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Windows only recognizes 32 MB of my hard drive

Last response: in Storage
February 19, 2008 11:41:48 PM

I have two Western Digital "Green Power" 1 TB hard drives in my system. I recently swapped out the DVD burner in my system. When I rebooted I no longer had one of the drives listed in My Computer (naturally, the main data drive which I hadn't backed up before I swapped DVD burners). Looking at Disk Management I see one of the 1 TB drives, my system drive, my new DVD drive and an unallocated 32 MB disk. Checking the properties of that disk it says it's using the same driver as the 1 TB drive that shows up but it only recognizes it as a 32 MB drive. I did not change any of the cables on the hard drives initially, when this started happening I swapped SATA cables, SATA ports, etc., all of which did nothing - the second TB drive remains intact, the one I "lost" remains a 32 MB unallocated disk.

Anyone have any suggestions?
February 20, 2008 12:08:49 AM

Try setting it back the way you had it. Did you do the swapping with the power on or off?
February 20, 2008 12:12:22 AM

Power was off (I swapped an internal DVD burner, there really wasn't a choice). I haven't tried swapping back in the original burner (which doesn't actually burn any more), I can give it a try, though.
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February 20, 2008 12:20:03 AM

Wow I hope someone else can chime in because this is weird.
February 20, 2008 12:51:08 AM

Try booting without either DVD drive...

Also list your MB and OS, and whether your drives are sata or ide, and how they are set up in your BIOS
February 20, 2008 1:19:19 AM

So you lost a little bit of storage space,big deal.

Seriously, that is a weird problem.

Maybe try clearing CMOS?
February 20, 2008 1:29:15 PM

Okay, I've rebooted without any DVD burner, same problem.

I've got a GIGABYTE GA-M68SM-S2 motherboard, 2 MB of DDR2 800 memory, I'm running Vista Home Premium (this is an HTCP). the 1 TB hard drives are SATA, I've also got an 80 GB IDE hard drive as the system drive and the DVD burner is a Samsung IDE burner. When I initially put the burner in I had the jumper configured improperly so the PC wouldn't boot at all, once I set the jumper properly the machine booted but one of the 1 TB drives disappeared under Explorer but was available as a 32 MB raw volume under Disk Management.

The Bios does not list the SATA drives at all, it only lists IDE devices - is there someplace else I should be looking for it?
February 20, 2008 2:28:57 PM

Yo, sounds like a windows issue. Go to device manager then right click your 'puter and do a 'scan for system changes' Maybe windows has picked up the new dvd burner and allocated it under the same mapping as the HDD (the right terminology escapes me but at least I think I know what I'm trying to say)
a b G Storage
February 20, 2008 2:46:10 PM

Get a partition recovery program.
Try to recover the lost partition.
The Bios should show SATA drives.
February 20, 2008 2:47:45 PM

Yo, sounds like a windows issue. Go to device manager then right click your 'puter and do a 'scan for system changes' Maybe windows has picked up the new dvd burner and allocated it under the same mapping as the HDD (the right terminology escapes me but at least I think I know what I'm trying to say)

I had tried that, it would find the hard drive but insist that it's only a 32 MB drive. I did manage to find the SATA drives listed in the BIOS, both are recognized as WD10EACS which is correct. It appears to be some sort of Windows problem but I'm stumped trying to figure it out. Hey, it's only a TB of lost storage :ouch: 
a b G Storage
February 20, 2008 2:49:22 PM

You may have a defective SATA cable connection. It could be not properly connected or have broke when you handled it.
You may have connected the SATA cable to the RAID controller by mistake.
a b G Storage
February 20, 2008 2:53:58 PM

You could have forgot to connect the power cable to one of the drives.
Sorry you motherboard does not have a RAID controller.
February 20, 2008 2:55:25 PM

only Logical Block Addressing comes to know, back in the old FAT16 and FAT32 days....the FAT16 actually limited your capacity to 32gb, didn't it?

first of all. I would check the device setiings in the BIOS - see if block size is set to auto or if any of the sata settings differ between the two drives.

second: examine the "32gb" drive - for jumpers. Some jumper settings actually limit drive capacity.

third: give the drive a quick format to ntfs using the windows disk manager
a b G Storage
February 20, 2008 2:58:09 PM

Boot a Linux LiveCD. See if it recognizes the full size of both drives.
Reinstall Windows eventually if it does.
a b G Storage
February 20, 2008 3:01:37 PM

Run Hard Drive diagnostics from the manufacturer.
February 23, 2008 2:33:34 PM

Well, after working with Western Digital technical support we've decided the drive is defective and I'm replacing it under warranty. Thanks for all the suggestions.
February 23, 2008 3:40:31 PM

evongugg said:
Boot a Linux LiveCD. See if it recognizes the full size of both drives.
Reinstall Windows eventually if it does.

This livecd is quite good:

or try bartpe for bootable xp (if you have a legal copy of xp lying around)

Oh, have you tried system restore ?
a b G Storage
February 24, 2008 9:15:02 AM

Could the 32Mb be the size of the drive cache?
If so it sounds like the drive has died.
February 25, 2008 6:23:40 PM

Could the 32Mb be the size of the drive cache?
If so it sounds like the drive has died.

Heh, hadn't thought of that (although the cache size is 16 MB, so that's not it). But after running Western Digital diagnostics, trying several different cables (power and data), trying several different ports, booting with a Linux live disk and trying it in another computer WD and I agree the drive is dead. Generally Newegg has been pretty quick at RMAs for me so I hope to have a replacement installed next week. Again, thanks for all the suggestions.
May 8, 2008 3:47:29 AM

I had a similar problem with a 1TB WD drive. Although, I didn't make any changes to my computer prior to it happening. I was in Photoshop and I tried to print what was open and I got a very quick "Bluescreen of death" and XP just rebooted. But it just stayed in a loop of rebooting.

For some reason, I removed the 1TB drive and I could reboot. Then XP couldn't find a file (I forgot what file it was). Once I reloaded that file. I was able to reboot the computer with the 1TB drive connected but then the drive only showed as 32mb. I have tried several different recovery programs and the only one that even shows the full size of the drive is RecoveryFix. When I scan the drive it only gets to sector 6300 or so and just locks up the program.

WD diagnostic tools finds the drive as a 32MB drive and says it's working fine.

I tried to do a warranty exchange and because I bought the drive from some loser on eBay who said it was new when it was actually removed from a MyBook, WD won't honor the warranty... :fou: 
May 17, 2008 3:36:25 AM

I had the same problem with two seagate 7200.11 1TB disks. Even the bios reported them as 32MB. The solution can be found here:

Run the MHDD32 tool from the ultimate boot cd (disk tools->diagnostics). After scanning, select the disk and type the "uncut" command.

I have no idea what this program does but it fixed both disk perfectly for me. :D 
May 17, 2008 3:43:29 AM

Thanks for the suggestion. I actually got the guy who sold it to me to replace it since WD wouldn't honor the warranty.

I just wish I would have tried that before sending it back to him. Now, all of that data is lost forever....
February 25, 2009 4:00:04 AM

April 21, 2009 4:12:43 AM

I had a similar problem where I purchased a new WD10EADS 1TB hard drive and it only recognized 32MB. Pretty much everything mentioned above was true. I found the installation guide on the WD website:

and it recommended changing the BIOS setting for the drive to LBA (Logical Block Addressing). The BIOS still only saw 32MB, but when I rebooted Vista saw the entire disk and I was able to format/partition/etc.

Hope this helps someone looking for answers like I was....
January 31, 2010 7:44:54 PM

idk if you got it to work but try to place the drive in another computer boot up with linux see if you see the the whole thing. If so format the drive (i perefer GPT with NTFS) then take out the drive place it in ur machine and see if see the full thing. Also try placing it in diff sata ports.
April 6, 2011 12:54:58 AM

Update on MHDD32 solution
I had the problem of 1 TB Seagate Drive showing up as 33 MB on two different drives, and have no idea what caused the problem, but both had valuable data which caused me near heart failure when I could no longer see my drives (and partitons) any longer. After much searching on the web, I found the MHDD32 solution using the Ultimate Boot CD which worked successfully, and as a further bonus, lost absolutely none of my data after running the process. What a relief at being able to sleep peacefully that night. This is the solution which worked for me:

Download the Ultimate Boot CD ISO file (I used version 5.0.3) and burn it to a CD
Boot the CD
Select 'HDD'
Select 'Diagnosis'
Select the application 'MHDD32' (I used the V4.6 version)
Select '2. Start the computer without SCSI support.'
Reply to the "Enter HDD number" prompt. In my case it was 6
Type the command 'NHPA' (the description of this using the 'Help' command is 'Uncut (return to factory size)')
Reply 'y' to the "Do you want to set Native LBA address ? (y/N)" prompt
Reply 'y' to the "continue? (y/N)" prompt
The reply to this is "Done."

I did not need to do anything further and my drive was restored to its original state of being a 1 TB drive
and all the data on it fully preserved and accessable once again. What a relief ! :-)
January 23, 2014 10:34:40 AM

Woohoo ! The solution with Hiren's BootCD and MHDD worked flawlessly !
Thank you !