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Windows stole my harddisk

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September 2, 2009 5:25:52 PM

WTF. I partition my harddisk in the Windows Vista installation, since I read in the manual that I could do so. Now, I only got 500 GB of my 1T harddisk. Only a C drive with 500 GB, OMG! WTF is this?

More about : windows stole harddisk

September 2, 2009 5:26:13 PM

What can I do?
September 2, 2009 5:26:52 PM

A fresh new computer to 2100 USD and a 1TB WD Black hard drive.
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a c 361 G Storage
September 2, 2009 6:04:50 PM

Maybe you don't understand Partitions, so let's review. Any physical hard drive unit can be used as one huge drive, or broken up into two or more separate sections called Partitions. Each Partition is treated by your Operating System as if it were a completely separate hard drive with its own name (letter).

At the very minimum, for a hard drive unit to be used by an OS, it MUST have at least one Partition, called the Primary Partition, defined on it and Formatted with a particular File System set up. Once Partitioning and Formatting are done, then an OS can actually write and read to that disk Partition and use its data.

When you create the Primary Partition it writes to a specific track at the beginning of the disk a Partition Table, a Boot Loader, and a few small housekeeping data things. It may also write some boot files if this particular Partition is one you boot from, but let's ignore that detail for now. When the BIOS finishes its start-up routines and is happy, it is programmed to look at the particular disk it has been given as its boot device and look at the special place where the Partition Table is. Within that is information on exactly where on the disk the Primary Partition starts, how long it is, whether it is bootable, etc., plus any similar information on other Partitions IF they exist on this disk. Then it knows exactly where to find the specific info it needs to load an Operating System. It next goes to the Boot Loader for a small bit of code that allows it to go to the designated place on the bootable Partition and load in the critical initial files that end up loading the whole OS.

Windows Install does these operations for you because they MUST be done before the disk can be used for the Install. It does give you some options, like what size you want to make the Primary Partition. You can choose to use up the whole drive as one Partition. Or, you can do as you did - tell it to use less than that. It will complete the process no problem.

Now that you have Windows booting and running from a Primary Partition called C:, there is still a chunk of real hard drive space that is NOT in use, but can be used. You can go back to that disk using the right tools and create an Extended Partition in that area called Unallocated Space, and have it Formatted also so Windows can use it. In doing that, you can have this second Partition use up all of the Unallocated Space, or you can make it smaller and leave some space still Unallocated. If you choose that latter option, you can go back again and create another Extended Partition in the remaining Unallocated Space. Each time you do this, the system will put a little data back in the Partition Table so that there's a record of exactly ALL of the parameters of each Partition on this drive.

So, how do you do this? Windows has the tools included in its Disk Manager. I'm working with XP so my version is a little different from your VISTA, but it's still similar. Click on Start in bottom left and, on that menu, RIGHT-click on My Computer and choose Manage from the menu. In the left pane of the window that opens expand Storage if necessary, then choose Disk Management. It will show you two panes on the right. Each can scroll if there's too much stuff to fit. In the upper right pane you will see information on all the drive units Windows can work with now, including your C: drive and your optical drive. In the lower right pane you'll see different information about those units, PLUS additional information on hardware that is in the machine, but not usable yet by Windows. There will be a block representing your hard drive physical unit, and it will contain one block representing its Primary Partition in use as your C: drive, and another chunk identified as Unallocated Space. If you RIGHT-click on that space you will get a menu that allows you to create a new Extended Partition in it. The sub-options will allow you to specify its size. You may be using menus for this, or maybe using a Wizard to help you. At some point (perhaps AFTER you create the new Partition) you also have to Format it. For that, choose the NTFS File System and probably the Quick Format option. (Full Format does a Quick first and then takes a LOOOONNNNGGG time to do some careful testing.) When it's done it should have a letter name assigned to it, and you can choose (via menus for that new Partition) to change the name if you need to. When you are done, reboot the machine so Windows can get all these new details into its Registry, and you'll find there is a new drive in My Computer that Windows can use.
September 2, 2009 6:05:51 PM

You obviously have "unallocated space", which means that the other 500 GB is there, but you need to create a partition to utilize it.

This will make it a little easier to create:

http://www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm
September 2, 2009 6:27:55 PM

Paperdoc said:
Maybe you don't understand Partitions, so let's review. Any physical hard drive unit can be used as one huge drive, or broken up into two or more separate sections called Partitions. Each Partition is treated by your Operating System as if it were a completely separate hard drive with its own name (letter).

At the very minimum, for a hard drive unit to be used by an OS, it MUST have at least one Partition, called the Primary Partition, defined on it and Formatted with a particular File System set up. Once Partitioning and Formatting are done, then an OS can actually write and read to that disk Partition and use its data.

When you create the Primary Partition it writes to a specific track at the beginning of the disk a Partition Table, a Boot Loader, and a few small housekeeping data things. It may also write some boot files if this particular Partition is one you boot from, but let's ignore that detail for now. When the BIOS finishes its start-up routines and is happy, it is programmed to look at the particular disk it has been given as its boot device and look at the special place where the Partition Table is. Within that is information on exactly where on the disk the Primary Partition starts, how long it is, whether it is bootable, etc., plus any similar information on other Partitions IF they exist on this disk. Then it knows exactly where to find the specific info it needs to load an Operating System. It next goes to the Boot Loader for a small bit of code that allows it to go to the designated place on the bootable Partition and load in the critical initial files that end up loading the whole OS.

Windows Install does these operations for you because they MUST be done before the disk can be used for the Install. It does give you some options, like what size you want to make the Primary Partition. You can choose to use up the whole drive as one Partition. Or, you can do as you did - tell it to use less than that. It will complete the process no problem.

Now that you have Windows booting and running from a Primary Partition called C:, there is still a chunk of real hard drive space that is NOT in use, but can be used. You can go back to that disk using the right tools and create an Extended Partition in that area called Unallocated Space, and have it Formatted also so Windows can use it. In doing that, you can have this second Partition use up all of the Unallocated Space, or you can make it smaller and leave some space still Unallocated. If you choose that latter option, you can go back again and create another Extended Partition in the remaining Unallocated Space. Each time you do this, the system will put a little data back in the Partition Table so that there's a record of exactly ALL of the parameters of each Partition on this drive.

So, how do you do this? Windows has the tools included in its Disk Manager. I'm working with XP so my version is a little different from your VISTA, but it's still similar. Click on Start in bottom left and, on that menu, RIGHT-click on My Computer and choose Manage from the menu. In the left pane of the window that opens expand Storage if necessary, then choose Disk Management. It will show you two panes on the right. Each can scroll if there's too much stuff to fit. In the upper right pane you will see information on all the drive units Windows can work with now, including your C: drive and your optical drive. In the lower right pane you'll see different information about those units, PLUS additional information on hardware that is in the machine, but not usable yet by Windows. There will be a block representing your hard drive physical unit, and it will contain one block representing its Primary Partition in use as your C: drive, and another chunk identified as Unallocated Space. If you RIGHT-click on that space you will get a menu that allows you to create a new Extended Partition in it. The sub-options will allow you to specify its size. You may be using menus for this, or maybe using a Wizard to help you. At some point (perhaps AFTER you create the new Partition) you also have to Format it. For that, choose the NTFS File System and probably the Quick Format option. (Full Format does a Quick first and then takes a LOOOONNNNGGG time to do some careful testing.) When it's done it should have a letter name assigned to it, and you can choose (via menus for that new Partition) to change the name if you need to. When you are done, reboot the machine so Windows can get all these new details into its Registry, and you'll find there is a new drive in My Computer that Windows can use.


You sir is a legend. Thanks alot, great job! Fantastico. Only one thing, the unallocated space is 492 GB, but when I am going to chose volum size it says max volum is 503 GB. How is that when unallocated space is 492 GB?
September 2, 2009 7:01:01 PM

When I am going to choose volum size it says max volum is 503 GB. How is that when unallocated space is 492 GG?
September 2, 2009 8:20:48 PM

OMG... I didn't read any of this thread, here is your answer in 1 line!

Go into your control panel, computer management and the disk management... click on the 500 gigs unallocated and choose partition!
a c 361 G Storage
September 3, 2009 10:08:06 PM

rankiz said:
When I am going to choose volum size it says max volum is 503 GB. How is that when unallocated space is 492 GG?


I don't know why the numbers do not match. (I suspect it's the old problem that 1 KB is not 1,000 bytes, but that's a whole other thread!) Just make the new Partition the maximum size it can be. Windows tools will NOT screw things up and try to steal space it cannot have, so you're safe.
September 4, 2009 12:55:23 AM

You can also extend the C partition rather than create another one. To do that, open "Computer Management" in Control Panel/Administration Tools, then the Storage manager. Right-click on your C partition and choose "Extend partition". Expand it into the unallocated space. This only works if the unallocated space comes right after the C partition on the disk. I'm guessing that's the case since you only have one partition, and that on a drive that was freshly formatted.
If the unallocated space comes before the C partition on the disk, you can use something like the GParted LiveCD (bootable disk based on Linux) to shuffle around and resize partitions much more effectively than you can when the OS is running.
a c 361 G Storage
September 4, 2009 3:42:52 PM

Unfortunately, Bolbi's solution won't work with Windows by itself. Windows will extend any partition EXCEPT the BOOT Partition. That one it won't touch, just to prevent disaster. Now, some other third-party packages will do the job, like Partition Magic and, I think, Gparted that Bolbi mentioned.
September 4, 2009 4:06:55 PM

Paperdoc said:
Unfortunately, Bolbi's solution won't work with Windows by itself. Windows will extend any partition EXCEPT the BOOT Partition. That one it won't touch, just to prevent disaster. Now, some other third-party packages will do the job, like Partition Magic and, I think, Gparted that Bolbi mentioned.

Really? I know that XP won't let you do that, but I thought that was changed in Vista and still true with Win7. Not sure, though, since I don't have a system I can test that with right now. Anyway, here's how to do it with GParted.
a c 353 G Storage
September 4, 2009 5:03:00 PM

PaperDoc. Very good explaination.

Didn't chatch, but after creating the Extended Partitian he will also need to create Logical drives(s). As stated on creating extended partitian. then select create Logical drive(s). Here you can create "drive D" by using the default, or you can break in up into multiple logical drives.
a b G Storage
September 6, 2009 2:14:38 AM

rankiz said:
When I am going to choose volum size it says max volum is 503 GB. How is that when unallocated space is 492 GG?

-Well thats normal. Your operating system sees 1KB as 1000Bytes but your hard drives measures 1KB as 1024bytes which is the real measurement...its either your OS or hard drive..or vice versa not exactly sure thats why it can add up to + or - a couple of gigs. And the answer to your original question is that when you install your OS, you must partition your drive to a file system, without it, your hard drive a just a little metallic useless disk. Thats why windows cant see since you apparently only partitioned half of it.You need to partition your full hard drive to a file system so your OS can see it and can use it.
a b G Storage
September 6, 2009 2:40:20 AM

Paperdoc said:
Unfortunately, Bolbi's solution won't work with Windows by itself. Windows will extend any partition EXCEPT the BOOT Partition. That one it won't touch, just to prevent disaster. Now, some other third-party packages will do the job, like Partition Magic and, I think, Gparted that Bolbi mentioned.

Windows (at least Vista and later) will quite happily either expand or shrink the boot partition. It is pretty conservative about shrinking it, but it certainly will happily expand it.
a b G Storage
September 6, 2009 2:46:03 AM

blackhawk1928 said:
-Well thats normal. Your operating system sees 1KB as 1000Bytes but your hard drives measures 1KB as 1024bytes which is the real measurement...its either your OS or hard drive..or vice versa not exactly sure thats why it can add up to + or - a couple of gigs. And the answer to your original question is that when you install your OS, you must partition your drive to a file system, without it, your hard drive a just a little metallic useless disk. Thats why windows cant see since you apparently only partitioned half of it.You need to partition your full hard drive to a file system so your OS can see it and can use it.


Actually, it's the other way. Hard drive manufacturers use the standard, base 10 definition of the prefixes. Kilo=10^3, mega=10^6, giga=10^9. However, due to the binary nature of computers, operating systems implement a slightly different standard. According to the OS, kilo=2^10, mega=2^20, and giga=2^30. This means that 1GB as measured by the hard drive manufacturers (1 billion bytes) is only 0.9313 GB according to the operating system. Here's a conversion chart:

1 HDD KB=0.9766 OS KB
1 HDD MB=0.9537 OS MB
1 HDD GB=0.9313 OS GB
1 HDD TB=0.9095 OS TB

In other words, the OS will see your 1TB drive as 0.9095 TB or 931.3 GB. You are not missing any space - you really do have 1 trillion bytes on the drive, but due to the binary standard used by the operating system, 1 trillion bytes is only 931.3 gigabytes.
September 6, 2009 5:04:50 AM

rankiz said:
When I am going to choose volum size it says max volum is 503 GB. How is that when unallocated space is 492 GG?


A file size of 492 gigabytes can also be expressed as
4226247819264 bits
528280977408 bytes
515899392 kilobytes (abbreviated as KB or Kb*)
503808 megabytes (abbreviated as M or MB)
492 gigabytes (abbreviated as G or GB)
0.480469 terabytes
0.0004692 petabytes
0.00000046 exabytes
!