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Thread: Smaller than advertised hard drive

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    Smaller than advertised hard drive

    Now i know the big number on the front of the box isnt completely acurrate and drives are usally a few GB smaller than the advertised size, However i just purchased a 160GB drive and to my horror once windows had installed it was showing as 127GB, thats 33GB missing!! is this likely to be a problem with windows reporting the drive size or is it more likely that the drive is missing 33GB?

    If it is just windows will i be able to use the missing 33GB or is there some trickery i can perform to get a more accurate reading, also are there any tool sout there that may be more accurate. I have tried searching both the forums here and google for hese answers but with no luck any help much apriciated cause if there really is that much space missing this drive is going back.

  2. #2
    AO Decepticon CXGJarrod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002

    137 GB is the biggest drive that Windows will support without WinXP and Service Pack 1.

    Your bios might also be a factor in that it cannot detect anything larger than a 120 GB drive.
    N00b> STFU i r teh 1337 (english: You must be mistaken, good sir or madam. I believe myself to be quite a good player. On an unrelated matter, I also apparently enjoy math.)

  3. #3
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    That sounds like a BIOS limitation.

    Check with the MoBo manufacturer's website for a BIOS upgrade.

    Otherwise look on the HDDs manufacturer site for installation software. They may have something like EZDrive. A program that intercepts the BIOS and recognises the true size. Get their diagnostic software as well, to check that the drive is OK.

    EDIT: I found this:

    A limitation of the ATA specification only allowed 28-bit addressing of hard drives. The result is the inability to correctly use a hard drive with a size larger than 127GB (in some cases this number may show up as 137GB). The problem may be that the full capacity of the hard drive is not available, the drive does not detect, or the system locks during the detection of the hard drive.

    This limitation is overcome using a new 48-bit ATA addressing specification (ATA-6) that is being implemented by hard drive manufacturers. Hard drives are now being manufactured using the new 48-bit addressing and require a compatible 48-bit controller/BIOS such as a motherboard with an ATA-133 IDE controller.

    The solutions for an older motherboard without an ATA-133 IDE controller may be:

    * A BIOS translation application may be available from the hard drive manufacturer to overcome the 28-bit limitation.
    * A motherboard chipset technology update. For Intel chipset motherboards, you can click here for the possibility of a download to solve the problem. For motherboards that do not have an Intel chipset, the motherboard manufacturers website may have possible updates available.
    * Purchase an ATA-133 IDE controller card, as an add on to an older motherboard (if the card is compatible with the motherboard, this will solve the problem).

    While the previous 28-bit ATA specification has a hard drive size limitation of 127GB, the new 48-bit specification has a size limitation of 144 petabytes (144,000,000 GB). Hard drive manufacturers have estimated, based on past trends, that the 144 petabyte - 48-bit end of life will not occur for another 20 years. Before then, operating systems using the current 32-bit addressing (98,ME,2000,XP) will top out at 2.2 terabytes (2252.8 GB). This will be addressed in future versions of the OS.
    This will only be a problem for customers without ATA-133 chipset motherboards that are upgrading their systems with large hard drives (>127GB)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Thanks for the help

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