Unallocated space: What's wrong?

Discussion in 'IBM' started by aether, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. aether

    aether Guest

    I've installed a 200 GB hard drive, but it's capacity is listed as 131
    GB. However, I went to device manager and checked it's properties, and
    it states that there exists 63 GB worth of 'unallocated space'. What's
    this mean, exactly? Can it be recovered? If so, how?
    aether, Mar 18, 2005
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  2. aether

    Vanguard Guest

    We are supposed to guess what operating system you are using? If it is
    Windows XP then you need Service Pack 1 at a minimum patch level. You
    might also need to visit your mobo maker's web site to get their latest
    BIOS flash update to upgrade the onboard IDE controller to support
    48-bit addressing mode (to get past the 128GB boundary).
    Vanguard, Mar 18, 2005
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  3. aether

    aether Guest

    It's Windows XP. I downloaded quite a few updates, and then service
    pack 2.
    aether, Mar 18, 2005
  4. but it's capacity is listed as 131GB.

    Update your bios.
    Giuseppe Carmine De Blasio, Mar 18, 2005
  5. aether

    aether Guest

    Hi, Giuseppe

    I just updated the BIOS, but Windows still doesn't properly recognize
    the drive. This is a strange problem. You'd think Microsoft would've
    fixed it by now as quite a few people have had this problem. Who knows
    how many have unknowingly lost disk space.
    aether, Mar 18, 2005
  6. aether

    Dave Guest

    Did you reformat the disc after updating the BIOS? Maybe use an old Win98
    boot disk and use fdisk to remove the partition if the XP disk does not work
    (it should).

    Dave, Mar 18, 2005
  7. I just updated the BIOS, but Windows still doesn't properly recognize
    Convert the disk to NTFS.
    Giuseppe Carmine De Blasio, Mar 18, 2005
  8. aether

    Axl Myk Guest

    I prefer to use the HD manufacturers utility boot disk to do a Low Level
    format.. Gets rid of ALL the leftover nasties on the drive..
    Axl Myk, Mar 18, 2005
  9. There's nothing wrong. If your OS is the original XP (pre-SPx, as it sounds
    from a later comment), it doesn't know about bigger disks than 131GB until
    SP1 (included in SP2). You can use of the 'unallocated space' as another
    partition, just Start->Run diskmgmt.msc, right click on the unallocated
    space and "New partition..". Then format it, and voilá, you have a new
    "disk", most likely labeled E: (if C: =system disk and D: =CD/DVD)

    Or use a 3rd party program, like Symantec/Norton PartitionMagic or Ramish
    PartitionManager, to resize the current partition to available space, ie.
    the whole HD

    Reply to group
    Most learned on nntp://news.mircosoft.com
    Helsinki, Finland (remove _NOSPAM)
    (translations from FI/SE not always accurate)
    Thomas Wendell, Mar 18, 2005
  10. aether

    Vanguard Guest

    Well, then the other part of my advice of getting the BIOS flash update
    to upgrade the firmware used by your IDE controller will be required so
    it support 48-bit addressing mode to get past the 128GB boundary. You
    didn't mention the brand and model of your motherboard. Go to the
    motherboard maker's web site to get the flash update for BIOS.
    Vanguard, Mar 18, 2005
  11. aether

    Vanguard Guest

    Because the geometric translation needed for the larger disk capacity
    won't match what got used before.

    Drives over 128GB were not in mass production when your version of
    Windows got released. Sorry, but Microsoft isn't a soothsayer, either.
    They cannot write software for every piece of hardware that might appear
    sometime later. That is why LATER updates and service packs will modify
    the OS so it would then support hardware that appears AFTER the release
    of a software product. It's not Microsoft's fault that the motherboard
    maker didn't provide an IDE controller that allows 48-bit addressing.
    Did the BIOS flash update actually specify that it support 48-bit
    addressing mode? Your motherboard - which you did not identify - might
    not be capable of supporting drives over 128GB in size.

    First determine if your motherboard actually will support drives over
    128GB in size. That may require a BIOS flash update. You said that you
    already did the latest update but firmware updates cannot magically
    alter hardware that is still incapable of changing its addressing width.
    Could be you grabbed the wrong update, too. If the motherboard cannot
    be made to support large drives, your choices are to install the overlay
    manager program from the drive maker (this replaces the bootstrap
    program in the MBR, so any other program that uses the MBR bootstrap
    area, like Goback or a multiboot manager, cannot be used), or get an IDE
    controller card whose BIOS and controller do support large drives. For
    awhile, Western Digital drives used to include their own controller
    cards because the motherboards and OS were not yet capable (many then
    got sold off on eBay and that's how I got one for an old host that could
    not be upgraded to support large drives).
    Vanguard, Mar 18, 2005
  12. aether

    Yousuf Khan Guest

    Just create a second partition in that unallocated partition and format
    a filesystem on it. It should show up as an alternative drive letter in
    Windows. It won't be the whole drive as one drive letter, but it will
    be the whole drive as two drive letters.

    Yousuf Khan
    Yousuf Khan, Mar 18, 2005
  13. It isn't strange at all, it's perfectly easy to explain.
    Microsoft *have* fixed it, or, to put it another way, they've done as much
    as they can. Unfortunately, some things have to be left down to the user.
    Anyone ignorant/dumb enough not to know whether the usable capacity of their
    drives matches what they've actually got probably won't notice the
    difference. Either way, your scenario is relatively uncommon, as most PC
    buyers purchase OEM boxes, and in these cases, your particular set of
    circumstances wouldn't occur.

    Your scenario is quite a unique one, in that you originally partitioned and
    formatted this drive on a vanilla copy of Windows XP that didn't include 48
    bit LBA support. You have since upgraded the OS, and at that point the
    "extra" capacity of your drive magically became available.

    As has been said elsewhere, the easiest (and arguably best) option is simply
    to create another partition with the spare capacity and create another
    logical drive in it.

    If you do want your entire drive formatted and available as C:\, you will
    need to use Partition Magic, or some similar third party tool.

    Incidentally, as others have said, for future reference it'd be far easier
    to help you if you gave us the pertinent info in your original post, rather
    than leaving us to assume/guess/ask.

    Richard Hopkins
    Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
    (replace nospam with pipex in reply address)

    The UK's leading technology reseller www.dabs.com
    Richard Hopkins, Mar 18, 2005
  14. aether

    DaveW Guest

    Your motherboard is probably a slightly older one and it's BIOS cannot
    recognize a harddrive beyond 137 GB. Only the newer motherboards can.
    DaveW, Mar 19, 2005
  15. aether

    KC Computers Guest

    You also need to have at least SP1 installed for Windows XP
    to recognize it all. Try partitioning it so that no partition is
    greater than 137GB. You can do that by Disk Management.
    KC Computers, Mar 19, 2005
  16. aether

    nobody Guest

    Did you install an original (non/early service pack) release Windows
    (2K or XP) onto this drive? If so, it's normal. Unless you slipstream
    and reinstall or have partition magic, you are stuck with this. Unlike
    what everyone's saying, it looks like your BIOS is OK since Windows
    sees the extra space (after SP4 for W2K and SP2 for XP, I believe) so
    easiest thing you can do is to simply create a new partition in the
    unused space. *Check* that 48bit addressing is enabled first (I don't
    know the registry key off the top of my head, just google for
    "BigLBA", I think) and also *back up* first if you have personal data
    on that disk, just in case I am mistaken about the BIOS and and
    Windows happily cycles back and overwrites the start of your drive
    while trying to format the rest.
    nobody, Mar 19, 2005
  17. aether

    aether Guest

    The motherboard is an Abit AN8. ('Fatal1ty') The hard drive is a Maxtor
    6B200M0. Strangely enough, the hard drive I ordered (L01M200) wasn't
    the one I received -- and it was a 'retail' purchase. The company
    must've packaged the wrong hard drive into the wrong box. Since these
    two hard drives are hardly different (one's a Diamondmax 10 (6B200M0)
    and the other's a Diamondmax 9 (L01M200), I decided against sending it
    back. (already had a big problem with another order..)

    Now, if I partition this 'unallocated space', will it diminish in speed
    or anything of the sort? (as I type it's formatting..)

    I greatly appreciate all of the advice I've received.
    aether, Mar 19, 2005
  18. aether

    DD Guest

    No, just open your Disk Management Console and create a new partition in the
    unallocated space, format it, and you're set. It will work like a second
    hard drive, but physically be the leftover portion of your hard drive.
    Alternately you could do all the stuff required to get the entire 200MB as
    your C drive, but is it really worth it? Personally I like to have my drive
    partitioned into at least 2 if not 3 or more 'virtual' drives, that way I
    can reformat my system partition ( the partition with Windows and all of my
    software installed on it, a.k.a. C: ) without losing any of my data on D:
    or, as I frequently have, my Linux system partition, Linux swap partition,
    and/or whatever other operating systems I am messing around with ( under the
    auspices of 'testing' ;p ).

    In fact, it actually makes things run more smoothly as things don't get as
    fragmented as quickly.

    ( things is an official term, or so says the latest SA&D text I have dragged
    myself through for some inane, unfathomable reason ;p )
    DD, Mar 19, 2005
  19. aether

    Mercury Guest

    Under XP use can use the DISKPART command to extend partitions into adjacent
    free space.

    Look in Windows Help (Start / Help) for details on how to use this command.

    It is not recommended to use this on a system disk, but it works.

    As soon as the command completes, I would run a scandisk on the C: drive as
    this will ensure that the boundaries of the partition are correct etc and
    fix any anomolies - I have never had any anomlies...
    Mercury, Mar 19, 2005
  20. aether

    JShepherd Guest



    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    JShepherd, Mar 19, 2005
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