XP Not Showing Your full hard drive size? Check here first!

Discussion in 'Storage Devices' started by Big B, Dec 3, 2006.

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  1. Big B

    Big B HWF Godfather

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    Q: Why isn't XP seeing my hard drive's full size? (updated: 12/23/06)

    A: When XP shipped came out, 120GB was about the largest capacity around. However the 28-bit hard drive addressing in hardware was at 137GB. Beyond that, new hardware (or a firmware update) was required on the hardware side.

    Hardware support has been out for a few years, however, since Windows XP shipped before it was an issue, the software aspect wasn't implemented yet.

    Fortunately, the fix is quite simple. Microsoft added support for drives over 137GB with Service Pack 1 for Windows XP. Service Packs are cumulative, so you can skip SP1 and just get Service Pack 2.

    Once you update to SP 1 or later, you will be able to see the full capacity for any drive out that's over 137GB with no issues. For Windows 2000 users, you will need Service Pack 4 for support over 137GB.

    You may also slipstream the Service Pack so that you have the hard drive support (and the updates) from the start.

    Now, you'll probably notice that once you have updated to SP1 or 2 (or SP4 for Win2k) that you don't automatically get the full size for access. Updating to said Service Pack only allows XP/2k to be able to access the full drive size, it does NOT format or expand partititions. Windows does not have any native tools to merge partitions, but you can purchase 3rd party software do do this for you.

    How would you format the additional space? Go to Start/Settings/Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management, and expand the Storage heading if it's not that way already. Click on 'Disk Management' here to see all drives on your system. Any drive that's been formatted and has data on it past 137GB will now be accessible, but you will need to format any remaining un-partitioned spaces. Right-click on the free space you wish to format to bring up a menu. One of the options will be to format the drive. If some of the other drives aren't showing up under 'My Computer', right-click on them to bring up the aformentioned menu. Another option available is to change or assign a drive letter.
    Hardware Planet UK and armadillo like this.
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