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But it seemed like the drive was kept in a format (likely windows) and then the chips were translating it.

That's unlikely in the extreme.

Some older controller chips don't recognize drives over 2TB in size.

Those chips have been used in both computers and external drive enclosures, so I think that's a more likely explanation.

While that might be a more likely scenario, it's not the one this time. According to Seagate's site, 10.5 and 10.6 support drives larger than 2.2 TB, whereas it says 10.4 couldn't set up partitions larger than 2.2 TB. It also says that the Power Mac G5, MacPro, and iMac systems with the listed os versions support drives larger than 2.2 TB. (currently open on my iPad, so I can't just paste in the link onto my iMac without a little work)

It did seem strange to me, but I thought I remembered an article a year or 2 about this sort of thing, that Seagate was using a propriatary format in their externals. Maybe it was a review. Anyways, since my goal was to get the system up, and this issue had already slowed me down dramatically, I didn't spend too much time searching further once I figured out how to make it work.

But now I'm curious, so I might look a bit more. And I'm opening up my 24" iMac again to re-replace the display, so I might even mess around with the HD a bit more.

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