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Enable Large HD after win xp install?

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April 24, 2009 4:08:17 PM

Hi all. I have been looking for the answer to this for awhile. I have the original version of winxp on cd. My hd crashed so I bought a 500 gig WD Caviar Black HD. When I installed Winxp it naturally only saw 137 gig of the 500. My question is, after upgrading to SP2 is there any way within windows to get the space back or do I have to buy something like Partition Magic which costs a fortune? I looked at Microsoft's site and followed the directions to EnableBigLba which wasnt even in the list where it was supposed to be so I made it. Dunno if I did it right but I still cant see the 500 gigs. I can see the extra unused space if I go to device manager and properties on the c: but there doesnt seem to be a tool to actually use the space. Am I just going to have to go fork over 69.99 for Partition Magic? Are there cheaper alternatives?

Thanks,
Carole
a c 329 G Storage
April 24, 2009 6:34:51 PM

There are two possible routes for you. The root of the problem you already know. The tricky wrinkle is that, although SP1 and up for XP supports larger hard disks (uses 48-bit LBA) AND Windows has a tool in Disk Manager to expand a Partition to add space from the Unallocated Space on a HDD unit, Windows will NOT do this for the BOOT DISK!You need third party software for this. I've never done this, but reading here and elsewhere says Partition Magic does this perfectly, just not for free. Another alternative I have read about is a free utility package, Gparted. Try looking for that.

The other alternative is to start over, but this needs some work first. There is a whole process called Slipstreaming well documented in several places. It is perfectly legal, and Microsoft's website has part of the info and many of the software tools you need. What you do is take you current legal CD of an older version of Win XP and make a complete copy to a new subdirectory (folder) on your hard drive. this in itself takes a software tool to ensure you get everything. Then you download from M$ and run an updater that updates all the files in that folder so you finish with, basically, an image of the newest WIN XP, but on your hard drive. There also are some tools you can get to add in many other drivers (like the latest drivers for some of your hardware add-ons) to this copy. Then you use another utility to burn a new bootable Windows Install CD from this image. Now you have the latest Windows Install on CD and can start from scratch to install XP all over again, but this time with all its latest features from the start. Moreover, if ever you have to re-install XP again, you already have the latest installer and do not need to go back to square 1 of the original install disk.

If you want to go the roll-your-own Slipstream route, look it up on the internet. Definitely check the M$ website for their instructions and the several files you need for this. But you'll also want some other utilities to make the job easier. When I did it, I printed out lots of stuff, figuring I'd never be able to read it on a computer screen in the middle of a burn-and-install sequence. Study it all until you understand it, then keep step-by-step notes as you proceed. That way you'll know where you are and get all the steps done, and will have some clues on what to do where if it does not work the first time.
a c 329 G Storage
April 24, 2009 6:49:38 PM

Oh, I forgot the third option, which you probably know already anyway. You can just live with the 128 GB C: Partition you have and use the Windows Disk Manager to Partition and Format the remaining Unallocated Space on your HDD as a second "drive" called D: (or whatever). Because at this point you are doing the work with SP2 installed, it will not have the 128 GB limit interfering. That is simple, but is does not put all your stuff in one C: drive.
!