Xtor 320 GB but now has 170 GB partition

I used to use this Maxtor 320 GB harddisk as primary C drive (XP SP2).
Now I built a system want to reuse this in Win XP, however, during the XP setup and select this drive it showed only 170 GB free with 1 partition (I think the 150GB I used previously in my old XP SP2).

I have no choice to but format this partition and install XP.

I also tried to delete this partition during setup and recreate the partition but again it only showed only 170 GB free.

Now in Windows Explorer, yes it shows only 170 GB disk space.

The strange thing is I also tried to use Acronis to restore with previous image it showed the disk is 320 GB.

Any way I can get back the previous 150 GB?
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  1. Best answer
    If I understand correctly, you do NOT want to preserve any old data on this disk. You just want to use all of it in one volume as the C: drive in a new system, and are trying to install Win XP on it. The trouble is, it seems to keep an old 150 GB Partition and only allows you access to the remaining 170 GB. You say even the Win Xp Install disk was not able to Delete the old Partition, which is odd.

    First of all, to do this you MUST have a Win XP Install disk that includes at least Service Pack 1 (or later). The original Win XP did no support 48-bit LBA, and hence could not create Partitions larger than 128 GB (by Windows' way of calculating). Since you say you can create a 170 GB Partition now I assume that is not your problem.

    You have an Acronis product, but I'm not sure what. It may be their True Image software designed to help you migrate from one drive to another. But it has a lot of other tools. I'm sure it has a procedure for Deleting old Partitions until you are back to plain all Unallocated Space. Try using that software on this disk to clean it off, then exit the software. Then use your Windows XP Install disk to start fresh.
  2. Hi,

    1) I used the Win XP to install XP 2 months ago on this HD and used all the space (ie. 320 GB) as single partition if I recall my memory correctly. Then install service pack 2.

    2) Yes, that Acronis is the product of Acronis True Hhome Image. I want to keep the data in the 150 GB because I have some data in it. The reason I used this HD to install XP was by mistake, I should not use this HD to install new XP until I backup the data. I guess the Win XP CD did not recognise the 150 GB Win XP SP2 partition already in the HD.
  3. Several things here do not agree with each other, so let's try to clarify the situation. You say that originally you installed on this disk Win XP, then later upgraded it to SP2. You also say that installation was on a Partition of 150 GB. Now, the "upgrade to SP2" part makes me wonder what version you installed at first. IF it was the original Win XP with NO Service Pack included, the largest Partition you could create would be 128 GB (by Window's way of calculating), not 150. You also say you "used all the space (ie. 320 GB) as single partition if I recall my memory correctly", yet you say now it appears to be only 150 GB. So IF you had only the original Win XP as your install disk, you may have tried to make the maximum Partition size possible, but that would only have been 128 GB. However, IF your first install disk included SP1 you could have made a Partition larger than this, all the way up to 295 GB.

    You should understand that installing Win XP from the first version disk, followed by upgrading the installed version to SP2 or 3, will NOT allow you to change the C: drive (Boot Partition) size without a lot of special work. The only way to make your boot drive larger than 128 GB when you install XP is to use an Install disk that includes SP1 or higher.

    Now, you think that your hard drive has two Partitions on it of about 150 GB (old installation of XP) plus 170 GB (New installation). Let's check for sure, using Disk Management. Click on Start (lower left) and in the menu RIGHT-click on "My Computer" and then choose "Manage". In the new window on the left expand "Storage" if necessary and click on "Disk Management". The right-hand part will split into an upper and a lower pane. The upper pane shows you all the hard drives you have available for Windows to use right now, with their letter names. Your C: boot drive should be there; record what it says in the Capacity column. Now, does it also show another drive in this part with a different letter name? if yes, record what that name is and what its Capacity is. ALL of the drives in this top left pane should be available to you in My Computer for access to files.

    In the lower right pane is another list of hardware devices in the machine, but some of them may not be fully accessible to Windows. Your hard drive should be there, subdivided into parts. You also should see there your CD or DVD drive with its letter name. But back on the hard drive, in the left part it should show you something like "Disk 0" and a size around 295 GB; record what that is. To the right of that it should be broken up into two or more blocks. One of those should be the C: drive with the same size as shown above it. There may be another "drive" or Partition, with or without a letter name assigned to it, and with a size. What is that size? If it has a letter name, it should also have been shown in the upper right pane as a second drive, with matching size, that is available in My Computer. BUT if there is a second Partition here with NO letter name assigned, you can give it one. RIGHT-click on it and choose the option to Change its Name. Give it any letter NOT already in use. This should help you access and use this Partition as a drive in My Computer after you reboot.

    You may also find that the physical drive has a part labeled "Unallocated Space". This is not used or recognized as a drive at all, but can be used to create a new Partition, then Format it. After doing those two steps you could use it as a drive. However, if you are sure there is data in this space and do not want to disturb it, do NOT do those two steps. If there should be a Partition there and it is not being recognized, you may be able to recover it with third-party software.

    Anyway, before proceeding, let's get that info posted here.
    1. What is the size shown for your C: drive in the upper and lower right panes?
    2. Is there any other hard drive shown in the upper right pane? What size?
    3. What is the size of the hard disk (Disk 0) in the lower right pane?
    4. Besides the C: drive block, what other blocks and sizes are shown in the lower right pane for your Disk 0?

    IF you found an unnamed Partition in the lower right pane and gave it a name, back out of disk Manager and reboot, then go back in and re-examine the display in Disk Manager. It should have changed to show you the second drive (now with a letter name you gave it) in the upper right pane. This would change the answers to my 4 questions. If you get out of Disk Manager, you should be able to see and use in My Computer all the drives that were in the upper right pane.
  4. Hi,

    I examined the disk management:

    1. What is the size shown for your C: drive in the upper and lower right panes?
    Upper right pane: 127.99 GB
    Lower right pane:
    C: 127.99 GB NTFS and
    170.10 GB Unallocated (the top bar is in black)

    2. Is there any other hard drive shown in the upper right pane? What size?
    I have 2 other harddisks and their sizes are correct

    3. What is the size of the hard disk
    (Disk 0) in the lower right pane?
    As answered in (1)

    4. Besides the C: drive block, what other blocks and sizes are shown in the lower right pane for your Disk 0?
    As answered in (1)

    I tried to right click the unallocated partition, got 'New partition...', Properties and Help.
    However, I am sure I got data on the 'unallocated partition' and would like to retrieve them, is it possible?
  5. So you have two other drives in the machine, but we're concentrating on this one Maxtor 320 GB unit. Disk Manager shows it contains only one Partition of 128 GB, plus the entire remaining space (170 GB) as Unallocated Space. This pattern is typical of a history that had the disk set up by Windows XP original version, which did NOT have the ability to make and use Partitions larger than 128 GB.

    I suspect this may have been the history of your previous use of this Maxtor unit in a different machine. You had the 320 GB unit and installed on it Windows XP original version. It created the largest Primary Partition it could, 128 GB, and installed itself, leaving 170 GB of Unallocated Space. At some later time you Updated that XP installation to SP2, which included the ability to create and use larger partitions. However, that update would NOT have made any change to the existing 128 GB Partition used as your C: drive.

    Now, what I don't understand clearly yet is this: at any time while you were using that drive in your old machine, did you also create a SECOND Partition somewhere in the Unallocated Space and use it as another drive with its own name? Right now there is no such extra Partition, yet you say you believe there is data there that you need to preserve. If you are right and a Partition that used to exist is now lost, there MAY be a way to get it back. In some cases like this, third-part Partition Recovery software may be able to examine the entire disk, find the lost Partition and restore its structure and Partition Table entries so that it can be recovered. I don't know enough about such software to recommend any particular package, so look around for software and reviews. One I know many like for SOME work is Partition Magic, but I really do not know if it recovers lost Partitions.

    Now, maybe you never did create a second Partition, and the one you have is the ONLY one there ever was on this drive. In that case, recovering is not an issue at all and we can work with what you have now.

    So now we go forward to your attempt to re-use this drive in your current machine. It starts out with one bootable Primary Partition with Win XP already installed plus 170 GB of Unallocated Space. You insert in the optical drive a Win XP Install disk and boot from it to do the installation.

    What you said above was, "1) I used the Win XP to install XP 2 months ago on this HD and used all the space (ie. 320 GB) as single partition if I recall my memory correctly. Then install service pack 2." I strongly suspect that this means the Win XP Install disk you used did NOT include SP2, and may have been only an original version. Even though you updated that after installation to SP2, that still would only have allowed you to create a 128 GB Partition, and would NOT have changed that partition size when the update was done. If you did this on the disk as it came from the old machine, and did not first Delete the only original Partition on it, then the new installation would have created a new second 128 GB Partition and installed to it. It would have left the original Partition in place unless you Deleted it. If you later came back and Deleted this second partition, that still could have left the original one on the disk. Then, if you tried to re-install again, it still would show you only 170 GB of space available. But it SHOULD also have shown you that the original 128 GB Partition was there.

    So right now you can boot the machine into Windows and use Disk Manager to examine all the hard drive resources. What disk is being used to boot
    Windows from? Your most recent post says it is the only (Primary) Partition on this Maxtor 320 GB unit, called your C: drive. So, is that a new Windows XP installation you made on this new machine, or is it the old XP installation you had from the old machine? If it's the old one you still will have all your old applications and data on it. But if it is a new installation, it occupies the first 128 GB of the drive unit, and that is the SAME space as was originally used for your old machine. That means you already have destroyed all your old data on this drive and it cannot be recovered.

    Let's stop here so you can tell me which of these possibilities is the real one. But I will tell you now that there are ways either to use the Unallocated Space as another drive, or to rearrange things so that you get to use all 320 GB of this drive in one Partition. We'll get into those details next time.
  6. Hi,

    I try to rephrase my situation to make it clearer:
    1) Use Maxtor HDD to intall WinXP(original version without sevice pack) in my old machine few months ago
    2) Used the default partition size (I don't remember what size it was allocated, I might used the whole HDD size?)
    3) Install SP2 after installed all my applications (eg. MS Office, Motherboard drivers)
    4) Run for few months
    5) I think I didn't use any partition software to re-size this HDD
    6) But I can see the all size of this HDD in Windows Explorer (ie. right click->Properties, 320 GB capacity, and some ~1xx GB free)
    7) So somehow the partition had been extended to the whole HDD (since I didn't remember if I re-size the single partition), this HDD has only 1 partition from day 1.
    8) I built a new PC last week
    9) Use this HDD for installation
    10) In installation, it showed the option of partition C: had size of 170 GB, no other partitions
    11) I chosed to delete this partition and recreated the partition, and format that in installation process

    I looks like my data had gone if I deleted the partition and format that.
    But if the original XP version only recognise 128 GB then how come it gave me the option of 170 GB partition in the initial phase of installation?
  7. It was reading the partition information from the other version of windows xp.

    windows xp (pre sp1)
    can only create 128gb or smaller.

    It seems you erased everything by deleting then installing windows.

    the easiest thing to do is just make a second partition using the rest of the drive after you update to Service pack 3
  8. The thing that I worry about is the old data in the HDD will be lost if I make the unallocated 170GB as second partition?

    Another question is why the XP installation process showed me the partition of size 170 GB, not 128 GB, when I was asked to choose the partition to install XP?
  9. When you first installed XP (Original version) on this HDD, the maximum Partition it could have created was 128 GB, and that would leave about 168 GB of Unallocated Space. Within Windows XP there is NO tool to change (expand or shrink) the size of the Boot Partition. Updating it to SP2 would not change any of that. So, unless you used some other third-party software tool (and you say you do NOT remember ever doing that), it could not have changed. So I do not understand your Point #6 above because you say Explorer could show you 320 GB size with ~1xx GB free. Was this really in Explorer, or in Disk Manager?

    So in Points 8-10 you mount this drive in a new machine and go to install Windows XP again. It showed you that you have 170 GB available in which it can create the C: drive for your new installation. Well, that make sense, because you had about 170 GB of Unallocated Space on the drive AFTER the existing 128 GB Partition that already existed. IF you had proceeded to install in that Unallocated Space it would NOT have used all 170 GB because original Win XP can't - it would have created a second 128 GB Partition for the new installation, leaving behind about 40 GB of Unallocated Space still. But I don't think you did it that way. Then you say it showed you no other existing Partition. Strange, because it should have warned you about the one that was there. And then you say you Deleted this Partition. WHAT Partition?

    Maybe you misunderstood. MAYBE what it showed was that there was a C: Partition (128 GB) in place plus 170 GB of Unallocated Space, and you chose to Delete the existing C: Partition. THEN you created a new Partition and formatted it, and Installed XP on it. Now you have a drive with one 128 GB Partition right at its beginning, containing the NEW installation of XP. After it you have 170 GB of Unallocated Space. If this is the situation, then your original Partition from the old machine, and all of its data, has been removed and over-written, and you will NOT be able to recover it. That old data never was in the area of the disk that is Unallocated Space. The only part of the disk that ever was used, originally and now, is the first 128 GB.

    Now, how can you use the space? You can use Disk Manager to create from the Unallocated Space one or more new Partitions and Format them. Each will be treated as completely separate drives with their own letter names. If you do this right now using the original version of XP, you will not be able to make any Partition larger than 128 GB, so you'll have to make two to use up all the space. However, if you Update XP to SP2 (better to do SP3, the latest update) first, then you will be able to make a much larger partition - in your case, you could use all of the 170 GB of Unallocated Space to make one new Partition.

    If you really want to have the entire 320 GB unit as one C: drive there are two routes. One is to use the system you have now to make a Slipstreamed version of Win XP. This is an entirely legal process which requires some learning, some software tools, and a CD burner drive. It is explained on the Microsoft website and many other places. Basically you take you existing original licensed Win XP Install disk and clone it to your hard drive. Then you download all the available Updates and run some software tools that modifies all the original Install Disk files (now as copies on your hard drive) to be the newest latest files. Then you use that to burn your own new Windows Install disk that includes everything new.

    Armed with a new Windows XP Install disk fully updated, you start over again and re-install Windows XP. This version will allow you to use the entire 320 GB disk as one Partition for the C: drive. Then you proceed to installing your application software, etc, just like after any other fresh Installation.

    The other alternative, starting from where you are, is to download and install the latest Updates (to SP3) of Win XP. Then you buy third-party software like Partition Magic (or use freeware) that will Expand your existing C: drive Partition into the empty Unallocated Space, right up to the full size of the HDD. Windows XP has no tools to do this, but Partition Magic and some other utility packages do.
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