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I have a 500GB Toshiba 2.5' HD, which I formated using Debian Wheezy 64bit. I created 2 partitions (180GB and 320GB).
RPi would only recognize the first partition.

So, I tried creating the partitions using the raspberrypi. Here are my surprising findings:

root@raspberrypi:/home/ozn# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/mmcblk0: 4025 MB, 4025483264 bytes
4 heads, 16 sectors/track, 122848 cylinders, total 7862272 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000dbfc6

        Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/mmcblk0p1            8192      122879       57344    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/mmcblk0p2          122880     7862271     3869696   83  Linux

Disk /dev/sda: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders, total 625142448 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x950e3b8d

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1            2048   625142447   312570200   83  Linux
/dev/sda2       625142448   976773167   175815360   83  Linux

First, /dev/sda is NOT recognized correctly! This disk is 500GB.

Second, mounting /dev/sda2 is not possible:

root@raspberrypi:/home/ozn# mount -t ext4 /dev/sda2 /media/usbhdd1/
mount: special device /dev/sda2 does not exist
# although fdisk -l showed this device !

Third, trying to format the disk, it really sees only the sectors until 320GB: When I start fdisk I am warned:

Building a new DOS disklabel with disk identifier 0x6784fc4b.
Changes will remain in memory only, until you decide to write them.
After that, of course, the previous content won't be recoverable.

Warning: invalid flag 0x0000 of partition table 4 will be corrected by w(rite)

Command (m for help): w
The partition table has been altered!

Calling ioctl() to re-read partition table.
Syncing disks.

I have other USB hard drives with 320GB and they really mount fine.

  • Is this a limitation of RPi? Or a problem with this specific Hard Drive?
  • How can I use this large disk with my RPi?

update: solved the issue with help of the commentators here...

here is what I did ...

  1. I thought I have some weired issue with Debian Wheezy & gparted. So, I reformatted the hard drive to NTFS. Before that I ERASED the partition table. And created a new single NTFS partition.
  2. Bingo! RPi, identified the partition. However, it claimed my Drive is now 2TB big, and recommended I will use GPT:

    root@raspberrypi:/home/ozn# fdisk -l /dev/sda
    
    Disk /dev/sda: 2199.0 GB, 2199023255552 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 267349 cylinders, total 4294967296 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0xf720f720
    
    Disk /dev/sda doesn't contain a valid partition table
    root@raspberrypi:/home/ozn# fdisk  /dev/sda
    Device contains neither a valid DOS partition table, nor Sun, SGI or OSF disklabel
    Building a new DOS disklabel with disk identifier 0xb7032c3f.
    Changes will remain in memory only, until you decide to write them.
    After that, of course, the previous content won't be recoverable.
    
    Warning: invalid flag 0x0000 of partition table 4 will be corrected by w(rite)
    
    WARNING: The size of this disk is 2.2 TB (2199023255552 bytes).
    DOS partition table format can not be used on drives for volumes
    larger than (2199023255040 bytes) for 512-byte sectors. Use parted(1) and GUID 
    partition table format (GPT).
    

whoops! That is WRONG!

So, I disconnected the hard drive again. re-connented it to my laptop. I erased the partition table again, and re-created the partition table using fdisk on RPi! not on my laptop! This time, I took a short cut, and created the disk partition with ext4 directly. I plugged the hard-drive to RPi and BINGO!

root@raspberrypi:/home/ozn# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
81 heads, 63 sectors/track, 191411 cylinders, total 976773168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000505b8

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1            2048   976773167   488385560   83  Linux

Disk /dev/mmcblk0: 4025 MB, 4025483264 bytes
4 heads, 16 sectors/track, 122848 cylinders, total 7862272 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000dbfc6

Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/mmcblk0p1            8192      122879       57344    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/mmcblk0p2          122880     7862271     3869696   83  Linux

Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
81 heads, 63 sectors/track, 191411 cylinders, total 976773168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000505b8

Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1            2048   976773167   488385560   83  Linux

The disk is now identified correctly on my laptop with Debian.

ozdeb@yenitiny:~$ sudo fdisk -l /dev/sdb

Disk /dev/sdb: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
81 heads, 63 sectors/track, 191411 cylinders, total 976773168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000505b8

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdb1            2048   976773167   488385560   83  Linux

conclusion (?)

My guess is that gparted in Debian Wheezy includes some nasty bug which is sometimes showing it's ugly face. I would report a bug if I had more solid evidence. But ... since I have only one 500GB hard drive, and I don't want to risk the health of this hard drive reformatting it so many time, I will settle this with it. If you happen to bump into this post, and you have had similar problems with large SATA drives and partitioning on wheezy, I would be happy to know.

share|improve this question
    
Can you see the where the disk is detected in dmesg at boot? Is it the correct brand/type/size/geometry there? Any funny messages? –  XTL Dec 12 '12 at 7:29
    
Are you saying that only this drive is the problem? As far as I understand it, there should not be a limitation with the RPi. –  Vincent P Dec 12 '12 at 8:50
    
@VincentP, I have other USB drives I plugged in, and I had no problem. Also, I have no problem reading the first 320GB. Everything after that is simply ignored by RPi(/RaspbianOS ?) –  Oz123 Dec 12 '12 at 9:08
    
@Oz123 Have you tried another 500gb drive? I'm thinking it's most likely RaspbianOS. –  Vincent P Dec 12 '12 at 9:37
    
@VincentP, Sadly, I am also suspecting that. Further ... I don't have another 500GB drive for testing. –  Oz123 Dec 12 '12 at 9:38

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The comments on the original post are getting too long, so here is my answer. I suspect that it's the drive itself. Maybe try update your Raspberry Pi and then try again.

To update sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Then try to access the drive. If this does still not work. I'd recommend trying to find someone with a HDD at least the same size or bigger and test that.

share|improve this answer
    
Like I wrote before the hard drive is mounting totally fine on CentOS6.3 (i386) and Debian Wheezy (x86_64). –  Oz123 Dec 12 '12 at 13:49

I have a 500Gb HDD formatted with ext3. I've connected it to my RPi using a USB->SATA enclosure and everything works just fine. Using ArchLinuxARM though. So I don't think there are any limitations on disk size for RPi.

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1  
@Alexader, you are using a different OS. Can you try with Raspbian? –  Oz123 Dec 12 '12 at 13:48
    
@Oz123 it will be weird if it is raspbian issue, but I'll give it a try if I'll find a spare SD card –  Alexandr Grigorcea Dec 12 '12 at 14:37
1  
I have a ~1.5 Tb external hard drive in a USB->SATA enclosure, with one NTFS partition on it. Works fine in raspbian, however writing to a NTFS system is not very fast. –  Frepa Dec 12 '12 at 14:49
    
@Frepa, any idea if it works with EXT4? –  Oz123 Dec 12 '12 at 16:28
    
@Oz123 I haven't tried, since I need the data on the disk and don't want to reformat. But I don't know any reason for why it would not work. The problem seems to be below the file system level. -- I see now that the problem was solved. –  Frepa Dec 13 '12 at 11:26

Basically instead of fdisk -l, you should use parted -l (install parted if you do not have it installed) to see the actual data partition and then mount the actual data partition (/dev/sdb2, etc) directly.

I wrote a short tutorial on how to do this:

http://www.zayblog.com/computer-and-it/2013/07/22/mounting-gpt-partitions-on-raspberry-pi/

I was able to mount 2 8TB partitions directly, without wiping the data/reformat the drive.

share|improve this answer

I mounted a 750gb drive - FAT32 Able to read and write to it

sudo mount -t vfat /dev/sda1 /mnt/usb
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