Hard drive formatted less than maximum capability

Hello, I purchased a WD 320GB hard drive to upgrade the HDD space on my Dell XPS M140 laptop. For transfer, I used Acronis True Image software. It said the transfer was successful, but when I installed the drive, it got locked up with my Windows Media edition and froze. Then, when I tryed to re-format the hard drive in NTFS, it only shows up as 54GB. What else can I do to get back the rest of the 320GB space on my new hard drive?
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  1. 60GB was likely the capacity of the old hard drive and you have essentially restored the intire disk contents of your old drive (including the partition table) to the new drive. Essentially re-creating the same/similar drive capacity.

    Lets sort out a few thing:
    1. You need to find out if the drive is actually being detected properly in the system BIOS. Some older BIOS version will not recognize drive over 127.5GB, you wont know until you look and your BIOS may need to be updated.
    2. If the drive is being detected properly in the BIOS, then you will need to either repartition and format the drive to its max capacity OR create a second partition from within Windows that will use the additional unpartitioned space on the drive. You would do this from 'disk management'.
    3. Since you cannot boot from Windows and have since formated it, try to restore again from your Acronis backup, but look to see if you can modify the partition size. If you cant, do the restore anyway.
    4. See if you can then boot into safe mode.
    5. See if you can manage the partition table from safe mode.
    6. Do a clean install of the OS, wiping the drive, create a new full partion (or at least a 127GB partition), format, install etc.
    7. You can then use Acronis' archive explorer to pull out the specific data you need to save.
  2. I say that there should be tools to dynamically expand the size of your partition... assuming your drive is being properly detected. This should NOT require you to reload anything assuming you have the right software to pull this off. It's been ages since I used Norton Ghost, but at the time that application had the ability to pull this off.
  3. I think you can modify the partition size dynamically when restoring through Acronis. I can't verify without going through the motions and his version may be different than mine. In any event he informed us that the machine wouldn't boot and he went ahead formated it, so finding some other 3rd party Partition manipulation software at this point would be a waste of time. IMHO.
  4. Right click and click Extend in the Disk Management screen should do the trick.
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