Windows XP Hard Drive Size Limit - Please help me

I'm sorry if this has been asked and answered already, but I couldn't find anything when I searched.

I recently got a new computer with a 500GB hd, and I reformatted and reinstalled XP Pro from my original disc (to wipe out all the stuff Dell loaded on it). The problem is that the old XP versions aren't allowing more than ~127GB to be recognized. I updated with SP2 which is supposed to allow for larger drives. My question is now what do I do to actually have the full drive be utilized? I see with Disk Management that there is the 127GB drive and then unformatted space with the remainder. I can create a partition from that and format it, but is there some way to just add the space to the main 127GB section (preferably without destroying everything on it)?

Thanks very much to anyone who takes the time to help me. I really appreciate it. :??:
11 answers Last reply
More about windows hard drive size limit
  1. It's simple, use partition magic, it will allow you add the extra space to your main partition without wiping out the data.
  2. Next thing you should do is make a new copy of your XP disk with SP2 or SP3 slipstreamed, then you won't run into this problem again.
  3. If you want a simple free way to do this, download an Ubuntu distro CD (Live CD). Then boot from it. Once it gets to the desktop, there should be an icon that says install. Start the installation, you'll come to a part where you set up partitions. If I remember correctly you are given the choice to let it set up the partitions automatically or manually, pick manual. Use the partition manager to re-size your Windows partition to encompass the entire HDD. Let it write the partition table and then cancel the rest of the installation. Then reboot and make sure windows partition is 500GB. If it does, do a scandisk just to be sure everything is OK.

    Now since this is a new installation, you probably don't have much on the HDD to lose. It goes without saying though, if you do have something you don't want to lose, back it up before you proceed with this, as messing with partitions has the slim chance of messing up the partition. It's a remote possibility, but a possibility nontheless. Better safe than sorry.

    I've used this very same procedure a couple of times with no issues. Hope this helps.
  4. What type of drive? IDE/ATA? Hope not. Maybe LBA setting in your bios. I donno
  5. just make one partition when you install windows, then after windows is installed, go to:
    controll panel
    administrative tools
    computer management
    disk management

    from there you can see your unformated space, format it and name it. i have sp1 disk also and a 320gb drive, this works.

    never mind you already tried that.
    well, the next easiest thing would be to just make a slipstream sp2 disk while you have your machine up, then before you install all your crap on it again, format and reinstall with your slipstream disk.
    pain in the butt but it beats buying partition majic or buying a new sp2 disk.
  6. You really have three choices, but in almost all of them you MUST update your Windows installation to at least SP1, and better SP2, before proceeding. Without that update, you cannot handle any single disk volume over 128 GB.
    1. Leave it as it is and use Windows Disk Manager to create separate partitions in the unallocated space. With original XP Pro, every one of them will be limited to less than 128GB.
    2. As suggested, use Partition Magic or Unbutu to expand the existing partition to include all the space available. Windows itself will not let you change the size of the boot partition. Again, do NOT do this until AFTER you have updated your XP.
    3. Get proper instructions, download all the XP update files and software tools you need, and make a new XP install disk with SP2 "slipstreamed" into it. Then start from scratch and re-install XP from this new install disk. With the upgrade included on it, it will allow you to partition and format the HDD in one large volume for the installation.
  7. I have a similar problem.
    Original hw: Acer Aspire 1700 LAPTOP, Pent4, 1.5GB RAM, 80 GB IDE HD (note that this is a full 3.5" sized normal IDE HD, as the laptop is designed to use and comes standard with this type of HD!), Win XP Pro sp3 installed.

    When I attach a WD 500 GB IDE HD via USB, I can partition and copy data onto the 500GB HD.

    When I replaced 80 GB old HD with the new 500 GB HD:
    1. I CANNOT start winxp Pro (SP3) that was ghosted onto the 500 GB HD from the old 80 GB HD. System reboots, and if I try recovery console or safe satrt up. the system will reboot.
    2. I CANNOT perform a clean install of winXP Pro (SP3 integrated) because the winxp setup recognizes the 500GB HD as 131 GB HD. Therefore the remaining capacity is not recognized.
    3. I CANNOT perform installation of Winxp pro (SP3 integrated), even if I pre-partition the new 500 GB HD by first attaching it to a spare desktop PC, and use partition Magic, Paragon Disk partitioner or any other partitioning tools, because the HD is seen having corrupt partitioning, and total capacity is reported as 131 GB.
    4. Strangely enough, if I use Knoppix, Debian, Ubuntu, or Mint linux boot CD or GPARTED (linux utility boot cd for partitioning) and try installing those linux systems, then during the Hadware recognition phase and later during HD partitioning phase, the linux system reports full 500 GB capacity!

    Considering the 4 points and especially MS WinXP PRO (integrated with SP3, which should recognize HD with sizes larger than 137 GB limit --since MS says you need at least XP SP1 to overcome 137 GB size limit-- and that the various linux distros can see the full 500 GB HD size without any problems, what exactly is the problem with Win XP? Why doesn't it recognize the full capacity? And how come win xp recognizes 500 GB capacity if the new HD is attached to the laptop via USB as an external disk when running XP PRO (SP3) from the internal 80 GB HD?

    Can anyone solve this riddle/puzzle for me? I would really like to replace the 80 GB HD with 500 GB HD!!!
    kind regards,
  8. lurker100 said:
    Can anyone solve this riddle/puzzle for me? I would really like to replace the 80 GB HD with 500 GB HD!!!

    I had no trouble installing a 500GB SATA drive in Win 32-bit XP home SP3. I first formatted the drive. Control Panel >> Admin Tools >> Computer Management >> Disk Management. NTFS, of course. It formatted out to 465MB.

    You might try MiniTool Partition Wizard to set up the partitions. It's free for home use.

    Then I used Acronis Backup & Recovery to clone the old Disk 0 (C: and D) to it, making sure the MBR was copied. Acronis will force partitions of the wrong size if you do it in one step. Instead, back up the old drive, partition the new drive, and restore the backups to the new, larger partitions.

    I tested it by setting it as the boot drive in the BIOS. Once I was sure it worked, I removed the old IDE drive. I plan to add another SATA drive soon, probably a 2TB Hitachi.
  9. So how did the 2 TB drive go, did it work on your XP Pro
  10. technjw said:
    So how did the 2 TB drive go, did it work on your XP Pro
    It was XP Home, but I first tried it in old Dell Dimension 2400 belonging to a friend because her hard drive was failing. I don't know if the problem was with a different SATA controller, a different SATA drive, or yet another cause, but I could never get it to boot from the SATA on her system unless I first booted the Acronis recovery CD.

    I gave up and told her to buy a new computer. I'll get my 2 TB drive back in a few weeks when her new system arrives.
  11. hi,
    i've problem installing xp pro (sp3 integrated) to my WD 1.5TB SATA
    i've made 2 partition: 320TB and 1TB.

    after winxp setup finish copying setup files (to 320TB partition), then it restart my PC. then it shows winxp logo. after that i got blue screen.
    error message 0x0000007B.

    when i start winxp with my older HDD (80GB), it use PIO mode for my 1.5TB HDD even my pc bios detect 1.5TB HDD as Ultra DMA mode 6. so when i copy files to my 1.5TB HDD, it's very slow.

    anybody can help me solve this problem? thanks
Ask a new question

Read More

Hard Drives Windows XP Storage