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5 (http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3891#ov)

As for the lsof /dev/sdc, cat /proc/mdstat, and dmesg | grep -C3 sdc commands, I will put one of the hard drives back into the computer when I get home from work today and post the results of those commands.

UPDATE: I have inserted the two drives back into the computer and executed the three commands that were listed in the comments. I chose one of the problem drives, sdd:

root@VMHost:/home/lex# lsof /dev/sdd
root@VMHost:/home/lex# cat /proc/mdstat
Personalities : [linear] [multipath] [raid0] [raid1] [raid6] [raid5] [raid4] [raid10]
unused devices: <none>
root@VMHost:/home/lex# dmesg | grep -C3 sdd
[    2.214863] sd 3:0:0:0: [sdc] Mode Sense: 00 3a 00 00
[    2.214924] sd 3:0:0:0: [sdc] Write cache: enabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA
[    2.215017] scsi 5:0:0:0: Direct-Access     ATA      ST3000DM001-1CH1 CC24 PQ: 0 ANSI: 5
[    2.215162] sd 5:0:0:0: [sdd] 5860533168 512-byte logical blocks: (3.00 TB/2.72 TiB)
[    2.215167] sd 5:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg4 type 0
[    2.215170] sd 5:0:0:0: [sdd] 4096-byte physical blocks
[    2.215273] sd 5:0:0:0: [sdd] Write Protect is off
[    2.215278] sd 5:0:0:0: [sdd] Mode Sense: 00 3a 00 00
[    2.215306] scsi 5:0:1:0: Direct-Access     ATA      ST3000DM001-1CH1 CC24 PQ: 0 ANSI: 5
[    2.215311] sd 5:0:0:0: [sdd] Write cache: enabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA
[    2.215586] sd 5:0:1:0: [sde] 5860533168 512-byte logical blocks: (3.00 TB/2.72 TiB)
[    2.215591] sd 5:0:1:0: [sde] 4096-byte physical blocks
[    2.215625] sd 5:0:1:0: Attached scsi generic sg5 type 0
[    2.215705] sd 5:0:1:0: [sde] Write Protect is off
[    2.215710] sd 5:0:1:0: [sde] Mode Sense: 00 3a 00 00
[    2.215757] sd 5:0:1:0: [sde] Write cache: enabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA
[    2.264662]  sdd: sdd1 sdd2
[    2.267284]  sdc: sdc1
[    2.267722] sd 3:0:0:0: [sdc] Attached SCSI disk
[    2.269904]  sdb: sdb1
[    2.270426] sd 2:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached SCSI disk
[    2.295403] random: lvm urandom read with 81 bits of entropy available
[    2.321435] sd 5:0:0:0: [sdd] Attached SCSI disk
[    2.326279] firewire_core 0000:04:0e.0: created device fw0: GUID 0049e550854d0d00, S400
[    2.330185]  sde: sde1 sde2
[    2.330654] sd 5:0:1:0: [sde] Attached SCSI disk
  • How's the disk connected? normal SATA controller? RAID controller, USB enclosure? – Stéphane Chazelas Nov 12 '14 at 6:38
  • Is anything else potentially writing to that disk (lsof /dev/sdc), is it possibly part of a md RAID array (cat /proc/mdstat) or other type of array? – Stéphane Chazelas Nov 12 '14 at 6:40
  • It is connected via a norma SATA connection directly to the motherboard on the Linux computer, when i connected it to the Windows computer i used an external USB enclosure. – Alex Nov 12 '14 at 6:41
  • What about a dmesg | grep -C3 sdc – Stéphane Chazelas Nov 12 '14 at 6:41
  • What bios does your computer have? Can it handle 3TB drives? Can your USB cradle handle 3TB drives, a lot of them says they can but in reality they can't. Check, preboot, what the bios say about the drive. – a21 Nov 12 '14 at 7:27

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