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New HDD on windows 7 not showing proper size

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February 7, 2012 1:43:04 PM

Hi I have a dell 8200 dinosaur, LOL and about a month ago my 50gb hdd died, I put in a brand new 320 gb WD drive and although it works great it is not showing the proper size, when i go to the drive (C) it shows only 50gb. I restored the new HDD from an image I had saved on another drive with the windows 7 disk! The old drive was not partitioned! I was told I need to flash the drive so it can be updated to see the correct HDD size! Any suggestions! I really dont want to flash the new drive!! thanks Jimi
a c 233 $ Windows 7
a c 385 G Storage
February 7, 2012 1:47:47 PM

Does the drive show the correct size in the bios? If not, you may need a bios update.
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February 7, 2012 2:27:22 PM

Ok so I restarted my PC and went into Bios setup, under Drive 0 (which is my main drive) It says capacity 320gb, Drive 1 is another drive I have that say Capacity 120gb, which is correct as well! I then booted my pc and went to device manager and under drives it show my WD3200AAJB-00J3A0 Drive as well as the external i have and the 120gb i have.
This is what it says for the 320gb in the properties.

Disk: Disk 0
Type: Basic
Status: Online
Partition style: Master Boot Record (MBR)
Capacity: 305244 MB
Unallocated space: 228929 MB
Reserved space: 0


(In Volumes Box)
Jim(C) Capacity 51253 MB
Storage(E) 25062 MB


Let me know what ya think!!
thanks
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a b $ Windows 7
a c 361 G Storage
February 7, 2012 2:52:05 PM

You do NOT need to "flash the drive" - the drive is not the root of this issue.

"BIOS Update": This would be NECESSARY if the BIOS in the machine does NOT include a feature called "48-bit LBA Support". (Considering that this is an older machine with only IDE drives, it is possible this feature is not in your system's BIOS.) Note that just "support for large hard drives" or "LBA Support" is not enough. The original LBA system was 28-bit, and the upgraded (as of about 2000) is 48-bit. Without it, you cannot use safely any HDD over 137 GB. So contact Dell Tech Support and ask two questions: does this machine already have 48-bit LBA Support; and, if not, is there a BIOS update that can be downloaded and "burned" into the BIOS, and if so, how? I could not find any info on these questions in the simple on-line docs at the Dell site.

If the answer comes out to be that you cannot make this machine use a HDD over 137 GB (that's called 128 GB by Windows), you must Partition the HDD so that it is no larger than this, and NEVER try to use the space above that.

If the answer is that you have already, or can update to get, that 48-bit LBA Support in your BIOS, you ALSO need to check the OS you're using. The original version of Win XP released did NOT include this 48-bit LBA support feature. (Yes, it is required BOTH in the hardware and the OS software.) The feature was added in Service Pack 1 and maintained in all later SP's and in all Windows versions after that. So, if your OS is only the original Win XP with NO Service Packs installed, you MUST update that to the latest (SP3) version BEFORE trying to create and use any Partition over 128 GB. But if your OS is more recent that that original XP, don't worry about this at all - you already have it.

Now, you still have to deal with the issue that your HDD appears to be only 50 GB. I fully expect that is because you restored the new drive from an image that was of a 50 GB older unit. So the new drive is configured to have one 50 GB Partition at its beginning, and just empty "Unallocated Space" after that. You have a few choices here.

1. Live with this, and adapt to use the rest of the HDD space. You can use Disk Management to Create and Format a second Partition in the Unallocated Space that you can use as a second separate "drive" with its own drive letter name. How large you can do depends on whether your machine has (or can be given) that 48-bit LBA support. If not, restrict your new Partition to (128 - 50) GB, or a little smaller. If you can get 48-bit LBA support, the new Partition can be ALL of the Unallocated Space.

2. See if the tool you used to Restore the original Image can be used in such a way that the Partition on the new drive it creates can be made to a specified size, rather than just duplicating the original size. If that is possible, re-do the Restore operation and set the Partition size to what you want, bearing in mind the possible limit (128 GB) of the 48-bit LBA Support issue.

3. With the Primary Partition you have that is the boot drive, Windows' Disk Management will not attempt to Expand that Partition to add in some or all of the Unallocated Space you have after it. (Windows is very protective and careful about the boot Partition.) However, some third-party software (you may have to pay for) like Partition Magic WILL do this job for you. You could add in enough space to make your current C: drive expand up to 128 GB (if limited) or to the entire HDD (about 296 GB) if you wish. There is a SLIGHT risk of losing your data this way, so just to be sure, verify that your image copy of your old drive is still available in case you have to re-do the Restore operation.
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February 7, 2012 3:21:01 PM

Thank you for the advice , I spoke with another friend and he said the same thing about Partition Magic! Or reformatting and installing all the programs again! I appreciate the advise!!

James
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a c 233 $ Windows 7
a c 385 G Storage
February 7, 2012 5:10:10 PM

It appears that your motherboard reads the drive size properly, but you are showing a lot of unallocated space. As paperdoc said, this may have been from a backup/cloning process or an original version of XP before they added LBA48 support.

It looks as if you are on the right track. either use partition magic or reinstall windows.
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