WD Red NAS drive reformat for non-NAS usage

I upgrade my 3TB WD Red NAS to 6TB drives. I want to use the 3TB for regular desktop use. I’ve used Windows disk Manager, WD Desktop and other drive partitioning programs but I cannot get the 3TB back. The drive only for 700GB. What magic do I have to do to get this drive completely reformatted?


Please refer to the following KBA article: How to Fully Erase, Low Level Format, or Write Zeros on a Drive

Thanks. Had to use Acronis WD edition to do the DriveCleanser, but it didn’t work. While this is a 3TB drive, I can only retrieve 746gb. How can I get the full 3tb back?


Please refer to the following KBA article: Acronis True Image for Western Digital: File Backup & Restore to WD Network Attached Storage (NAS)

Thanks for the response… 2 weeks later

To fully reformat and get access to the entire 3TB capacity of the drive, you’ll need to perform a low-level format, also known as a zero-fill or secure erase operation. This process will erase all data on the drive and reset it to an unpartitioned state, allowing you to recreate the partition table and file system from scratch.

Here are the steps you can follow:

  1. Back up any important data from the 3TB drive, as the low-level format will erase everything on the drive.
  2. Download and install a disk partitioning tool that supports low-level formatting or secure erase operations. Some popular options include:
  • GParted (free, open-source)
  • Parted Magic (free, bootable live CD/USB)
  • DBAN (free, bootable data erasure tool)
  • HDDErase (free, from Western Digital)
  1. Boot from the partitioning tool’s live environment (CD/USB or within the application, depending on the tool).
  2. Select the 3TB drive you want to reformat.
  3. Look for an option to perform a low-level format, secure erase, or zero-fill operation. The specific terminology may vary between tools.
  4. Confirm the operation and let it run until completion. This process may take several hours, depending on the drive’s capacity and the tool you’re using.
  5. Once the low-level format is complete, the drive should be reset to an unpartitioned state, showing the full 3TB capacity.
  6. You can then create a new partition table (e.g., GPT or MBR) and file system (e.g., NTFS, exFAT) on the drive using the partitioning tool or Windows Disk Management.

Note that a low-level format is a more thorough process than a regular format and may take significantly longer to complete. However, it should effectively reset the drive and allow you to access the full capacity again.

If you’re still having issues after performing a low-level format, there may be a hardware problem with the drive itself, and you may need to consider replacing it.