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9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / September 2, 2004 3:34 AM PDT

Thank you all for the great submission this past week! Michael if these submissions don?t solve your issue with your hard drive, I hope you?ll join us in this thread so our helpful member?s can be of an assistance to further trouble shoot your problem.

I encourage all of you to read through not only Joe?s great answer, but the honorable mentions as well. And if you have more questions, or additional advice, by all means free to post below in this thread.

(WARNING: Many of this week's suggestions include flashing the computer's BIOS. It is best to leave this task to a qualified computer technician or follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter. Flashing the BIOS is serious task and if done incorrectly, can render your system completely useless. So be warned!)

Thanks again everyone!
-Lee Koo
CNET Community


I just replaced my 40GB hard drive with a new 80GB one. But
now my computer shows the drive at less than half of its
capacity. I am running Windows Me with a 1.4GHz P4. What is
wrong here?

Submitted by: Michael M.


Your answer may be very simple, or it may not be, depending on what's causing the problem. I'm thinking it's this first answer here--because you said you have a 40GB drive running fine, which means your system is likely OK with larger drives. But if it doesn't work, try the other solutions. And please, please upgrade your operating system, not the problem in this case but still a good idea. Happy

Some drives have jumper settings that allow them to be compatible with older BIOSs that wouldn't recognize drives less than 32GB drives at all (or would recognize them incorrectly) and that when set tell the drive to pretend to be only 32GB. You can fix that by changing the jumper settings. Check your drive manufacturer's Web site or do a Google search with the name of your drive (model #) and "32 GB" and/or "Jumper," to find the exact settings. This is the easiest thing to check. (A jumper, for those who aren't familiar with the term, is a little plastic piece that you can put between two pins that allows you to select certain settings that must be made at a hardware level. All modern hard drives have one--for Master or Slave, when in use with two or more drives--and some have more than one.) This is the most likely solution, especially since you were running a 40GB drive before.

Second, your BIOS may be recognizing it incorrectly. This is less likely, since you had the 40GB drive before, but not impossible (some BIOSs recognize some but not all drives properly, and some have issues with drives less than 64GB). This is a little harder to fix but not too bad. Find out the make of your motherboard (if you don't know, you can either check your manufacturer's Web site, if you bought it from a major manufacturer, or use CPU-Z, or a like program, which will tell you the chipset of your motherboard). Go to the Web site and check for a BIOS update. Run that; it requires booting up from a formatted disk. BE CAREFUL HERE: read all warnings and follow instructions to the letter; updating your BIOS is totally safe if done correctly but is VERY risky if you don't follow instructions, as you can make your computer unbootable...

Those two suggestions will likely (but not definitely) fix the problem. WIN ME isn't the greatest OS to be running, and certainly isn't helping (although it can support over a 100GB drive). Using Windows 2000 or Windows XP, which run natively on NTFS (a way of accessing files on disk that doesn't have the space limitations that Windows 95-98-ME does), would help, at least in the long run.

You can always try to partition the disk (split it, essentially, into several smaller disks) -- also risky since you easily can lose all info on the disk, but if it's a new disk you're probably ok. FDisk (a Microsoft
utility) can tell you if at least the OS can see the whole drive -- Start-> Run -> command and then in the DOS window type "fdisk c:" or whatever drive letter you're using, and it'll check out the drive and tell you the details. It can Partition (although it's not as good as Partition Magic at keeping data safe). This shouldn't be necessary since you have the 40 gb disk running fine, but it's a possibility. (And isn't it nice to have separate disks for each of your family members? Happy

Good luck!

Submitted by: Joe M.

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Honorable mentions
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / September 2, 2004 3:35 AM PDT

****** HONORABLE MENTIONS**********

(WARNING: Many of this week's suggestions include flashing the computer's BIOS. It is best to leave this task to a qualified computer technician or follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter. Flashing the BIOS is serious task and if done incorrectly, can render your system completely useless. So be warned!)


It all depends on how you installed Windows on the new HDD (Hard Disk Drive). I suspect that you will have used programs like Norton Ghost, which can clone copy HDDs - but since your original was only 40 Gig, the partition made by doing this will only be 40 Gig. Even if you did not use such an application, it is possible you made a mistake when you created a partition before. To find out your partition size, use an startup disk to enter MS-DOS. Once at the command prompt, enter the command "FDISK /status"
(without quotes) - this will clear the screen and then show you the status of all your partitions. Assuming that your only connected HDD is the 80 Gig, you will likely have only one partition listed. The figure by this one partition should be 100% (or close to), but is more likely to be about 50% based on what you said. If it is 100% and you are still not able to use all the space on the drive, it is possibly a limitation of Windows ME (although I am aware of no such limitations). If it is 50%, you have four options: -

1) Make do as is - messing with partitions is dangerous if you don't know what you are doing, you can end up losing all your data.

2) Create a second partition in the remaining space. To do this, load FDISK (without the /status), when prompted if you want to enable large disk support, select yes, then select the option to create a new partition. There should be the option to create a primary dos partition, an extended dos partition, and a logical drive. First, you should create an extended partition - select that option. When fdisk finishes scanning your drive, it'll return you to the main menu. It MAY first ask you if you want to use all space - select yes. Then return to create a new partition menu, and this time select logical drives. Fdisk then scans yer drives for a while before asking you if you want to use all the space - I advise you select yes. Then exit Fdisk - it will say you need to restart before the partitions are available. Restart back into windows. Go to my computer, right click your new drive(s), and select format, just as if you were formatting a floppy disk.

3) Resize the existing partition using third party software, such as Partition Magic. The FDISK tool mention in the above option is free, but very limited in what it can actually do. It can make an delete, but cannot resize, which is where partition magic comes in (most likely listed on somewhere). This tool is easy to use, but very powerful. If you want to do this though, I suggest you create partition magic "rescue disks"
ASAP, and use these instead - in the past I have encountered issues when trying to get the windows version to adjust partitions. Boot from the rescue disks. Once partition magic is loaded, right click the partition on the bar-onscreen and select move/resize. This loads a dialog box up, in which a picture of a line of grey on one side, and another colour on the other (which represents your existing partition), and lots of options below. Just drag the coloured box so that there is no grey left. Make sure that the options space before drive and space after drive both read 0.0, then click Ok. Somewhere there is a button marked apply changes, click it - partition magic displays another dialog box, in which your only option is to click cancel - DONT DO THAT. It will destroy all partitions on your drive, and all the data contained on them. After partition magic has messed around a bit, it will say all operations completed, and will probably want you to reboot - do so. You can return to windows now, although windows may want to restart to install drivers for its "new hard drive". Don't let it restart until everythings installed, then restart it - you should now have access to the entire 80 gig.

4 - Use FDISK to delete the existing partition and create a new one - this is ideal if you don't want to create new drives, and don't want to buy partition magic, however, all data on a deleted partition is lost permanently, unless backed up, so before you begin, back things up that you want to keep! Boot into MS-DOS and load FDISK. Enable large disk support when asked. Select Delete Partition > Delete Primary DOS Partition, and select number 1. it then asks you to type in the volume label of the drive, and then confirm you want to delete it. Once deleted, you return to the main menu. This time select create partition> Primary Dos Partition. FDISK scans yer drive, before asking if you want to use all the available space - select yes. When it has done, exit fdisk - it wants to reboot. Do so, and boot into MS-DOS once again. Once at the a:\> prompt, type in format c: - this allows windows and dos to be able to read/write to the drive. Once done, re-install windows and restore anything backed up.
In my opinion, option 1 or 3 would be best, but it is your choice. Please note that certain options within FDISK may not be named exactly as stated, however, they will have the same meaning as those above. Good luck!

Submitted by: David W.



I believe this has to do with your computer BIOS configuration. In case you don't have any idea what the BIOS is, I'll tell you that it is a piece of software built into the motherboard that allows you to help your computer know what is attached to it and how to use those devices such as the hard disks, video cards and such.

First of all I will assume that the Hard disk you have replaced is not the one with the Operating system, that it is a secondary one. If I am wrong, you might have to reformat and reinstall. I hope for you that it is not the case.

Your BIOS is probably using your old HardDisk capacity iniformation because that is all it knows about it. You should configure it to automatically detect your HD and this will fix it. Seems easy? And yes it is! While your computer is booting, hit the DEL key (if this doesn't work you should see during the boot sequence the key to press to enter setup, usually something like DEL, F12, F2 or combination of these). Then you will enter the BIOS interface. You will find the hard disk configuration usually on the first page, but you might have to navigate a bit in order to find it. Once you have identified the line with your HardDisk information, change it to "auto-Select" or just "AUTO" all BIOS are not using the same terminology but you should be able to select an automatic configuration. Once this is done, just save your work by using the menus or F10. Then reboot your PC and check that is it detecting your hard disk in the boot screen.

If your BIOS is already correct, and you still see a 40GB hard disk, it might be that either it is formatted as a 40GB, or you have a formatted partition of 40GB and you have an unformatted space availlable for a second one. To fix the partition issue, you will need to use the DOS tool FDISK or a commercial Windows tool such as Partition magic to create the partition and then format it to be able to use it.

Good luck!

Submitted by: Christian B. of Beauport, QC. Canada



If your motherboard sees the drive correctly in the BIOS, then it's a Windows issue.

If not, you can first see if there's a BIOS update for your motherboard that addressed this issue. Many board makers release new BIOS instructions which allow for new technology to work after-the-fact.

If your BIOS shows the 80GB correctly, it's a Windows issue. The very easiest way to get around that is to use the drive maker's own software to install your new drive. It will install an "overlay software" which will correctly recognize the drive as well as allow for the partitioning, & formatting at a much faster rate than Windows old FDISK utility.

One other, less technical way is to simply partition your new HD into more than one partition- each less than 40GB. I do this to keep the Windows system separated from the rest of my programs & files. Give ME 20GB, make another 20GB for My Doc's & change the default location for it to that partition. That leaves you one more partition to use, of 40GB, for all else- perhaps photos & music & long-term saves.

Hope this helps!!

Submitted by: Tracy F.



You probably need to tell the BIOS that there is a new HDD using the "system setup" that you may or may not see the screen reference to when you first turn on the power. It goes by quick, and a lot of manufacturers use a customized screen for this info that cannot be read in the time span it appears on screen. Usually pressing the F1 key just after you hit the power on button will get you to the BIOS setup program.

You must use the keyboard to get around in this program, so read the screens for directions! The drive information is usually on the first page. Write down the information on the screen in case you have to go back to using the 40 GB drive info. Move to the HDD section (arrow keys or tab key) and choose Auto Detect for the first hard drive. This should change the drive info from the old 40 GB to the new 80 GB. Do not be tempted to change anything else! After the new hard drive information appears, choose "Save and Exit" (usually F10).

The computer should continue to boot normally, and your new drive size should show up in the Windows Explorer screens.

Of course, this assumes a properly partioned and formatted drive, with a correct installation of Windows. If the computer fails to work after resetting the HDD size, repeat the BIOS setup and change the HDD back to what it was when it worked (that's why you write it down). Backup your data, write down all hardware driver info (find the driver software if it is not a native Windows driver!), find all of your installation CDs and prepare to waste an entire weekend reloading your operating system and all your programs on a properly partioned and formatted hard drive that the BIOS now sees.

Submitted by: Ann S.



The operating system you are running (Windows ME) uses a file system called FAT32, which is an improvement on the original Microsoft FAT (File Allocation Table) file system. However, FAT32 only supports hard drives up to 32GB, as noted in the Micro$oft Knowledge Base:

NOTE: When attempting to format a FAT32 partition larger than 32 GB, the format fails near the end of the process with the following error:
Logical Disk Manager: Volume size too big.;EN-US;184006

Your operating system probably did not recognize the full size of your previous hard drive either, but the difference between the recognized size and the actual size was not nearly as large.

The easiest solution to the problem is to partition the hard drive into smaller sections. To the operating system, it simply looks as though there are several smaller drives. This can be done with Fdisk, which comes free with Windows, or with a similar utility, such as the popular Partition Magic from Symantec.

However, partitioning the drives will require wiping out any data that is already on them. If you just got the drive, then it probably won't be as big of a deal. You may simply copy whatever you want to keep onto a cd (or your previous hard drive, if you still have it), and then copy it back onto one of the partitions afterwards.

Submitted by: Matt W.



Hi, not too much to worry about here, the capacity listing is just a limitation of the FAT32 file system ME uses. FAT32 has difficulty displaying capacities over 32GB, fortunately it has no problem accessing drives over this size - if your BIOS can see it, you (and windows) can use it.

First thing you will have to do though is format the drive.

To do this you will need a boot disk with the following files on board:
FDISK.COM - for creating and activating partitions
FORMAT.COM - to format the drive(s) created with FDISK
SYS.COM - to make the new partition bootable. This can be skipped if you plan to perform a fresh install onto the new drive.

Next. After loading up the drive - (I suggest that you remove or unplug the 'old' drive to prevent any 'mishaps' - FDISK isn't nice to accidents.) - boot from your newly organised boot disk and type FDISK. Most people only want one drive, C:, so I'll step through for one partition - there are several good sites to research the possibilities of FDISK.

Enter the number for create a partition. On the next screen enter the number for creating a 'primary DOS partition'. FDISK will now perform an integrity test on the drive - here's a good time for making coffee, this ain't fast.
When complete, FDISK will ask you how big you want the partition to be. Enter "100%", don't forget the percentage symbol. Once done and returned to the main menu, exit FDISK and reboot from the boot disk.

Now for the 'joyful' part, formatting. At the prompt, type the following: FORMAT C: /U
Answer yes at the prompt. Formatting will take the good part of an hour to complete with a drive this size.
Enter a drive label if desired when finished - this can be done in windows later as well.
Type DIR at the DOS prompt and you will see about 76GB of free space available - not all the space will be available as formatting uses some of the drives factory capacity.

The following is dependant on whether you will perform a clean install of ME and migrate your existing files or restore a backup to the new drive.

If the former, run FDISK again, this time entering the number for activating a primary partition. On the following screen, enter the number assigned to the 80GB drive's C:, exit and this time reboot from your ME CD. Install as desired.

If you would like to restore a backup to the new drive, you will have to plug in you old drive, ensuring the M-S-C jumper is on M. The new drive should have it's M-S-C jumper on S and be plugged into the same IDE channel as your old drive.
Start windows as normal, no boot disk or CD will be needed - your old drive shouldn't have been affected.
Make/update a backup, you can used the new drive for this, then restore the backup to the new drive - it should be listed as D: in windows.
Shutdown and swap jumper settings - new drive with M selected, old drive with S selected (reversing the master-slave designations). Now boot up from the boot disk and follow the previous directions for activating the new drives partition. If asked to reboot, do so from the floppy. Next comes the SYS command. From the A: DOS prompt, enter the following:
Remove the floppy and reboot from your new hard drive. Happy

Submitted by: Flirkann



I had this problem when I switched to a larger hard drive. There are several reasons why your hard drive's capacity is not being shown correctly:

1. If you used a program to transfer your old files to the new hard drive, the program may have made an exact copy of the old hard drive, making a partition on your new hard drive that is the size of the old drive, leaving the remaining space unusable. If you used a program to copy the old hard drive, you should reformat the new drive, reinstall Windows ME and any other software you may have, then copy your documents from the old hard drive to the new one.

2. If you did not use a program to transfer your old files to the new drive, you should check to see if your main partition uses all of the drive. Use a startup floppy disk to boot your computer, then run fdisk and check to see that the primary partition uses all of the hard drive. I'm assuming that you know how to do all of this because you said that you replaced the hard drive, but if you need help, see this article from Microsoft.:

2. If your main partition uses all of the drive, then your BIOS is not made to handle drives that large. You will have to contact your motherboard manufacturer to see about an update to the BIOS. If you are using a Maxtor hard drive, an easier alternative is to use their software, EZ-BIOS. This installs on your hard drive using the hard drive setup software that came with the drive. (Other manufacturers may also provide this software, but Maxtor is the only one that I know of.)

Unfortunately, there aren't any quick fixes to this problem. Hopefully, you will be able to find a solution using these instructions.

Submitted by: Loren J.



Your problem is not uncommon. You should check the documentation for your computer's motherboard to see what the largest capacity hard drive it can recognize. The problem could be that your computer can?t recognize hard drives over a certain size and so it misinterpreted the actual size when you set it up. This can often be fixed by downloading a BIOS update for you computer's motherboard. You can check with your computer's manufacturer or with the motherboard manufacturer to obtain the BIOS update. (BE VERY CAREFUL DOING BIOS UPDATES)

You stated " computer shows the drive at less than half of its capacity." There is an important distinction to make. When you turn on your computer and it boots up and you get the POST screen(the black screen that tells you that devices are detected), what size does it report for the 80 Gig hard drive? This size may be different than the size you see when you boot the computer into Windows ME. If when you boot your computer and at that black screen you see the full capacity of the 80 Gig drive detected but its less then full capacity in Windows, this could mean that you created a partition smaller than the full size of the hard drive and installed Windows on it. If this is the case you could format, ! then repartition the hard drive to use 100% of its capacity using FDISK (on a Windows bootup disk). Hope this helps.

Submitted by: Demitrious O. of New York City, New York



A) The operating system does not control hardware installation, you should run Bios setup by pressing on (delete) when you first start your PC, it seems that your pc bios was set to a limited hard drive capacity, all what you have to do is to run auto detect (depending on your bios system) and save the new settings and restart your pc, but is should be done by experts only or (advanced user), mention that changing the bios setting without enough experience can seriously damage your system or even your pc!

Submitted by: Fareed J. of Baghdad-Iraq



To change and get the right configuration for your disk drives, do this:

1. At boot time hit DEL and select Go to SET UP option.
2. Select CMOS Option. You will see the wrong disk drives configuration.
3. Hit F3 to force your computer to read each disk drive. You will see the right disk drives configuration.
4. Choose Exit option
5. Select ?Leave with Update? (hit Y).
6. You are able to use the full capacity of your disks drives.

Enjoy your PC.

Submitted by: Otto R.



The essence of your problem is that the 80GB drive exceeds the maximum size hard drive your computer can recognize.

If you purchases the full retail version of the drive, it probably came with software which will "fool" the computer into recognizing the drive's full capacity. Follow the supplied instructions to install the software. A word of caution -- doing this will remove all programs and data cuttently on the new hard drive.

Should you have received just the hard drive without the extra goodies, go to the manufacturer's web site. Most have the software (Disk Manager or equivalent) along with instructions for using it.

I recently did this for a friend who purchased a non-retail-packaged hard drive and had it up and running in a short time.

Submitted by: John F.



My first assuption is that you also had this problem with your 40 Gig Drive.

Windows ME uses the FAT32 file system. Fat32 in Windows ME allows for a maximum of a 32 Gigabit Partition on the Hard Drive. This means that any Hard Drive over 32 Gigabits will need separate partitions for use within Windows ME.

See Microsoft "Limitations of FAT32 File system";EN-US;184006 for referance.

I recommend the following partitions for an 80 Gig Drive :

16 Gig - System Partition
32 Gig - For Data
32 Gig - For Data

or if not storing large amount of data use a 32 Gig Partition for the System Partition.

Short of this, if the system meets the requirements for upgrade to Windows XP (i.e Memory and Processer speed) then it would be worth the upgrade costs. Windows XP uses the NTFS file system which supports Partition sizes up to 2 Terebytes (2000 Gigabits).

Here's What You Need to Use Windows XP Home Edition
?PC with 300 megahertz (MHz) or higher processor clock speed recommended; 233-MHz minimum required;1 Intel Pentium/Celeron family, AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended
?128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended (64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)
?1.5 gigabyte (GB) of available hard disk space.1
?Super VGA (800

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80 Gig too big for Windows
by eteonline / September 2, 2004 9:41 PM PDT
In reply to: Honorable mentions

The problem could even be simpler. Hidden on the Microsoft web site is an updated version of FDISK. The one supplied with Windows 98 fails because internal registers roll over instead of reporting the correct hard drive size:

When you use Fdisk.exe to partition a hard disk that is larger than 64 GB (64 gigabytes, or 68,719,476,736 bytes) in size, Fdisk does not report the correct size of the hard disk.

The size that Fdisk reports is the full size of the hard disk minus 64 GB. For example, if the physical drive is 70.3 GB (75,484,122,112 bytes) in size, Fdisk reports the drive as being 6.3 GB (6,764,579,840 bytes) in size.
Fdisk uses some 16-bit values internally to calculate the size of the drive. Some of these variables overflow when the drive size is equal to or larger than 64 GB.
A supported fix is now available from Microsoft, but it is only intended to correct the problem that is described in this article. Apply it only to computers that are experiencing this specific problem.

To resolve this problem immediately, download the fix by clicking the download link later in this article or contact Microsoft Product Support Services to obtain the fix. For a complete list of Microsoft Product Support Services phone numbers and information about support costs, visit the following Microsoft Web site:;EN-US;CNTACTMS

NOTE: In special cases, charges that are ordinarily incurred for support calls may be canceled if a Microsoft Support Professional determines that a specific update will resolve your problem. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for the specific update in question.

NOTE: This hotfix is not designed for 48-bit logical block addressing (LBA) hard disks, and it is not supported on hard disks larger than 137 GB.

The English version of this fix should have the following file attributes or later: Date Time Size File name Operating System
05/19/00 10:30am 64,428 Fdisk.exe Windows 98
05/18/00 8:35am 64,460 Fdisk.exe Windows 98 Second Edition

NOTE: The package that installs this fix contains both Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition versions of the fix. The package automatically installs the correct version.

The following files are available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:

Download 263044usa8.exe - English now

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Re: 80 Gig too big for Windows
by billyrferrell / September 3, 2004 4:33 AM PDT
The 80 Gig come with a DOS software that you put in A:\ Drive then start your PC. The software will help to setup your 80 Gig Drive with it Diagnostics software. Only The Diagnostics Software for the 80 Gig can fix the Hard Drive.
#2. Fdisk.exe
For Fdisk.exe is for Windows only afther setup the 80 gig to make new drive like 1/2 of it. Is 40g for C: 40g for D: = 80g
#3.Diagnostics Software
If your do not have the Diagnostics Software you can get it at the Hard Drive Webpage. For Exp.
you may have to foremat the Hard Drive. With the Diagnostics software to fix it.
You will need a Windows Boot so make one. For Diagnostics software will ask for it to setup the Hard Drive with the windows O.S.
#5.Diagnostics Software
The diskette contains valuable diagostic and configuration utilities.
Store disk in a safe place.
THAT IS FOR ALL HARD DRIVE form 80mb TO 80GiG and up.

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Software 80 Gig can fix the Hard Drive.
by billyrferrell / September 3, 2004 5:01 AM PDT
The 80 Gig come with a DOS software that you put in A:\ Drive then start your PC. The software will help to setup your 80 Gig Drive with it Diagnostics software. Only The Diagnostics Software for the 80 Gig can fix the Hard Drive.
#2. Fdisk.exe
For Fdisk.exe is for Windows only afther setup the 80 gig to make new drive like 1/2 of it. Is 40g for C: 40g for D: = 80g
#3.Diagnostics Software
If your do not have the Diagnostics Software you can get it at the Hard Drive Webpage. For Exp.
you may have to foremat the Hard Drive. With the Diagnostics software to fix it.
You will need a Windows Boot so make one. For Diagnostics software will ask for it to setup the Hard Drive with the windows O.S.
#5.Diagnostics Software
The diskette contains valuable diagostic and configuration utilities.
Store disk in a safe place.
THAT IS FOR ALL HARD DRIVE form 80mb TO 80GiG and up.

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Re: 9/03/2004 80GB hard drive showing <40
by kopasetik / September 2, 2004 4:51 PM PDT

Has anyone considered 40 vs 80 pin cabling issues?

I just upgraded from a dinosaur recently(566 mHz Celeron/15GB 40wire/133 FSB),and noticed my new box (2.53 CeleronD/40GB/533 FSB) is 80wire. However since the box in question was equipped with a 40GB drive before, I could be off in left field...but cabling was my gut instinct.

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by sanjaynarasimman / September 2, 2004 9:05 PM PDT

I'm also having the same problem (around 50 gigs missing). I bought a new system (P4 2.4 GHz, Intel 845GVSR mother board and Seagate 80GB Barracuda HDD). The system is able to identify only 31.2 GB of HDD space. I'm using Windows 2000 Professional Service Pack 4. I've tried (all) the jumper settings as well, but it did'nt work. Sad

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by besmarter / September 2, 2004 9:47 PM PDT

You need to get a copy of fdisk that recongnise disk over 40gig limitation. one site that i obtain

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by mixacimk / September 3, 2004 2:23 AM PDT

Try turning off your computer, remove the hard drive. Powering the computer back on and let it cycle for a minute or two. Then turn it off. Put the hard drive back in and power on. This should work. If this doesn't work go into the set up mode under the system bios. and set the computer to "recognize" the hard drive. (I don't know the correct computer terms, as i am self taught.. I just know how to do it).

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by drtigger1969 / September 3, 2004 3:45 AM PDT

I am willing to bet its 31.2 avaible. And your not missing 50gigs. right click on the drive in my computer and click properties. Then look ast how much usede, how much free and total.

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by jonathanpienaar / September 2, 2004 9:19 PM PDT

Dumb but obvious observation: have you updated the BIOS? Hit Del when booting or whatever the boot-up screen is telling you, and under "Standard CMOS Setup" look at the settings for the Primary Master drive. It should be set to Auto. Normally you use up/down arrows to select an item and Pg up/Pg down to change. Alternatively use the "IDE auto detection" option to auto-detect your drive/s and then look in the "Standard CMOS Setup" to see what it has been updated to. Then press Esc and "Save and Exit Setup."

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software updated for BIOS
by billyrferrell / September 3, 2004 5:32 AM PDT

For the Hard Drive software will updated for BIOS for you. Hard Drive software will Install, Diagnostics, BIOS Check, Ultra ATA Maanagement. It runs in DOS at setup. You have to Boot with the Hard Drive software to fix it O.K al

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by wkeairns / September 2, 2004 10:26 PM PDT

Many times manufacturers use a drive image. Is that what you used? If so that may be the propblem.

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by relentlesss / September 2, 2004 11:05 PM PDT

I am new to computing, 1995 my first 386, and I am completly self taught. I was wondering if my problem was similar to Michaels. When I bought this Pc last year, a P4 with 3GB (?) I was under the impression that the way I use a computer I would "never run out of memory in my life time. Well, after only one year resources were down to 10%. Did I have a similar or a very different problem, it seems obvious to me that BIOS was not the culprit.
Thanks for your patience
relentlesss, and I am Wink

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by Kevintm / September 2, 2004 11:31 PM PDT

A couple of times in the answer the author referred to bios' not recognizing drives "less than" a certain size when I think the author meant to say that some bios' won't recognize drives that are LARGER than a certain size. Just to clarify any confusion this may have caused.

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My gigs are missing
by mohit616 / June 28, 2007 3:38 PM PDT

I had 130 GB laptop. I had recently very short of disk space and now it is showing the full capacity of 50gb. Please let me know what should I do to get my 80gb.

Thanking you in anticipation


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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by kbut / September 2, 2004 11:36 PM PDT

the ghosting or copy program used to clone the original hd to the replacement hd set up a partition of the SAME size as the source disk on the dest.disk. look for unpartitioned space with the drive mfr trouble-disk / cd that came with the drive

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by msgale / September 3, 2004 12:12 AM PDT

I purpose a simpler answer. There are two numbering system used in computers today, The decimal where one gigabyte is 1,000,000,000 bytes and the binary number system where one gigabyte is 1,073,741,824 bytes. Therefore a 75 Gigabyte (binary) disk is about and 80 gigabyte disk (decimal). Think about it if your PC has one gigabyte of RAM and you were to count the bytes would the result be 1,000,000,000 or 1,073,741,824. And the winner is 1,073,741,824 bytes.

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by sttrellie / September 3, 2004 12:07 AM PDT

I recently used software to expose past files I deleted over the last two years. I noticed very few files were exposed in comparison to what was downloaded which seems peculiar to me.
I am wondering if maybe the issue being discussed here, could apply to my issue of not being able to expose deleted files.
I just thought I would add my two cents to this discussion as it might relate to my issue.

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by toonspire / September 3, 2004 12:36 AM PDT

I HAVE an ME edition! You have to read very carefully how much you can "REALLY" upgrade your "ME"
>example: my ME is upgradable to 512 mg ram, in which it came with 128 mg ram, HOWEVER, it will "ONLY" show added performance of 256 mg and WILL not recognize the rest<
ME can 'only' upgrade a certain amount of memory because it will not register any more than the BIOS.
That was the draw back on the "ME" Editions.
Also, you have to go to to update the new memory and possible the info for the new drive.
LAST of all, get real good advice to techs who know this type of system, HINT: they will tell you to buy a new PC w/XP!

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by Cuffy10 / September 3, 2004 12:42 AM PDT

The operating system in this case is Windows ME which contains an updated copy of FDisk. The ME version will recognize a drive over 64 GB.
Should the problem arise in Win98 or Win98SE you will have to download an upgraded FDisk from MS. Once you have applied the upgrade you can copy the new FDisk.exe and drop it into the floppy containing your emergency boot disk. It will overwrite the old copy and allow you to boot from a floppy and partition your 80 GB drive.

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by royc / September 3, 2004 12:50 AM PDT

Start-> Run -> command and then in the DOS window type "fdisk c:"

Instead of "fdisk c:", I would use "fdisk /status" as this will list all hard drives with all partitions AND it is NOT interactive so you can't do anything that will hurt the drives, like delete a partition or mess up the boot sector.

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by supermanx1a / September 3, 2004 1:51 AM PDT

Hi there,

I am a certified tech lead and have been repairing PC's and supervising techs for the past 10 years for a major retailer. Every answer from contributors makes sense; however, no one mentioned the possibility of a DEFECTIVE hard disk. Whenever we come across a situation like this, we try it on a different modern PC, or on our test PC.
We have come across many defective units this way. Just because a hard disk is new does not necessarily mean that it is A1. And this applies to all the major brands without exception. A tech support person from a major manufacturer has even mentioned to us that the circuit of a HD can play tricks and show a different capacity than what it is supposed to be. I came across some customers who were "pleasantly surprised" to discover that the new 40G or 80G HD they purchased was seen as 100G by their computer!! They wanted to know if they could have another one for their friend!!
Just another possibility before touching the BIOS and very possibly messing up the motherboard.

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by dsheets5 / September 3, 2004 2:02 AM PDT

To add to what Joe M. wrote. When you Get a New Hard drive you don't get what you pay for. For instance I built my own pc and bought a 80 GB. drive to put in it. When I received the drive it was only actually 76 GB. so although i'm sure this isn't your problem, because you say u have less than half what your supposed to. It is something for others to keep in mind when they are looking to purchase and install a new hard drive.

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Michael question states "less than half of its capacity" so
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / September 3, 2004 2:25 AM PDT

that means he's not complaining about a few gigs missing, rather more than half of his 80GB which is less than 40GB.

Just wanted to clarify this.

Also for your answer about why you are shorted when you buy a 80GB and the system only reads 76GB, here your answer from Maxtor:

This below reference is from the Maxtor Knowledge Base :

Hard Drive Manufacturer Capacity Definitions

The listed capacity is an unformatted (raw) capacity. After partitioning and formatting, actual storage capacities may vary depending on the operating system and configuration. Maxtor adheres to the NIST and IEC definitions of Megabyte and Gigabyte.

1 MB = One Million Bytes
1 GB = One Billion Bytes

Operating System & BIOS Capacity Definitions

Storage devices are marketed and sold in terms of decimal (base 10) capacity. In decimal terms, one Gigabyte (GB) is equal to one billion bytes. Most BIOS?s follow this definition as well. However, many operating systems use the binary (base 2) numbering system. That would be two to the thirtieth power, or 1,073,741,824 bytes equals one-Gigabyte.

According to the NIST and IEC standards, an 80 GB hard drive would contain eighty billion bytes. 80,000,000,000 bytes divided by 1,000,000,000 bytes equals eighty decimal Gigabytes. In binary terms, 80,000,000,000 bytes would be divided by 1,073,741,824 for a total of 74.5 binary GB. However, there are still 80 billion bytes on the drive in either case.

Some utilities use a binary conversion to calculate capacity. This is why users might see 504 MB reported on one utility and 528 MB from another.

I hope this helps clarify somethings for you.

-Lee Koo
CNET COmmunity

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by cward / September 3, 2004 3:10 AM PDT

I recall coming across the same identical problem with a computer where I worked. I was upgrading the hard drive from a 40 GIG to an 80 GIG and the BIOS only recognized it as a 40 GIG. It was one of those rare challenges that gets seasoned techs like me excited. I don't recall the exact details but I remember solving the problem by changing a setting in the system BIOS. The setting was contained in a menu option unrelated to IDE drive detection/settings (I think it may have been "Boot Options". It was an earlier P4. If you can provide the motherboard manufacturer & system BIOS (Phoenix/Award, etc.) information, I will look it up to refresh my memory and then I'll be able to tell you the specific setting to solve your problem.

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by Keith0 / September 3, 2004 3:22 AM PDT


2. Did this drive ever show more than 40GB? For example when you were transferring your world from the 40GB drive to the new one.

3. Check the hardware jumper settings on the drive to make sure that the drive is not set to compensate for older operating systems by limiting what the drive reports to the BIOS.

4. Check your BIOS settings and make sure that your hard drive is set to "Auto"

5. From a DOS prompt run FDISK /STATUS. It will show your used space and, if it sees it, the missing space.

6. If there is unused space, you can use FDISK to create another paritition which you can FORMAT for use as another drive letter.

7. Or Invest in a program such as PartitionMagic which will allow you to set the partitions as you wish.

These are the basic methods of getting the BIOS to recognze the new drive as it really is. If the BIOS recognizes the size of the new drive WinME should have no problem with it.

An alternative might be using one of the drive makers setup programs one of which may have come with your new drive. These are frequently aimed at older systems whose BIOS may not recognize the larger numbers that show up on todays drives. They try to set up a translation situation so that the parameters of the new drive are more likely to be compatible with the requirements of the BIOS of more systems. There may be a minimal performance/resource cost and may require you to keep the disk with your recovery programs.

Have fun.

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by drtigger1969 / September 3, 2004 3:38 AM PDT

You all obiviously missed this most important point of all. Most Hard drives are rated as follows. 1024 equals one megabyte. Unfortunatly most people do not realize this. Looking at his basic system specs, his system will read an 80gig drive no problem. Tmis is neither a BIOS problem nor a problem of it reading larger than a 64Gig drive. Most of this has to deal with an industry that cannot come up with a standard. For instance, when you put in a 256 or 512meg memory module in your computer most dont read it that way they read it as more. This is because 1024k is one megabyte versus 1000k. Wheter or not your format FAT32, FAT16, NTFS, or even HPFS, you will never have full capacity and even when you use NTFS, it holds over some as a reserve for maintenance.

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by ramnet / September 3, 2004 3:53 AM PDT

The most common cause could well be you did not change the drive parameters in the BIOS. Often end users just disconnect the old drive assuming the BIOS will auto detect the new drive. Many BIOS settings provide for AUTO or MANUAL configurations.

If the original installer chose a MANUAL setting then a larger drive might well boot but be limited by the older drive BIOS limitations. If the drive has been formatted to 40 gig based on a BIOS limitation then no wonder another 40 gig is unused.

Suggest the system BIOS (DEL) key is the most common access point be invoked .. try to AUTO DETECT the drive parameters .. if it shows up as an 80 Gig drive fine. Reformat the drive and rebuild or use Partition Manager 8.0 or better to re partition (take care with this or get an expert to do it for you ) .. if it does not AUTO DETECT I would be surprised because most BIOS limitations hang around the 30 gig mark.

Once a BIOS can read 40 Gig it usually reads up to 80 comfortably.

So I am pretty sure you are NOT looking at an inherent BIOS issue.

Also I agree don't FLASH a Motherboard BIOS unless

1. You know exactly what you are doing
2. You have a reliable backup in place
3. You have got the BIOS update from a legitimate and trustworthy source i.e Manufacturer direct.


Ken McAvoy

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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by leob / September 3, 2004 4:17 AM PDT

Hello Joe M, I might have a fix for your missing gigs.
I had a similar problem. I am using xp Pro.

Right click on My Computer,on this page Click on Properties. Next Click on Advanced. There you will see Performance, click on Settings. Next click on Advanced.

At the bottom you will see Virtual memory. Here you can choose, the Change option. You can lower the total paging file size or even turn it off.

I have had it set at no paging file, for two years now with no problems or you can set it at minimum.
One of the side effects is a faster computer. I also Defrage my drives every day, which again speeds up my computer.

When you lower or turn off your Paging File System, you will notice that you will be able to compress more files when you Defrage.
What you are doing is freeing up space on your drive that would be taken up with the Paging File System.
Give that a try, it works for me.


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Re: 9/03/2004 Gigs missing from my new 80GB hard drive
by sillygeek / September 3, 2004 5:33 AM PDT

What type of HDD did you buy? If its a Maxtor you will need to run the Maxtor install software first to format the drive and to size it. Than after you formatted it with the Maxtor program, go ahead and format it again using your windows format program. I ran into a similar problem installing a 200GB HDD, only difference I am running Win XP.

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