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New Hard Drive space recognized incorrectly

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May 24, 2009 10:56:41 PM

So after about 2 months of fighting through issue after issue with my first self built system, i got it up and running and installed xp today. However, the drive in my System is a Western Digital 640 GB Drive. But XP only says the drive has 127 GB. When i turn on the computer, i see post say something about it, i believe it says 640 GB hard drive, but it moves too fast for me to be sure. How can i get XP to recognize the drive as the correct amount of space? Its a Sata drive, ata/300 i believe.

Thanks to everyone
May 24, 2009 11:42:55 PM

Make sure you have service pack 3 & your system bios is up to date.
May 25, 2009 1:21:07 AM

Thnx, i only have SP2, i will put 3 on 2nite and get back to ya.
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May 25, 2009 1:44:44 AM

I believe that SP2 will read the drive. What motherboard are you using and is the bios up to date?
May 25, 2009 2:37:13 AM

Perhaps your BIOS needs LBA enabled? That would be unusual, but...
May 25, 2009 4:49:35 AM

i put on SP3, still have the same issue. Im using an asus p5q board. New board, i would think that would mean the bios is up to date. Also, i did see the POST message, it does say 640.1 GB Hard Drive, and Everest recognizes it as a 640 GB drive too. I cant say i know what LBA is, so please explain....
May 25, 2009 5:12:43 AM

48 bit logical block addressing. Enabled NTFS to see beyond 128GB. Its an addressing scheme of the ATAPI spec, MS finally enabled it in XP SP1 and Win 2k via SP. (Can't remember the SP for win2k....) It appears that for whatever reason your OS doesn't enable this. There is a registry key that you can use, look up in MS knowledge base. Some older BIOS did not enable this by default, but most all newer BIOS should.
May 25, 2009 5:42:05 AM

ok so i went to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/303013 and i did as it said, the files are there. However, i saw that instead of being version 5.1.2600.1152, it is version 5.1.2600.5512. I dont know if that makes a difference, i just saw that. How could i make sure that this is in and it works?
a b G Storage
May 25, 2009 6:03:26 AM

Installing a service pack won't change the existing partitioning, you need to use something like PartitionMagic to expand the partition.
May 25, 2009 6:11:09 AM

Re-format your HD? Easier to just re-install XP, I would think. Did you read the article about editing the registry key? That should tell you if it had worked, but I still think that a re-install of XP will be the most effecient method. Does your version have SPI (or 2) already on it? If not, have you slipstreamed SP3 into your install CD?

Honestly, it's been so long since that I have seen this issue that I almost didn't twig to what was probably the issue.
May 25, 2009 4:05:27 PM

I'm going to give partition magic a try. Since Everest notices the drive as the right space, and since POST recognizes it as well. Maybe i could just expand the partition to the full space? Worth a shot i guess.
May 25, 2009 4:41:01 PM

ok, i got it. Easeus Partition Master did the trick. XP was recognizing the drive as the right space, but when i first put xp in, it had no Service Pack, so it held it at 127 GB i guess. I just took all the unallocated space and added it on. Worked perfectly. Thanks to everyone who helped me.
a c 359 G Storage
May 25, 2009 6:08:14 PM

Your final post explains it all. The first release of Win XP did NOT support 48-bit LBA, so it was limited to using hard drives up to 128 GB. That is the max it could Partition during the initial install. Once it is installed, Wndows will not allow you to change the boot partition size. (Yes, Partition Magic and a few other utilities can expand for you, provided that the Unallocated Space is adjacent to the existing Partition. But Windows itself won't do it.) The BIOS will tell you the correct disk size, confirming that the hardware and mobo hard disk controller software in BIOS can do the job, but the Operating System is still unable. Now just because you upgrade with a Service Pack AFTER doing the install does not solve the problem. Although that allows the updated Windows to use much larger hard drives, it still cannot change the size of the original Partition you are booting from.

Oh, for those confused about hardware and BIOS upgrades, almost all systems since about 2000 have 48-bit LBA support in BIOS and controller hardware. And for sure, EVERY SATA system - mobo controller and BIOS and hard drive itself - has 48-bit LBA built in. OP's case is a classic example of having all of that, but still missing the OS support.

The right solution is to use a Windows XP Install Disk with 48-bit LBA Support built in. That was acquired with SP1, and maintained thereafter. People with your problem (an original Win XP Install disk with no Service Pack) have four options:

1. Live with it. Install XP to a boot Partition of 128 GB. Then immediately update it to SP3. Then use disk Manager to create a second Partition out of the Unallocated Space left over on your larger HDD (non-bootable since this is a data-only Partition), then Format it using an NTFS File System. It will have its own drive letter name and appear in My Computer to be just another separate drive.

2. Install from original disk, with the size limit. Then buy Partition Magic or look for a free software tool that can do the job, and Expand the boot Partition before creating any other Partitions. (This appears to be the route you took.)

3. Buy a newer version of Win XP with at least SP1 included.

4. Learn how to make a Slipstreamed updated Install Disk from your original-version disk - perfectly legal. Microsoft has explanations, updating files and some tools for this on their websites. There are also good tools and instructions for this on many independent websites. Basically you take your licensed old XP Install Disk and copy it completely to your hard drive, then download and run a bunch of files that update and replace that copy, finally producing on your hard drive a complete image of a new XP Install Disk. Then you burn that disk to a new CDR and use it as your fully-licensed but fully-updated Win XP Install Disk.
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