I have a box I built up with an AMD FX-8350 CPU, several SATA/SSDs on the board and plenty of memory (I think 32 GB). I am running Ubuntu 23.10.1. So far everything sounds great right? Well, ok, now the thing is I bought a hard drive (USB, external) and it's labeled as 128 TB.

This drive was fairly inexpensive and shipped out of China. I was a bit suspicious that it would give me problems because, come on 128 TB? Anyhow, it looks like I was right.

So far I can't reformat, mount, or anything this drive on Ubuntu (actually any OS). I've tried Drives, and GParted and, without fail, I get GPT being corrupted errors and Input/Output errors during writes to the drive. The drive apps immediately see it/identify it correctly as a 128 TB drive.

I called the drive support number and they told me that the drive is incompatible with Linux (only Windows and/or MacOS). How can the drive be picky like that? It think that the drive shouldn't care what the host OS is.

Anyhow, I'm totally clueless about what to try next. Obviously I'd love to have a working 128 TB drive on my network (I'd eventually share it on my USB multiswitch), but maybe not on VirtualBox VMs.

Does anyone have any recommendations beyond tossing the HD? Thanks in advance.

  • You didn't mention the type of drive (HD, SSD or flash) and the money you have paid. But, it is fake obviously. You can try dd directly to the device file and see how far it goes. I don't expect it to go further than 10GB/$ you have paid.
    – FedKad
    Nov 29, 2023 at 13:09
  • And if you want to test and prove that it doesn't work on Windows either, you can create a Windows 11 virtual machine on VirtualBox, assign the USB drive to the virtual machine and test it. (You can download and use for limited time Windows 11 AFAIK.)
    – FedKad
    Nov 29, 2023 at 13:20
  • Buy your hardware from 1) A reputable vendor with 2) A generous return policy. It sometimes costs a little more up front, but you actually get what you paid for...and recourse when something goes wrong.
    – user535733
    Nov 29, 2023 at 15:23
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? Check real size of USB thumb drive
    – FedKad
    Nov 29, 2023 at 16:40

1 Answer 1


You have probably got a fake 128 TB drive, unfortunately. There are many articles and posts on the internet about cheap hard drives with huge (fake) capacity, like for example:

According to Barfieldmv's answer in How is the capacity of a harddisk faked?, the way the disk capacity is faked is the following:

FAT32 has a master table with free space. You can hexedit that master table to show any amount of free space. I've had a floppy disc sized 3.7 GB for ages now.

Accodring to MentalFaithlessness' answer in How to restore a corrupted counterfeit hard drive that is refusing I/O activity?:


IMO it's not really worth it, but if you really want to try making it act normal, then you'd have to get software to flash directly to the hard disk's firmware (if even possible on your drive) and a firmware image to flash from. If you can't flash from the PC, then you'd most likely need an SPI/serial interface to re-flash the firmware on the on-board memory. This would most likely require either extensive knowledge of chip flashing and hardware-level communications/coding and the like and/or expensive flashing equipment too.


So fixing the drive, if even possible, is a very complicated procedure that does not worth spending time and effort on. I understand that you've spent money for the disk and you may be thinking that "okay, having an external drive of a lower storage capacity than the one mentioned is better than nothing", but really, I don't think it's worth it. Even if you manage to format it, no one can guarantee the quality of the disk (it's most likely the lowest quality) and you cannot trust it for storing your data in it. Just throw the thing away!

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