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New 250GB Seagate drive only giving me 137GB

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August 24, 2006 1:51:48 PM

Hi! I just purchased a new Seagate SATA ST3250620AS drive to build a new rig with. After firing it up and installing Windows XP, I see that it only shows it as a 137GB drive. After a bit of purusing the Seagate website, I discover this is a common problem due to either a mobo or OS issue with the 48-bit LBA (Logical Block Addressing). Since my BIOS correctly shows the drive as being 250GB, I knew it had to be Windows XP. Once I upgraded Windows XP to SP2, I was able to format the rest of the drive as an E: drive and now have all the space I am supposed to have.
My problem, though, is that I didn't want this drive broken up into a C: and E: partition; I wanted it to be all one single partition. Does anyone know of a way that I can make it all a single, large C: partition at this point, aside from using a utility like Partition Magic? I am actually now considering buying a small Raptor drive to use exclusively as the C: drive, and then reformat the Seagate to be a single large E: drive, but I'd rather not.
Thanks!
August 24, 2006 2:35:07 PM

I think DIskeeper can merge your other partition with you OS partition.

But why not just leave the OS with its own little partition?
a c 385 G Storage
August 24, 2006 2:38:03 PM

Well, like you said, you can use 3rd party partioning software, or you can install XP off of a cd that already contains SP2.

It sounds like you have an older version of XP that does not include SP1 or SP2. This gives you the option of creating a slipstream CD. NLite is a utility that makes creating a slipstream CD a breeze. Just google slipstream and NLite. There's tons of info out there.
Related resources
August 24, 2006 2:52:36 PM

Quote:
I think DIskeeper can merge your other partition with you OS partition.

But why not just leave the OS with its own little partition?


That would certainly be another option - shrink the C: partition down to, say, 20GB and keep only the OS and maybe driver stuff there, and make the rest of the 230GB an E: drive. I just have a personal preference for no reason other than it's easier for me to remember to keep each physical hard drive it's own partition. So when I end up later with 3 different hard drives, I know the C: is one, the E: is the second, and the F: is the third or some such nonesense.
HawkEye, you are correct - I have an older install disk of Windows XP that does not have SP1 or SP2 included, so I have to install those seperately. For future rebuilds though, I think I just might create a slipstream CD and keep it handy.
Thanks!
August 24, 2006 3:38:43 PM

Quote:
I think DIskeeper can merge your other partition with you OS partition.

I must disagree with you on this point ... Diskeeper doesn't do that type or disc work.

However, an alternative to 3rd party software (Partition Magic), while still avoiding a re-install, would be to use Windows Disc Management utility to convert the disc to a Dynamic Drive. You could then delete your E: volume and resize the C: volume to use the entire drive.
August 24, 2006 3:47:44 PM

Quote:
I think DIskeeper can merge your other partition with you OS partition.

I must disagree with you on this point ... Diskeeper doesn't do that type or disc work.

However, an alternative to 3rd party software (Partition Magic), while still avoiding a re-install, would be to use Windows Disc Management utility to convert the disc to a Dynamic Drive. You could then delete your E: volume and resize the C: volume to use the entire drive.

Yeah I couldn't really remember. Lost it with my last reformat. Never bothered to reinstall. Now that I remember, it's a defrag utility. I don't defrag much anyways. My friend has his comp set to defrag every day at 2AM or something but I rarely do.
August 27, 2006 3:38:12 AM

With the enterprise edition of symantec ghost you could create an image and then apply the image to size disk provided the disk was at least as big as the data in the image. I assume you could do the same thing with the home edition of ghost. Image your disk onto a dvd or something and push the image back on to the drive using the whole 250 Gb. This way you have a back up of everything on a DVD.
August 27, 2006 4:22:09 AM

Man you guys are so out of it.

Just go into Administrative options under CONTROL PANEL, then go to computer management, disk management, and then it will show your 250 GB drive, with a big chunk of it being "unpartitioned", then just partition it by right clicking it and then hitting "format" or "partition", whatever it says there. It'll take like 2 minutes or something and bam, there's your other 110 gigs or so. Easy.
August 27, 2006 5:44:35 AM

Try BING (http://www.bootitng.com/)
-works just like Partition Magic, but cheaper and you can download it

I used this to shrink an XP-pro partition to make room for a new one (for local backups), but it should work the other way too. Not sure if it can merge existing data or not, but with some patience you can probably resize and move your data in a couple sessions to make it work (shrink e:, expand c:, copy data from e: to c:, repeat until done). Be sure to run a disk check and DEFRAG first...and backup anything critical (<--but you knew to do that already I'm certain).

Slipstreamed CD: highly recommended to make a bootable XP CD with at least SP2, the updates, etc are optional (I don't merge them myself).

Note about shared folders: remove any shares you might delete before doing so (un-share them), otherwise you may find related errors in the event log which can be hard to remove.

Note about using dynamic disks/volumes: once you go this route almost nothing by 3rd parties can work with it (not PM, BING, etc), unless it is converted back to a basic disk in the process (also a very rare feature). In short, try to avoid using dynamic disks unless you really need or want them. Ghost 2003 (probably others too) can read from DD's though. It is amazing that in 6 years no one (3rd party anyway) has really made any effort to support dynamic disks natively...makes you wonder how great an idea using it becomes (MY opinion).
August 27, 2006 3:48:57 PM

Does that give a second partition and shows as a second drive or just increases the size of the original partition to the size of the actual HDD.
August 27, 2006 8:19:58 PM

If you're refering to my post the answer is:
-BING alows you to non-destructively resize, create and convert partitions (NTFS to FAT32 for example)

The start of this post stated a 250 GB drive with 2 partitions (C: and E:)  and the desire to have one large partition instead (C: only).

There are several ways to accomplish this:
1 - Reformat and re-install XP using an SP1 or SP2 CD (or create one using the slipstreaming method mentioned above).
2 - Use a partitioning tool like Partition Magic, BING, etc to remove the second partition and enlarge the first to use all 250 GB of space.
3 - make the disk dymanic, delete E: and enlarge C: (if it lets you, I've never done this so have no idea if this is possible!)

If you have a lot of data on E: (for exampe) you can move files to C:, then enlarge C: and shrink E: in stages until E: is empty, then just delete the partition and enlarge C: to fill the whole drive.
August 28, 2006 4:20:34 PM

Quote:
Hi! I just purchased a new Seagate SATA ST3250620AS drive to build a new rig with. After firing it up and installing Windows XP, I see that it only shows it as a 137GB drive. After a bit of purusing the Seagate website, I discover this is a common problem due to either a mobo or OS issue with the 48-bit LBA (Logical Block Addressing). Since my BIOS correctly shows the drive as being 250GB, I knew it had to be Windows XP. Once I upgraded Windows XP to SP2, I was able to format the rest of the drive as an E: drive and now have all the space I am supposed to have.
My problem, though, is that I didn't want this drive broken up into a C: and E: partition; I wanted it to be all one single partition. Does anyone know of a way that I can make it all a single, large C: partition at this point, aside from using a utility like Partition Magic? I am actually now considering buying a small Raptor drive to use exclusively as the C: drive, and then reformat the Seagate to be a single large E: drive, but I'd rather not.
Thanks!


What you could do is, reinstall XP on a partition size of your choice, like 30 gigs. then do the SP2 update. After that, the whole size of the remaining space will ba available in disk management. Simply repartition it as you want and format it.

I would rather not use dynamic drive, as they dont move very well from controller to controller, so if your motherboard die, you may have problem getting back your data.

reinstalling xp would take less that 30 minute on most modern hardware, even less if you have top of the line hardware, so IMHO, hunting down partitionning apps, doing the change, risking some failure and having to finnaly reinstall everything don't really worth it. I suggest that you download SP2 and put it a a CD before reinstalling, as it is not really recommended to connect to the internet with an unpatched OS.. in less than 20 minute, your computer might be infected to the point of sending spam to million of adress.. the test already been done by some website I don't remember.
August 29, 2006 12:12:28 AM

Thanks for the info but i was replying to djkrypple? I don't know if he saw the part in the original post about not wanting 2 or more partions. Just trying to clarify if his approach would meet the original question's needs. I agree with your options. Question for you is would XP Pro slipstreamed with XP SP1 solve it or does it need to be SP2.
August 29, 2006 12:30:10 AM

Pre-SP2 Windows XP can't recognize hard drives over 137GB. You'll also want SP2 for security and stability reasons.
August 29, 2006 1:12:45 AM

I had the same problem just recently with a 160MB disk. Easiest way around it is to use diskpart to extend your c: volume.

Check out the following MS article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325590
August 29, 2006 8:45:48 PM

Quote:
Note about using dynamic disks/volumes: once you go this route almost nothing by 3rd parties can work with it (not PM, BING, etc), unless it is converted back to a basic disk in the process (also a very rare feature). In short, try to avoid using dynamic disks unless you really need or want them. Ghost 2003 (probably others too) can read from DD's though. It is amazing that in 6 years no one (3rd party anyway) has really made any effort to support dynamic disks natively...makes you wonder how great an idea using it becomes (MY opinion).

This is true. Dynamic Disks are not friendly to 3rd party software or system transfers. Also be aware that converting a dynamic disk back to a basic disk involves re-formatting the hard drive. If your hard drive will live and die with your current system, converting to dynamic would work fine. (as an added note, you can stripe or mirror DDs, or volumes within a DD, if you were ever to add an additional HD)

Quote:

I had the same problem just recently with a 160MB disk. Easiest way around it is to use diskpart to extend your c: volume.

Check out the following MS article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325590

The linked article states:
"• Only the extension of data volumes is supported. System or boot volumes may be blocked from being extended, and you may receive the following error:
Diskpart failed to extend the volume. Please make sure the volume is valid for extending
• You cannot extend the partition if the system page file is located on the partition. Move the page file to a partition that you do not wish to extend."

So, for sudz28 this may not work since the partition to extend is "system", "boot" and would contain the "system page file".

However, thanks for introducing diskpart as I'm sure I'll now be using it in the near future. :) 
August 29, 2006 8:49:36 PM

Thanks for the clarification on SP2 to recognize disk over 137GB.
August 30, 2006 2:28:36 AM

Quote:
Pre-SP2 Windows XP can't recognize hard drives over 137GB.


Not exactly.

The 137GB/127GiB limitation is in Windows XP RTM (Release To Manufacturing), i.e. no service packs at all. SP1 and higher have 48-bit LBA built-in.

Also, the limitation only applies to IDE drives, or SATA drives operating in IDE Emulation/Legacy mode. The limitation does not apply to SATA drives operating in SATA Native/AHCI mode, RAID controllers, or SCSI drives, since those drives do not use the IDE legacy addressing scheme (ATAPI).
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