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Hard Drive Size Limitation

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December 13, 2007 10:31:01 PM

Please, I have spent DAYS looking online for an answer to this;

I have a 400GB WD Sata 3Gb/s Hard Drive, which I run on Windows XP (SP2) on a Biostar NF520-A2 motherboard. My HD only shows 127Gb. Now, I have found the "EnableBigLba" threads, doesn't work. I have tried the "diskpart /extend" thing, doesn't work. I have even tried a software "EnableBigLba" and it gives me the message that since I already have SP2 it is supposed to be showing the full size of hard drive. HELP !!! What else can I try ? Thanks !!!!!
December 13, 2007 10:51:46 PM

The additional space is probably there. Your partition was set at 127GB and that does not change. Right click on my computer and click on manage. Click on disk management and notice the Black space on the drive graphic. Right click on the graphic and partition and format the unused space. You will have a second partition to use.
December 13, 2007 11:00:08 PM

Thanks Zorg, but let me ask you one question; This partition was created at the set-up of Windows XP when I formatted the hard drive. Now, I know for a fact that there is a limitation on Windows of 127Gb. I also know that as soon as I install SP2 the HD is able to work at full size fine. But the problem is that I installed the SP2 separately after installing windows. So, I did not "loose" all that HD space right ? It is still there, right ?
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December 13, 2007 11:24:49 PM

You didn't lose it, when you buy a hard drive it does not come with any partitions. You can create however many you want at whatever size you want. So it sounds like you have a 127 GB first partition as your C drive. If you add another partition it will show up as D or whatever the next available letter is.
December 13, 2007 11:27:56 PM

You didn't lose it, when you buy a hard drive it does not come with any partitions. You can create however many you want at whatever size you want. So it sounds like you have a 127 GB first partition as your C drive. If you add another partition it will show up as D or whatever the next available letter is.
December 13, 2007 11:30:55 PM

But I am lost because this is what I did;

When I installed Windows that blue set-up screen where you format the drive said that the Hard Drive had only 127GB available to be formated. (Hence it had NO FILES and NO PARTITIONS, therefore should be showing the full 400GB).

Ok now, after that I found in NUMEROUS forums that Windows XP has a Hard Drive size limitation, not only that, but also that if I installed SP2 it would enable the LARGE HARD DRIVE feature. So I installed SP2.

I restarted the computer and nothing changed. It still showed 127GB. Therefore I guess my straight question would be:

Once I install SP2, and that feature is already enabled, what would be my next step(s) to show/use my full Hard Drive's 400GB capacity ???

Thanks !!!
December 13, 2007 11:35:58 PM

Um... do us a favor. Follow Zorg's instructions:

Right click on my computer and click on manage. Click on disk management and notice the Black space on the drive graphic.

In disk management it will show you any free space left on a drive. You cannot simply install a service pack to get more space as partitions are fixed in size as far as the OS is concerned, you need to either re-allocate the drive using something like PartitionMagic, or simply use Disk Management to create a second partition and use that for additional storage.
December 13, 2007 11:40:43 PM

Yea, what everyone else said - REPARTITION!!! Delete current partitions and re-do it. Partition magic will work.

It would be easier if you could stick the drive in another computer and partition it from there (easier when you don't have a running OS on the same drive).

If it's giving you troubles just reformat and start over. It will work.

December 13, 2007 11:42:12 PM

OK, I'm on Linux now so forgive me if I don't get this exactly right but here is what I can remember off the top of my head. Go into the Control Panel where you will find an icon that says Administrative Tools or something like that. Open it then you select computer management. It will pull up a little program that controls some of the computer functions. One of them is disk management. That's where you go to look at your drives. If large drives really are enabled (I didn't even realize that XP had this limitation, I've been working with SP2 for so long), you will see a list of all drives including the optical drives. Find you hard drive and there will be a horizontal bar next to it that has information about the partitions. It should show one 127 GB partition and then the rest will be unallocated. Right click in the unallocated space and you should be able to set up a partition. One word of advice, do a quick format unless you have a few hours to kill.

Hope that gets it.
December 13, 2007 11:44:40 PM

Thanks guys, will try all that tonight and let you know by tomorrow how it went. Thanks a lot for the quick answers !!! VERY VERY much appreciated.
December 13, 2007 11:45:06 PM

To install XP on a harddrive over 127 gig you need to slipstream xp sp2. To do so get Nlite and download the SP2 admin install. go to http://www.msfn.org/ for a guide.

1Haplo
December 13, 2007 11:51:59 PM

1haplo, what exactly do you mean by "slipstream xp sp2" ? I just downloaded Nlite. Thanks !!!
December 13, 2007 11:54:00 PM

fantastapotamus, Zorg, p05esto and kamel5547. Thanks a lot !!! Will try today and will let you know the results tomorrow !!!
December 14, 2007 12:03:30 AM

Once in disk management use format in the unallocated space if you want two partitions. If you want one big C: drive click on extend volume for the unallocated space.
December 14, 2007 12:31:29 AM

Yes, your space is there, or you have major problems. As I said, the original partition will not change it's size. The additional space is not partitioned so it will not be visible except on the manage->storage screen. just follow the steps in my original post.

You are better off with two partitions anyway (C: drive and D: drive). XP might assign a different letter. If you corrupt your OS then you can reinstall it and it won't affect the files that you have saved on the second partition (D: drive). Also, any backup software will need the second partition to save the image to. So just partition the unused space and format it.
December 14, 2007 12:37:05 AM

p05esto said:
Yea, what everyone else said - REPARTITION!!! Delete current partitions and re-do it. Partition magic will work.

It would be easier if you could stick the drive in another computer and partition it from there (easier when you don't have a running OS on the same drive).

If it's giving you troubles just reformat and start over. It will work.
He should not delete any partitions, simply add one or more using the unused space.

He also doesn't need to stick the drive in another computer. All he needs to do is follow the steps in my original post.

If he starts over without slipstreaming SP2 onto the disk he will be right back where he started.
December 14, 2007 12:44:18 AM

It takes 10 seconds to go into diskmanagement and format the unused space or allocate it.
December 14, 2007 1:42:27 AM

Use Partition Magic you can use that unallocated space without losing your current files or OS.
December 14, 2007 1:47:59 AM

pogsnet said:
Use Partition Magic you can use that unallocated space without losing your current files or OS.
He doesn't need Partition Magic to do that.
December 14, 2007 1:51:25 AM

Partition magic would work. But why buy an expensive program whem you can do the disk management technique.

I've done the disk management technique dozens of times everyone. This thread is solved thanks for all the help. But the solution is free and simple.
a c 114 G Storage
December 14, 2007 2:32:26 AM

Your HD vendor will have this all on his web site in the troubleshooting section. I wa sjust on Seagate;s answering another question and theirs was easier to pull

http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?locale=en-US&name...

"Windows XP - Operating System - 127 GB - 137 GB Limitation
Windows XP - Operating System - 127 GB - 137 GB Limitation

Before performing any troubleshooting with large capacity drives in Windows XP, confirm that you have Service Pack 1 or higher. Without this service pack it is unsafe to operate a large capacity ATA drive in Windows XP.

To determine if Windows XP is at Service pack 1 or higher follow these steps:

1. Click on the Start button.
2. Click on Control Panel.
3. Click on Performance and Maintenance.
4. Click the System icon.
5. View the 4th line down to determine your service pack level. Click here for an example screen shot.

If it does not say "Service Pack 1" or greater, an upgrade is required to support drives larger than 137GB.
After Verifying Service Pack 1 or greater is Installed

You now have several options in order to recover the remaining space on the drive.

If the new drive is the boot drive:

* Restart the installation with the appropriately patched operating system.
* You may use a 3rd party "partition stretch utility."
* You may also create a 2nd partition on the boot drive with Windows Disk Management, to have more than one partition on the drive.

If the new drive is the non-boot drive:

* You may use Windows Disk Management to create additional partitions.
* You may erase the original partition and create an additional one. Be sure to backup all critical data before proceeding.
"
December 14, 2007 2:36:10 AM

Why are you people trying to make things difficult? OP said he has SP2.
a c 114 G Storage
December 14, 2007 3:50:58 AM

To tell ya he truth, If I had a 400 GB C:\ partition, I'd immediately be looking to reduce it to something more efficient for performance and maintenance reasons. Remember that your HD is fastest (about twice as fast) at the outer edge than it is at the inner edge. That's cause more real estate pass under the head in one revolution at the outer edge than at the inner.

So installing windows and then letting it decide how fast your machine is gonna be as it, over time keeps moving ya page file further and further towards that inner circle is unwise. For faster performance, improved backup and maintenance and ease if restores, consider the following:

1. Even with Windows bloat you can easily keep ya C:\partition down to 16 GB ....8 if you are fastidious.

2. With 16 GB allocated for C:\ you can then create a D:\partition for one sole purpose .... windows memory swapping and temp files. This is where your HD heads are gonna spend most of their time. No matter how much memory you have Windows is gonna swap stuff out. Programs and games will force writes to the page file even when oodles of physical memory is available. If ya wanna confirm for yaself, open task manager, go to processes tab, hit View / select columns and make sure Memory Usage and Virtual Memory Size boxes are checked. Right now, I have 1.2 Gigs of free physical memory and yet still have almost 400 MB paged out to disk. Taht's 400 MB of stuff that is being continually swapped between HD and memory.....you wnat that happening at full speed (outer edge) , 3/4 speed (middle) or 1/2 speed (inside edge).

So create a FAT32 D Partition of 8 gigs or so. Yes, FAT32 because NTFS has an overhead associated with it and you don't need "file protection" on files that get deleted or wiped at every reboot anyway. And yes I have benchmarked both FAT32 and NTFS Swap fiel partitions and it is faster.

3. Then go into Control Panel / System / Advanced / Performance / Settings / Advanced / Virtual Memory / Change and:

Set C to No Paging File (you lose dump file access but I don't know anyone who has ever looked at one after a crash and said "Oh cool, I can recover this"
Set D Minimum and Maximum to 2 x the amount of RAM you have. (you like a better number, use it.)

Reboot and then create a Folder called "Temp" on your D partition. Go into Control Panel / System / Advanced / Environment variables and select TEMP in the top window then hit Edit and change the value to D:\Temp...then select TMP in the window and change the value to D:\Temp. Now all the files your computer, programs and games will use most often are locked into being placed right at the outer edge of your hard drive giving your machine a distinct speed advantage over time. Otherwise, a year or so down the road when you have 200 Gigs of stuff on there, the paging file and temp files will have moved to the middle of your HD where they will be written and read at only 75% of the speed that they will on that D partition.

4. Then go with the rest of the drives as you see fit. I'd change the drive letter of your optical drive to Z to keep it the heck outta the way. Doing this saves headaches later if you add another HD or more partitions.

5. Next , depending on your usage, I'd go with E:\ being reserved for Games. Pick a size you deem appropriate. After all what do you need loading faster, your fragfest of game or pictures of granny and aunt tillie from last year's thanksgiving ? Of course if programs take precedence over games, then do programs 1st.

F:\ would then be for programs
G:\ say for data
H:\ say for backups and / or an alternate install of XP.

Peeps generally care a lot less how long it takes to load a data file and backups ...whatever you use to restore is a lot slower than ya HD.

Of course after D, what you set aside and how you allocate it is very personal. Again all but the page / temp file partition should be NTFS.

6. There's several other advantage. Ever screw up Windows....what's easier / faster to restore from your backup media....a 16 GB or 400 GB partition ?

7. And ya know that interminable wait when ya crash and the system does chkdsk on the next reboot and you wait while it chugs thru 400 GB...well most of the time, that chkdsk is only gonna run on the D partition and waiting for 8 GB is way way better than 400.

8. The breakout makes it easier to backup ya stuff. data partitions can be done daily or weekly.....programs monthly or quarterly even.

9. Daily Virus and malware scans can be limited to places where the stuff resides (C:\) .....do the rest of the stuff on a weekly schedule.

10. When ya HD gets "dinged" say when ya 18 pound bust of Darth Vader falls from is shelf on top of ya puter, ya most important stuff...the data....is located far away from the "park" position of ya heads. Windows can be replaced....often lost data can't be replaced.

11. Wanna clear out all ya old and useless files.....delete everything on D:\ .... that was easy.

12. Now ya can start thinking of putting that D:\Partition as the 1st partition on a second HD :) . Though this isn't as good ideas ya might think if ya got an old HD lying around . Likelihood is that your new HD at the inner edge is faster than the old one at its outer edge. Still heads can't be at two places at once so it's a consideration.

I typically take a bare metal box and don't even load windows till after I have used Partition Magic to make all my partitions. Alternately, like when ordering a laptop, I have the vendor install windows on a 16GB partition and leave the rest unformatted. I then use disk manager to make D thru whatever.

The HD is the slowest part of your system. Everything you do on it is constrained by the weakest link in the speed train and that is ya HD. So best to make it work for you as best you can. So, if I were you, I'd be grabbing a copy if Acronis Disk Director or .... BootIt NG has a 30 day free trial period....and optimizing my HD work for me.

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootitng.html
December 14, 2007 4:19:48 AM

Thats some good info thanks. I'm moving from an 80g to a 500g monday, I think I'll experiment. I'm going to put as many DvDs as I can fit onto it. When it gets full I,m gonna buy another one. I figure if I can put my DvDs on my HDD I can sell my DvDs on Ebay for $5-10 and make the money back that the HDDS cost. The one comming monday was $99 free shipping. I got like 100 DvDs so i figure i can get 5x500gig HDDS.

JackNaylor PE,
Do you think it would be better for me to use any form of raid or keep them all seperate?

I figure each drive will hold roughly 64 DvDs.
December 14, 2007 5:33:46 AM

roadrunner197069 said:
Thats some good info thanks. I'm moving from an 80g to a 500g monday, I think I'll experiment. I'm going to put as many DvDs as I can fit onto it. When it gets full I,m gonna buy another one. I figure if I can put my DvDs on my HDD I can sell my DvDs on Ebay for $5-10 and make the money back that the HDDS cost. The one comming monday was $99 free shipping. I got like 100 DvDs so i figure i can get 5x500gig HDDS.
You know, it's not a good idea to post your illegal activities on a public forum, but then it's not a good idea to do them in the first place. :pt1cable:  :pfff: 
December 14, 2007 6:46:17 PM

Oh well I piad $20.00 a pop for them I believe in when I buy something I own it. This country is trying to turn into a communist country by telling us what we can and cant do with our own property. I disagree.
What ever happened to its a free country?

December 14, 2007 6:50:15 PM

@ JackNaylorPE

Awesome post, maybe a little beyond what we're trying to accomplish, but it's stuff I've been wondering how to do in windows for a while, though I was never interested enough to track it down. That's great that you benchmarked FAT vs NTFS, I didn't think it would really make any difference.
December 15, 2007 5:24:54 AM

roadrunner197069 said:
Oh well I piad $20.00 a pop for them I believe in when I buy something I own it. This country is trying to turn into a communist country by telling us what we can and cant do with our own property. I disagree.
What ever happened to its a free country?
They don't want you to make any copies at all e.g., put it on your HD. There is a free use argument there as long as you have the original. But if you sell the original you are selling your right to it as well, so you need to delete it from your HD. It is very similar to making a copy to a DVD and then selling the copy. I don't agree with you, but do what you want. Just don't publicize it on an open forum, for your own sake.
a c 114 G Storage
December 15, 2007 9:14:53 PM

fantastapotamus said:
Awesome post, maybe a little beyond what we're trying to accomplish, but it's stuff I've been wondering how to do in windows for a while, though I was never interested enough to track it down. That's great that you benchmarked FAT vs NTFS, I didn't think it would really make any difference.


The difference is pretty small with small files but increases as files get larger. Look for some old AutoCAD white papers, maybe they are still on the web from like 1996 or so, AutoDesk conducted similar evaluations and, depending on file sizes, saw differences up to 20%.

The reason I went "beyond" is that it seemed almost cruel to help the guy expand a partition when to do really do what he wanted, shrinking would be a better idea.
a c 114 G Storage
December 15, 2007 9:30:43 PM

roadrunner197069 said:
Do you think it would be better for me to use any form of raid or keep them all seperate?


If you were editing. I'd use RAID 0....to watch, don't need that kinda speed. One of the things you might want to consider long term is an NAS.

I'd grab one of these....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

which will give you three 500 GB drives. In Infrant / Netgear's X-RAID setup that would give you the equivalent of 1 TB of storage.

2 500 GB drives = 500 GB NAS storage in X-RAID
3 500 GB drives = 1000 GB NAS storage in X-RAID
4 500 GB drives = 1500 GB NAS storage in X-RAID

So you buy 2, you get a freebie 3rd drive at newegg till New Year's I think. Adding that 3rd drive adds 100% more storage....adding the 4th adds 50% more storage. Of course that's in vendor speak where the MB -> GB calculation doesn't involve a base2 number (1024). So 1500 GB of storage is 1350 or so in real life.

In fact a year from now when 1 TB drives are cheap, you can add a 1TB drive and the NAS will automatically rebuild itself. The NAS will only see it as another 500 MB but it's some future proofing.. As soon as you replace the others with 1TB drives your storage will go to 3 TB. Big things are 1) RAID array auto rebuilds itself w/o losing any data 2)
the drives swap out very easily and 3) you can add / update PC's without touching these drives.

On our NAS, my 2 kids have their own iTunes servers with about 10,000 songs between them and none of it is clogging up their PC's.
a b G Storage
December 15, 2007 9:44:35 PM

MunirSafadinho said:
Thanks Zorg, but let me ask you one question; This partition was created at the set-up of Windows XP when I formatted the hard drive. Now, I know for a fact that there is a limitation on Windows of 127Gb. I also know that as soon as I install SP2 the HD is able to work at full size fine. But the problem is that I installed the SP2 separately after installing windows. So, I did not "loose" all that HD space right ? It is still there, right ?



To be able to use the drive as your boot drive, and the entire drive as 1 large drive with 400 gig, you have to format and partition the drive from the very start with XP SP1. Once you partition it to the 127gig that the old standard XP is limited to, and install the OS, no matter what you do from then on you will have a 127 gig partition, AND another 370 gig of unused space that SP2 will now be able to see and use once you have it installed.
However, since your OS is already residing on the 127 gig partition, there is nothing you can do with it. You can't erase it, or change it, because your OS is there.
You can only set active and partition the remaining 270 gig as another "drive" when it shows up after your SP2 update.
You can create as someone mentioned a slipstream disk, which is basically taking your current XP version, and combining it with the SP2 update onto a separate install disk.
If you do this, then you will be able to "see" the entire 400 gig drive, and format it all as one large disk before you start your OS install.
It is either that or go buy a newer version of XP so you have a version that can "see" and format the entire drive before you begin your OS install.

I swear this exact same question was just asked by someone else, in the very last thread.
Oh well, I hope you get it working regardless.
December 15, 2007 10:04:18 PM

jitpublisher said:
To be able to use the drive as your boot drive, and the entire drive as 1 large drive with 400 gig, you have to format and partition the drive from the very start with XP SP1. Once you partition it to the 127gig that the old standard XP is limited to, and install the OS, no matter what you do from then on you will have a 127 gig partition, AND another 370 gig of unused space that SP2 will now be able to see and use once you have it installed.
However, since your OS is already residing on the 127 gig partition, there is nothing you can do with it. You can't erase it, or change it, because your OS is there.
You can only set active and partition the remaining 270 gig as another "drive" when it shows up after your SP2 update.
You can create as someone mentioned a slipstream disk, which is basically taking your current XP version, and combining it with the SP2 update onto a separate install disk.
If you do this, then you will be able to "see" the entire 400 gig drive, and format it all as one large disk before you start your OS install.
It is either that or go buy a newer version of XP so you have a version that can "see" and format the entire drive before you begin your OS install.

I swear this exact same question was just asked by someone else, in the very last thread.
Oh well, I hope you get it working regardless.



Wrong. In diskmanagewent you simply click on the part in black and clikck extend volume and it will make one big C: drive.
a b G Storage
December 15, 2007 10:17:42 PM

Really, with the OS installed on a partition, created under and older version of XP, and after updating to XP SP2, you can resize it to the full size of the drive? I swear I tried that and ended up buying a newer version of XP because I could not get it work like I wanted.
December 15, 2007 10:40:44 PM

Ya. I did it for a friend a couple days ago. She was gonna RMA her HDD.
You could do it with partition magic too, but Diskmangement is on the OS and it dont cost money to use. I just got done changing my hddall kinds of sizes in disk management.
December 16, 2007 4:08:11 PM

Guys (specialy Zorg), thanks again. I used Windows disk management method and it work perfectly. After that I tried to use PartitionMagic to resize the partitions but it just kept giving me erros. But still, thanks, what I wanted to do I did because of your help !!!
December 17, 2007 8:01:32 PM

roadrunner197069 said:
Wrong. In diskmanagewent you simply click on the part in black and clikck extend volume and it will make one big C: drive.


In Vista, I believe you can do this from Disk Management. In XP however, I believe extending volumes can only be done via the command-line DISKPART utility, and only to data drives - DISKPART cannot extend the boot drive.
December 18, 2007 11:40:05 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
To tell ya he truth ....... optimizing my HD work for me.

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootitng.html


Wow, you are forum god.

May young nubile women fall at your feet.

May Manna fall from the Heavens and provide for your needs.

May Tom promote you to permanent staff with a great salary and wonderful benefits.
January 3, 2008 5:55:04 AM

JackNaylorPE, great post. I have been searching for a good partition scheme, with the rationale behind it, and found your excellent explanation. Thanks for the info.

I am setting up my first Vista computer, and my main question is whether all of your advice applies to Vista as well as XP (the OP had XP)?

Also, I am assuming that the "first" partition on any particular drive is the fastest (i.e., the outside of the disk, thus the fastest), is that right? I mean, how do you know where on the disk it's going to be?

I have a big Dell XPS machine (it's enormous, frankly) with lots of room for drives (and I have a number of drives), so I was planning to use my 74GB Raptor as my OS and Apps drive, put most of my often accessed documents on my 150GB Raptor, and put the big stuff (video and pictures and music) on one of my 500GB Seagate 7200.10 drives (and use the other 500GB Seagate 7200.10 to backup nightly from the 150GB Raptor and key pictures/video from the other 500GB).

Any other advice for my situation?

Thanks again for any insights,
Jim
January 3, 2008 7:03:11 AM

roadrunner197069 said:
Why are you people trying to make things difficult? OP said he has SP2.


Because later on he admitted that he only installed SP2 AFTER formating the drive with a pre-SP2 disk.
January 18, 2008 9:31:35 PM

This is going to seem like a very newbish question...because it is! So how does the hard drive or program creating the partitions decide where the partitions go? Do the lowest lettered partitions go to the outside? Is a certain program like PartitionMagic required to decide where the partitions go, or will the included software with a new hard drive put certain partitions at the outside of a drive? The reason I ask is that I have 3 250 gig pata hard drives i purchased on black friday 2006 and want to use them as effectively as possible... I am considering putting this into a new build, since i have them. As an aside...would using them as best as possible in a new build hinder it greatly? Would an add in pata raid card be recommended? or would it just be better to go with 2 on the ide channel and use a sata optical, as most new motherboards are configured....

JackNaylorPE, excellent info and i hope you can answer a couple of my questions!
January 22, 2008 3:56:18 AM

Bump for both me and tomsjim
a c 127 G Storage
April 30, 2009 9:53:27 AM

'where the partitions go'. The partitions are just stored on the beginning of the disk, known as the partition table. Its like a table of contents on what is on the harddrive, and it basically tells Windows where to find data on the drive.

Oh and don't use PCI to connect your harddrives, and never use RAID in combination with PCI-interface if you care about performance.
!