New 500g hd shows up as 130g hd

I upgraded from 80g hd to 500g hd in a vpr matrix 226r. System shows the hd as 130g. What do I need to do to fix this? thanks
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  1. You have run into a well-known problem with "48-bit LBA Support". Here's the background.

    Back in the '90's as people realized that older schemes for handling hard drives were limiting the size, a new system for communicating with them was adopted, known as "LBA" for "Logical Block Addressing". At the time it used an addressing system with 28 binary bits. Now, the standard on HDD's is that one "block" is 512 bytes. If you work out the maximum number you get from 28 1's in a row as a binary number, and then multiply by 512 bytes in each of these blocks, the answer comes out to be about 137 billion bytes. But if you agree with Microsoft that a Gigabyte is 1024 x 1024 x 1024 bytes, that size is 130 gigabytes. With "28-bit LBA" in use, you cannot specify an address on the HDD over 130 GB.

    By the end of the 90's everyone recognized that even LBA (that is, the older 28-bit version) was a limit and they agreed to a newer version that used 48 bits to address space on a HDD up into the Petabyte region, whatever that huge number really is. But to make it work you need "48-bit LBA Support" in three places:
    1. The HDD unit must support it. Obviously your new drive at 500 GB is designed that way - no problem here.
    2. The HDD controller on the mobo must support it. Since about year 2000, all new mobo BIOS's do support that. And note that ALL SATA drives and drive controllers support it - it was built into the SATA specifications that came out just a little after the new system was deployed. But if you have an older mobo it MIGHT not be there. For many of those older boards you can download a new BIOS version from the manufacturer's website that does contain 48-bit LBA support and "flash" your mobo's BIOS to install it. Or, you could simply add into your older machine a new HDD controller card in a PCI slot and disable the on-board controller.
    3. The Operating System also must support 48-bit LBA. This IS already a part of Windows VISTA. Windows 2000 and Windows XP did NOT have this support in their first versions. It was added to XP in Service Pack 1 (SP1) and kept on, of course, in subsequent SP's. For Win 2000 I think it was added in SP4, but I'm not sure exactly. So, check your OS. Click on Start ... Control Panel ... Help ... About Windows and look where it says what you have - it will say something like SP1 or SP2 if it is not the original version. My guess is your problem is here, and you have an older version of Windows installed.

    If you do not have the right updated Service Pack installed, you need to download from Microsoft and install it. For XP everyone is real happy with SP2, and most people now seem satisfied that SP3 is debugged and stable.

    Now, we need to know exactly what you've done so far. Did you just add your drive to a system as a new empty second drive, then Partition and format it to use for data? Or, did you clone your old 80 GB unit to the new drive and remove the old one so that your machine now runs only on the new one? What you do next depends on the answer.

    First, You need to download and update your Windows to a version that supports 48-bit LBA, as above. Then you may need to get a set of utilities from your HDD supplier. Sometimes they come on a CD with the drive. Otherwise you can go to the manufacturer's website and download for free. Most of these utility packages will carry out some of their important work ONLY on a HDD made by the utility supplier. Here's an important trick I learned by doing it wrong with the Seagate Utility, Disk Wizard. If you run it from the CD it knows absolutely nothing about your version of Windows so it assumes the worst and refuses to make a Partition over 130 GB. You must actually INSTALL on your C: drive the disk utility software you got from the HDD manufacturer's website. Then you must run it from the C: drive, not from the CD. That way it figures out that your Windows OS is up to date and lets you do the big disks.

    Note that both of the processes below will destroy data on a HDD, so you will need a good backup of it before proceeding. We'll include that below.

    All right, then. Case 1 - You kept your old 80GB drive as the bootable C: drive and just added the new one as a data drive, probably D:, maybe E: if D: already was a DVD burner or something. This is the easier situation, and there are two routes you can take.

    Case 1A. The fact is, the new drive actually has on it one Partition or Logical Drive with a 130 GB capacity, plus a whole bunch of space labeled Unallocated and invisible in My Computer. The simplest procedure is to get Windows or a disk utility to use that space to create another Partition or Logical Drive that uses up all the available space. That will give you a separate Drive in My Computer for data, with its own name and a size of about 340 GB. This part does NOT destroy any data that needs restoration, as long as you do it right. You can do this using the disk maker's utility package. You are trying to use Unallocated space on the large new drive to create a non-bootable Partition (NTFS file system if it asks) using all of the available space, then format it. Or, you can use Windows' own tools for the same job. Click Start, then RIGHT-click My Computer and choose "Manage". In the new left pane choose Storage ... Disk Management. On the right you will see at the top a window showing all the current disks that My Computer usually shows you. Below it, however, is a scrolling list of all the devices in the computer. You'll see the same disks above, plus a chunk of space called Unallocated. Check that it says over 350 GB to be sure you're looking at the right one! RIGHT-click on its left "name" block or on its colored bar and the menu will have options. You want to Partition this space, with an NTFS file system using all space available and NOT making it bootable. When that's done you will want to Format this new Logical disk so it's ready to use. Exit from this place when finished and reboot. Look now in My Computer and there should be a new big drive there to use.

    Case 1B. You want to continue to use the new big drive just for data, but you want it as one drive around 460 GB, not two smaller ones. For this we need to make sure all the data you have on the new 130 GB drive is moved someplace safe because we will destroy it and then restore it later. If there's space on the old 80 GB drive you need to copy it all, including any hidden files. You can create a new subdirectory on the C: drive (maybe "Savethis"?) and copy all the things on the 130 GB new drive over there. Once you're sure this is complete, you go to disk Manager as above and RIGHT-click the 130 GB drive, choosing from the menu to Delete Partition. You would be safest to reboot now and when you go back to the Disk Manager. Your former 130 GB drive will be gone, and the block of Unallocated Space in the lower right will be around 480 GB. As above, you will create a new Partition using all of that space, then format it and reboot. My Computer will show you a big drive of about 460 GB that is empty, and you can copy all its stuff back there, then delete it from the 80 GB C: drive.

    Case 2 - You want the new big drive to be one big bootable C: drive. You may or may not want to use the older 80 GB drive as a second data-only drive. For this we will need to do absolutely complete copying, called "cloning" a couple of times. By far the best tools for this are the ones you got from the new drives' manufacturer. If you could not get that, look for a free Trial Use version of Acronis Migrate Easy 7 - it will do this well, too. There are two steps here. First we make sure that everything is NOT on the new 130 GB drive - best place probably is on the old 80 GB drive, if it all fits. Then we will clone that disk to the new one, making sure that it uses all the space, not just 130 GB.
    If you are like Case 1 above - 80 GB is still your bootable C: drive, and 130 GB has some data on it - you'll want to copy EVERYTHING from the 130 GB onto the 80 GB. If, instead, you already have "cloned" the old 80 GB to the new larger drive and made it into your bootable C: drive, you will need to re-clone it all back onto the 80 GB drive for safe keeping. The drive utility package should be able to do this as long as it all fits in 80 GB. Do this and then, to be absolutely sure, disconnect the 130 GB unit and reconnect the 80 GB unit, making your BIOS use it as the boot drive. Make sure it can boot and run from there. Once that is working, shut down and reconnect the new 500 GB drive and use the disk utility to clone everything back to the big drive. It should warn you that all data will be lost on that 500 GB drive. Make VERY SURE that the Destination for all this is the big drive, and the source is the old smaller drive! Search through the options and tell it to use all the space available on the big new drive, use the NTFS file System and make it bootable. The utility will Partition the drive, Format it, and copy everything over. When it's done you shut down, disconnect the old drive, and move cables around so the new big drive is connected and specified (in BIOS Setup) as the boot drive. NOTE: disconnecting the old small drive at this point is insurance. If things don't work out on the next step, you can always reconnect it and start over. Now you reboot and the machine should start up cleanly. My Computer should show one C: drive with a capacity of about 460 GB or a bit more, with all your files on it. Move any around that you want to reorganize. Run the machine for a few days to make sure absolutely everything is working. Final step, when you're sure everything is OK, is to re-install the old 80 GB drive (if you choose to) and use Windows Disk Manager, similarly to Case 1 above, to re-Partition the 80 GB drive as one NON-bootable NTFS volume and then Format it for use as a second (data) drive.

    Good luck!
  2. Thanks for the lesson. That's what happens when I don't keep up with this stuff. Now that I understand what has happened, I will have to start over. Not keeping the 80 gig. Basically starting from scratch, with the 500 gig drive, reinstalling everything, then dumping my data back on the machine. Although cloning sounds great, this machine had 7 years of needing a face lift. Wow, you really put some thought into your answer. I really appreciate your help. I will definitely run the utility this time...make the machine ready for the 500 gig hd... which I did not do before, obviously. Thanks again. rhfarm
  3. Hold on a minute, you'll have to watch for something. It sounds like you will "start from scratch" by presuming the new 500 GB drive is empty and do a complete fresh install of Windows. You may be limited by the Windows Install CD you have. If it is the original version without SP2 included, it will NOT be able to partition and format your full disk. It will only do what you have already - 130 GB partition created as your C: drive, and a bunch of Unallocated Space. Your simplest option might be to use that Unallocated Space to create another logical drive. Now, if you want that route, you can proceed without doing any re-installation from scratch, because you're already there!

    In that case you have two sub-options. One is to NOT do any update of Windows. The consequence, though, is that when you use Disk Manager to create a new logical drive from the Unallocated Space, you still will be limited to less than 130 GB in a drive. So what you really will end up doing with that 340 GB is to create three new logical drives within that size limitation. Alternatively, you start from where you are now and do the update to SP2 or SP3 first. THEN you use Disk Manager which is now free of this limitation, and you can make one large new logical drive from the Unallocated Space.

    However, if you want everything in one large 500 GB volume on the C: drive, you can't get there directly by starting a new install with a version of Windows that lacks SP2. So you have three choices: buy a new Windows install disk with anup-to-date version; update your existing version and then create a new install disk of your own in a process called "Slipstreaming"; or, use your old 80 GB drive to do an update - clone - clone sequence.

    Slipstreaming is a perfectly legal process for taking your old fully licensed legit Windows installation up to current version. If you want this process, look it up on the internet. You will need to download clear instructions and some software tools to do it. Basically you start with your existing older Windows Install disk and copy it all into a dedicated subdirectory on your hard drive. Then you download amd run some utilities from Microsoft that update all the necessary files to make your hard disk copy current. Then you use some other software to burn this copy back out onto a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM in such a way that it becomes your new Windows Install disk. Then you "start from scratch" with a fresh install from this update disk. Bonus, you have a up-to-date Windows Install disk for future use in disaster recovery.

    If you still have a fully functional 80 GB hard drive (or can borrow another for a while), you have a simpler alternative. Be aware, though, that this process will NOT give you a fully-up-to-date Windows Install disk to use in future. Anyway, you start from the system you have now on the new drive. First you update Windows to SP2 or SP3, or whatever. Then you download and install the HDD utilities. Then you clone the contents of the new disk out to the old disk. Then you install the old disk as your C: drive and the new one as a second drive. Booting from the old disk, you run the HDD utility package and clone back to the new big disk. But this time you make sure you tell it to use the whole big disk as one NTFS volume that is bootable. When the cloning is done you remove the old disk, hook up the new one as the only drive and set the BIOS to boot from it, and boot the machine into one 500 GB (well, almost) C: drive.
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