View Full Version : Wrong hard drive size in Windows installation
08-20-2009, 09:51 PM
I recently bought a new hard drive due to some problems I had with my old one. The new drive should have 1TB of space.
However, when I get to the screen in the windows XP installation that asks which partition I want to install it in, the total unpartitioned is said to be only around 130,000 MB. That's only 130 GB and it should be 1000 GB.
I finished the windows install and it ended up to indeed be only 130 GB in the C drive.
Hard drive details:
What kind of problem am I dealing with here?
08-20-2009, 11:11 PM
It is almost certainly a 48bit LBA problem whereby either the Operating System (you need at least Windows XP SP1a (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/303013)) or the Motherboard's own BIOS can only count up to 128/137 GiB/GB.
There are at least four workarounds for a BIOS that is limited this way:
1. Upgrade the BIOS (not without risk and not guaranteed) by flashing the motherboard with the latest version.
2. Install DDO (Dynamic Disk Overlay). This involves setting up the disk before you install the operating system using a utility from the maker of the hard drive.
3. Use an add-on expansion card host controller into an available PCI/PCIe slot. This can be problematic sometimes if you use more than one hard drive on the motherboard as well as on the card itself.
4. Add the drive to the system using an external drive (an external enclosure has its own BIOS and a modern one would always be 48bit LBA enabled). This is only any good if you use the drive for storage space but you wont be able to boot to it from Windows unless it is added as an eSATA external attaching to an appropriate eSATA host controller.
If it is OS related then you should be able to upgrade to the relevant SP and then repartition in Disk Management (enter dskmgmt.msc into the run box) or by resizing the drive with an appropriate 3rd Party Utility such as BiNG (in my sig).
You bought a SATA drive and it is rare for boards with SATA slots to have this limitation so do check the SP and disk management and also see if BiNG can see the full capacity.
08-20-2009, 11:54 PM
thanks for the reply
When tried to install my motherboard chipsets, some of the drivers said that I needed to upgrade to windows service pack 1. I'll try upgrading and see how that goes.
There's another thing that's unrelated. I have a hard drive that has a lot of important data on it, and it somehow got corrupted, resulting in a BSOD upon every startup. I can't get into windows and even safe mode gets a BSOD. any ideas on this? i know this isn't related to the thread topic, but im just throwing it out there.
08-21-2009, 12:15 AM
For the future either borrow at least a WinXP SP2 CDROM or make your own "slipstreamed" CD using something like nLite (http://www.nliteos.com/nlite.html).
I would suggest you either slave the corrupted data drive to another PC or add it via a USB converter or enclosure and copy the relevant data across that way. Once you data is safe you could reformat and reinstall the OS (recommended) on the old PC or attempt to repair the old installation.
08-21-2009, 12:41 AM
Updating windows worked!
Disk manager now reveals 800 GB of unallocated space. So now I'll have about 930 GB after formatting it...close enough. Thanks.
If you would bother continuing with my other problem...I tried connecting my old drive and transferring the data but I get an error saying "The disk in drive E: is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?" This was before the update- could that be the reason?
I ran chkdsk, fixboot, and bootcfg /rebuild. none of them worked. How much hope is there for this data?
08-21-2009, 01:28 AM
909.49 GiB ~= 1,000 GB. It's an old problem; see http://www.pcguide.com/vb/showthread.php?t=62991
How much hope is there for this data?Probably quite good as long as nothing was written to the drive. Chkdsk isn't the wisest thing to attempt to correct things in that situation but if no file system is/was "visible" it probably did not write to the drive at all.
Presumably WinXP was installed on the original drive and that you are trying to access it from another WinXP system. But how is it attached to the new system? USB, IDE, SATA etc? It would be interesting to see if BiNG (in my sig) can see the drive and if so how it reports on its partitioning geometry. If BiNG sees the drive but no partitions it may be able to rebuild the partition tables by seaching the "unallocated space" for boot sectors. There is a fundamental difference between a disk that shows no partitions and one that has a partition that has an unknown or corrupted format.
You could also scan the slaved/attached drive with GetDataBack (http://www.runtime.org) for FAT or NTFS as appropriate. That will cost you nothing but you should see if it can create a virtual file system from which you can copy/recover files and folders. It is free to recover files one by one but you must pay to simply copy bunches of them.
08-21-2009, 10:15 AM
I left the drive to reformat over night (it took a long time) so I hadn't had a chance to try connecting the old drive with the updated service pack yet. This morning I tried it and it worked! All the files are there!! Such a simple thing solves both of my problems...:)
edit: you're right about the HD space, the numbers are about 10% off
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